View Full Version : Sausage smoker ideas

11-07-2004, 03:15 PM
Hi all I am about to journey into the realm of sausage making. I have a whitetail doe waiting to turn into some tasty treats.
I was thinking of making a smoker out of a new 45 gal. drum. Electric stove element in the bottom a plate for wood/smoke. Have the drum standing upright with a door cut out of the side.
I know that this project will not require much machining so its a little off topic but most of you guys have built and done almost everything. Anyone ever built and operated a smoker, any info would be appreciated. Tanx Stephen.

Alistair Hosie
11-07-2004, 03:26 PM
STEPHEN whatever you smoke fish meat cheese will taste wondeful you must use the right woodchips I am told oak is good .Making a smoker is not so hard but don't try it with meatloaf it will explode. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif aLISTAIR

11-07-2004, 03:38 PM
Yes I will most likely buy some hickory wood chips sold for store bot smokers.

11-07-2004, 03:55 PM
Any hardwood will work but hickory, mesquite, and apple are traditional woods.

I've see smokers made of new galvanized trash cans and large terra cotta flower pots. There should be plenty of plans on the internet.

You can use a regular electric hot plate for heat. An aluminum disposable pie pan can hold the chips on the hot plate.

11-07-2004, 04:10 PM
I have smoked my own sausage and there was nothing particularly difficult involved. I use Apple chips and a hotplate, and eventually added a small fan to circulate the smoke better. Be careful not to smoke them too long or the taste is a bit much.

11-07-2004, 04:22 PM
There have been a lot of fish smokers made from an old refrigarator. Provide a vent at the top and put the electric hotplate at the bottom.

11-07-2004, 04:26 PM
Like the others said.

Also we have alot of lemon and orange trees locally. Their wood works great. Just about any fruit woods work great.

My sister lives in West Virginia and was telling me 80% of their meat comes from deer (venison).

If you can post your recipe here (or somewhere else) for your stuffin I would be grateful.

(OT I know, but if yer eatin sausage in the shop and dripping grease on the ways of the lathe? Maybe a new oiling system, there now it's on-topic). JRouche

[This message has been edited by JRouche (edited 11-07-2004).]

Dave Opincarne
11-07-2004, 04:49 PM
I roll the wood chips into an aluminum foil 'reefer' first and then poke several SMALL holes in it first. this will ensure the chips don't catch fire but will make lots of smoke. Cherry wood makes a nice tast, but my all time favorite is sasafrass wood, it's very strong so a little goes a long way.


11-07-2004, 05:02 PM
A good site is cooks.com lots of deer sausage recipes. I thought I would try a store bought garlic sausage mix and a home made to compare.My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

11-07-2004, 06:06 PM
should be lots of info on smoking around.

cold smoking is the way to go, and you have the climate for it .

i hot smoke fish every so often ,but thats only because i am in a hot climate.would prefer to cold smoke the fish.

what you are proposing to do is hot smoking,
(i have not done sausages, only fish)-the brining is important and maintaining the temp high enough is very important so you dont get food poisining.

11-07-2004, 07:02 PM

Big Baby Smoker (http://bbq.netrelief.com/pits/metalpit/bigbaby/build_big_baby_metal_bbq_pit.shtml)

Made from a couple of 55 gallon drums and a stove kit from Northern Tool (http://www.northern-online.com/).


11-07-2004, 07:51 PM

What ever you do, be sure that the barrel does not have any kind of residue from whatever was stored in it previously. Some barrels even have a synthetic coating on the inside. There is nothing wrongg with using them for your purpose, but they must be prepared first. The easiest way to do this is to build a fire in or around it before actually using it for food prep. After it cools, you can clean it with a wire brush and hose it down. Then make that sausage. Good Luck with the project.

11-07-2004, 08:13 PM
Yes the barrel I have had a biodegradable vegetable oil in it and I do plan on burning it out.
I am kind of on the fence on what to do I think you can do a smoke/pasteurise or you can do a short smoke just for flavour.All I know is that I would like to make some garlic and maby some on the hot side.

