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25 Smokin’ Hot Smokehouse Ideas [DIY Plans You Can Use for Free!]

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Smokehouse ideas and designs! Fancy making your bacon or smoking your salmon catch? If that sounds good to you and your tastebuds, you need a smokehouse! A smokehouse you can DIY using free plans and proven smokehouse designs and ideas.

Today, traditional smokehouse methods are more compelling than ever. Smokehouse fanatics are creating a surprising buzz in the culinary world. Artisanal smokehouse food products get regarded with the same esteem as craft beers, homemade hot sauces, and sourdough loaves! 

Let’s get to grips with what makes a smokin’ hot smokehouse and which design suits you best!

24 Smokehouse Ideas and DIY Plans

A traditional smokehouse helps you preserve and flavor meats, cheeses, vegetables, and sauces. They give foods an extended shelf life without refrigeration. Our favorite smokehouse DIY plans and ideas emulate classical smokehouse designs. They also enhance cold and hot smoking methods using modern technologies.   

Here are a few of the best smokehouse plans and ideas we found – we think they can help if you’ve never smoked food before.

Big time!

1. DIY Plans for a Traditional Walk-In Timber or Brick Smokehouse

diy smokehouse from university of florida
We love these epic smokehouse plans from the University of Florida. The smokehouse plans are old school and got published many decades ago. However, they’re still one of our favorite and frequently cited homemade smokehouse designs on the web. The backyard smokehouse idea includes a list of items needed and blueprints.

For the skilled builder, these plans from the University of Florida date back to the 1960s. They provide measurements and lists of materials for constructing both wood and brick walk-in smokehouses.

  • An 8’x6’x8’ smokehouse is plenty for hot smoking or cold smoking. Plus, you’ll have an authentic traditional walk-in space to create your smoked specialties. 

Get the plans here.

2. DIY Idea for a Small Dedicated Cold Smoke Smokehouse

Building a Cold Smoker with a Smokemiester Smoke Generator
Here’s an excellent cold smoker idea from The Grass-fed Homestead. They use a Smokemiester smoke generator. It’s perfect for bacon and other delicious pork items.

If you want a portable cold smoke wooden smokehouse, check out this idea from The Grass-fed Homestead – a wooden closet-style design with an external smoke generator that requires zero electricity or propane to do its work.

  • You can smoke everything from bacon to cheeses to vegetables with this design.

See how it gets made here.

3. DIY Idea for a Neo-Classical Smokehouse

HOW TO BUILD A SMOKEHOUSE - Start to Finish Timelapse
Here’s our favorite backyard smoker plan if you love beautiful smokehouses! Cezar from Outdoors Living shows how they built an excellent smoker for their off-grid lifestyle. The result looks perfect and introduces endless smoking and dining possibilities.

Nothing beats rough-cut lumber for creating a rustic backwoods smokehouse. Romanian woodsman (and homesteader) Cezar Machidon proves that point valiantly.

Using his chainsaw and trusty carpentry tools, Cezar has built a board and batten smokehouse in the neo-classical style with a firebox. Just the ticket for hot and cold smoking and outdoor meat canning sessions!

Get the idea here.

4. DIY Idea for a Timber and Concrete Smokehouse

How to Build a Smokehouse (FINAL STEPS)
This lovely and functional smokehouse from Tim Farmer starts with cement blocks. Those cement bricks serve as a solid foundation for a sturdy wood smokehouse. The smoke emitting from the homemade smokehouse looks smooth! We bet it would be perfect for smokehouse cheese.

With basic DIY skills, you can build a first-class smokehouse using poured concrete, cinderblocks, firebricks, and timber boards, just like the one by Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen.

  • The design uses the popular extended roof spec to create a shed for firewood.

See how it gets done here

5. DIY Smokehouse Idea with a Repurposed Steel Barrel Firebox

BUILD Your Own SMOKEHOUSE (Full Video)
Square One Farms published an excellent cold smoker tutorial. The introduction talked about smokehouse cheese – our favorite. So we were hooked! The cooker features a cold smoker and a hot smoker feature. You don’t need fancy materials for this smoker design. It got built using red oak, white oak, and cinder blocks.

To create a steady flow of cold smoke into the smokehouse, position the firebox more than 10’ away like Square One Farms has done, using a repurposed 55-gallon drum and stovepipe steel. 

With a concrete and cinder block substructure, a wooden smoke box above, and firewood shed, this rustic smokehouse idea demonstrates the appeal and benefits of finishing the timber with a Japanese Shou Sugi Ban burn. 

