Cheap Redneck Ceramic Smoker




Introduction: Cheap Redneck Ceramic Smoker

this is a slow cooking smoker. the process takes an overnight soak and most of next day cooking but it is cheap and works better than some hundred dollar metal smoker my neighbor got.
inspired by Alton Brown of Good Eats

Step 1: Hardware Store Time

Hardware includes -
you will need an 2 large terra cotta, or other earthenware non-lead non-glazed planters that fit on top of each other, an electric hot plate that will fit in the bottom of the planter, standard grill grate that fits inside of the "bottom" planter, and a replacement grill thermometer whose probe fits inside the planter hole while the dial can rest on top, a "garbage" pan without a handle or heavy duty pie pan, and wood chips. i bought the planters at the same hardware store as the grate, hot plate and thermometer to make sure they fit together.

Software includes -
1 1/2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup regular salt
3/4 cups molasses and
2 quart of water
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
last but not least a whole pork shoulder AKA Boston butt 6-7 lbs.
optional -
burger buns
BBQ sauce or my fav pickle juice mixed with some mustard and hot sauce

Step 2: Have a Soak

then the pork must be brined overnight in a solution of 1 1/2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup regular salt, 3/4 of a cup molasses and 1 quart of water heated to dissove the salt and cooled with 1 quart AKA 2lbs. of ice. add meat when brine is cool and store in refrigerator with a clean bowl and weight on top to keep meat submerged. i heated the mixture in a large pot, cooled it, put meat in with bowl covering it, put the lid on and placed the whole thing in the fridge overnight.

Step 3: Assemble Smoker

place one planter on top of spare bricks, wood or any heat proof piece of ceramic, metal ect. place hot plate inside of planter and run cord out of bottom hole and connect to extension cord (don't do this indoors), place unsoaked wood chips on pan or metal plate, turn hot plate to medium high and place pan on top. put grill grate on pot and rubbed meat on grill grate, top with upside down planter to fit over the top and place grill thermometer in hole of pot. preheat smoker to 240 degrees before adding rub to meat and meat to smoke.

Step 4: Have a Rub Down

this is the rub that i used but you can use any you like and apply liberally to meat, use more than you think you need, this made about 1/4 of a cup.

1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika

grind whole spices in a clean coffee grinder until they turn to dust then add other ingredients and pulse a few seconds to combine. place in any shaker with small openings and apply liberally to all sides of meat, use all of the rub.

Step 5: Cook and Chill Out

let the smoker come up to 210-230 degrees, if it goes above 250 turn hot plate down. then relax, watch it every hour or so to make sure smoke is still sneaking out of the smoker. when smoking slows (about 2-3 hours) take everything off (with hot pads please), add more chips to plate and put it back together.
A fast method is smoking for 3 hours, wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and finishing in 300 degree oven for 4 hours.
A slow method is smoking for 12 hours. total smoking time for my 7lbs of pork was 8 hours of smoking and 1 bag of wood chips adding more chips 3 times.
Either way its done when it falls apart when pinched with tongs.

Step 6: Time to Pull

when its tender wrap the pork in foil and rest for 30 min to an hour before placing on your biggest cookie sheet and pulling pork apart with 2 forks only pull what you need. place pork on burger buns with some BBQ or my fav pickle juice mixed with some mustard and hot sauce and devour with or w/o coleslaw. Keep leftovers (if you serve less than 10 people) whole and store in fridge.

P.S. the pan and grate need to cool and soak for a while to get clean.



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43 Discussions

This looks a lot like a Alton Brown, Good Eats eposode. If that's where you got the idea, you should at least give him some credit.

11 replies

True it is. i forgot to give him credit, my bad. he is in there now, want the episode number?

Episode's not so important. Since you actually did build it, the Instructable's fine as long as credit is given where it's due.

So Alton get's the credit since he put it up on the teevee right? got it.

The article said it was inspired by alton brown right at the beginning.

Yes, Nancy. He did give Alton Brown credit 10 years ago...

I agree LasVegas, that's a total Alton Brown rig. Give credit where credit is due. Sorry psikot1, just because you used a slightly different pot, you shouldn't pull a "Vanilla Ice".

I learned how to do this 20 years ago in Boy Scouts, so should there be credit listed to them too? Just because someone uses it on TV doesn't make it specific to them. Plus, using Kosher salt has been around for quite a while. So by saying that Alton's use of kosher salt is his trademark, shouldn't people like Emeril Lagasse give credit to Justin Wilson every time he uses cayenne pepper?

lets get a grip here. neve seen so many armchair lawyers in one place. even alton brown admits on his show these are not his ideas but things he has seen done. still not giving credit to where he saw them done. an idea is not copyright. a patent is only for a new device. u cannot patent a changed device. as well as the credit about the pot from esmagamus? check on the net there are over 2000 manufacturers of these pots. not even an issue. so no copyright, no patent, no trademark infringement. an idea and maybe u guys should just thank him for taking the time to show you.

MUST be Alton Brown material. notice the use of Kosher Salt? it's almost a trademark...

Kosher salt?

All salt is kosher for practical purposes - unless you're bothered by the minor flow-assisting ingredients.

So why the different quantities?

There aren't different strengths of salt.

3 replies

not sure about this, but I think kosher salt might be less dense than granulated salt. granulated salt is in solid granules while kosher salt is more flaky and has more surface area. that's what makes it good for sucking the moisture out of food for preserving it. which, I think, why it became known as koshering salt, hence the name kosher salt. its not that all salt is not kosher, its that it became known by that name because of its use

Granulated or flaky, once dissolved, salt is salt.
As I said, there aren't different strengths.

WRONG! Sea Salt, having larger crystals than table salt, requires a smaller amount to get the same amount of sodium. (And taste.)

I have one of these which I got from a friend for free. It works great! The difference in mine is that the top pot is slightly smaller than the bottom one therefore fitting down into the bottom one to the first ridge. I've smoke a few roasts in it and am thinking of installing a hanging rack to hang jerky from.

Awesome smoker! My wife was looking at getting a smoker for me for Father's Day but we couldn't afford the $119 cheap smokers let alone ones price higher than that. So I came across this and purchased the items needed the next day.

We have had it for 3 days now and have been smoking meats every day. Had company with us last night and they said it was some of the best smoked chicken they had ever had.

Thanks for giving us these instructions.