You love to grill and smoke and are an absolute DIY fan? Then you should definitely think about your own smoker. In this assembly guide we explain how to build a simple smoker. The instructions for bricklaying are quite simple and can easily be adapted to your own ideas.
The smokehouse is considered the forerunner of the refrigerator. Before food could be preserved by refrigeration or vacuum packaging, the only options were smoking or salting. Until a few decades ago, there was simply no other way to keep germs and fungi away. These preservation methods were not only quite effective – smoking in particular also produced a very special, characteristic taste. The smoking of meat and fish was therefore not given up after the advent of refrigerators, but was retained as an extension of the culinary spectrum. But anyone can buy ready-made ham or smoked salmon – smoking it yourself is becoming more and more of a hobby for many. Read this article on how to enjoy homemade smoked delicacies.
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Simple and inexpensive – the smoker
There are lower temperatures in a smoker than in a smoker. This makes its construction easier. Cooking in the smokehouse also takes much longer. There are also significant differences in taste between the quick preparation in the smoker and the time-consuming smoking: The food to be grilled from the smoker should be eaten immediately after heating. If the meat from the smoker gets cold, it becomes very dry, tough and hardly edible. Meat and fish from the smoker, on the other hand, can be kept for weeks.
A smoker consists of a tall, slender, cylindrical room with two chambers. Both chambers have their own doors. The lower chamber is for starting the smoke fire. The fuel suitable for smoking, for example beech wood, is inserted there. The smoked food is hung up in the large chamber above. Many hobby smokers use their smokers for trout, salmon or eel. You can use it to make delicious delicacies yourself in just a few hours. Smoking a ham, on the other hand, takes much longer. But anyone who has really got a taste for the self-smoked food will also get the trick out of the pork.
Build smoker – building instructions
A brick smoker in the garden is the highlight of every barbecue party. Here a connoisseur and expert can show what he’s made of. Above all, if the stove also visually matches the facade of the house, you can have a real eye-candy here with just a few simple steps, which can make the neighbors jealous. Fortunately, this is the easy part, especially if you have a brick facade: the bricks are ideal for building a smokehouse. Of course you can also build a smoking tower with three to four hollow bricks, as they are used in horticulture. But that looks very handcrafted and does not live up to the claim of a really self-made oven. In addition, with this solution you are limited to the cross-section of the hollow brick. a neat,
The building instructions provide:
- flat shovel
- 4 boards about 20 cm wide
- 2-3 bags of ready-mixed concrete
- 3-4 sacks of ready-mixed mortar (50 kg)
- a sack of gravel
- large tub for mixing concrete and mortar
- 1 square meter piece of welded wire mesh
- approx. 200 clinker bricks in normal format
- 10 x galvanized threaded rods (diameter 1 – 2 cm)
- steel straps
- approx. 2 square meters of stainless steel sheet for doors
- Angle grinder with cutting disc for stainless steel
- flue pipe
IMPORTANT: Before you buy the hardware store empty, you should calculate exactly how many stones and how many meters of threaded rod you need for the suspension and the bracing of the false ceiling. Be sure to read the complete instructions before building bricks to understand the principle. You do not necessarily have to implement the number of rows and the size of the smoker as in this guide. Once you have internalized the principle, you can also design your own smoker according to your ideas.
Like any decent brick structure, the earthen censer starts with a solid foundation. To do this, about 1 square meter is staked out straight and excavated to a depth of about 15 cm.
The floor is laid out with gravel and smoothed out. The foundation is formed with the four boards. A base plate of approx. 1 m² and 15 cm thickness is sufficient. Of course, a steel wire mesh should not be missing. Otherwise, the high compressive load of the masonry would quickly cause the slab to break. After the concrete has been mixed and poured, it is left to rest for two days. Then the formwork can be removed and the bricklaying can begin.
A practical basic form is already achieved with 4 stone lengths wide and 3 stone lengths deep. First build an “outer circle” and then an offset “inner circle” – this is the first row of bricks.
When building walls, always ensure a 50% overlap. This creates the most beautiful joint pattern and the highest stability. A distance of approx. 1 stone width should be left to the edge of the foundation. If you want to build a larger oven, you have to lay out the foundation accordingly wide. When laying walls, always pay attention to straight growth, exact alignment, constant distances between the stones (approx. 1 cm) and that the stones are fully set.
