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Next Project: Building a Meat Smoker

DIY Posted by glen 4 years, 5 months ago

I've long wanted to upgrade my current cheapo meat smoker to a sturdy offset, for a couple of reasons:

  • I need more space. I can't cook a whole packer brisket on my smoker without having to separate the point from the flat.
  • I want to start using wood instead of charcoal. Charcoal is great, but I want to level up.

While I could buy a pretty sturdy offset for around $500-$600 bucks, I'd rather make my own and learn something in the process. A lot of people (including this guy convert old propane tanks into smokers. You can find them periodically on Craigslist for a few hundred bucks, and the walls are as thick or thicker than most any smoker you can find for sale.

I'd like to try this, but I have no experience welding, nor do I have welding equipment. You can rent the equipment daily at a Lowes or Home Depot, so I may go that route and have a buddy come over and show me the ropes.

Anyway, this will be the most ambitious DIY project I've done to date. Anyone have any experience (or advice) on this sort of thing?

5 replies

  • brian

    This is a little tough because the raw materials are so pricey. I have only done furniture projects and when you can buy a sheet of plywood and some odds and ends for $100, then have enough material to make one or two pieces, the stakes aren't as high. I've definitely screwed up, but it's easy enough for me to go to the store and get another piece of wood...etc.

    That said, if you know someone that is a good welder, I'm sure you could pull it off and learn a great deal from it, which is a big part of doing it yourself.

    Don't weld your eye out.


    • glen

      Yeah, exactly. There's certainly a higher risk because of the materials and cost.

      I'll try to keep the torch away from my eyes. No promises though.