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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Awesome!
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:49 PM   #11
r8rphan
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So, if I want to make a wood fired smoker, what should I keep my eyes out for to make it out of.. Old wood stoves, water heaters, outhouses , what?

Eventually, I'd like to custom fabricate something up from total scratch... but for now, what is 'ideal' from yard sales and scrap yards to make something without a lot of hassle 'right now?'.. Ideally, it's got to be 100% non-electric.. preferable 100% wood fired (or wood and charcoal)..

We have lodgepole/ponderosa/jeffrey/sugar pine, white/doug fir, incense cedar, black oak, and manzanita in the woods around me......

There are some old gas grills around, a couple old hibachis, and so on.. I imagine I can at least use the 'grills' themselves from that.. I also have some scrap steel and expanded steel I can use.. But it's not the 'flat' kind of expanded steel, but rather the kind where the remaining structural steel around each opening has a 'twist'...

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Old 12-14-2010, 09:47 PM   #12
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I have one of those too.. I've heard that if you semi freeze the meat first, you can slice 'very' thin...

How thin does the meat need to be prior to smoking/drying to get the paper thin stuff I'm talking about..
Just thick enough to get full slices and not bits, you probably won't be able to match what they do with a commercial slicer, but close enough. It will thin a bit more as it dries. Partial Freezing will help but also impacts the structure of the meat. Once you get good with it you can slice fresh from the butcher, or better yet have then slice it for you . Use 2 skewers for each line to stretch the hanging meat. You don't want it folded over itself or touching others, hence the grate seperation.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:03 PM   #13
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If I had rule of the house rather than SWMBO and the #^%%$ subdivision association, I'd build a brick one out back, and an open pit next to it.

All you need is a relatively (but not completely) airtight chamber with racks and a thermometer, a vented fire pit (to control airflow/temp, a covered hibachi would work well) and ducting between them. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that one pictured except it was a Johnny on the Spot for the chamber which made me sick. If you do something tall like that remember the top stuff will smoke faster and heavier, like an attic ham if familiar with those. Your imagination, suitable material (I'd avoid plastic but it is used) and sense of sanitation are the only limits. FYI a long ducting run bleeding heat will increase your time required but also improve the result.

And I hear you on wood only, I've had some great meats out of electric smokers but I'd never use one. Of your woods, oak is the only one I have used. Only hardwoods, no pine or fir...

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Old 12-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #14
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I wonder if there is a way to combine a campfire pit with smoking meats?

I have been considering all sorts of ideas for building an outdoor campsite style fire pit, with a raised hood, to contain sparks and also keep snow and rain off of it (so it can be used in the winter too).. was thinking about re-purposing an old satellite dish (about 8' in diameter for this purpose.. Was even considering building a teepee in a stand of trees out front...

Another thing I was kicking around was to build one of those grill/chimney deals you see in many campsites (and parks), that are made out of small boulders.... But I could never find any plans for one... Seems like you could build a smoker chamber in the chimney section, or at least a diverter to a smoker on the backside.. That would be totally 'awesome'.. Maybe build a semi covered structure around it, so I could sit out there year round and drink homebrew while I grilled and smoked meats at the same time... Maybe some sort of side chamber that is heated but contains no smoke for baking bread or pizza..

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Old 12-14-2010, 11:04 PM   #15
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This is the best example I can find on google.. But the kind I'm talking about were wider and taller (but not so deep), with a sloped chimney, and made from river rock style stone (6-10" round or semi-round).. Bigger and better looking...

But they had this same general design, and the grill part itself were like those you see at campsites now, where they embed a 3 foot high pipe in cement, and then put a four sided heavy gauge steel box on top, with a very heavy gauge grill, one half griddle with a big handle that you can use to raise and lower them into various adjustment notches...

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Old 12-15-2010, 06:05 PM   #16
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Are you thinking of something like this.

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