I've wanted a smoke house ever since I stopped working at a delicatessen where we cooked our own meats on site. I recently built a BBQ/Kiln/Forge (check out the great instructions from NightHawkInLight and a video by KingofRandom) for me to cook and melt metal and my kids can bake pottery. One day coming home I saw an BBQ just sitting out for trash. It had broken wheels, a damaged tray, and lots of rust but it was a perfect fit for me.
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Step 1: Taking Apart the BBQ
I remove the barrel from the stand. The bolts were encrusted with grease and char but it was a fairly quick job to get it apart. Not having enough space for storage and no immediate need I had to throw out the legs. The BBQ only had the two handles so it was easy to stand it upright.
Step 2: Lock the Door
What I wanted to do was place the closed smoker onto my BBQ making use of the convenient handles. That meant I needed to keep it closed. The arms that made the shelf came in incredibly handy for this. I also used all the extra bolts to plug the holes from the stand.
Step 3: Trial Run
I rigged up a temporary rod inside (bent and wedged into place near the top) just to hang some meat inside and test this out. It's not worth showing or explaining since that won't be the final mechanism. By adjusting the air flow from the fan I was able to maintain a steady 350F (176C) degree temperature.
Step 4: Problems and Future Plans
One problem was even heating. To fix this I will drill many holes into the bottom to allow a more uniform heating and smoking. A permanent fan will also be a nice addition when it is done as I was making it for the forge anyway. It isn't needed for just a BBQ but to get the coals hot enough to melt metal you need the airflow and the forced air helps keep the coals from being smothered by the poor circulation inside the smoker.
The only other problem that needs to be fixed is getting moisture into the smoker. I used a glass jar but after the water boiled off it shattered (probably from liquids dripping on the hot surface). To remedy this I am using a old broken stove top kettle.
Eventually I will add in a fixed and sturdy bar to hang meats and might even put in a rack.
Thanks for reading!