Smokehouse Plans

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Smokehouse plans are hard to come by sometimes.. We are happy to say that Ernest, a member of the forum, graciously sent in some pictures and info on his home-built smokehouse that he built in his back yard. I know there are some of you who have thought about doing this but don't know where to start or are unable to find some good plans. These are not plans as you would normally see them but it may serve to give you some ideas on how to proceed in building your own smokehouse.


Here is the paraphrased email I recieved from Ernest along with the pictures he sent at the bottom:


I built it from lumber that I already had that was torn out of an old office building my wife inherited. The board and batten look was not planned but was convenient for the lumber I had. It measures 3' across x 4 foot deep x 6 1/2' tall at the peak.

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I built removable wooden shelves to accommodate briskets, fish or whatever, they can be taken out for cleaning or to make more space for hanging. It has hanging racks in the top that will accommodate sausage, poultry and roasts or hams in bags.

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The firebox is a 55 gallon drum with a removable lid to allow me to easily clean out the ashes. The firebox sits on concrete patio blocks at each end. I used a 6" ax 24" stove pipe with a damper to deliver the smoke. To keep the wooden sides from burning I directed the stove pipe through a thing I bought at the hardware store that you set a cast iron fireplace on, the name of that escapes me at the moment, the thermometer came from my turkey fryer and is long enough to give a fairly accurate tem reading. I use a mixture of kitty litter and sawdust on the floor to absorb the drips.

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Just for fun I made it look like an outhouse! I'm sure my neighbors were relieved when they first saw the smoke coming out!!! The moon in the front is part of the draft system. All drafts are covered on the inside with 1/4" hardware cloth to keep out the dirt daubers we have so many of here in Texas.

My next improvement will be to run electricity to it. I don't know too much about Oklahoma these days, my first wife was from there, but down here it gets pretty dark at night! It occurred to me that with electricity I could also add an electric hotplate to help control the temperature….


Thanks Earnest for this wonderful demonstration of a homebuilt smokehouse plan in action!

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  1. I would like to know what kind of wood I should use to build my smoke house.What kind did you use? and does it effect the tast of the meat? Thank you for sharing

  2. I’m in Texas also and absolutely love the outhouse smoke house idea. I remember my great grandparents having an outhouse and using it ! I also remember as a young child making homemade sausage with a hand grinder and all the family taking turns at the table. I would love to see more pics of the firebox and how’s it is situated on the inside. Thank you Ernest and Jeff for sharing.

  3. what do you use to make the smoke [logs, pellets, etc. ] in the homemade
    smoker [what goes into the 55 gal drum.] thanks

  4. Love it.  Can you hot cook in your smoker?  Butts, brisket etc.  225 temps. for a while?  Looking to build one and I am not sure if I need to somehow insulate the wood from the inside.  I live in Fl.