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MAKE Flickr photo pool member MattGrommes made a $16 DIY meat smoker – “The hotplate sits on the bottom, with the cast-iron pan on top. The grill grate then goes in to hold the food. The grate is smaller than the can so I added some bolts to rest it on. Pretty soon I’m going to cut a door in the side to add more woodchips and adjust the temperature of the hotplate. Total cost: $16 for the trashcan. Everything else I had laying around.. Idea taken from the recent issue of ReadyMade magazine, with a few improvements. “Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. claudezervas says:

    Galvanized metal is very toxic when burned. This may not be the best way to smoke anything you might ingest.

  2. claudezervas says:

    Galvanized metal produces toxic fumes when burned. This may not be the best way to smoke anything you might ingest.

  3. AquaX says:

    You could probably go even cheaper making a smoker out of a cardboard box, a la Alton Brown from Good Eats.

  4. milleker says:

    Alton also used a giant clay pot as well on a different show (unglazed), the theory being that clay was the best insulator. He used a same-diameter half-height pot as a ‘lid’ and found a circular grill grate that fit down into the pot. The electric hot plate was set to one temperature, cord fed through the drain hole. It looked like a pain to replace the chips though.

  5. FourMat says:

    I made the Alton Brown Terracotta Smoker version and love it! I have used it for several years, in summer and winter. I had problems with my standard metal charcoal smoker getting the temperature to stay consistant with wind blowing. The metal would wick away the heat really badly. The ceramic pots worked great, and it cost me less then $40 for the whole setup. As a matter of fact, I’m thawing a pork shoulder to do a BBQ this weekend…The electric hot plate smokers really do a better job than the charcoal because of the total heat control….you don’t notice the difference in the end, cause it’s still smoke…

  6. G1ZM0 says:

    I made the same thing last year. The problem I had was getting it into the right temperature zone. The site I saw for building one recommended using a water heater blanket to better insulate.

    If you’re concerned with galvanic poisoning you can just burn out the inside of the can first to remove the coating. .

  7. G1ZM0 says:

    I made the same thing last year. The problem I had was getting it into the right temperature zone. The site I saw for building one recommended using a water heater blanket to better insulate.

    If you’re concerned with galvanic poisoning you can just burn out the inside of the can first to remove the coating. .

  8. MattGrommes says:

    Hi everybody, Matt here. The smoker is never supposed to get above 300F (normally it should stay at 250F or lower) so is that temp low enough not to cause problems with the galvanization? I know you’re not supposed to weld galvanized metal without a mask but that’s using many times higher temps than this will get to.

  9. weconway says:

    I made the same terra cotta smoker, but I had to mod it because the fuse blew on the hot plate. You can read about it here.

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