Many of us simply adore all kinds of smoked foods - meat, fish, even vegetables. Nevertheless, sometimes not only the prices in stores, but also the quality are frightening. It has long been proven that quite often in stores they sell not smoked meats at all, but imitation of such products. Special mixtures make it possible to impart smoked aroma and taste to the same fish. Alas, the quality leaves much to be desired.
So why not make your own smokehouse? Finding really good products for smoking is not difficult, and the cooking process itself is not difficult. But you will be sure that your smoked meat or your favorite mackerel for beer will be natural and safe. But the most important thing is incredibly tasty.
But first, you should build this very smokehouse. This is what we are going to talk about today.
Things to consider before building
Consider the following points:
- Location. It is necessary to find the optimal place where you can place your smokehouse. It should not cause discomfort to you or your neighbors. The smell of smoked meats, of course, is pleasant, but not everyone wants to feel it 24 hours a day.
- Material. Nowadays, a smokehouse can be made from anything, up to an old refrigerator. However, the best option is brick. Consider only, the brick is extremely refractory.
- Smoking type. There are two of them - cold and hot. The design of the device itself depends on the type chosen. Therefore, think in advance what exactly you want to get as a result.
- Products. You probably already thought you were going to smoke. Different products have their own requirements in this regard. The construction of a smokehouse largely depends on this. The device needs to be adapted for some products. Consider this.
Types of smoking
Smoking is a very ancient way of cooking. It allows you to effectively use the capabilities of the tree. When a certain temperature is reached, the wood slowly smolders, emits the necessary smoke, due to which the smoldering occurs.
Smoking itself is of two types:
Cold is considered a more costly method, but the prepared dish itself is stored longer.
Hot smoking does not allow the dish to be stored for so long after cooking, but the products are more aromatic and tastier.
The main difference between the two is their design. So, if hot smokehouses have a ignition center directly under the chamber, then a cold one means placing the fireplace aside, and a special device is brought to the chamber where smoking takes place - a supply of smoke.
The brick smokehouse is stationary. Therefore, it will not be possible to move it from place to place. This suggests that the location should be chosen with great care.
First, we choose a convenient site located at a certain distance from the house itself. You will be dealing with a lot of smoke and should not be allowed to fall into the living area. In addition, this smoke can harm trees, your plantings. Therefore, finding a suitable location will not be so easy.
It all depends on each house individually. But you already know the main points for choosing a place.
As we have already noted, in our time, smokehouses are made from almost everything that is at hand. But brick devices can also have different schemes, depending on size, type of smoking, and so on.
One way or another, the main structural elements remain unchanged:
- Lattice or holders (on what products are smoked);
If we are talking about cold smoking, a smoke supply is necessarily added to the design, and the firebox itself is located not under the grates, but on the side, in order to avoid the direct influence of the smoldering wood on the products located on top.
Having decided to make your own smokehouse, you need to clearly distribute the planned work, dividing them into stages in the correct sequence. It is better to prepare thoroughly, rather than act instinctively from step to step. So you can miss important points and make serious mistakes.
The construction of a smokehouse can be divided into several main stages:
- Preparatory activities.
- Selection of tools and materials.
- Laying the foundation for the future structure.
- Organization of a supply for smoke (if we are talking about a cold smokehouse).
- Putting the device into operation.
It is quite problematic to make a really high-quality and efficient smokehouse without preparatory measures.
Preparation consists primarily in choosing the type of device. Whatever one may say, hot smoking differs from cold smoking not only in the result of cooking, but also in the design features of the device itself.
After you have decided on the type of smoking, you need to carefully consider the place to place the structure. We have already told you about the selection rules, so problems should not arise.
Don't forget the importance of quality materials. The better the brick and related elements are, the longer and more reliable your miracle device will serve you.
By preparing the drawings, as well as making step-by-step notes for future construction, you will make it easier for yourself. So you can act strictly according to the plan, not deviate from your plans. As a result, there are fewer mistakes and the result is better.
As an example, we offer one of the drawings of a smokehouse when combined with an oven and stove for cooking - the most popular option.
Drawing of a smokehouse with barbecue.
Of course, it makes no sense to get started without the appropriate tools and materials. And for the manufacture of a smokehouse, you must have:
- Brick (ceramic or special refractory, but not silicate);
- Clay (it can be replaced with ready-made dry mixes);
- Solution container;
- Wood doors for the smokehouse;
- A lattice or rods made of metal, on which the products will be located;
- metal roof (if a small device is being made);
- Building level;
- Trowel and spatula;
- A set of components for the foundation.
You definitely need to talk about the foundation separately. To organize it, you can use a metal mesh with concrete, gravel and sand, or a concrete slab.
