Free Smoker Plans for Smoking Meat at Home

See our smoker plans for homemade smokehouses. A good smokehouse should be found upon every farm, large or small, and there are many other families besides those of farmers which would be vastly benefited by one. The object is to be able to expose meats to the action of woodsmoke which results in the special taste of smoked meat as well as a preservative.

All that is necessary for a smokehouse, is a room, from the size of a barrel to that of a barn, which can be filled with smoke and shut up tight, with something to suspend the articles from to be cured.  Smoking meat is not that difficult, although there are some issuse that you need to be aware of which we will discuss later.

In common smokehouses the fire is made on a stone slab in the middle of the floor. In
others, a pit is dug, say a foot deep, in the ground, and here the fire is placed.

There are many ways of smoking meat from a simple barrel, to using a converted fridge to a purpose-built smokehouse. We hope that you enjoy our plans and instructions on not only how to built a smokehouse, but also smoking meat and how to get the best results.


The accompanying plan is of a good smoke house ; it diffuses the rising smoke, and prevents the direct heat of the fire affecting the meats hanging immediately above. A section of the smoke house is shown, and though somewhat expensive, is warmly praised.

interior of smokehouse The smoker plans for this homemade smokehouse is eight feet square, and built of brick. If of wood it should be plastered on the inside. It has a chimney, C, with an eight-inch flue and a fire place, B, which is outside below the level of the floor. From this a flue, F, is carried under the chimney into the middle of the floor where it opens under a stone table, E. In kindling the fire a valve is drawn directing the draft up the chimney.

The green chips or cobs are thrown on, and the valve is then placed so as to turn the smoke into the house.

Both in the upper and lower parts of the chimney there are also openings, G, G9
closed by valves regulated from the outside.

The door has to be made to shut very closely, and all parts of the building must be as tight as possible.

The advantage of such a smoke house as this is, that the smoke is cooled considerably before
it is admitted. No ashes rise with the smoke.

Meats may be kept in it the year round, without being very much smoked, inasmuch as the smoking need be only occasionally renewed, so as to keep the flies away. The table placed in the center will be found a great convenience in any smokehouse.


Another way of smoking meat can be brick smoker done in a brick smoke house, built over an ash pit or cellar, six feet deep, the entrance  to which cellar is through the door shown at the side. In these smoker plans the roof is arched, and there is no wood about the structure, except the doors.

The floor of the house is made of narrow iron bars, three inches wide, and a quarter of an inch thick, set on edge about two inches apart, so as to form a grating. The ends of these bars are seen set in the bricks at the lower part of the house. They are made for laying side pieces of bacon upon them during the smoking.

When smoking meat the hams are hung upon round iron bars, stretched across theupper part of the house; the ends of these bars are bent down, thus forming stays or braces to the building, asseen in the engraving. A few spaces are left in the front of the house, over the door, for ventilation.

The interior of the house is shown here. The hams are hung upon wire hooks shaped in an S which slide upon the rods that have been placed above.

This house required in building two thousand bricks, and two masons' labor for one and a half days.

Figure 196 represents a section of a smoke house of wood, which is very cleanly in use, there being no fire, and consequently no ashes, upon the floor. The floor is made of cement, or of hard brick laid in cement or mortar.

Either of these floors will exclude rats, and may be washed when necessary.

The fire ovens, made of brick, are built on each side of the house, or two of them may be erected at the rear end.

inside brick smoker From the smoker plans on the left you can see that the ovens are buit on the outside, but spaces are left between the bricks on the inside, through which the smoke escapes.

The outer part of the oven is open at the front, but may be closed by an iron door, or a piece of flat stone or slab of cement.

When the fire is kindled in the ovens, the doors are closed and fastened,
and the smoke has no means of escape except through the inside spaces. From being so confined, the fire can not burn up briskly, but slowly smoulders, making a cool and pungent smoke. Ideal conditions for smoking meat.

In any smokehouse, the less brisk the fire is kept, the more effective is the smoke, as
the slow combustion of the wood permits the escape of most of the wood acids, which give their flavor and their antiseptic properties to the meat.

When the fire is brisk, these are consumed and destroyed, and the meat is badly affected by the excess of heat.

These outside ovens may be fitted to any kind of a smokehouse, by simply cutting
the necessary openings at the bottom of the walls, and protecting the woodwork by strips of sheet iron around the bricks.


If you are looking for a cheap homemacheap homemade smoker de smokehouse, then this is probably the best out of all the smoker plans.

You can see here pictures of a sectional view of a brick smokehouse, which may be made of any size. One, seven by nine feet, will be large enough for private use, but the
smoker plan here shows the larger building

At the bottom of the structure is a brick arch, with bricks left out here and there to allow for the passage of smoke.

Above the arch are two series of iron rods, supplied with hooks with grooved wheels, by which the ring, with its burden, may be pushed back, or drawn forward, as desired.
The wheel hook is shown in the picture above, and can be procured at any hardware store.

In the smoker plans showing the elevation of the smoker, the smokehouse is seen in perspective, with the open archway for the fire, and the door provided with steps.

Above the lower bar and below the upper one, is a series of ventilating holes through which the smoke may escape. These are made by leaving out bricks, and they can be closed by inserting bricks closely in the vacancies. In figure 199 is the arch which confines the fire and ashes, and prevents any meat that may fall from being soiled or burned. 

A few open spaces will be sufficient to permit the smoke to pass through. This arch is constructed over a wooden frame, figure 200, made of a few pieces of boards, cut into
an oval arch-shape, to which strips of wood are nailed.

When the brickwork is dry the center is knocked down and removed. For safety and economy a loose door may be made to shut up the arch when the fire is kindled.

a pennsylvannia smoke house Here is a smokehouse that was once common in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is built upon a brick wall, and over a brick arch, through which a number of holes or spaces are left in the brickwork, for the smoke to pass through.

Beneath the arch is the ash pit, and a door opens into this, as shown in the engraving. The door to the meat room cannot be reached without a ladder.


It sometimes happens that one needs to smoke some hams or other meat, and no smoke house is at hand, or you want to smoke small amounts of meat and don't want to go to the expensive of building a formal smokehouse.

smoker barrel using an old wine cask or hogshead barrel In such a case a large cask or barrel, as shown here, may prove a very good substitute. To make your barrel smoker effective, a small pit should be dug, and a flat stone or a brick placed across it, upon which the edge of the cask will rest.

Half of the pit is beneath the barrel, and half of it outside. The head and bottom may be removed, or a hole can be cut in the bottom a little larger than the portion of the pit beneath the cask.

The head is removed while the hams are hung upon cross sticks. These rest upon two cross-bars, made to pass through holes bored in the sides of the cask, near the top. The head is then laid, upon the cask, and covered with sacks to confine the smoke.

Some coals are put into the pit outside of the cask, and the fire is fed with damp corn
cobs, hardwood chips, or fine brush. The pit is covered with a flat stone, by which the fire may be regulated, and it is removed when necessary to add more fuel.

If you have some smoker plans of your own please feel free to submit them.