6 Creative and Inexpensive DIY Smoker Ideas (Help Me Pick One)

Let’s make a DIY smoker!

I was not very enthused about cleaning up the yard until one afternoon I saw a blog post titled ‘How to Build A Grilling Island’. 

I have always wanted to find out how to build a smoker (a natural gas smoker would be the dream but one step at a time).

This got my thinking! I could clean up the backyard to make space for a new project.

A DIY smoker! Genius!

I could pretty much have my own smokehouse for delicious bbq food all the time!

I have found all these fantastic ideas for a DIY smoker on famous bbq blogs, I’m thinking the drum smoker might be my favorite but can’t decide what to build.

 Let’s check out the DIY project options together!

The Best DIY Smoker Ideas

I have narrowed my list down to 6 of my favorite DIY smoker options.

  • Cinder Block Smoker

  • Refrigerator Smoker

  • Filing Cabinet Smoker

  • Whiskey Barrel Smoker

  • Clay Pot Smoker

1. The Cinder Block Smoker

I am unsure if I have the room to make a cinder block smoker this size or if I want something that uses charcoal.

However, I can get my hands on some cinder blocks from a friend of mine who conveniently works in construction.

It’s not the best-looking set up out of the bunch but is fairly easy to make and by all accounts works really, really well.

The building method can be found over on Caught Smoking BBQ.

DIY Backyard Smoker
Image from Caught Smoking BBQ

Wondering how else you can use cinder blocks? Check out some other awesome DIY ideas!

2. The Refrigerator Smoker

The used refrigerator smoker is a cool looker (depending on what refrigerator you can get your hands on) and it also looks fairly simple to make. I would love to try smoking tomahawks steak in here, I think they would come out perfect

The instructions to making this cinder block smoker can be found over at Grit.

DIY Backyard Smoker Made From old Refrigerator
Image from Grit

3. The Filing Cabinet Smoker

My wife works in an office and I’m sure she can get her hands on an old filing cabinet.

I do like the look and functionality of the filing cabinet smoker, however, this does require a fair bit of grinding and metal work.

The method for this building this filing cabinet smoker can be found at The Recykler.

DIY Smoker made From Filing Cabinet
Image from The Receykler

​​Due to the fact we are DIYing here, im going to guess your homemade smoker doesn’t have a built in temp gauge! The last thing you want is too spend weeks/ months/ years working on your smoker to only burn/ under cook your meat. Do your smoker and pride a favour and grab a digital meat thermometer for smoking. 

4. The Old Pellet Smoker

In general, I love pellet furniture and the almost endless uses for second-hand pellets. Pellets have become quite trendy and you tend to see them at lots of cafes, bars, and backyards worldwide.

This is quite a big project with lots of custom work, however, the result looks fantastic.

You can find the instructions and a very comprehensive guide on making this pellet smoker over on DIY Projects blog.

5. The Whiskey Barrel Smoker

For me, the whiskey barrel smoker is something that I want. I love the look of the old whiskey barrel and think that the flavor of the whiskey would be a great addition to any smoked meat.

However, I’m not too sure where I could come across a second-hand whiskey barrel at a reasonable price.

A comprehensive step-by-step guide ​on building a whiskey barrel smoker can be found on The Smoke Rings blog.

DIY Smoker Made From Barrel

6. The Clay Pot Smoker

The clay pot smoker is an old favorite of mine which I have used in the past.

I don’t intend to build this one again, however, I thought it would be a great one for someone who doesn’t have to much building experience, or doesn’t have much room at home for a bigger build.

A step by step guide ​on building a clay pot smoker at Mother Earth News.

DIY Smoker Made From Old Pot
Image from Mother Earth News

Still Hungry For More?

Each of these DIY smokers look awesome to me.

I love the idea of reusing and re-purposing materials!

Have you ever made your own DIY smoker, BBQ or even pizza oven?

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

Still Hungry For More?

3 thoughts on “6 Creative and Inexpensive DIY Smoker Ideas (Help Me Pick One)”

    1. Hiya Elle,

      That Jerky looks amazing!

      That is a really cool smoker, looks like something I could try with the kids one weekend. Did you manage to get to get any fish done in there? Sounds really good.


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