How to make a smokehouse from barrels

The presented model of the smokehouse is made quite simply. The necessary tools are a grinder with a metal disc, a drill or a screwdriver, a standard set of pliers and screwdrivers. The use of a welding machine is not required. The service life of such a smokehouse, if used correctly, can be more than a dozen years.

Smokehouse materials

Search and purchase of necessary materials will not take much time. You will need:

1. Three metal barrels. You need to choose barrels that have not been used previously for the storage of any chemicals. We will consider the manufacture of a smokehouse on the example of barrels with a volume of 200 liters. Two barrels must have a tight-fitting lid without holes, or it will have to be cut from the same material and welded. Ideally, the barrels should not be painted, but if there are no other options, the paint can be burned, only it needs to be done at the preparation stage, and not when the smokehouse is assembled.

2. Standard aluminum tubes of square shape - from them we will make a stand for our smokehouse.

3. Refractory bricks - 28 pieces. With their help, the smoking temperature and the intensity of the smoke from the lower barrel to the upper will be regulated. Ordinary bricks will not work.

4. Lattices. One large or several small. Here the meat will lie during smoking.

5. Galvanized conduit for smoke out.

6. Metal pipe (easy to do with your own hands) for connecting two barrels.

7. Bolts, screws, nuts, washers and corners to them from stainless materials.

8. Special silicone sealant for metal, not afraid of high temperatures.

9. Refractory thermometer. If desired, it can be installed on the smokehouse next to the grill. It will provide control over the smoking temperature.

After preparing materials and tools, you can proceed directly to work.

We make a stand under the smokehouse

The stand will be used to place the lower smokehouse barrel on it. To find out the dimensions of the frame, you need to measure the diameter of the cross section of the barrels. The finished stand should consist of four tubes 120 - 140 cm long, fastened together by two tubes at a height of 20 - 30 cm from the ground.

Aluminum tubes are fastened to each other by means of screws or bolts. To ensure a firm hold, use washers and metal corners. Stainless steel squares can be additionally attached to the frame legs - this will give more stability to the structure.

Barrel marking

One of the barrels will serve as the “bottom pan”. Place the barrel on the prepared frame and place marks in two places on the case where it will be attached to the stand. Then, on the “front part”, it is necessary to mark the future door through which you will lay smoke material inside and clean the furnace of soot. In the upper left part, draw a circular hole with a diameter of 25 - 30 cm - for a short pipe that will connect both barrels and will be used as a channel for transferring heat and smoke from the lower part of the smokehouse to the upper one.

The second barrel will be located above the first. First, just lay it horizontally on a flat surface. On the side face, you need to mark a rectangular door, the area of ​​which should provide a convenient laying of meat on the grill.

On the left side of the upper barrel it remains to mark a hole for the chimney, but we will do this later, after installing refractory bricks and a grill.

We cut and drill

After making sure that the marking on both barrels is completed correctly, it is necessary to saw through all the holes using a metal grinder. First, we make accurate cuts on the three sides of each rectangle, then slightly push the door inward and perform a control cut. The hole for the connector pipe is made in the same way. If you mistakenly drilled some holes, they need to be sealed with sealant.

On the right side face of the lower barrel it is necessary to drill several tens of holes with a size of 2-3 mm in the form of a mesh with a drill. They are needed for entering the smokehouse of oxygen. Cut out a metal cover that fits the size of the holes. Using a single screw and washer, fasten the cover so that ventilation can be fully controlled. During operation of the smokehouse, the lid will be very hot, so you should provide it with a handle in advance.

Connect the barrels with a pipe

For the manufacture of the nozzle you need a piece of suitable metal, which will have to be adjusted to the size of the holes. An important point when installing the nozzle is to achieve a tight, completely tight seal in places of contact with the material of the barrels. To do this, bend the rim of the pipe inside the upper and lower barrels as much as possible and use special sealant.

If the junction of the nozzle and the walls of the barrels is not fixed enough, a significant part of the heat and smoke will be wasted, and the products placed on the grill will, at best, simply cook, but not smoke.

Install the doors

It is not possible to use the cut out sections of the barrels as doors, the lids should be 2-3 cm wider than the openings - this is necessary to prevent excess air from getting inside. For the manufacture of doors we use the third barrel. The metal sections cut in the previous stage will serve as a good layout - just attach them to the surface of the barrel and draw a contour, adding a couple of cm on each side.

Then it remains to cut the metal with a grinder, sand the edges of the workpieces from serration and apply a layer of high-temperature silicone around the entire inner perimeter. He must completely seal the doors in places of their contact with the edges of the barrel. Leave it for two days for complete solidification.

On each door you need to attach handles with holders made of wood, which should not come in contact with a metal surface. Using hinges, bolts and washers, attach the cut sashes to the desired locations.

Install refractory bricks

In the bottom of the barrels, you need to install supporting ribs for bricks. They can be conveniently and quickly made from previously cut metal sections. At least 10 pieces will be needed for ribs, each 2 to 3 cm thick. We put refractory bricks on the ribs. If the barrel is a standard 200-liter barrel, then it will produce three horizontal rows of four bricks in each, and one brick at the side walls.

They should fit tightly to each other, without noticeable crevices and irregularities. At the same time, a gap of 3-4 cm should remain between the rightmost brick and the side wall - it is necessary for the free circulation of smoke and access to it of oxygen from the ventilation holes.

Install the chimney

Place the grill on the bricks in the top barrel. If the grill is large, it can be cut into several parts. The hole for the chimney pipe must be made in the right side of the barrel, at a height of 1 - 2 cm from the surface of the grill. The optimum diameter of the pipe for the chimney is considered to be 12 - 13 cm - such a pipe will provide a balance between the intensity of the smoldering coal and the speed of smoke out.

A standard stovepipe is quite suitable for a smokehouse, the main thing is to firmly fix it and fill the joints with heat-resistant sealant so that there is not even the slightest crack. At the top of the chimney, a visor should be installed in advance to prevent rain from entering the structure.

Smoke test firing

Immediately after assembling the smokehouse, it cannot be used for its intended purpose. First you will have to do a little preparation: put a few kilograms of coal in each furnace, set fire to it and leave the ventilation hole open - let it flare up with maximum force.

With this procedure, you will achieve several results at once:

You will see all the excess gaps - if they exist, smoke will pour out of them. After the smokehouse has cooled, seal them with sealant and repeat the test after two days.

And most importantly, you can understand whether the ventilation holes on the left side of the lower barrel are made correctly. If the temperature on the “upper floor” does not reach 180 ° C, then this means that the barrel does not receive enough external oxygen. In this case, increase the number of ventilation holes or make their diameter larger until the top chamber becomes really hot.

Original article in English