Get the idea here

6. DIY Plans for a Garden Smokehouse

How To Build a  Smokehouse (Part 7 - The REVEAL!! Finished Smokehouse)
Here’s another excellent homemade smokehouse from Deep South Homestead. We love the wooden side panel to stack wood before smoking. They even have hanging flower baskets to help prevent them from bumping into the DIY smoker. We love their attention to detail!

Just because it smokes a lot doesn’t mean a smokehouse should get relegated to the backyard! Create a classic smokehouse with attached greenery that creates a spread fit for a glossy magazine, like this one by Deep South Homestead.

  • This epic smokehouse harvests rainwater from its roof to feed various plants adorning the finely crafted structure.

Watch the step-by-step build series here

7. DIY Plans for a Simple Hillbilly Smokehouse

How To Build A Smokehouse - DIY smokehouse with Construction Plan and Material List
Check out this DIY miniature smokehouse from My Little Crafts. The smokehouse is perfect if you don’t have many materials, a big yard, or a lavish budget. The smokehouse also features a stone furnace to help heat your various smokehouse delicacies.

Cinder blocks, timber, cement, stone, and an old steel drum work together to create a functional and handsome smokehouse with a roof covering firewood or a workbench. It’s a lovely design made by My Little Crafts.

The video shows how easy it is to make a smokehouse with cheap materials and limited skills.

Get the plans here

Read More!

8. DIY Idea for a Pallet Wood Smokehouse

How to Build a Smokehouse With Pallets - FULL LENGTH VIDEO
There are a few reasons we love this backyard smokehouse from DIY Projects. First – it’s a pallet smokehouse. We love repurposing old material we’re not using. And second – they built it with a tiny budget – they spent less than $100. We know homesteaders are hurting for cash these days. This thrifty smoker design might help!

Wooden shipping pallets are used for many outdoor DIY projects because you can often get them for free. Can you build a smokehouse using pallets? Yes, you can, but you need to be careful about which type of pallet you use, as did DIY Projects.

You can make a simple, cheap smokehouse using pallet wood without chemical treatment, rather kiln-dried. 

  • Use aluminum foil to line the interior of the smoke box and aluminum sheeting for the roof. 
  • Avoid pallets marked with MB – which means methyl bromide.

Get the idea here.

9. DIY a Miniature Classical Smokehouse

100% Natural Wooden Smokehouse Food Smoking Fish Meat
Metal Works Workshop made an excellent DIY smokehouse for smoking fish. The tiny fuel box looks tremendously efficient!

Are you on a budget and want authentic smokehouse seasoning in your meat, fish, and vegetables? Then try this simple, portable DIY smokehouse idea from Metal Works Workshop

A small firebox (of steel) feeds a steel pipe, which elbows into a steel-legged 100% natural wooden smoke box with a removable lid for easy access to the smokehouse interior. Neat!

Get the idea here

10. DIY Idea for a Closet-Style Cold Smokehouse

How to Build a Wood Smokehouse or Outdoor Closet
Ana White built a giant smoker that looks like a closet! It’s simple yet elegant. The interior design is lavish and spacious. It seems perfect for smoking fish, pork, bacon, poultry, or other meat items.

This smokehouse idea from Ana White is elegant and easy to make. It’s a double-closet design with an external metal firebox for cold-smoke seasoning for all your favorite raw foods.

  • Use soft plywood and natural-untreated timber. 
  • Fit robust hinges and door handle for durability.

See the build here.

11. DIY a Cedar Walk-In Smokehouse

How to Build a Walk-in Smoke House
We love large smokehouses, so we’re sharing another one! First Paw Media has one of the best-looking walk-in smokehouses. Their DIY backyard smoker is impressive. Their interior barbeque grill racks and turkey racks look like a dream to use. It’s perfect for cold-smoking meats. And it can also get piping hot for hot smoking.

A walk-in smokehouse gives you more space to smoke more good stuff, like this Alaskan example, made from rough-cut cedar on railroad ties with an aluminum roof. 

  • A propane burner gets positioned inside the smokehouse for cold-smoking salmon. 
  • The burner can get set to hot-smoke meats like ribs, chicken wings, and brisket.
  • The propane tank sits outside the hut.

Get the plans here.

12. DIY Cedar and Cinder Backyard Smokehouse

custom smokehouse for smoked goodies
We found this custom meat smoker from Nick on the Smoking Meat Forums via the LittleThings blog. It features a black stove pipe, sturdy cinder blocks, and cedar wood. It has plenty of smoker space for smoking sausage, chicken, or fish, plus a massive rack for storing firewood. Perfect!