In the next row, leave 2 stone widths free at the front for the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber is bricked about 50 cm high.
3. Put in false ceilings
Now brick the next row in such a way that the bricks close off the combustion chamber again. To do this, a simple wooden support frame is installed at the desired height: A suitably cut board, which is supported with a few wooden feet, is sufficient.
So that the stones are stable in the fall, they can also be fixed to each other with steel straps.
Then the smoker needs an intermediate ceiling with a 10 cm x 10 cm hole in the middle – this separates the combustion chamber and smoker from each other.
The intermediate ceiling ensures that the food to be smoked only gets smoke but not an open flame. However, the bricked intermediate ceiling must be bricked up carefully and completely. Otherwise you have no stability here and the ceiling collapses quickly.
Crossbars are now worked into the row that has just been bricked. These can be simple threaded rods – saw the rods to the desired length with a hacksaw. Then save the space for the crossbars in the brick – to do this, pick out the brick and sink the crossbars – four for each direction. The crossbars must be level with the row. After that, the crossbars are covered with bricks, as in the picture. The stones of the middle “circle” are arranged in such a way that the hole in the middle remains.
Then the outer circle is bricked in offset as usual.
4. Finish masonry
Now a tower about 2 meters high is being built. The cleaner the masonry, the more impressive the result. Again, the two-chamber principle is used in these assembly instructions: The lower, smaller chamber for the fuel and the larger chamber for the smoked food. The crossbars for hanging up fish and meat are simply inserted into the horizontal joint or sunk back into the stone – in the row in which they are of course supposed to hang later. You have to think this through beforehand and calculate where they should be located later. The crossbars are then bricked up. This saves you having to drill afterwards. The finished brick oven is left for two days.
It is then fitted with sheet steel doors. These are cut to fit with the angle grinder and provided with hinges. The door is screwed to the masonry with the hinges. The edges of the sheets are ground round so nobody can injure themselves. However, the handle of the doors should be made of wood, otherwise, you will burn your fingers when opening them.
6. Build roof
As a roof, the simplest solution is again a brick or concrete false ceiling. You work this in the same way as the intermediate ceiling between the combustion and smoking chamber. A small piece of pipe is then built into this from above as a vent – the brick smoker is finished.
The fresh masonry is carefully swept away with the swab. This way you get an even more beautiful joint picture.
Another advantage of a brick smoker is that it cannot burn down. In order to burn it dry, fire can be ignited in it without restraint. When it stops vaping, it’s ready for the first load of incense.
A building guide for everyone
The internet is full of designs and ways to build your own smoker. The simple construction of this very special preparation cabinet makes it possible for everyone to find the building instructions that are right for them. We recommend starting with a simple smoker and gaining your own experience first. Once you get the taste for it, you can gradually work your way up to the more elegant version. After all, no one is helped with a chic, brick smoking cabinet if the good piece is then unused in the garden.
EXTRA – Build Wood Chamber
A smoker made of wood is not only an ecological and visually appealing alternative to the barrel oven. The natural material wood is also a taste enrichment for smoked goods. However, only untreated wood is suitable for these building instructions! Lacquered wood, chipboard, or veneer are not suitable for the construction of a wooden smokehouse! Therefore, the ideal material for the formwork is tongue and groove boards made of solid wood. Simple, untreated ceiling panels are ideal for this.
- 5 10×10 beams about 2 meters long
- 2 packs of ceiling panels
- Insulation material (rock wool, no styrofoam)
- Aluminium foil
The wood stove is built according to the proven two-chamber principle. Both chambers get an inner and an outer casing. In between comes the insulating material. In this way, no heat is lost and the oven does not get too hot from the outside. There are no limits to the user’s creativity. However, the combustion chamber should be lined with several layers of aluminum foil so that it does not accidentally set the whole stove on fire. The wooden smoking cabinet should also be dry-smoked before the first meat is hung in it. With smokers made of wood, you have to pay special attention to the temperature. To be on the safe side, an electric heating element should be used with this type of oven. This avoids the risk of burning the stove.