How To Build Your Own Smoker? A Simple Guide For DIYer

Smoking is a cooking technique that can create delicious dishes for barbecue lovers, such as Steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. However, a typical smoker can cost hundreds of dollars. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to make your smoker without spending much money, and you can even make it yourself at home

Here are a few DIY smokers ideas that you can try to build at home. 

How To Build A Smoker At Home?

#1 Offset smoker from old gas tanks

Materials needed

  • Old gas tank
  • Steel box sections
  • Steel sheeting
  • Steel pipe

Tools needed

  • Lathe
  • Angle grinder
  • Metal welding torch
  • Pivot drill
  • Vise

The offset smoker is one of the most classic yet popular smoking machine designs today. Offset smokers have shelves in a long horizontal cooking chamber for cooking meat such as ham, pork shoulder, and rib rack. Charcoal and wood smoke will be ignited in a firebox mounted on one side to make a fire.

Creating an offset smoker from old gas tanks is quite complicated and requires various technical skills and time. However, suppose you are the one who likes to take challenges and have materials and space on hand. In that case, this is an excellent opportunity to recycle your old gas tank into something useful again – like a smoker.

The old gas tank will be used to form the cooking chamber of the offset smoker, and the DIY part is adding the frame and firebox. 

You will need to cut and weld steel items to make the smoker parts, namely, the box steel to make the smoker frame, the sheet steel to make the firebox, and the steel pipe to make the chimney. 

In addition, you also need to pay attention to the intricate metalwork required to put all the parts together because they will ensure no leaks and help the airflow in the cooking chamber circulate correctly.

As we have mentioned above, you must have some technical skills to handle the stages of rebuilding an offset smoker process. So some skills you need to master are welding, drilling, lathe use, and advanced metalwork.

#2 DIY Drum smoker

DIY Drum smoker

Materials needed:

  • A 55-gallon free-of-epoxy food-safe drum with a lid
  • Four 3/4-inch threaded; 24” length pipes
  • 90-degree elbow joint with 3/4-inch thread
  • 12” x 48” expanded metal mesh piece
  • Fine sandpaper

Tools needed:

  • Angle grinder
  • Drill
  • Vise
  • Wrench
  • Cutting table

The Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) is a simple barrel smoker construction and one of the most versatile tools available, allowing barbecue lovers to cook various meats at once in a perfect way. 

While it may sound complicated, crafting one of these drum smokers is pretty easy for the average DIYer. If your budget is less than $500, this DIY project would be the one for you.

To create a drum smoker, the first thing you need is to source your drum. You can choose to buy a used drum for about $20 or a brand new 55-gallon drum for about $150. 

Once you have the drum, you need to scrub it and then polish the inside of it with fine sandpaper. To do this, you need to master the skills of angle grinding and sanding. 

The rest of the build is pretty simple. You can create air intakes using plumbing. Alternatively, you can also build a fire basket out of metal mesh and attach the handle to the lid with the available tools.

# DIY flowerpot smoker

DIY flowerpot smoker

Materials needed:

  • 2 clay flower planters
  • BBQ gasket
  • U-Bolt (with washers & nuts)
  • Wine corks
  • Circular grill grate
  • BBQ charcoal grate

Tools needed:

  • Drill

If your house doesn’t have enough room for medium and large smokers, the flowerpot smoker will be the right choice because of their compact size.

Flowerpot smoker is the most straightforward DIY smoker project you will ever see. Once you have enough tools, you can start making your flowerpot smoker.

First, you need to drill a hole for the air in your clay pot. To do this without cracking your pot, you need to master drilling skills, and you need to use a smaller drill bit than usual. 

Then attach a few wine corks that must fit into the air vents, which would give better control of the airflow in your pot.

One of your clay pots will act as a charcoal rack. The other pot will be placed on top to keep the smoke. To make a fire, you can use charcoal and wood chips. You can place them at the bottom of the pot. Then you can put your food on top of the BBQ grill and turn the top pot over to seal.


You are a barbecue lover but do not have a smoker? You want to save money and satisfy your creativity with your skills? Now, you can ultimately create your smoker with simple DIY smoker projects that don’t cost much. All you need is ingenuity, skills, and the right tools for your smoker.