If you’re like me, you have heard lots of great things about barbeque smokers, but wasn’t sure if you wanted to invest in one.
I have always loved the taste of hickory and mesquite, but just wasn’t sure I wanted to invest money into another outdoor grill, more so because of the limited space on my deck.
We own both a charcoal and gas grill at our house, and find ourselves using the gas grill more often, out of convenience and less mess than charcoal often is, so when I came across a YouTube video on a DIY smoker, that was small, easy clean up and portable with not a lot of investment in materials, I decided to give it a shot.
Let me tell you!!
After a few tweaks with supplies and trial and error, this has become my new favorite thing for outside cooking!!
Now, I wasn’t able to buy all the supplies in one place, but everything is easily available online.
So lets get to it!!
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Here’s what you will need:
Charcoal chimney starter. I picked mine up at Walmart for about $7, but they have them at Lowes here:
2-12 inch terracotta pots. You can purchase at Lowes here:
BBQ High Heat Gasket Replacement tape. Amazon has it here:
1-9 inch cake pan. Amazon has it here:
1-8 inch round cooling rack. Amazon has it here:
1-13 inch splatter screen Amazon has here:
Round grill thermometer found at Lowes here:
1 drawer handle. (hardware is usually included) I got mine here at Lowes.
A cordless drill and 3 masionary drill bits. 1/2 inches – 1/4 inches and 5/16 inches
2 wine corks
*Hickory or mesquite chips for flavor ( soak in water 15 minutes prior to cooking. Note: you don’t need a lot of chips. Just enough to coat the bottom of the pie pan.
With the 5/16 inch drill bit, make 4 small holes in each corner of the bottom of the pot.
Using your 1/2″ drill bit, carefully make 2 – 1/2 inch holes on the sides adjacent to each other, about 2 inches from the bottom of each terracotta pot.
My husband drilled these no problem, however, he suggests if you haven’t used a masionary bit to use a smaller bit and make a pilot hole first. By slowly applying pressure, you are avoiding your pot from cracking.
Next, apply the gasket tape around the top edge parameter of both pots. This will create an air tight seal while cooking.
Using the 1/4 inch drill bit, make several holes in both the 8 and 9 inch pie plates.
The key to the coals staying hot is creating enough holes for adequate ventilation and even cooking.
Add a small hole for your thermometer insert, about an inch from the top with the handle on any side, using your 5/16 inch drill bit.
The last of the drilling will be 2 holes for the handle, centered on the bottom of one of the two pots.
Putting it all together:
Insert your 8 inch pie pan in the bottom of the pot. There should be a small gap separating it from the bottom of the pot.
This will be where your hot coals go and will provide good ventilation.
In your 9 inch pan, add pre-soaked wood chips and place into the pot above the 8 inch pan.
There will be just enough of a gap for the coals to smoke the chips. Add your splatter screen across the top. Place the top handle pot over the food, be sure that all the food is covered and the gaskets meet flush together. insert your thermometer in top hole.
Begin with one wine cork on either side of the top side holes to control heat temperature and ventilation.
Remember, you have two holes up top and two at the lower bottom to control your heat and ventilation as needed.
I have found that 1 cork at the top seems to work best for long slow cooking.
That’s it!! You can cook bratz, chicken, ribs and even burgers on this little gem!!
Got any great smoker recipes? I’d love to have you drop them in the comment section below!
Bratz and Italian Lemon Zesty Chicken Thighs
North Carolina zesty mesquite ribs