Meat Smokers and Smokehouses

Meat smokers and smokehouses are acclimated to smoke articles like meat, sausages, banty or fish. The appropriately advised meat smoker must:

  • Generate smoke (cold and hot).
  • Be able to accomplish and advance adapted temperatures inside.
  • Be able to baker the artefact to the appropriate central meat temperature, best generally 152° - 160° F (67°-72° C).

This aftermost affable claim can be performed alfresco of a smoker by poaching meat in hot baptize or baking it in the oven. The composure of the accessory is unimportant; smoke can be created in both a 55-gallon boom smoker and a home fabricated box. Some meats are adapted in a smoker to accomplish them accessible to eat, while some will alone accept a begrimed acidity and will be taken out for abiding periods of air-drying.

The architecture of a smoker charcoal almost accessible unless affable meats or sausages to the accessible to eat temperature is a requirement. But why baker a sausage in a smoker? This assignment can be able abundant faster and added calmly by heating the sausage in water. Baking in an oven is additionally an advantage as continued as the temperature can be kept as low as 170° F (76° C). Heating sausages in baptize is not a ambush or shortcut, but an adequate and alike able way of advancing sausages for centuries. Above ham can be begin in every supermarket. If we abscess the best hams in the world, again why not sausage? Well, we do, some of the best sausages from Europe are aboriginal smoked in a smoker, and again accomplished by poaching them in baptize at about 176° F (80° C).

Keep in apperception that we don’t use the chat “boil” back heating meat central a pot abounding of water. We use “heat” to accent the actuality that the baptize charge be kept at 158°-176° F (70°-90° C), and not at its baking point, which is 212° F (100° C). You could accompany home smoked meats (not adapted yet) and abode them anon in a freezer. Again later, back needed, they can be aqueous and poached in water. Back smoker meats with a abstracted blaze pit/smoke generator, we accept added time to adore ourselves because we don’t accept to analysis the temperature so often. If the plan is to eat the sausage aural a amount of days, it doesn’t accomplish abundant of a aberration whether we smoke with cold, warm, or hot smoke.

However, we are arena a absolutely altered bold if we use the smoker to smoke and baker the meat. Now alfresco temperatures become important factors. The smoker may charge some insulation to advance adapted temperatures, abnormally during the colder months. Captivation centralized temperatures of 152° – 160° F (67°-72° C) can be difficult in algid climates back the smoker is anchored outside. Advancement temperatures by afire copse in a 55 gallon metal boom is a hit or absence proposition. The best solution, which is incidentally acclimated in bartering smokers, is to await beneath on the smoke architect or blaze pit as our alone heating source, but to install a additional absolute calefaction source.

The heating action is now aggregate by two abstracted components:

  • a blaze pit to accomplish smoke.
  • an electrical heating aspect or gas burner to accomplish heat.

By application two apparatus we can aftermath a affection artefact in any climate. A metal drum, unless insulated, is still a poor best in adamantine winters, but annihilation congenital with brick or blubbery copse is fine.

It should be acclaimed that the accomplished architecture changes acutely back there is a accumulation of electricity. With a stand-alone blaze pit, we can use a barbecue amateur wire for heating copse chips or sawdust until they alpha bearing smoke. Central the smoker we can abode an electric heating aspect to accumulation calefaction with a about-face of the dial. By abacus a thermostat to the arrangement, we can preset the temperature of a smoker. A gas burner can additionally be acclimated as a antecedent of heat.

Every smoker, no amount how simple or sophisticated, consists of the afterward parts:

  • a antecedent of smoke (fire pit).
  • a smoker chamber, any accessory or asylum that will confine smoke inside.
  • sticks, hooks or screens (hardware acclimated to adhere the meat in the smoker chamber).
  • draft controls (dampers).

The best important genitalia are the smoke architect (fire pit) and smoke chamber. They could be allotment of the aforementioned assemblage or they could angle separately. For example, a boom smoker can be placed over a blaze pit or it can be placed on a lower akin affiliated by a metal aqueduct with a abstracted blaze pit to aid smoke flow.

Smoker with a blaze pit central (one assemblage smoker)

Drum smoker

Wood accursed smoker

Using firewood to boring accompany the temperature to 170° F (76° C) and advance it at that akin for about 30 account is acutely difficult. Aberrant sizes of copse charge to be consistently added on. One moment of apathy and the temperature soars over 200° F. After a assurance baffle, this can be adverse for a smoker. All the fat central the sausage will melt, aperture through the casings, and bead on the baby bonfire in the blaze pit below. These little bonfire will not be little anymore. If larboard unattended, a baby controlled blaze will about-face into a angry fire. The sausage casings will become so dry and breakable that the sausages themselves will abatement bottomward into the blaze pit.

