Instructables

Yet Another Terra Cotta Smoker

Picture of Yet Another Terra Cotta Smoker
I know this has been done many times, but I figured I would document mine as well.

I've been wanting to make one of these since I saw the Good Eats episode that introduced it. My friend recently had a birthday, and he is a meat fanatic, so I figured this would be the perfect time to build one!

If you haven't seen one of these before, it's a cheap, home made version of a ceramic meat smoker, such as the Big Green egg. The terra cotta acts as a terrific insulator, allowing you to hold high temperatures for several hours for some delicious flavor!

This is my first Instructable. I know there is definitely room for improvement, and I definitely stumbled through it, but I was satisfied with the end result.

 
 
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Step 1: Grill!

I am putting this step first so you don't make the same mistake that I made.

you are going to need somewhere to hold your meat inside your smoker. In our case, we'll be using a BBQ grill. If you or someone you know has an old, rusted BBQ, re-use! Otherwise, the hardware store has replacement grills.

I could only find 3 different grill sizes. I put this step first so that you can choose what size of grill you want before you proceed. While you're in the BBQ isle, also pick up a replacement grill thermometer (not a meat thermometer). More on that later!

I made the mistake of starting with the pots without measuring the diameter of my grill first. I just eyeballed the pots and thought that my grill would fit. Close, but not quite.

So think before picking your grill. Big grill means more surface area for cooking, but also probably means you are going to need big pots to hold it. Maybe not the best solution if you have limited space to work with.
BigCountry2 years ago
You should go to a metals fabrication shop and see if they'll sell you a piece of expanded metal to use for a grill. It works great and expanded metal is rather inexpensive. I bought a 3x3 ft square, and another 2x31/2 ft piece for $16 this past September. I later bought a round piece to fit inside a 55 gallon drum for 6 dollars. Something to check into anyway.
For folks in the US, Harbor Freight sells these hot plates with thermostat for 10 bucks, sometimes on sale for less.  I have one in my garage for stuff I don't want to stink the house up with.  It may get repurposed in a smoker!
Corvidae5 years ago
I dont think it was intended to show how to use just make. If you look up electric smokers on the web you should be able to find out how to use it. A how to use section would be nice but it is technically outside the scope. I like this idea though. Ive seen the cardboard box smokers that are the same concept and my uncle has one of the eggs and loves it. I think Ill make one of these next time I go to the hardware store.
limpach5 years ago
its implying you know how a regular smoker works or have seen the other one for that step.
Nice instructable, but I missed the part where you generate smoke. Isn't this just like putting your meat in an oven?