Backyard DIY: How to Build My Own Smoker

by Raymond Archambault

For making delicious food, creating your own smoker is an excellent idea. In order to save money and time, we will discuss how to build your own smoker.

I have built a small smoker and the basic process is to buy a cast iron smoker pan and build a fire inside the pan using charcoal and wood chips. Once the pan is hot enough, I add a layer of coals on the bottom and lay the meat or fish on top. The meat or fish is then wrapped with aluminum foil and placed on the coals. The heat and smoke slowly cook the meat.

Before you begin, figure out what type of smoker you want to construct.

We’ve compiled a list of do-it-yourself smoker constructions to help you get started.

There are many different kinds of DIY smokers. To help you decide, we’ve included what equipment you’ll need and where to get step-by-step instructions for the construction process.

Let’s get this party started.

Drum smoker

The ugly-drum smoker is one of the most basic and straightforward to construct smokers on the market. The idea is to turn a 55-gallon drum into a smoker in a few hours, with very little effort and no welding. The first step is to find a drum. You may buy a new or used 55-gallon drum for around $150 or less.

When purchasing a drum, check to see whether it has been coated with epoxy paint to avoid rusting.

You’ll need to clean your drum and then buff the inside with fine sandpaper once you’ve got it. The final step is to install four air-intakes that use readily available plumbing supplies, expand metal mesh is used to make a fire basket, and attach a handle to the lid. After constructing this drum smoker, it will be clear to many of you: how to build my own smoker.

After you’ve found your components and tools, a DIY ugly drum smoker can be completed in an afternoon, and best of all, no welding will be required.

If you enjoy the concept of an ugly-drum smoker but don’t have the necessary space or equipment, get one built for you. The 18.5-inch Pit Barrel Cooker from the PitBarrel Cooker Company is a great ready-to-use option.

The following are the materials that will be required.

  • 55-gallon drum with
  • A longer ¾-inch threaded pipe is required.
  • The threaded 90° elbow joints between sections are about 1/4″ – 3/8″ in diameter.
  • The addition of a 1.50-inch thinks piece of metal mesh is necessary.
  • Sandpaper with fine grit.
  • Fittings include two fittings.

You might discover it more practical to purchase a Diy-drum Smoker Kit just like this one from Big Popp Smokers.

DIY flowerpot smoker

Don’t worry if you don’t have a smoker and suddenly want smoked meat. You may make your own out of a pair of clay flower pots in one go to your local garden center.

Yep, it’s true.

The first step is to drill small holes in clay planters for ventilation. Use a smaller drill bit to start and gradually work your way up to the proper size.

Shave down a few wine corks to fit in the air holes and regulate the airflow in your pot.

The charcoal carrier will be one of your clay pots. Place a brick in the bottom of that pot and cover it with a little BBQ lid to hold the coals.


Use the top to keep the smoke in. You’ll need to drill two holes in the bottom of the bottom pot and install a regular U-bolt through the easy technique of putting a handle on the top pot. Both pots will get quite hot, so it’s best to attach a handle to the top one using this method.

You can begin after the drilling and cork shaving is completed.  Use a roll of BBQ gasket tape to make a reasonable seal.

Put the soaked wood chips in a single layer on the grate at the bottom of the cooker. Place your meal on the top pot and seal it with the cover.

You’ve completed the job.

Offset smoker

How to build my own smoker may sound difficult but actually, it’s not. This is a more difficult build, but if you have the knowledge and equipment, it’s well worth considering an offset smoker. The gasoline tank in question serves as the cooking chamber of the offset smoker, and the construction is rather simple.

A word of caution. This is a more advanced project that necessitates special tools, abilities, and a certain amount of effort.

To construct the frame, you’ll need to cut as well as weld together steel box parts; the steel plate along with the steel tube is used to make the firebox as well as the chimney.

To complete the construction, encase the brewhouse in a thick metal shell that will prevent leaks and ensure proper airflow while circulating smoke throughout the cooking chamber.

However, if you enjoy a challenge and have a workshop, reconditioning an old-gas tank into something productive is a fantastic method to repurpose it.

How to build my own smoker/DIY file cabinet smoker?

This method is much easier than constructing an offset smoker out of an old gas tank. All you need is a drill and some free time, in addition to an old metal filing cabinet.

Because the epoxy paint used on painted filing cabinets to prevent rust releases poisons when heated up, you’ll need an unpainted one.

After you’ve purchased the filing cabinet, which costs around $110 new or about $60 used, you’ll need to apply heat-resistant BBQ paint to it.

After that, drill holes in the apex of the cabinet and through the draws’ bottoms. Near the top, place one temperature gauge and near the middle, place another.

You can put normal BBQ rackets to hold your food, and the draw on which you will cook will be the firebox. This project takes around 30 minutes to complete.

Budget-friendly DIY smoker

Dealing with the odor of garbage might be a hassle, but it isn’t difficult to make your own smoker using supplies from the hardware store. Here is how you can construct one in five minutes for around $10 to get rid of the smell of trash.

For this project on how to build my own smoker, all you’ll need are two aluminum foil baking pans, bulldog clips, wood pellets, stainless steel cooling racks, and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Two aluminum foil baking pans are used to construct the smoker’s body, one on top of the other, held together with bulldog clamps. What you need to do is to position your stainless steel cooling racks on a handy brick inside the pans.

When you buy wood pellets, wrap them in foil until you’ve made a pellet burrito. The bottom pan receives an air hole on the side, and the top one gets one on the top.

Heat your pellet burrito in a blowtorch and place it near the airhole on the side in the lower pan. Place your meal on steel racks, connect the pans, and that’s all!

Final Remarks

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to acquire a smoker. You may make one from anything, including old garbage cans, flower pots, or simply aluminum pans and some office supplies.

Do you have a project that you’d like to showcase? Perhaps you’ve constructed one of the devices we’ve mentioned, and you have some thoughts on how to improve them. Please leave a message in the comments below if this is the case!



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