Advice on building a smokehouse.
I have been wanting to build a smokehouse for andouille, smoked sausage, tasso, turkey necks, etc. for a while now. The thing that I want most is to be able to get a good hard smoke on the meat, but I don’t want to have to constantly monitor the temp and add fuel. I guess thermostat controlled but I don’t know if electric or gas would be sufficient to get the house up to temp. Not sure on dimensions yet. Anyway any advice is appreciated. The pics below are kinda what I have in mind.
cayenneman I’m no expert on building a smokehouse but I will say that if you are looking for something that you won’t have to worry about the temp fluctuating I would probably go with gas. It might take some more figuring initially to find the correct level of gas to introduce and what to set your dampers at but electric smokers will fluctuate intentionally. If you were to graph the temp of an electric smoker it would look like a series of waves, this is because it kicks on until it reaches the target temperature then shuts off the heat source and then it cycles through that. However if you are using a thermostat then either full source might have this issue.
One other tip, if you are smoking for long periods of time then pellets are a better choice. For shorter jobs chips and dust are good but for longer smokes pellets will burn and smoke significantly longer.
Anyone built a smoker here and have some advice to share?
I’m building one (started this morning)and have decided to cannibalize my Trager smoker as my smoke source. My plan is to have the Trager components in a separate box with the smoke piped into my main smoke house so I can cold smoke salmon and other fish. Tragers are expensive $700 plus but it will keep applying smoke without me managing that part of the process. So far it looks like I will have a thermostat temperature controlling electric element inside the smoke house. I would rather use gas if I could find a therestate that could regulated the heat of the flame in stead of just turning it on and off while working at the low temperatures I need for the first stage of smoking my braut sausage 130* . Electric ones are available.
So I spent many years watching my great Uncle Cecil run the smokehouse after butchering pigs. Looked like #2. It had a small pot belly stove in the middle and “vented” out the sides around the rafters. FYI never saw a thermometer in his hand ever…he’d run the smoker during the day let the meat rest overnight and start it up again the next day. So to get a hard smoke he’d repeat that process over several days until the color was right- deep cherry color.
Now I don’t have the time or maybe it’s patience… but I built a metal smoker box 4’x4’x2’ with a propane burner. You’ll see it in some earlier posts. I think it works great, consistent temp within a small range I can add small chunks of wood as needed.
My brother made a wood box that is is elevated on legs and is fired by a small wood burning stove and uses the vents to control the temp. The smoke comes in through the bottom.
So I think it will come down to are you going to be a purists and go wood only or can you sleep with yourself using propane. I sourced my burner from Amazon. Got any questions let me know.
Did you find where to buy a thermostat controlled propane burner? I just got a vertical stainless commercial reefer unit today I intend to convert to a smoker. Need to find burner and controls.
Can you tell me more on buying the burner from amazon? Am going to convert vertical insulated freezer unit to a smoker.
gerry johnson If you are going with a insulated container I’d go with electric. I just used a turkey fryer burner from amazon but my smoker is open. I wouldn’t put gas into a sealed container. You’ll also need to put a in and out for air flow. I’d bet that you’d be able to use a single electric hot plate, they even have doubles on amazon, pretty cheap–$10-$15 for a single. that way you could put sawdust in one and water in another. If it seals you’ll be suprised how much heat it will hold so you won’t need a lot of heat from a propane burner, probably overkill.
If you do get a propane make sure you get a controller with a needle valve, it really allows for fine tuning of the fire. But I’d recommend starting with electric and get some wood sawdust from Waltons. I really like mixing the alder with hickory.
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