Want a simple, cheap smokehouse that follows all the traditional smoking principles? Then try this DIY smokehouse idea from Littlethings.com, where raw cedar, cinder blocks, and bricks combine to create a charming backyard cold and hot smokehouse. 

  • Cedar has anti-fungal properties, so it’s super-durable.

This design has a 100% wood roof and a firewood shed. It looks awesome!

Get the plans here

13. DIY Idea for a Brick and Steel Smokehouse

Food Smoker
Here’s another miniature cold or hot smoker ideal for your backyard or garden. Watch as Tom from Heritage Craft shows how it works for cold and hot smoking.

A well-built brick-and-mortar smokehouse will last for generations and won’t require much maintenance, like this one in the UK, built by Heritage Craft’s Tom Green.

After setting a concrete foundation, Tom lays bricks to create a small garden smokehouse with a steel door and a fire/charcoal tray inside the smokehouse. 

Watch the idea here.

14. DIY a Cinder Block Smokehouse

Homemade Smoker
Behold! The perfect example of a sturdy homemade smoker. Notice the rock-solid cinderblock foundation. It’s not the most spacious DIY smoker. But – the interior has cooking racks for your bacon, meat, fish, or our favorite, smoked cheese.

If you can lay a concrete slab, you’ll have no trouble making this simple cinder block smokehouse. It was built by Jack of all Trades, with no pipes, welding, or lumber. 

  • Two cinder blocks provide the ventilation for the firebox and the smokehouse. 
  • A chimney on a steel roof exhausts smoke.  

View the build here

15. DIY a Smokehouse with Cedar Shingles

BUILD a DIY WOOD FIRED SMOKEHOUSE for SMOKED SALMON with CHAINSAW MILL | TIME-LAPSE START to FINISH
Off-Grid with Jake and Nicole published one of the most comprehensive DIY smokehouse tutorials. They use the wood from a Douglas Fur as the smokehouse walls and cinderblocks as the foundation. It looks rustic and rural.

You won’t believe what you can achieve with a chainsaw and elementary DIY skills. And a smokehouse is a great way to develop your construction skills without threatening your budget, as demonstrated by Off Grid with Jake and Nicolle

The design follows the smokehouse with a woodshed design, but Jake demonstrates how he uses chainsawed cedar boards to shingle the walls and roof of the smokehouse, au natural!

Check the idea here.

16. DIY Idea for a Propane Smokehouse using Standard Boards

How to build a smokehouse  Hot smokehouse
This backyard smokehouse is medium-sized, simple, and sturdy. It also has plenty of smokehouse goodies and features a cinderblock foundation, two heating burners, meat smoking racks, a temperature gauge, and a plywood roof. 

Your local hardware store will have everything you need to make this cute propane smokehouse by Outdoor DIY using cinder blocks, 2x4s, 2x6s, plywood, and non-galvanized hardware.

Watch the build here.

17. DIY Plans for a Beef Jerky Smokehouse

Make your own Smoker
Joe and Zach built a small backyard smokehouse perfect for smoking jerky, fish, and meat. We appreciated the adjustable smoking ports and digital thermometer. The tutorial also shares plywood blueprints and tips for construction.

Plywood is safe to use in cold-smoking applications, from fish to beef jerky, as shown by JoeandZachSurvival in this small, electric hot plate-fired smokehouse.

View the plans and build here

18. DIY Smokehouse Idea for the Carpenter

how to build a smoke house for cold and hot smoke
We venture to say that many homesteaders don’t possess the carpentry skills to replicate this sturdy smokehouse by D&S Farm. They’re skilled carpenters! But – if you have a shop full of toys and if you love to use them, then this smokehouse design is one of your top bets.

If you’re a passionate woodworker with a shop equipped with precision cutting tools, you’ll love this neat smokehouse design using store-bought timber, a steel firebox, and plastic roof sheeting to cover a wood roof.

Watch the build here

19. DIY Idea for a Patio Smokehouse

DIY Scrap Cedar Smoker Smokehouse and Table build
Some of our homesteading friends swear that cedar smokehouses produce smoked meats with superior flavor. We’re not sure if that’s true. But if it is? Then here’s one of our favorite DIY smokehouses from Backwoods Tech.

In this video, Backwoods Tech takes big boards of cedar and cuts them to size using a chainsaw and table saw to create a smokehouse attached to a large wooden table. The idea is to locate the eye-catching creation on the patio!

