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homemade meat smokers



just wondering if anyone uses a homemade smoker, and if so how is it constructed.

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The one I use back home at my folks' place is concrete block for the walls, wood roof, 10' high, with an old steel wagon wheel to hang the bushty, sausage, etc. from, an old gas range, and a thermometer at the same level that the meat hangs.

I made a portable one out of an old refrigerator, ripped out all the flammables, bought some sheet metal to seal holes off, damper and stack out the top, and an old gas burner, and a thermometer through the door.

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Have made a couple out of galvanized trash cans, got a hot plate in the bottom, a pan for chips, a water pan, and a couple of bbq grill grates hung from the top edge. Stick a thermometer thru the lid. A damper is a good idea, you'll be able to control the heat easier.

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Might sound weird, but last year I used a LARGE cardboard box. Open the top of the box and flip it upside down so that the bottom is open. I bought 10 replacement pine broom handles (about $1 apiece) and pushed them through the sides of the box to hang the sausage on. Cut a door in the side of the box to access the hotplate. You will need to keep the hotplate away from the sides of the box. It worked great for smoking my deer sausage last year. In fact I just folded up the box and its ready for this year.

I had $25 into it including the hotplate.

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The method my wife's Dad uses is:

1 55 gallon drum w/ bottom intact, no holes other than the lid being removed.

a Bannana box, a old broom stick and some
ply wood scraps

Your choice of fruit wood - ie apple, plum, mulberry, etc

He lights a fire in the barrel, the sausage rings are hung on the stick, stick rested on top of the barrel, the covered with the bannana box. The scraps of plywood close off the remaining openings some more.

His object is smoking for flavor, not to cook it, although the meat (venison and pork) does get warm, and grease starts to seep from the casings. About 10-12 minutes and then its removed. If there is "to much" smoke, then removing a hunk of plywood will provide more air to the fire.

He usually adds a chunk or two of wood per batch of meat. This fall we smoked 300# of ring sausage this way.


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