Smoke Generator for Your Smoker

About: Smokers include a Masterbuilt upright propane and a Chargriller Smokin' Pro offset that will burn both charcoal or propane. Can smoke pretty near anything you want to throw at me

Easy build

Step 1: Smoke Generator for Your Smoker

This is a easy to build smoke generator

Step 2:

Recently been thinking about converting my smoker so it will have a continuous supply of smoke without having to keep opening the door to add wood chips. Didn’t like the prices of the commercially made ones, seem a little expensive just to supply smoke, $100 and up. All it is a larger version of the old style perfume atomizer, but instead of pushing liquid, it pushes smoke. I’ve had the expensive smokers with the automatic biscuit feeders, the pucks get expensive and when it breaks, it’s just a box.

Step 3:

Here’s a list of parts I managed to scrounge up:

7” of ¾” copper pipe (free) One ¾” copper “T” fitting (free) 1 quart paint can (hardware store $4.50) 1 piece of ¼” tubing, about 7” long (free) 1 compression fitting ¼” x ⅜” for tubing ($2.00) 1 barbed fitting ($1.50) 1 aquarium adjustable air pump ($19.00) Total cost for me was $27.00 *** NOTE: You can see all parts are copper. Even though galvanized pipe would make for an easy assembly, DON’T use it, it gives off a poisonous gas !!!

Step 4:

Tools needed:

One ⅞” drill bit and drill

pipe cutter

Torch for soldering


Step 5:

Before we get to far into this build, I tried making this both ways, one with the smaller tube inside the ¾” pipe and then I tried it with no tube in the pipe and honestly I did not notice any difference in the amount of smoke. You know, high pressure and low pressure, whatever. You be the judge. Pictures to follow.

Step 6:

Really not much to assembly. Drill 2 holes in the bottom side of the can to provide a draft. Drill a hole in the lid to accept one short piece of ¾” copper and then solder. I found a ⅞” spade bit works perfect.

Put the “T” on top. Solder if you want, but from here on all parts can be pressure fit. My soldering sucks so I stopped while I was ahead. Install the smaller tube with the compression fitting and barb into the short ¾” piece. The tube has to extend beyond the vertical piece of copper on the lid. Connect the air pump hose. Just to make sure it works put in about 2 handfuls of chips or dust. Tap down the lid. Light the chips through the bottom holes, I used my piezo lighter, turn on the pump and then when you see smoke, congratulate yourself.

Step 7:

I didn’t want the can sitting on the ground so I made a bracket using checkplate that can swing out of sight when not needed. Decide where you want to mount yours and after you light it, be careful, the can gets hot.

Step 8:

As these pictures show, there's plenty of smoke... cheap, easy to build, and it works



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    5 Discussions


    8 months ago

    I've built a few of these Bernoulli - based cold smoke generators using dry oak shavings/sawdust. The latest uses an old burned-clean fire extinguisher body as the actual generator. The problem I face is that if I use a low-volume air source (like an aquarium pump) the smoke flow is OK but the burner tends to go out long before the fuel is used up. If I supply air at a higher volume/pressure (using a compressor throttled right down) it stays lit but I get too much smoke and the food can become tarry very quickly.

    Now the cooler weather is here I need to play around more to see if I can get the balance right as it's BACON TIME!

    [Image shows an early version of the fridge smoker, the second the current "Inside" version]

    Two Smokers.jpg
    2 replies

    Reply 8 months ago

    Have to agree about air pressure.... stronger air flow would keep the chips smoking a lot longer, but I used what I had. Basically this was an experiment to see if it would actually work, sort of the prototype.


    Reply 8 months ago

    I quite understand. I'm a great fan of "Use what you have"! I've fiddled about with the design for years but am now kinda resigned to the generator going out every hour or two. I now use a cheap baby video monitor to keep an eye on things so I can go and re-light as necessary.


    9 months ago

    Very neat. Now to design that low tech burner that uses scrap wood/ bamboo...

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    Well here's my early low-tech burner but I only used oak and fruit woods. Food smoking is a delicate art and if you use old bits of scrap wood the flavour will almost certainly be disgusting!

    Smokehouse 1.jpg