Get the idea here

20. DIY a Tongue & Groove Smokehouse

Tongue and groove timber is an upcycling favorite. And there’s no better new home for this solid wood than a smokehouse. These plans for an old-fashioned smokehouse include store-bought lumber and hardware, plus an old electric frying pan to generate smoke from wood chips.

Get the plans here

21. DIY Smokehouse Idea using a Weber BBQ

lovely backyard smokehouse diy
We thought this DIY smokehouse idea from username suthrngrllr on smokingmeatforums.com was a stroke of genius. If you have a spare Weber grill you’re not using and smoker housing, then you’re in business! Check out more photos of their DIY smokehouse.

If you’ve got a Weber grill in your shed, why not make a small smokehouse and plug your Weber into it to smoke all your favorite foods? 

  • Use this idea to make your handy smokehouse.
  • Check this pic for the plug-in technique.

22. DIY Cheap Smokehouse Step-By-Step

custom backyard smokehouse
Jennifer Poindexter from Morning Chores published an easy-to-follow smokehouse tutorial. The sturdy smokehouse uses cinderblock flooring and has a concrete floor. The instructions are also easy to follow. The smokehouse looks perfect for smoking homemade pork, poultry, cheese, and other DIY goodies.

It is possible to build a proper smokehouse with minimal DIY skills using store-bought lumber and hardware using this step-by-step guide from morningchores.com.

The plan includes the use of paint and steel roofing.

  • Always make sure your paintwork is only on the exterior of the smokehouse.
  • Never use galvanized metal roofing, racks, or screws to build a smokehouse.

Follow the guidelines here

23. DIY Plans for a Propane Closet Smokehouse

diy backyard smoker
Don’t forget this legendary DIY smokehouse published on the Successful Farming Agriculture.com blog. The design is by Cameron Faustman from the Department of Animal Science at the University of Connecticut and Alton Blodgett from Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture. It’s ideal if you want a mini smokehouse with plenty of interior spacing for smoked chicken, pork, or ribs. We love how the smokehouse design is economical and leverages interior space to the maximum.

Here’s another simple DIY plan to build a basic smokehouse using store-bought lumber, courtesy of agriculture.com

A simple closet design secured to a cinder block or stone foundation will give your smokehouse a stable platform.

  • Warning: The plan suggests using galvanized screws – Don’t! -Use brass or stainless steel screws instead.
  • Use expanded steel for smoking racks.

Get the plans here.

24. DIY Plans for a Classic Multipurpose Smokehouse

This classic timber frame smokehouse plan includes materials and dimensions based on the first plan on our list, with details on the placement of concrete foundations and anchor bolts for the frame. 

  • These smokehouse plans allow for hot and cold smoking.

The firebox design includes an aperture on the top of the box. When opened, it serves as a stovetop for boiling water or cooking food

Get the plans here.

25. DIY Artisanal Smokehouse Idea and Smoking Methods Explained

Building an On-Farm Smokehouse UNCUT
Here’s one of our favorite presentations on building a backyard smokehouse for your yard or farm. Watch Patryk, Meredith, and Rocco from Living Web Farms showcase how smokers work, smokehouse requirements, and how to cook with smoke. They also show you their DIY smokehouse in detail.

We end our list of DIY smokehouse ideas with a master class on cold smoking and effective smokehouse design by Living Web Farms

  • Learn the basics of smokehouse methods and practices.
  • Learn about smokehouse design and how smoke works in a DIY smokehouse. 

Watch the master class here

Best Smokehouse Ideas and DIY Plans – FAQs

You might have questions when planning your perfect backyard smokehouse design. So we assembled a list of popular grilling and DIY smokehouse questions. We hope these answers help make your smokehouse more enjoyable. And easy to build!

What Are the Benefits of a Smokehouse?

Smoking food in a smokehouse preserves it. It also flavors (seasons) meats, fish, vegetables, cheeses, fruits, sauces, beverages, and spices.

What Temperatures Does a Smokehouse Need?

Cold smoking in a smokehouse does not cook meat. Cold smoking merely flavors and preserves it at temperatures between 60°F and 100°F. Hot smoking in a smokehouse cooks and flavors meat at temperatures from 160°F to 185°F.

Always know the optimum internal temperatures of hot-smoked meats to achieve the best results. Use thermometers to measure the internal temperatures of the smokehouse and the meats getting smoked.  

What Wood Is Best for Smoking Food In a Smokehouse?

The best woods for cooking in a smokehouse firebox are fruit and nut species like apple, pecan, hickory, cherry, alder, and mesquite. Never smoke food with conifer wood, including pine, cedar, cypress, elm, and redwood. The resins and vapors can be toxic to humans.