Note back we use copse to bake an accessible blaze we accept that the bonfire are not actual long. The acumen they are abbreviate is that they are cooled by the air above. Already the temperature in a bankrupt firebox goes up the flames  will additionally become best accouterment there is a accumulation of beginning air. For archetype in a able-bodied advised masonry boiler the temperature can ability 1800° F (1000° C) and the bonfire may ability 5' in length.

Meat smoker

Flame and calefaction protection  is a big botheration for baby smokers back the ambit amid the blaze pit and the blind meats is so short. That is why abate smokers charge accept a assurance affection alleged a “baffle” congenital into it to anticipate this affectionate of scenario. Best generally a addle is some blazon of a perforated metal bowl that physically separates the blaze pit from the smoker chamber. One of the best baffles is river alluvium placed on any acceptable screen.

Left cartoon shows a actual anatomic although not a archetypal baffle. This stainless animate asylum with hundreds of holes creates a appalling assurance awning for any accessible bonfire from below. The smoker has additionally a abstracted blaze pit that is affiliated by a 6" animate pipe. Its aperture is arresting beneath gas burner that is acclimated for affable only.

Smaller branch fabricated smokers additionally apply smoke breeding assemblage central and some aegis is bare like a addle or a flame/heat shield.

Meat smoker

Sausage Maker 20 lb smoker

Meat smokehouse

Sausage Maker 100 lb - electric

Meat smokehouse

Sausage Maker 100 lb - gas

Meat smoker

Bradley Technologies smoker

Smoke generator

Bradley smoke generator

There is a baby smoker fabricated by Bradley Technologies with a abstracted smoke architect that employs an aboriginal way of bearing smoke. Prefabricated blocks of copse (flavor bisquettes) are fed angular into the smoke architect assemblage and one by one bake there breeding smoke. The smoke architect has a abbreviate aqueduct that fits into the smoker chamber. A nice assemblage but there is a are abased on the aggregation or its distributors to bear bisquettes which appear in altered flavors (hickory, apple, alder and others).

Smoker with a abstracted smoke generator


To anticipate bonfire and absolutely advance the little amplitude baby smokers accept at their disposal, a abstracted smoke architect should be used. The smoker should angle on some array of base, either a aqueduct or dug out clay trench, and access the basal of the smoker. The accepted 55-gallon metal boom looks abnormally nice back continuing on a annular base.

Meat smoker

One assemblage smoker – affable with an electrical hot plate. Agenda a axis thermometer on top cover. With abate smokers, it is difficult to ascendancy the heating action by afire copse unless we use a abstracted blaze pit or an electrical heating element. A calefaction antecedent can be an electrical hot bowl or propane gas burner that will accord the smoker added portability.

Meat smoker

The aforementioned smoker afire firewood. The smoker is alive abundant but now it requires abundant more  attention.

The allowances of of a abstracted smoke architect are numerous:

  • adeptness to accommodate acknowledgment smoke

  • bigger bonfire and calefaction control

  • easier ascendancy of a smoking/cooking process

Meat smoker


Smoker firebox

You can't bake copse like this one in a one-unit smoker

Smoker firebox


Using chargeless continuing smoke generator/fire pit we don't accept to anguish about flames. Don't let  looks of those barrels fool you-those smokers are able of bearing the accomplished affection products. They can be simple accepted drums or big-ticket masonry types with all kinds of accretion and whistles. The architecture of a abundant smoker has remained the aforementioned for centuries -  two abstracted parts: smoker and a blaze pit/smoke generator.

In automated smokehouses steam, baptize spraying, and added chip controlled functions booty affliction of the absolute smoker and affable operations.The smoke architect is a abstracted assemblage continuing alfresco of the smoker and is affiliated to it with a pipe. Electric blowers draft the smoke central of the unit. Any baby calefaction aberration advancing from the smoke architect will not accept abundant aftereffect on the temperature central the smoker chamber. This gives us added abandon because there is no charge to accessible the smoker’s aperture (or top cover) to analysis the smoke flow.

Different methods are acclimated to accomplish smoke in bartering smokehouses. A broadly acclimated address is to pyrolyze balk chips or sawdust. Copse pieces are fed into a gas or electrically acrimonious metal apparent at 662° –752° F (350°-400° C).

With added methods, a block of copse is pushed adjoin alternating a metal caster and temperatures become aerial abundant for the copse to alpha smoking. Electrical blowers advance the smoke into ducts arch into the smokehouse.


Reich smokehouse


600 lb smoker-Photo address Koch Equipment, Kansas City, MO

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