Last week, during the evenings I finished the functional build  of the smoke shack by installing the roof and the smoke stack. I used left over shingles so that part was free.

Initially I had planned to use a flexible hose for the smoke delivery but that didn’t work out because it was to unwieldy so I went with 4″ aluminum dryer duct, some elbows and real aluminum tape.

For the heat source I chose an electric coil heater – about $15 dollars.

A small pot will hold the fuel, in this case apple chips from the store. But I’m working on a more inexpensive source. Also I want to see if chunks will smolder longer than chips, but for this test run, this is what I have.







Here is the fire box setup. Concrete blocks form the walls. I chose blocks as they are portable and economical. They provide shelter from the wind for the smoke, and a flame proof base for the chimney, which is just an aluminum flange with an elbow attached.

Here is rig fully set up.
Upon first firing it up, it is good at moving the smoke and not leaking. A nice surprise, I really didn’t know what to expect. We have smoke!









Here is a little walk around.

Part of the intial firing is to check out how long the fuel will last, practice adjusting burn rate, and to find out what is really happening inside the smoke chamber. In terms of the burn, with this first practice I got to about 35-40 minutes per load of chips.  As I said, I need to test with chunks.

I purchased a little indoor /outdoor digital thermometer – it will allow me to monitor the inside of the smoke box without opening the box.  It measures temp and humidity, both important in smoking (and air drying meat, but that is another project!).

The picture didn’t turn out very well, but you can see that the outdoor temp is  about 11F lower than in the box. Also notice the humidity is 20% lower in the box.








Time is passing and here is a couple more pictures. Yes, the sun has gone down.








As long as the box is running, let’s smoke something! I choose cheese and salt.

I smoked the cheese and salt for about 2 hours.
The cheese is delicious,  so we know it works! I will be pulling the pork belly out this week for curing. Bacon next weekend!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!