Homemade Meat Smokers - Ideas for Making Your Own

Homemade meat smokers are an inexpensive and effective way to get the taste of smoked meat that you want, without having to dish out money you might not be ready to spend.

Before you start, though, you should know that smoking meat is a technique of slow cooking with the use of water and different kinds of wood chips to get a smoky flavor and some of the most tender meat you've ever tasted.

Understanding how they work

Okay, so before you start with your endeavor to build a homemade meat smoker, take a little time to understand how it is that they work. This will help you to make the best meat smoker for your personal needs. Not to mention that the more you know about any kind of cooking method, the better cook you can really become.

Basically, with any kind of meat smoker, indirect heat is used in the cooking process, so rather than resting the meat on top of the heat source, heat radiates into the cooking compartment. This is part of the reason that smoking meat takes so much longer than other methods of cooking meat, such as grilling, baking or frying.

Choosing the right type of meat smoker for you

So, are you set on making a homemade meat smoker? There are different kinds of homemade meat smokers that you can make, depending on your personal needs and what you have on hand. Consider each of these styles before you decide on which one you want to make.

  • Smoking with a gas grill. You can do this easily and effectively when you plan it correctly. For this homemade meat smoker method, you should have some wood chips that you've been soaking in water overnight wrapped in a packet of aluminum foil. Punch one small hole in the top of the packet so smoke can get out and place it directly over one of the burners that have been turned to low. Then cook your meat over the burner that hasn't been turned on at all. Be sure to keep checking the temperature on your grill to keep it where you want it to be, and you might want to start checking your meat after a few hours.

  • You can also smoke with your good old charcoal grill. For such homemade meat smokers, you'll want to have a brick to place on one side of the charcoal grate. Then, between the brick and side of the grill, you should pile wood chips and charcoal briquettes that are unlit. Once you do this, you can add a few lit charcoal briquettes to the top of your pile of woodchips and charcoal for a slow burn with a little smoke. If you want extra smoke, you can add some woodchips that have been soaked in water for a few hours. In order to check your temperature, you'll need to add your own thermometer, and you can control the temperature with the top and bottom vents. Don't forget to put the lid on your grill for smoky, tender meat.

  • You can make a trashcan homemade meat smoker, which is one way that many people are choosing to smoke meat, but this can be a little bit complicated. Consider only taking this project on if you have everything you need, such as a hot plate, cast iron skillet and a brand new galvanized trashcan with a lid and a grate that will fit in the garbage can. You'll need to drill a hole in the bottom of the can to run the cord of the hot plate and you'll need to drill holes about 2/3 of the way to the top of the trash can for the grate. Turn on the hotplate at about medium and fill your cast iron skillet with wood chips. Cover with aluminum foil and set it on top of the hot plate. Don't forget to drill a hole for your thermometer. Keep in mind that you might have to check the temperature a few times to get it right.

Smoking meat doesn't have to be hard and you don't have to go out and purchase a big expensive meat smoker that you might only use once or twice. Instead, why not try making a homemade meat smoker and see how that works instead?

Have fun, and take care!

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