How to Build a Smoker for Your Backyard?

Even if we have an indoor smoker/ barbecue or even a small one outdoors that we can always rely on, there will be times when we’ll have to cook tougher and bigger pieces of meat.

In short, the real-deal barbecue will always require a medium to large-sized offset smoker conveniently placed in our backward. Naturally, if you can’t find the one that you like or you just want to work hard for your meat, there’s always an option to build your own smoker by yourself!

Therefore, we thought of letting you know what exactly you must do to build the ideal smoker for your backyard so that you don’t have to worry about your barbecue’s quality ever again!

Smoker for Your Backyard

Things to Consider Before Building a Smoker

Before you start building the smoker, here are few things that you should take into account so that you have a proper setup:

01. Airflow

As you may know, airflow is the most important part when it comes to a proper smoker. Several connecting pipes work to bring smoke and heat from the smoker’s fire chamber in its food chamber. Subsequently, smokestacks vent the smoke out of the cooking chamber.

Airflow is essential because any excess smoke will literally ruin your barbecue. In a smoker that works properly, convection works to draw in the air, over the fire. Then, the heated air rises into the smoker’s cooking chamber and vents out.

02. Temperature Control

If you are a beginner in terms of smokers, then you may think that temperature control is not achievable. However, you can easily achieve temperature control via adjustable vents that limit the airflow within the smoker.

For this particular feature, you could also use a controllable heat source. This is the easiest way through which you can smoke as you don’t have to manage vent adjustments or deal with fire tending. On top of that, a controllable heat source makes for a simple smoker design that you can easily build.

03. Portability

Naturally, this aspect applies only if you want the smoker to be portable. However, keep in mind that portable, in this case, means being able to move it around in your backyard and not loading it into the trunk of a car.

A smoker can be a permanent fixture in your backyard, or they can be specially designed to be moved around. This will affect its design!

For example, you could have a brick unit with a lot of smoking space, as well as versatility but one that you cannot move, or you can have a metallic, rather simple smoker that does a great job and can also be moved.

04. Materials

As mentioned above, stone or brick smokers come with a lot of advantages over other types of smokers. This is mainly because brick/ stone holds heat – and holds it very well once they reach the desired temperature.

Stone Smoker
Brick Smoker

On top of that, a permanent smoker structure can also be equipped with a lot of other features – such as plumbing, electricity and so on.

On the other hand, a lot of people acknowledge the flexibility of a portable, metallic smoker. It is easier to clean and to maintain and can be easily stored during the winter, for example. Most importantly, it can be moved in the center of a crowd so that everyone is able to enjoy the view of smoking meat.

Building a Smoker

In order to build your own smoker, you’ll have to pick up either welding or masonry. However, keep in mind that there are certain types of smokers that don’t need any professional skills, and can be built with minimal knowledge.

For example, you can start with a UDS – Ugly Drum Smoker – and then move to a permanent or portable smoker.

Drum Smoker

In the following lines, we’ll show you the basics of building/ welding a portable backyard smoker:

01. Welding

For a metallic, portable smoker, you’ll need a 115-bolt wire-feed welder. For welding, you can use 0.035-in. flux-cored wire – if the metal that you choose for the build is thinner, you can gas weld.

Welding Metallic Portable Smoker

02. Cutting

After you weld the ends of the smoker’s main component (the barrel), you have to cut the holes for its doors. For any additional openings, you can use a 2-in. hole saw as it gives nice, rounded corners. When facing steel, remember that it can be cut with a saber saw – however, it is laborious and takes a lot of time, as well as blades.

Cut the Holes for Doors in Portable Smoker

03. Bare Metal

For the metal piece of the smoker, you can have a metal shop cut the metal to size – and even roll the drum sections for you. When it comes to the material itself, you can use anything made out of steel – but not galvanized. You can also rely on a food-grade steel barrel.

Bare Metal for Portable Smoker

04. Trimming

For hinges, you can use piano ones, as they are rather cheap and do their job. For this particular part, you can use either sheet-metal screws or pop rivets to fit in the hinges. Then, if you plan on adding any wooden handles, you could use brass spacers and bolts to keep them in place. You should also sand, and paste wax them.

Trimming the Portable Smoker

05. Smoke Management

For the chimney, you can use 3-inche chimney pipes. If you have enough resource, you can use the end of a soup can – or any other type of can – to craft a firebox damper. To connect the smoke chamber with the firebox, you can use a 2-inch water pipe.

Smoke Management for Portable Smoker

06. Final Steps

For a metallic smoker, you’ll also have to paint it. After doing so, build a fire in the smoker’s firebox to get all the metal hot so that the paint sets it, any mill scale burns off, and any oil that may be still lingering inside is cut.

Portable Smoker

When the smoker cools off, you should wash every piece/ element and then paint the inside of the smoke chamber with some vegetable oil, in order to avoid rust.

The Bottom Line

Building a smoker is hard – especially when you don’t know if you want a metal or stone one.

Naturally, a metallic smoker is the better choice for beginners, as it doesn’t require too much work or knowledge/ information. You just have to know how a smoker looks like and how to properly build its smoke management system.

On the other hand, brick and stone smokers require some other skills and maybe even talents that you’d have to practice a bit before building your own smoker! Backyard is always incomplete with some creative decoration, water features, ornamental grass, etc. We have tried to give some tips for all the things you need for your perfect backyard. Click on following links to know more,

10+ Backyard Garden Ideas for Your Home Garden!
10 Backyard Water Features to Upgrade Aesthetics of your Home!
11 Best Ornamental Grass You Can Use for Your Backyard!

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