Barbecuing has been a popular style of cooking meat in the American Southeast for generations. When better cuts of meat were far too expensive, people had to rely on feeding their families tougher cuts such as brisket. The secret to getting a delicious and tender serving of meat from one of these cuts is all in the way it’s prepared. By cooking the meat slowly over the duration of four to six hours at a temperature that is right at the boiling point, the tougher meat becomes succulent as the fat is rendered out. Barbecuing the meat also adds a smoky flavor that you can’t achieve any other way.
This shouldn’t be confused with low-temperature smoke cooking which can take days to complete. Meat that is placed in a smokehouse is preserved at a low temperature by curing it with salt or other seasonings such as honey. However, the temperature doesn’t normally reach above 100 F. A cured ham can hang inside of a smokehouse for months and still be enjoyed, while meat that is smoked should be eaten immediately.
Although there are plenty of smokers available on the market for commercial or residential use, many people have decided to save money by making their very own DIY smoker. If you own the right tools such as welding equipment, then you will only need a few materials from your local hardware or home improvement store and the time that it takes to complete the process.
How to Build a Smoker to Enjoy Barbecued Meat at Home
A great DIY barbecue smoker can be made using a variety of materials. You may want to create a brick pit or create a large smoker made of stainless steel material. The important thing to remember is to create a smoker that will hold in the smoke and flavor to create great-tasting, tender meat. Here are a few simple and easy ideas for creating your own DIY smoker grill.
Create a DIY Smoker from a Clay Pot
If you have an old terra cotta planting pot lying around, you can use it to create a simple DIY smoker. Find a cooking grate that will fit inside leaving you with enough room underneath to add wood chips for burning. Raise the pot off the ground using bricks or flat rocks so that the smoke can escape from the bottom. And that’s all there is to it. Add a Cornish chicken or pork chops to the grate for a satisfying grilled meal.
Use a 55-Gallon Drum to Construct a Backyard BBQ Barrel
This type of smoker may be more complex, but it is sure to provide you with satisfactory results. You will need a large 55-gallon drum, a few high-quality iron pipes, brackets, wooden dowels, and a temperature gauge among other tools. Keep in mind that you should purchase stainless steel brackets and hinges for this type of DIY smoker. If you use galvanized materials, you will need to burn off the fumes prior to cooking with it.
Use Old Wood Pallets to Create an Affordable Smoker
If you have some old wooden pallets lying around, or you can easily get access to some, this is a great DIY project to try out. Use the pre-cut wooden pieces to create a cabinet-style smoker for less than $100 dollars. This miniature smokehouse can be used to hang choice cuts of meat, including game animals such as deer. And it is so simple that anyone with basic woodworking skills can complete it.
Build a Meat Smoker Using Concrete Block
Another low-cost option, especially if you have plenty of concrete bricks already lying around, is to create a smoker out of them. Construction a cube-shaped smoker using the blocks so that there is a tight yet spacious oven inside for you to smoke your meat. This is a great option for hog owners who want to smoke their own meat in their backyard instead of taking it to a facility for preparation. The firebox also looks great in your backyard.
Use an Old Filing Cabinet to Create a DIY Smoker
An old filing cabinet that is no longer being used at the office can be transformed into a fully functional DIY smoker. This fun upcycle project may require you to purchase a few extra essentials, but it is a low-cost way to put together a sturdy and spacious smoker for much less.
If you love the idea of serving up fresh, smoked meat at your next backyard barbecue, but don’t want to pay for an expensive commercial smoker, be sure to try out these excellent DIY Smoker options. By spending a fraction of what a professionally built smoker would cost, you could start to enjoy fresh smoked pork, beef, or chicken in a matter of days.