My Plywood Smoker

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My Plywood Smoker

Postby solaryellow » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:33 pm

I just copied and pasted this from a thread I made a couple years ago on another forum I belong to. I can't take complete credit for this as I was inspired by a similar build but I cannot find it anymore. I added my tweaks and this was what we came up with.

I have turned up my nose in the past to electric and propane but now that I am making my own sausage and jerky I had a need for something different. I have been plotting this one for a couple months now and finally pulled the trigger and built my own. Hopefully I will do my first batch of summer sausage and snack sticks this weekend in it. I have a couple more things I need to do but I am pretty proud of what a buddy and I did in about 9 hours.

Me drilling holes while another buddy works on cutting out some expanded metal for his UDS. A forstner bit is the way to go. A lot less pain than using a hole saw.

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One of the sides done.

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5 hours of planning, cutting, head scratching, etc yields 30 minutes of assembly. We used both biscuits and wood screws.

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And the semi-finished result (yes, my garage is a mess):

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Some more recent pics:

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The dimensions of the smoker are 66" x 28" x 20". I arrived at those dimensions because that was the biggest I could build from two sheets of 3/4 hardwood plywood. For the vents, I used normal HVAC vents. For cold smoking I use an electric hot plate and for warm - hot smoking I use a propane burner from a fish cooker I bought for cheap at a local sporting goods store.

To make the dowel holders, we drilled 1 3/4 holes with a forstner bit and then ripped the piece in a table saw. When we cut the doors out, we cut the hing side first and then attached the hinges before cutting the rest of the doors out. It made for a perfect fit without having to make any adjustments.

Feel free to ask any questions if you have any.
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Postby Jaunty » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:15 pm

That. Is. Cool. Great build I would not know where to start! How hot can you safely go on a warm smoke?
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Postby DanMcG » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:17 pm

Great smoker Joel, I bet the interior is a little darker now.
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Postby solaryellow » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:35 pm

Jaunty wrote:That. Is. Cool. Great build I would not know where to start! How hot can you safely go on a warm smoke?


You are dealing with wood so it is flammable. I do not use it for anything that requires temps in excess of 200* F and that is very conservative on my part. I know of others who do get into the mid and upper 200's without issue.
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Postby solaryellow » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:37 pm

DanMcG wrote:Great smoker Joel, I bet the interior is a little darker now.


Thanks Dan! If you look around the hinge in this picture you can see the difference.

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Postby P0PZ » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:26 am

man thats a great build, i hope my smoker comes out half as good as yours.

im looking at building a smoker a bit smaller than yours but im having problems with designing where to put air intack/output.

how do you control airflow? i see the grate on the front, do you have any other airflow (in or out)?
do you find much smoke comes out from around the door?

thanks for any info you can provide
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Postby solaryellow » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:54 pm

P0PZ wrote:man thats a great build, i hope my smoker comes out half as good as yours.

im looking at building a smoker a bit smaller than yours but im having problems with designing where to put air intack/output.

how do you control airflow? i see the grate on the front, do you have any other airflow (in or out)?
do you find much smoke comes out from around the door?

thanks for any info you can provide
P0PZ


Yes, there is an identical grate on the top that is for exhaust. It does leak a tiny bit around the top of the door but not enough to be of concern but that could easily be fixed.

You can kind of make out the top grate in this picture.

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Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Postby jaymo » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:32 am

Nice! For the plate you use for cold smoking, what sort of temp do you keep it set at to get smoke without too high a temp? I've got a hot plate, but the minimum temperature seems too high.

Thanks!
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Postby solaryellow » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:22 am

jaymo wrote:Nice! For the plate you use for cold smoking, what sort of temp do you keep it set at to get smoke without too high a temp? I've got a hot plate, but the minimum temperature seems too high.

Thanks!


I start it turned all the way up and once the smoke starts rolling consistently I will cut it back to 3/4 or 1/2 power.
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Postby jaymo » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:41 am

Ah! Are those 2 red boxes in the picture with the open doors the electric burner(s)? I was picturing and actual hot plate like a griddle, not an electric portable burner, but it looks like that's what you've got there.

Thanks!
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Postby solaryellow » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:43 pm

jaymo wrote:Ah! Are those 2 red boxes in the picture with the open doors the electric burner(s)? I was picturing and actual hot plate like a griddle, not an electric portable burner, but it looks like that's what you've got there.

Thanks!


That is exactly right. :D
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Postby adventureswiththepig » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:28 am

Can you link to the original forum? I'd love to see a how to on this.

Also, can you hot smoke ok in it or does it just burn the bottom up?
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Re: My Plywood Smoker

Postby lumberjackzak » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:42 pm

Hey what is measurement and layout of the shelves and doors . like what is the spacing from the top to the first shelf and then the space between each shelf. thanks for the help ... hoping to build one of these soon
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