Monday, January 21, 2008
Building a cold smoker (smokehouse)
My original smokehouse plan was to make something big enough to cold smoke two pigs worth of hams and bacon at a time. I only butcher pigs once or twice a year for curing,....but I cook several pigs a year on my cinderblock pit.
I wanted a smoke box that I could set right on my block pit, and run a pipe from a separate smoke/fire box to create the cold smoke. Use my cinderblock cooker for both hot smoking and cold.
As it turned out, I decided (after I built the box) to make the little smokehouse permanent.
The box is constructed from some untreated lumber I had on hand.
I purchased the smoke stack....it has a damper built in.
I made a rain cap for the stack using hanging iron straps and a regular old cake pan....it's attached with nuts and bolts. I painted the pan with rust resistant high heat paint. The top of the smoke stack is covered with screen, held on by a hose clamp. (to keep the bugs out)
I covered the top of the little smokehouse with metal.
Caulk around the bottom of the smoke stack.
For shelves and dowel holders, I drilled holes into a 2x4.....then cut the 2x4 down the middle.
These are attached with screws to the inside of the little house.
The dowels rest in the grooves.
I made another rod holder the same way and use it to hold racks.
The base of the smokehouse is made of cinderblocks.....I used the dry stack method. No mortar is used, the blocks are dry stacked, rebar is ran through every other hole and filled with quickcrete.
The remaining holes are filled with dirt and the whole thing is capped off using quickcrete.
A hole is left for the smoke pipe. This was made using 1" metal tubing frame and a metal plate in front. Cut a hole the size of your smokepipe.
One picture I did not get....the bottom of the smokehouse has a metal strip attached to protect it from direct contact with the quickcrete/block base.
When filling the cinder blocks with quickcrete....I ran 18" metal straps inside the corner cinderblocks before the quickcrete dried. I used these straps to tie down the smokehouse.
The fire or smoke box is a barrel cut down to about 1/4 in size. Three 3/4" nipples with caps are added for air flow.
One ball valve is also added for air flow.
The fire grate is expanded metal reinforced with 1" tubing to keep it from warping over time.
I did attach small "feet" made from the same 1" tubing to keep the grate above my air nipples and valve.
The stove pipe running from the base of the smokehouse to the smoke/fire box.
I added a damper/valve between my fire/smoke box and my stove pipe for extra smoke/heat control.
The fire/smoke box, getting a paint job with high temperature grill paint.
The fire/smoke box.
For weather protection the wood is covered with a weather proof clear coating.
The base is covered with two thin layers of mortar.
It's ready to go!
The finished house is 6'7"tall, 4 'wide and 3'deep.
Some cold smoked slab, rolled and canadian bacon. Spices, salts, olives, nuts, cheeses, honey, etc..
I'm am getting a lot of use out of the smokehouse... I love it. :)