If you decide to make a concrete pad, then the sequence of your actions will be as follows:
- First, a hole of the required depth is dug.
- After that, sand with gravel is poured onto the bottom of the resulting pit. Try to compact this layer tightly, make it even.
- Then a metal mesh is laid in the pit and concrete is poured.
That's it, it remains to wait for the concrete to harden, and the construction itself can begin.
If possible, use a reinforced concrete slab instead of pouring, be sure to use it. It is much easier and faster, plus there is no need for additional work.
Pastels, spoons, and a brick poke are indicated in the following figure.
After the foundation has been completed, the laying of bricks begins.
- To begin with, apply the mortar to the foundation using a trowel. It should be slightly larger than the pastel area. After that, the brick itself is applied. He should not reach the joint.
- Now a poke is applied to fill in the vertical seams. The stone must be pressed down, which will "crush" the solution that is under it. Move it to the joint.
- If, as a result of pressure, the solution comes out of the seam, the excess is removed with a trowel. In order to ensure the correct position of the brick, you can simply hit it a little with a rubber mallet. Try to regularly monitor the angle of the masonry using a building level. This can be done when laying each row. Remember to measure the wall with a plumb line or level.
- Vertical and horizontal seams should be about 12 millimeters thick. This is ideal.
- An important point is the overlap of the vertical seams of the lower row with bricks when laying the corners. Due to this, a dressing is created. Keep in mind that it is best to start laying from a corner, so that later there will be no problems.
- The final stage of masonry will be grouting. This will give the structure a more attractive appearance.
If your smokehouse is cold smoked, it means that a smoke supply will become an obligatory element of it.
To build such a chimney, you need to make a special trench. Its width is approximately 0.5 meters, depth is 0.3 meters, and its length is about 2 meters.
At the trench wall, bricks are laid on the ribs. The solution for this area is selected in the ratio of clay to sand 3 to 1. The resulting structure is covered on top with a metal element, or filled with asbestos.
We test the smokehouse:
- The corresponding product is poured into the sawdust compartment. It is best to choose cherry or apricot sawdust.
- Light the firebox.
- Place the selected food inside the smoker. It is best to try the device on meat or fish.
- The outlet pipe is closed on the lid and the time is waited until the device warms up, the inner space is filled with smoke. You can install a thermometer so you can keep track of what is happening inside.
- When the thermometer reaches 600 degrees, open the outlet. It is located on the roof.
- The next step is to wait 30 minutes. The device should work.
- Now open the door and get your groceries out. The color should come out golden, the meat or fish itself should be hot.
During the test, it is quite possible to notice how smoke comes out of the device. This means that some of the cracks were not covered tightly. Testing allows you to find errors, quickly eliminate them and start full-fledged operation of the smokehouse.
Features of building a small smokehouse
Making a small smoking device is not difficult even on your own. Just follow the recommendations and proceed step by step.
- First, we find a place to install the chimney on the ground. The intrachannel section should have a size of about 30 centimeters or slightly less, its width is 0.35 m, and its height is 0.25 m. The optimal material is clay brick.
- The combustion chamber is located in the extreme part of the created channel. Please note that the height of the chamber should not exceed 1.5 m. The bricks must be placed on the edges.
- A trench is required to lay the canal. Its depth is about 0.35 m and its width is 0.55 m. Do not place the firebox higher than the chamber. If you put the device on a hill, then no additional measures will have to be taken. If not, then it is better to make the chimney with a slope of about eight degrees. Press the bottom, and then make the brickwork.
- A new stage is laying the walls in the chimney channel. The wall is mounted on a brick-laid base. The elements are also placed on the edges. Make sure the dressing is the same everywhere. The resulting wall should include several rows of brick, that is, its height is about 0.25 m.
- After that, you need to block the upper part of the channel using a brick. The overlap should be done with a house, since a flat structure will not work.
- At the end of the resulting channel of the created chimney, cameras are installed where smoking will take place. Mount it in such a way that the canal extends into the depth, no more than 0.3 m.
- The final stage is sprinkling the soil layer to the level of the camera. Please note that the height of this layer should be approximately 0.15 m.
Features of building a large smokehouse
If you want to make a large smokehouse, then it is built like a small house.
During the construction process, be sure to lay the elements on which, in fact, the smoking of the products you have chosen will take place. A chimney is mounted on top, complemented by a valve. This damper will help regulate the temperature as well as the speed of the passing stream of smoke.
An additional container can be included in the design of the smokehouse itself, where you will store firewood. They should always be on hand in large smokers.
Also, do not forget about the pan, where all the fat formed during the cooking process will drain. And the door must be coated with clay, like other structural elements made of wood. This will avoid sudden fires.