Home smoking your food is a great way of locking in delicious flavors. And if you’re happy to get crafty, you can make your own DIY pellet smoker. There are lots of plans online to show you exactly how to do it.
Here we check out 17 of the best DIY pellet smoker plans we’ve found. So if you want to give it a try, head this way for all the help you need!
1. How to Build a Pellet Smoker – Smoker Plans
If you want some inspiration before you start work, take a look at this video from SmokerBuilder, aka Frank Cox. It takes you through all the features of a pellet smoker you can build yourself. The plans are available from the website, SmokerPlans.net, and there’s a handy link under the video. The finished product is fully insulated for all-seasons smoking, and there are casters so you can move it around.
2. How to Build Your Own DIY Pellet Smoker
This guide from outdoor cooking website theonlinegrill.com is a great place to get an overview of your options. It highlights the different approaches to building DIY smokers using metal drums and old charcoal grills. More details are provided on using a smoker conversion kit with a grill. There’s information on how kits work, and some general pointers on installing one. And if you want to give it a go yourself, there are handy links to recommended kits you can buy online.
3. Convert your Old Refrigerator into a Pellet Smoker with The Pellet Pro Pellet Hopper Assembly
In this video, Dennis Correa from Smoke Daddy shows you how to make a pellet smoker from a 1950s refrigerator. It’s perfect for anyone who’s looking for a quick overview of the whole process in under five minutes. The design uses the Pellet Pro hopper, and there are loads of hints and tips on getting good results. And if you’re looking for inspiration on decorating your smoker, this is definitely one to watch. The two smokers shown here really stand out from the crowd!
4. Pellet Smoker in File Cabinet
Ok, it’s a stretch to call this one a plan – but we loved the design so much we had to include it! This innovative post on a forum dedicated to smoking meat shows you can make a pellet smoker from just about anything! Here the body of the smoker has been made from an old metal filing cabinet. A Pellet Pro hopper attached to the back generates the smoke. There’s no detail on how it was done, so you’ll need to work that out from the photos.
5. How to Convert an Old Refrigerator into a Pellet Smoker with Pellet Pro
If Dennis Correa’s short overview has whetted your appetite for making a smoker from a refrigerator, but you’d like more detailed guidance, this is the video for you. In 15 minutes, it takes you through all the parts you’ll need, preparing the fridge, and the different steps in the build. There’s lots of guidance on the right equipment and useful techniques to make the project easier. And you can see the smoker in action at the end of the video.
6. The DIYers’ Pellet Grill Build (Pic Heavy)
This is a brilliant plan if you’re looking for more detail – and lots of photos. It’s been put together by forum user Roll_For_Smoke, and it records every step of his smoker build. There’s a handy list of all the components, purchased from SmokeDaddy. And you can find out how he built everything, from a clever sliding diffuser to grill gates and a drip pan. There’s even information on the paint and handles, complete with links to online suppliers.
7. Homemade Pellet Grill Smoker
If you’ve got an old air compressor tank looking for a new use, why not use it to make a smoker! This video shows the results of Daniel Principato’s project to do just that. The design includes a coal stoker and a large frame, and it has a big footprint. But if you’ve got the room, you’ll get a very impressive smoker. The video walks you through all the components, but there’s limited guidance on how to put it together yourself. This one will work best for inspiring confident DIYers who don’t need a detailed plan.
8. How to Build a Pellet Smoker: 4 Things You Need
This article walks you through all the basics of building a pellet smoker. It doesn’t give you a detailed design, but it provides plenty of information to help you create your own. For anyone who’s undecided about whether to go ahead, there’s an appraisal of the case for DIY versus purchasing a ready-made smoker. There are links for recommended conversion kits for turning grills into smokers. And you’ll also find a simple three-step guide to the process of installing a conversion kit.
9. DIY Vertical Pellet Smoker
This is a great design for anyone wanting a large smoker that won’t take up a lot of space. It’s built from an old gas cylinder, but this one is mounted vertically for a smaller footprint. The video shows you all the components, including peeking inside to see how the shelves are configured. There’s no narration or even music – but if you’re looking for ideas for your project, it’s well worth a look.
10. Single Vertical Pellet Smoker Plans
If you want more detailed guidance, check out these plans for a single vertical pellet smoker. They include scaled technical drawings and a detailed cut guide. The only downside here is that you have to pay for the downloadable files. They’re not cheap – but at about a twentieth of the price of a cheap pre-built smoker, you may think they’re worth the investment.
11. Smoke Generator, Make Your Covered BBQ a Pellet Smoker
This video shows how to install a Smokemeister into a Weber charcoal grill to create a smoker. The smoke box is installed here on the side, and every step of the process is demonstrated. There’s helpful guidance on making sure your smoker sits at the right angle too. If you don’t have the time or energy for a complicated build, this is a great option. Assembly takes less than 4 minutes, and you can be smoking in less than 10.
12. FrankenQube Pellet Version Smoker Plans
These designs use either the 12 or 18-inch SmokeDaddy pellet hoppers. The plans will construct a 30-inch square pellet smoker, designed to be made from 10-gauge steel. It’s big enough to fit up to four full-size foil pans inside. The detailed technical drawings do, however, come at a price. But when you consider the cost of a pre-built smoker, this is still a very economical option. And you’ll still have all the fun of building it yourself.
13. How to Build the ULTIMATE Backyard Smoker!!
If you’re good at welding and have all the kit, this brilliant video from Chuds BBQ shows you how to make a very smart smoker. It even shows you how to make your own hinges. This isn’t a plan for those who are new to DIY, and you’ll need a pretty impressive range of power tools. But if you’re up for the challenge, you can get some great results. This smoker is big enough to use logs as well as pellets. You can even grill at the same time as smoking.
14. How to Make a Pellet Grill
Despite the article title, this is less a “how to” guide than it is an introduction to pellet smoking. It walks you through the main build options and the right materials for your smoking chamber. There’s information on the different conversion kits available for grills, and a handy link to an installation video. And if you’re new to smoking, you’ll like the guidance on the right woods to flavor meats and fish.
15. My 2nd custom built pellet smoker for offset, reverse flow and direct grilling
This video shows YouTuber Rod J’s second design for a custom-built pellet smoker. This one is unique in that it allows you to offset or reverse smoke, grill, and adjust the heat using a damper. That makes it very easy to use. The design uses an 18-inch Smoke Daddy pellet hopper, which can slide in and out of the smoke chamber. The video also includes advice on seasoning the smoker before its first use.
16. DIY Wood Smoker/Pellet Grill for Tailgating
This is another great post for inspiration. It shows a pellet smoker that’s been assembled so that it can be towed behind a vehicle. If you’re looking for a design for the next time you go camping, this could be it. There’s limited information on the build itself, but if you have questions, why not contact the author to find out more?
17. SmokeDaddy DIY Pellet Grill and Smoker
This video from Smoke Knives walks you through all the features of his “Franken-grill”! It includes a quick overview of the different elements, before showing it in use for the first time. The smoker here has been constructed from an old charcoal grill and a couple of cookie sheets, together with parts from SmokeDaddy. It’s another design that doesn’t take up loads of space – and because the grill is on wheels, it’s mobile too.
Ready to DIY?
We hope you’ve found inspiration here for your new DIY pellet smoker! Most of these projects require a reasonable level of technical skill, but the results can be impressive.
There are lots of resources here to help you create your own design. Or if you prefer a more clear-cut process, why not purchase a detailed downloadable plan? The investment will be more than repaid by the money you’ll save on your smoker.
We hope you enjoy your next project!