Smoking is a cooking technique that can produce the most delicious, succulent meats you’ve ever tasted – but unfortunately, top-end smokers are also likely to set you back a fortune.
However, there is another option – you can simply DIY one instead. For anyone interested in trying, we went online to see what other people have been trying, and here are our top 21 plans for DIY smokers that you try building at home.
1. DIY Smoker
If you’re interested in experimenting with building your own smoker, here’s a plan that will get you started. As the author of the plan writes, you might not have the equipment to make a larger version, but for a first attempt, something small and simple like this could be a fun way to get your feet wet. This plan comes from the Instructables site, one of our favorite resources for DIY tutorials – and as ever, it’s clearly written and easy to follow, making it well worth checking out.
2. DIY Flowerpot Grill and Smoker
This YouTube video shows you how to make a smoker in a similar way to the one we just saw in #1 above. Here, we learn how to use a large flowerpot to create a smoker that will allow you to cook up the most delicious food whenever you’re entertaining friends. A simple idea but one that looks like it will work well – so why not have a go yourself?
3. How to Make a Cardboard Smoker
Here’s another plan from Instructables, this time for making a smoker from a cardboard box! The idea might seem a bit off the wall at first, but as you can see from the photos, this is a viable – and super-inexpensive – option to try if you want to put something together for smoking in your yard without spending big bucks. An ingenious idea and one we absolutely love!
4. DIY $50 Concrete Kamado Smoker
Sticking with the theme of simple and inexpensive smokers, this YouTuber shows how he made a smoker for his friend that matches the performance of his Kamado model – but that only cost less than $50 while requiring the use of no tools. Want to see how he managed? Then check out his video to see what he did!
5. How to Build a DIY Smoker
If you’re looking for information about smokers, detailing the advantages of building one and all the different options you have – as well as a plan for building one of your own – this blog page is just what you need. It discusses smokers at length, giving you all the info you need if you’re thinking of building one, before teaching you how to build a drum smoker for your home.
6. How to Build a Smokehouse
For many people, small-scale smoking in their backyard is enough to meet their needs – but if you want something more ambitious that will allow you to smoke larger quantities of food, you might want to consider constructing a smokehouse instead. If you think that’s an attractive idea, this tutorial has all the details you need to tackle this large and challenging project.
7. How to Build Your Own Backyard Smoker
There are lots of ideas for smokers of all shapes and sizes on the web, some of them at the easier end of the scale and some a bit more challenging – and this is a plan for one that perhaps not everyone will have the skills to attempt. That’s because it requires a certain amount of cutting and welding to put it all together – but if that doesn’t put you off, this plan will leave you with a durable smoker that should last for years.
8. Sous Vide DIY Smoker on a Budget
At the other end of the scale from the smoker we just saw in #7, here’s a plan for making a functional smoker on a minimal budget. As the YouTuber admits, it won’t replace a real smoker, but it will allow you to achieve passable results without investing a fortune – and that’s got to be better than nothing, right?
9. DIY Woodstove Meat Smoker
Here’s a great plan that shows you how to make a highly useful unit that works for both hot and cold smoking. After the introduction, you’ll find a video that demonstrates everything you need to do to recreate your own – and we’re sure that lots of people who watch are likely to be inspired to have a go themselves.
10. 55-Gallon Drum Meat Smoker Build
If you want to make a large smoker but don’t want to go quite as far as building a whole smoke room, this is a plan that should be of interest. In it, this YouTuber shows us how he made his smoker from a 55-gallon drum – and it’s a relatively simple operation, so after watching, most people should be able to produce something similar.
11. A Beginner’s Guide to Building a DIY Smoker
On opening this page, the first thing you’ll see is the completed smoker in action, and when you see it, you can almost imagine all the tasty morsels that are being cooked to perfection inside. And if you want something similar for your yard, this blog has all the details you need to build one.
12. DIY Filing Cabinet Smoker for $35!
One of the things we enjoyed most about finding plans for smokers is the incredible range of models people have managed to build. Some are substantial, sturdy installations of the kind that you will be able to use for years – and others are, shall we say, more creative options like this one that’s built from a filing cabinet. A crazy idea? Certainly, but if it does the job, then why not?
13. How to Turn Your Ordinary Grill into a DIY Barbecue Smoker
There are lots of plans out there for building smokers from scratch, but if you already have a regular grill, it might be a simpler job just to convert it. That’s exactly what the people responsible for this blog did, and if you’re curious to find out, you can check it out!
14. How to Make a Homemade Smoker for Less Than $20
Something really great about building a DIY smoker for your home is that you can spend as little or as much on the project as you choose. And for those with more limited budgets, plans like this one from Chef Maddog Maggert is ideal since it shows you how to construct one for only $20. It looks like it works perfectly too, making this another option worth considering.
15. Jeff’s DIY Smoker and Grill Station
This is a slightly different kind of project since it involves upgrading an existing barbecue and smoker to an improved version with some simple accessories from Walmart. However, we thought it was worth including since it shows you how to take your smoking up a notch or two – just like Jeff did.
16. DIY Smokehouse for Less Than $100
If you are looking for a plan that will show you how to make a smokehouse on a minimal budget by utilizing pieces of scrap wood and other similar items you might have lying around, then look no further. This YouTuber built his smokehouse for under $100 – and after watching his video, you should be able to too!
17. How to Make A DIY Smoker for Your Next Neighborhood Cookout
Here’s another blog that gives you lots of information about smoking – like the benefits of smoking meat and the definition of smoking – before giving you the details for how to make several different versions. A great resource for anyone who wants to learn about smoking and who is interested in having a go themselves.
18. How to Make and Offset Smoker
In this video, we see how these YouTubers created a smoker that (they claim) rivals a $2000 bought version using nothing but salvaged materials. As they explain, you could also buy the materials if you can’t find them for free and it will still cost you only the tenth of the price of paying for one in a store. And that’s a saving we’re sure most people will be interested in making!
19. How to Turn Your Grill into a Smoker
As we’ve already seen in some of the plans we’ve looked at, sometimes converting a grill can be more efficient than building a smoker from scratch, and if that’s the kind of option you’re exploring, this conversion tutorial from Man Made DIY is another one you would do well to read.
20. Homemade Smoker
In this short video, this YouTuber introduces the solid smoker he built a few years back. As you can see, it’s a more permanent type of fixture, but we can imagine just how well it works – and the kind of delicious food he can use it to prepare. An amazing job, and we’re sure lots of keen DIYers out there will be itching to build one themselves too.
21. How to Build a DIY Smoker for $5
Do you want to know how to build possibly the least expensive version of a smoker there is? Well, while it might not be the most effective at producing the best results, in terms of being budget-friendly, this model comes out on top. So if you want a smoker but don’t want to spend the cash, this is the one for you.
A huge variety of models
As you can see, there are some genuinely talented and creative people out there, and seeing their work has given us the urge to have a go at building one ourselves.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and watching these tutorials as much as we have finding them for you – and above all, we hope we’ve helped you find the plan you needed to build a DIY smoker of your own.