Meat smoker build along

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retch sweeny
 
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Meat smoker build along

Postby retch sweeny » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:43 pm

My last homemade smoker lasted 15 years. It was a converted chest freezer I tipped on its side and it worked great for hot smoking but eventually rusted through because of the heat and moisture and salt inherent to the smoking process.

Being that I like to build things, I began building a new smoker from scratch. I searched online for big electric smokers to get a feel for what’s available and to find something to pattern mine after (never been ashamed to steal a good idea) Most of the smokers were too small for what I want but none of the big commercial units allowed for cold smoking. Part of the reason I want a new smoker is so I can smoke things like cheese, nuts, lox and other things that are cold smoked. Also the big commercial units cost around $4,000. I think the price is fair considering what you get but I would rather make my own.

This is an example of what out there.

http://store.cookshack.com/p-121-smarts ... sm160.aspx

I like it but it cant be used to cold smoke and it has too few racks. My smoker will sit outside year round so it has to be weatherproof. Since most of the meat smoking I do is in the winter in temps below freezing, I will insulate the smoker with 1 ½ thick foam board. I will use treated lumber for the legs since its going to sit outside year round. I will make it for hot smoking but will build a cold smoking adapter. I want ten racks and the extra height for smoking hot sticks and bacon sides. The inside smoking area I’m shooting for is 25” wide, 20” deep and 48” tall and will be lined with aliminum. Its going to have dual exhaust, and T-111 exterior siding and will be about 7 feet tall. The inner walls are going to be ½ inch thick plywood.

The back wall

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Fast forward to the completion of the structure. The upper opening is the smoking chamber. The lower is where the electric heating elements and pan filled with wood will go. each compartment will have its own door so I can add wood and adjust the heat without opening the upper area and letting all the heat out. The recessed areas are 1 ½ inches deep and will be filled with pink foam board (R-7.5).


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Here is the inner ceiling. I’m using 3 inch galvanized for the smoke stacks. I cut and bent tabs all the way around to attach it to the wood and to have a good seal.

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Testing to see if it fits.

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The space between the inner ceiling and the outer roof will be filled with insulation board. This was to test the fit to make sure I had the smoke stack holes in the right place.

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I don’t have a sheet metal break for making the bends in the aluminum lining so I improvised.

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The floor piece being tested for proper fit. My plan is to wrap all the exposed wood with aluminum. I will use aluminum nails to hold the aluminum lining in place to avoid rust.

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The racks for smoking will be supported by 3/4 inch poplar dowels. They will be supported by the hard maple strips on each side. I drilled a 7/8 inch hole about halfway through the maple and then split each one on my table saw. Each strip will be able to support 5 dowels.

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Once I finish lining the entire inside with aluminum, I will attach the maple rack supports.

Dan Salmon
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby Dan Salmon » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:58 pm

Instead of using nails or screws to fasten the aluminum lining, have you thought about using a construction adhesive? 

Not sure what the heat will do as far as off gassing or what not, something you would have to look into, but would make for a much nicer looking installation and less work.  Aluminum nails suck, lots and lots of soffit and fascia work in my past and really don't ever look forward to using aluminum nails again.

Are you planning on lining the entire inside or just the bottom pan as shown?

Looks good so far, I was just talking to my father-in-law about a very similar project.

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby retch sweeny » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:53 pm

At temps of up to 225 F I worry it would just let go and I worry about the fumes so aluminum nails it is. Yes, I will line the entire inside with aluminum. Its a pain in the arse so far.

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Sailfish
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby Sailfish » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:48 am

Man thats nice.

I love smoking fish. Going to try to get out this week or next for the kings that are just starting thier migration.
I'd like to get a large unit as well. Yours looks very nice.
Honestly I have to say though, I have never heard of cold smoking. Interesting
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby retch sweeny » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:46 pm

[font=arial][/font] [/align][font=arial]Then your in luck[/font][/align][font=arial][/font] [/align][font=arial]http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cold-smoking.htm[/font][/align][font=arial][/font] [/align][font=arial]http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Exactly-is-Cold-Smoking?&id=108679[/font][/align][font=arial][/font] [/align][font=arial][/font] [/align][font=arial]Smoked cheese is a commonly cold smoked food item.[/font][/align]

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Ohio farms
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby Ohio farms » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:52 pm

Nice woodworking skills. I can almost taste the smoked delights.
Keep life simple...if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby retch sweeny » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:53 pm

I got the entire inside wrapped in aluminum and the maple rack supports installed. It was a bigger pain in the butt than I thought it would be.

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Sailfish
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby Sailfish » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:01 pm

ORIGINAL: retch sweeny

[font="arial"][size="2"][/size][/font] [font="arial"][size="2"]Then your in luck[/size][/font][font="arial"][size="2"][/size][/font] [font="arial"][color="#800080"][size="2"]http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cold-smoking.htm[/size][/color][/font][font="arial"][color="#800080"][size="2"][/size][/color][/font] [font="arial"][color="#800080"][size="2"]http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Exactly-is-Cold-Smoking?&id=108679[/size][/color][/font][font="arial"][color="#800080"][size="2"][/size][/color][/font] [font="arial"][color="#800080"][size="2"][/size][/color][/font] [font="arial"][size="2"]Smoked cheese is a commonly cold smoked food item.[/size][/font]


Thanks.

I saw this link on another forum recently........http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

retch sweeny
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby retch sweeny » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:14 pm

With the interior done I focused on the outside. First the insulation. R 7.5 Pink foam board 1 1/2 thick.

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I caulked around the smoke stacks before insulating. I don’t want any leaks.

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Then the roof went on and more caulk.

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Next was the fascia and some paint.

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Then some tar paper.

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Then the metal roof and drip edge and some white silicone caulk over the aluminum nail heads to prevent any leaks.

Normally drip edge goes on before the tar paper and is covered by asphalt shingles that cover the nails holding the drip edge. The thin metal is not as robust as shingles so I used the drip edge to hold the thin roof metal down and to cover all the nails holding it in place. I put a large bead of silicone under each piece of drip edge before nailing it in place.

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Wanderer
 
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RE: Meat smoker build along

Postby Wanderer » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:38 am

Retch,
Well done. Agent Gibbs would be proud of you. Let us know when you fire it up for the first time. We may want to come up there and get some samples.

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