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DIY Smoker Projects

Updated On July 12, 2021

Some people like to flaunt their creativity by building cooking equipment, like smokers themselves. If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re one of those people. You’re in luck. DIY smoker projects are affordable and straightforward to execute. By the end of the project, you’ll get to savor a delicious meal. Read on to know some easy techniques for this. 

Clay Pot Smoker

clay pot smoker
Clay pots are something that can be found in any regular household. If you want to make a smoker with short notice but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on the equipment, you could turn a regular clay pot into a smoker quite easily. The best part is, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge on building a smoker for this. To do this, the biggest thing you’d need is obviously a big enough clay pot. 

Other Things You’d Need

  • Electric Plate
  • Grate
  • Handle
  • Lid
  • Driller
Step 1: Turn the clay pot upside down and drill a hole at the bottom of it. Chances are, there might already be a hole to allow excess water to drain. If such is the case, you’d need to enlarge the hole. It should be big enough to enable the plug of the electric plate to pass.
Step 2: You can immediately begin working on the lid after this. Grab anything that is decent enough to cover the top of the pot. Here you may check the best grill cover. Drill a hole in the lid. Install a handle on top of the lid where the hole has been made, and use fasteners to secure the connection. Place a thick brick inside the pot to elevate the electric plate and a small wood chip. Then add a cooking grate into the mix. Once you’re done with the lid as well, place it on top of the pot. You’d need to elevate the pot, too, by placing it on top of a few thick bricks. Shake the pot a little and see if the thing wobbles, and if yes, adjust the bricks accordingly so everything fits well.

Step 3: Once you’re done with these steps, you’ll be all ready to test your DIY smoker with the real deal. The challenge would be to find an ideal spot that has adequate temperature to sustain the smoker’s efficacy. The recommended temperature range for its setup is between 210 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit. You can only reach the ideal temperature by testing the smoker. Take it outside but under a roofed location. Start cooking outside and always have a pair of mittens close by to deal with the hot parts. 
angle grinder
Tip: If you don’t have a clay pot in your home (which would be highly unusual, but still), you can also use an old trash can for the purpose. Just clean the whole thing, down to the last spot, and begin preparing its lid and handle, as we did in the first method. Since you’d already have a trash can cover, you’d have no trouble getting this bit of work done. Next comes transforming the can itself. But instead of drilling a hole at the bottom, you could do the same on the side of the trash can. Place wood chips inside and run a test. If it smokes, you’re going in the right direction. The further steps are similar to what we discussed in the case of a pot clay smoker.

Food Grain Drum Smoker 

One of the easiest ways to build your own smoker is to transform a food-grain drum. It won’t take a lot of time and doesn’t require any special tools to build it either. All you’d need is an old or a new drum and a few other things. You can get these on a shoestring from a local retail store. Ensure to go for the drums that do not come with epoxy coating, as these can react adversely to heat. (1

Other Things You’d Need:

  • Threaded Pipe
  • Threaded Elbows
  • Expanded metal mesh
  • Sandpaper
  • Fasteners
  • Drill, Wrench 

Gather these items before working on the project. As long as you have basic grinding and sanding skills, you shall have no problem constructing the smoker. Here’s how to execute the project. 

Step 1: Use a fastener to connect the threaded pipe with a 90-degree threaded elbow. Use a wrench to secure the connection.

Step 2: The next thing you’ll need to do is attach a lid handle. This thing will be used to open and close the smoker while you’re cooking the meal. The threaded pipe could be fixed on one side of the drum, while the elbow and flange pipe can be used to secure the connection. Use pliers to tighten the nexus.

Step 3: You’ll then need to make a fire basket. For this, a 12 x 48 inch of expanded metal will need to be sliced. Take an angle grinder and begin cutting the metal after marking the dimensions on the same using a sharpie at the spot where metal overlaps; use fasteners to install the cylinder.

Step 4: Install the handle on the lid. You’ll also need to make holes for other tasks, such as grill support, thermometer, and air intake.

Step 5: Once everything is in place, you can attach the fire basket with the barrel and place charcoal for ignition. Ensure that air intakes are functioning as expected to avoid any accidents. Test the efficacy of the coal chimney, and begin cooking on it after various test runs. 


DIY smoker projects are perhaps the coolest way to show your creativity and save up a ton of money. You could boast your handyman skills at the next feast with friends and family. The best part is, you don’t need to be an expert with tools to carry these out. Except for being neat with grinding in the second method, you really just need to have the right tools and carefully follow the instructions to make yourself the perfect smoker! Happy feasting!
(1) Food Grain -

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About the author 

Albert Thompson

Albert hails from Kentucky where grilling is a lifestyle. He brings with him his years of experience in the cooking sector and the product sector, but dont let that fool you, he practices what he preaches and enjoys a big rack of ribs every weekend.