Can I Use Galvanized Steel In a Smokehouse?

Galvanized metal isn’t ideal in a smokehouse. Galvanized steel contains zinc, which, when heated above 392°F, releases toxins. The toxins do penetrate foods. Smokehouses rarely reach temperatures above 300°F. But – it is safer to avoid using galvanized products in the building and use a smokehouse. 

What Do You Need for a Smokehouse?

To build a smokehouse, you’ll need woodworking and masonry tools, lumber, concrete, bricks, cinder blocks, nails, screws, and hinges. Steel roofing and a steel firebox may also be required. Racks, hooks for meat and produce, and suitable smoking wood chips or pellets are also vital.  

What Meat Can You Smoke In 4 Hours?

Hot-smoked in a smokehouse, slim cuts of meat and fish will be ready to eat in under four hours. Popular dishes include smoked BBQ ribs, pork chops, smoked trout, chicken wings, and lamb chops. 

How Do I Build a Small Backyard Smokehouse?

The easiest way to build a small backyard smokehouse is to construct a wooden box into which smoke can be injected or generated by a smoke tray within its confines. Using wood chips or smoking pellets on an electric or propane cooker are easy ways to generate smoke for a backyard smokehouse.

Does a Smokehouse Need Ventilation?

A smokehouse needs ventilation to supply the fire with oxygen and to exhaust smoke from the smokehouse to avoid the over-smoking of products. An adjustable vent on the firebox helps regulate heat and smoke production, while vents on the smokehouse help control smoke and cooking temperatures.

How Do You Control the Heat In a Smokehouse?

Heat in a smokehouse can be controlled by:
1. Managing the fire temperature by adding wood or choking the fire.
2. Ventilating the smokehouse by opening vents and the door.
3. Lowering or raising the propane setting.
4. Decreasing or increasing electric hotplate settings. 
5. Install two thermometers.

How Does an Old-Fashioned Smokehouse Work?

An old-fashioned smokehouse uses cold and hot wood smoke to flavor, cook, and preserve meat, fish, and poultry. A firebox or fire pit near or in the smokehouse generates smoke from smoldering wood, which rises to permeate and season the foods in the smokehouse over several hours. 

What Kind of Wood Do You Use for a Smokehouse?

The best woods to use to build a smokehouse include most types of untreated lumber and plywood. Pressure-treated wood contains chemicals and should get avoided, as should pallet wood treated with methyl bromide (marked MB on the pallet).

How Long Can You Keep the Meat In a Smokehouse?

Centuries ago, meat would be smoked and stored for many months in a smokehouse without refrigeration. Today, sizeable meat cuts can spend up to four days cold smoking in the smokehouse. Once smoked, meats must be refrigerated to comply with food safety regulations.

How Hot Does a Smokehouse Get?

A smokehouse should never reach temperatures above 250°F. A well-managed smokehouse will range in temperature from 60°F to around 185°F. Temperatures vary depending on whether the operation is a cold-smoke or hot-smoke application.

Can I Use My Smoker In the Shed?

It is possible to smoke meat in a shed using a BBQ smoker. But you must ensure there are no chemical products in the shed and that the shed got made from untreated natural materials. 

How Do You Make an Old-Timey Smokehouse? 

To build an authentic old-timey smokehouse, erect a windowless wooden walk-in shed using untreated lumber. Install a fire pit in the center of the floor and place a chimney through the roof. Screen all ventilation hatches to ward off critters. Fit the smokehouse with steel racks and hooks.

What Can You Make In a Smokehouse?

A smokehouse using cold smoke will make smoked bacon, sausage, fish, meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, boiled eggs, sauces, chocolate, spices, herbs, and beverages. Hot smoke in a smokehouse makes brisket, BBQ chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork, smoked ham, smoked turkey, smoked venison, and smoked lamb.

Do You Insulate a Smokehouse?

Seal all non-designated escape routes for the smoke to have optimum control of the smoking process. Achieving controllable temperatures is also vital to successful smoking, making insulating and venting the smokehouse critical design factors.

Totally-Smoked

The great thing about building a smokehouse? You can experiment with many different foods, creating exotic flavors only your smokehouse can produce. That’s right! Smokehouse smokiness is unique, much like a fine wine. 

With these easy DIY smokehouse ideas and plans, you can begin your smokehouse adventure in bite-size chunks, learning as you go. And hey, if the smoking feels like pure hell (which it won’t), you can always convert the smokehouse into a tool shed! 

Happy smoking!

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