11-07-2004, 08:28 PM
My barbeque cooker is a hot water heater tank. cut into a 90, vertical firebox w/smoke going across meat to be cooked.

You can take a handful of small sticks, once you get coals going it don't take much to cook.

You'd be surprised to see how hot that smoke is.. If I would do it better? probably like the picture, a seperate firebox w.dampers to dump excess heat or duct it all in..

I love Oak.. My favorite wood smoke.

I have been looking at a friends Wood-miser stove sitting outside since it is ugly.. it has a efficient firebox... and you can load big wood.. yeah.. a smoker on top like the picture.. wouldn't that be great?

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

11-07-2004, 08:34 PM
That pic of a smoker looks just like the wood burner I built for my shop. Two 45 gal drums one above the other, works great.

11-07-2004, 09:09 PM

My experience shows that you want a slow smoldering fire. Maybe you could start a bed of charcoal briquets and then add wood chips that have soaked in water for the smoke. You may also wish to add a pan of water between the fire and the meat. It will add steam and prevent your sausage from getting overly dry. I agree with using sassafrass. It is all my father and I have ever used. Gives a nice smoky but sweet flavor.

11-07-2004, 09:13 PM
Sdeering, it uses the same kit that Northern sells for a double drum woodstove. Some smart fellows figured out how to use it for an alternate purpose.


charlie coghill
11-07-2004, 10:54 PM
Stay away from the plastic lined Refrigerator, unless you like plastic on your food. I lucked out and the plastic did not get on the food but it sure was close.

11-07-2004, 11:03 PM
I failed to mention that I used a digital cooking thermometer with a remote probe to maintain the appropriate temperature inside the smoker. The range for optimum results is fairly narrow.

11-08-2004, 03:40 PM
Try this. I dump a can of corn on a small cookie sheet. I don’t use wood any more to smoke
My dad had used corn cobs, then just a can of corn. My hunch says you will like it.

11-09-2004, 07:33 AM
With the dairy small dairy farms on there way out, the price of the smaller stainless bulk tanks for milk are just right. We have been using one stood on end w/ 5 stainless racks in & fired with propane, cut our own chips for in the tray, Apple, Hickory, & some Sasafras. Cut using a chain saw with the limb , making long chips, from a green limb. Will put a picture on tonight. Myself & the neighbors, let them use it to, you get free samples when there done, probably run 12-15 deer thru it & in trout season we fire back up, trout stink to eat, but not in the smoker.

11-09-2004, 08:01 AM
Hey Tinker2,
a can of corn? Like Libbys corn kernels drained and spread out?

11-09-2004, 06:07 PM
Corn Cobs make a great smoke. Smell a bit strange, but the taste is out of this world. This, apple wood, maple, and oak are New England staples for smoking of meats.

I tried smoking fish and sausage as a poor misguided youth, but had hard time keeping them lit.

11-09-2004, 07:11 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by laddy:
Hey Tinker2,
a can of corn? Like Libbys corn kernels drained and spread out? </font>

Yes. I only drain about half the water out.

11-09-2004, 10:28 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by spope14:

I tried smoking fish and sausage as a poor misguided youth, but had hard time keeping them lit.


I used to be addicted to coke but I got tired of those damned ice cubes getting stuck in my nose.

11-10-2004, 12:26 AM
It may sound goofy, but when I lived in a college apartment, I smoked salmon in a cardboard box. Using a hotplate, I heated a cast iron pan full of wood chips. The salmon was wrapped in cheese cloth and placed on wooden sticks.

It took about eight hours, but I took my time. I can't remember the optimum temperature, seems like it was 160 f or something.

Looking back, a cardboard box isn't such a great idea...chemicals in the glue, etc. Maybe line it with aluminum foil or something...then you'll just get alzheimers.


11-10-2004, 01:17 AM
This is what I have completed so far.Stand for barrel, cut barrel door and welded hinges on.Welded in supports for expanded metal grill and installed grill. Filled up with wood and burned out previous oil and paint. All after a night shift and parenting the first offspring, woe not enough time http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//tongue.gif
Will try to post som pics next week.