View Full Version : Home made smoker ?

07-11-2007, 09:42 AM
Hi everyone

I'm considering making a home made smoker, Recently a very old 50ltr beer keg came into my posession, I bought a bunch of home brew stuff off a bloke and as I was leaving he said here, have this too.

I was thinking of making into a brazier style of thing to have a small fire in the back yard in winter when I have a BBQ or something, but then I thought what the... why not a smoker for fish etc ?

Any ideas appreciated, I can weld basic stuff (stick weld)


Russell ;)

07-11-2007, 10:04 AM
G'day Russell,

I've also been trying to find a 50 litre beer keg myself but no such luck, I had one supplier say yes, then at the last minute no can do. If its the stainless steel one with the centre shaft then this is the go.

I had two of these 10 years ago, one I kept and was stolen later, the other was given to someone else before mine got stolen.

Anyway, take the centre shaft out carefully as it will be under pressure..about halfway mark cut the keg in equal diameter with an angle grinder. You can use the bottom to place your favourite wood for smoking in and use the top as your lid. On the bottom half, closer towards the centre you can either weld or bolt in three equally spaced cake rack holders then use a cake rack to put your fish on and you can also put in place 3 hook holders on the top half so you can hang your fish down also.

On the bottom half you can weld 3 or 4 legs high enough from the ground to support a single large gas ring.

On the top haf make sure you have a cover plate over the centre hole, this serves to keep the smoke and heat confined inside the keg, when finished smoking you can open the cover hole flap to release built up heat and smoke prior to removing top half of keg, this will minimise risk of heat burn on your skin.

I've made these and they work and you can take the buggers anywhere as long as you have a gas bottle. I hope this info is of use to you.

Also when you cut the keg in half, you might have to adjust the bottom or top to ensure that the top can slip back over the bottom without effort, it should be a easy but not too tight a fit.


07-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Just a work of caution, you might want to do some research on your chosen build material before going ahead. I was going to do something similar using galvanised sheet metal I already had lying around. After some googling, I discovered the zinc in it would eventually make you a very sick puppy.


07-11-2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks Peter for your informative reply, thats great, and thanks also for the PM, if I hear of any doing the rounds I will let you know ;)

Freddofrog (giving me chocolate cravings) thank you for the advice, I know what you mean, but stainless steel should be safe I think.. it is food grade after all for beer (I guess)
KNow what you mean though, I was welding some gal steel a few years back to repair a boat trailer and I felt quite crook afterwards

Cheers guys, this is what I love about this site, someone always able to answer questions and help!

07-11-2007, 11:17 AM
G'day Russell

Have a look at this thread in Recipes and it gives you heaps of great info on exactly what your asking:


and you're right...the help you get on this site is fantastic!!


07-11-2007, 12:14 PM
The beer keg option sounds pretty good. Another cheap option is to track down old Kettle BBQ's, Webbers etc which make great smokers as well. When we lived in Brisbane there was always a ready supply at the Salvos in Red Hill for next to nothing.

Regards Cameron.

07-11-2007, 12:37 PM
Good point Cameron, I actually gave my weber away about a year ago coz I never used it (dang fool am I ?)
Anyway, I am in for a bit of DIY adventure in my older years so making one sounds like a challenge :o)

Geoff, thanks for the link matey

07-11-2007, 12:48 PM
Google up Smoker ovens , lots of good designs . cheap as chips some of em

07-11-2007, 06:12 PM
I use an old fridge turned upside down.Small holes cut between the compartments is all you need.Light the fire out side in a crate and put it in after its covered with the desired wood a bit on the wet side.Once shut it wont catch fire ,since its airtight.

07-11-2007, 08:04 PM
DirtyS. why don't you use the webber as a hot smoker and turn that beauty of a thing "the keg" into a cold smoker, and it wouldn't be too hard to do it either. Cold smoke food is my prefer choice.

jez and suze
08-11-2007, 06:07 AM
there is a keg lying in the garden on the opposite side of the road on the south side of manly train station........cnr ernest and curtis st......probebly still there.

08-11-2007, 08:41 AM
I've got one I found on the edge of some cane after a flood.Been keeping it till I think of something good to do with it.

08-11-2007, 08:48 AM
Interesting responses, thanks fellas
I actually was thinking of cutting it length ways & welding hinges on it but the idea of keeping it upright & putting the fire in the chamber below is solid. Heat beads would be easiest, then the smoke wood.
Would I need to drill a couple of air holes ?