DIY Hand Food Smoker




About: Chef for 28 years, always looking for a new challenge and always looking to make something!!

This is perhaps one of the easiest and effective Instructables around!!!

With only three parts and no tools required anyone can make this Smoker and add great flavour to anything you make!!

It took me longer to write this then to make it, that's how easy it is!! So lets get started and it should only take 5 mins to start smoking food!!

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Step 1: Grab Your Parts

I have grabbed all my parts off of eBay as I live in a rural area and need to ship everything in. You may not need to and can grab everything and build it today!!

Keyboard vacuum cleaner $10

Smoking pipe $3 - you may have one at home!! So clean that bowl before you use it!! LOL

Food Grade Pipe 8mm - $1

Glue gun - you can use epoxy or gorilla glue

Wood Chips or anything for smoking

Step 2: Prepare the Vacuum

Time to take it apart and then put it back together.

This vacuum works by drawing the dirt in through the top and then the dirt goes in the bag. So lets get rid of the bag and place the intake line where the bag was. This is what we will become the outtake line for the smoke.

Take the food grade silicone line and place it over the new outtake line. This will be used to direct the smoke.

Thats it for the vacuum modifications!!

Step 3: Prepare the Smoking Bowl

Time to make the smoking bowl!!

This is where you will be place your wood chips, herbs, tea, or anything else you wish to smoke. I have even use mixture of dry rice, brown sugar, and black tea mixture for duck breasts....Mmmmmmmmm!

So this is again super easy, remove the bowl from the pipe. If you have used the bowl then please clean it well of the smoke may be quite fragrant, ;)

Place this on the intake line on top the the vacuum. If it does not fit tightly then attach it with hot glue, epoxy, or any preferred method of yours.

With that your smoker is done!!!

Step 4: Take It for a Test Smoke!!

I used some maple wood chips I had lying around from another project I am working on. A wooden riser for a PVC takedown bow, but that is another story!!

Use what ever you wish to smoke and add the smoke to whatever you want. Mashed potatoes, oysters, duck breast, sausages, or even cheese. As it is cold smoke you don't have to worry about any heat for temperature sensitive foods.

Have fun and let me know what foods you have used it for or post pictures of your smoked food products.

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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I think this an awesome idea. However, I would prefer an enclosed larger box, about the footprint of a pack of cards. The idea being the ability to produce more smoke, not be too bulky, and keep it contained. I would assume that the best use is to output the smoke into a seal-able container. Just by looking at the pics it would seem to produce a limited supply. Since you have used it, please share your observations. Also, how strong is the blower motor? A nice feature would be to add a way to adjust the speed to regulate. I know it can be done, at what cost I know not.

    I have not used a smoker before but understand the concept. Thank you for sharing your idea.

    5 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Solder an Altoids can to the top of the bowl? Cut a hole to fit in the bottom then poke holes in the top for airflow? Man, now I'm going to have to buy two of each part to try that.

    Edit: Not lead solder. Smoked food is delicious but not worth dying over.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Hmm...that could work. I haven't used solder before, but I get the point. I have used epoxy resin, and if applied to the exterior it shouldn't effect the safety of the food. Right? And a hinged lid would be a nice touch. Plus the metal would likely handle the heat. Not that we are making a bonfire. lol

    I like your feedback. Thanks.


    Reply 2 years ago

    thanks for the feed back. To adhere a large bowl on top you could use JB Weld high heat epoxy. It is a product used to seal heat manifolds on engines and good to 400°C. This will set solid and not release any toxics with the low temps for the smoking!! Just a thought.


    Reply 2 years ago

    This is likely the better answer. I was coming at it from a plumbing perspective but then temperature isn't an issue. Plus I was only an assitant and could only work on certain things since I was no where near licensed.


    Reply 2 years ago

    No problem. That's why we can all help each other!! Lead solder can be toxic and some melt at lower temps so it may come loose while lighting the wood chips.


    2 years ago

    Very impressive! When I saw your instructable I was immediatly enthousiast to make this smoker myself. After some searching I found the vacuum cleaner in a chinese webshop.

    My search also led me to some "professional" handsmokers , priced from about 80 euros (plastic) till 300 euros (stainless steel).

    But what surpride me the most was that the "body"of your (and soon also mine) smoker is exactly the same as the expensive one.

    So I hope to receive my parts within 3 weeks and when i made this smoker I`ll let you know.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I know!! thats where the idea came from!! I purchased all my parts for $15 US and it works great!! Instead of a solid pipe I used a flexible hose so i can leave the smoker a just move the pipe!! I look forward to any pictures you post!!!

    Thank you!!


    2 years ago

    This is genius! I can see the practical applications being as varied and endless as your imagination. Definitely on my Make It List, as I had always wanted to play around with smoked fruits. Thanks for this!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you so much!! I love simple things and this is as simple as it gets!! Smoked mashed potatoes, smoked cheese and with an airtight container you can pump in a great deal of smoke and seal it to trap in the flavour as well!! Post you pictures and we can all see them!!