$20 Fish Smoker Attachment for Alcohol Camping Stove

Picture of $20 Fish Smoker Attachment for Alcohol Camping Stove
Most fish smokers are large, cumbersome things that cost $100 or more. I like to be able to smoke a trout at the side of the river, so I wanted a smoker one that could be used with my Trangia and was portable. This one was made for less than $20, takes no time to make, works very well and can be dropped into a backpack for a day fishing trip. It isn’t intended to smoke enough fish to feed an army, but will take about 4 reasonable sized trout fillets.

You’ll need:
- 8’ stainless steel camping pot or saucepan. I got one from Ray’s Outdoors in Sydney for about $15, but you should be able to get them from any surplus or camping shop. Make sure it has a lid.

- Steel grille that fits inside the pot. Also from Ray’s Outdoors for about $4.50, but a cake cooler or anything like that will do.

- Some basic hand tools.

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Step 1: Legs for the grille

Picture of Legs for the grille
Your grille needs to sit a couple of inches off the bottom of the pot. With the grille I bought, all I had to do was to clip the legs and straighten  them so the grill sits higher. An alternative way is in the next step.

Step 2: Completed grille legs

Picture of Completed grille legs
This is about the right height for the legs.

Step 3: Alternate way...

Picture of Alternate way...
If you can't figure out a way to use the legs of the grille to raise it, just make 3 rests for it at the right height. Drill a hole in the side of the pot and put a in screw and nut.

Step 4: Grille rest

Picture of Grille rest
Rest the grill on the screws.
elkhuntr2 years ago
kool. I can make a bbq grill with 2 penny stoves ps. it does not cook with with the denatured alchohol should i make an instructable
patron_zero2 years ago
Curious if this design could be 'modified' to act as a dehydrator ?
Bubbler2 years ago
After reading about other homemade smokers and their mistakes, I need to know if you have an exhaust hole in the lid to release the smoke from the pot? Ican see what may be either a tiny blemish or an air hole in the lid on yours. I had saved an ancient solid (thick) aluminum pot with a light weight lid, which I had drilled eight holes into to give me two racks. The lower rack will be .230mm round (or square) and the top rack will be .250mm. Round or square will depend on whether or not I can cut some old cake racks to fit in there. I left the top rack bolts unscrewed so that they do not interfere with the travel of the lower rack coming out. I can just slip the bolts out. Pictures will follow. :)
jazzguitar1963 (author)  Bubbler2 years ago
Well spotted. Yes, I did drill a small hole in the top - about 5/64". I didn't mention it because it's not absolutely essential and also because drilling stainless can be tricky for the unwary. If you don't know what you're doing, it's possible to work-harden it to the point where it's almost impossible to drill through.
I mentioned it because I've read where the food can become tainted if the smoke cannot circulate and then vent (exhaust out).

Mine is almost done, and I need only to shape the cake stands I got from the "op shop". Then comes the test run. Thanks for your great Instructable.
Bubbler2 years ago
Good instructable, and good input from others below.

I guess if one uses a pot big enough, more bolts through the sides would give more trays inside, therefore more product. This was just the instructable I needed to find today, after having some of my friend's smoked chicken. He did it while we chatted in about a half an hour. I have since felt the urge to own a homemade smoker. 8-/
Cool, any reason this wouldn't work with a butane trangia? I have a nesting set with a pot we only rarely use.
No reason at all. I've used it with a gas stove and it probably works a little better as you have better heat control.
3leftturns2 years ago
Does this method also cook the fish in 10-15 minutes, or only impart a smoky flavor?
@ leftturns- I use a method similar to this to smoke salmon in the kitchen or on my gas grill's side burner. Using high heat and an 9x13 aluminum cake pan, covered with heavy-duty foil, start timing when you see a wisp of smoke. turn heat off after 5 minutes, allow to set another 5 minutes before removing foil cover. These times will normally hot-smoke a 3/4-1" salmon filet to the edge of flakiness (flesh is firm, opaque and starting to flake with a fork).

@lucyfanclub- do you brine your fish at all before smoking?
jazzguitar1963 (author)  pmowers2 years ago
To date I haven't been using brine. I'm going to try it next time I do some smoking.
jazzguitar1963 (author)  3leftturns2 years ago
Yes, cooks it through.
alglo12 years ago
great idea but i take it you mean 8" (inch) not 8' ( foot) otherwise excellent.

(and you'll need a 10 foot backpack to carry it... LOL)

but seriously, very good instructable !!! WELL DONE !!! so simple and a smoked fish is really a lovely idea for camp side treat..

Thank you !!!
paulbsa2 years ago
Also avoid any sawdust or chips from treated wood or plywood. Nasty chemicals and glues in both. Stick with hard solid woods.
gafisher2 years ago
Nice! Easy, clearly documented and well worth the (minimal) cost and effort. This design should work anywhere there's enough heat to get the sawdust smoking including the home BBQ and the picnic grill, or even an electric burner. A solar version wouldn't be hard to work out. Probably not so good for the kitchen unless you're really enamoured of the smell of smoke. (-:
Droose2 years ago
It should be noted that if you follow the nut and bolt method stainless steel should be use to prevent corrosion and to ensure longevity.
jazzguitar1963 (author)  Droose2 years ago
Yes, good point. Also a good idea to avoid brass or other dissimilar metals as this will induce electrolysis.