(DIY) How To Make A Smoker At Home? 

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Do you love the smokey flavor in meat and other vegetable skewers, especially during cold winter nights? Have you been contemplating getting your hands on a smoker but can’t manage to get one due to its high prices? Well, you can now make your own smoker at home. 

To make a smoker at home, you can use a flower pot that’s lying around on your lawn or an empty gas tank, a drum that you can find in the storeroom, or a cabinet smoker. 

Other things that can help you make a DIY smoker include old wooden pallets, a trash can, aluminum foil baking pans left spare in your kitchen, and a propane tank. 

I have compiled an extensive guide for you containing some simple step-by-step methods to make a smoker on your own. I will try to include multiple DIY methods for you in this guide so you can choose from a wide range of options. 


Methods To Make Smoker At Home 

If this is your first attempt to make a smoker at your home and you have no idea how this could be done, the 2 step-by-step methods explained below will help you perform this task without much hassle. 

Method #1: Using a Flower Pot 

The first method you can use to make a smoker at your home without spending too much money on the stuff needed is to use the empty flower pot you might find lying around in your lawn. 

Materials Required 

Here are the materials you are going to need to make a smoker using a clay planter or flower pot. 


The tools that you will need along the process to make a smoker using the planter at your home are as follows: 

  • A drill along with a bit (size is flexible) 
  • Hammer 
  • Dremel and a cutter 
  • Needle Nose Plier 
  • Screwdriver 

Here is the list of all the materials that are needed: 

  • Planter or flower pot. 
  • Planter top – Some clay pots come with a lid or top, but if yours doesn’t have one, you can search the market to find one. 
  • Burner 
  • Stainless Steel Pan – 2 
  • Grill Grate 
  • Thermometer 
  • Wood chunks 

Step #1: Removing Burner 

You first need to disassemble a burner to make a smoker at home using a planter or clay pot. For this, you need a screwdriver and some pliers. Here is what you need to follow next: 

  1. Hold the bolt of the burner down using the piler and take off the screw. 
  2. Trace the wires that are coming towards the burner. 
  3. Separate the wires from the burner. 
  4. Once the wires are removed, remove the plastic holding the cord in its place. 
  5. Now, remove the burner and keep it on the side. 

Step #2: Installing Coil In Planter 

Now that you have successfully disassembled a burner to fix the planter, you need to install a coil in the pot to fix the burner inside it. For this, the following are the steps you need to go through: 

  1. Place the coil on the bottom side of the planters. 
  2. Take the wires needed to fix the burner and pass them through the hole at the bottom of the planter. 
  3. Connect all the wires to the right and make ends. 
  4. If you find the coil inside the pot to be unbalanced, use a wedge to balance it. 

Step #3: Cutting the Handle 

You must have seen how I made stainless steel pans a part of the required materials. Now is the time to cut off the handle of both pans using a Dremel. 

Step #4: Making a Hole 

Take the top covering of the planter and make a hole in the center of the lid using a 3/16 drill bit. Ensure to keep the hole as big as the size of a standard thermometer. 

Step #5: Building a Smoker 

Now that you have collected everything needed to make a smoker, it’s time to assemble them. Keep the burner you have previously disassembled in the planter and top it off with the pan. 

Add large wooden chunks into the pan before putting the grill gate over it. Now close the lid and insert a large-sized thermometer through the hole on the top into the planter. Ta-da! Your homemade smoker is ready. 

Method #2: Using Oil Drum 

You can also use an empty oil drum lying around in your store room to make a smoker at your home. Here are the steps that need to be followed for this: 

Step #1: Drilling the Holes 

The first step involves drilling all the holes needed to make the smoker. Start off by drilling 4 holes around all sides of the oil drum. Keep a distance of 7 inches from the top and use a drill to make four ¼ inches holes into a 55-gallon drum. 

Now, drill holes around all sides of the drum, and this time, leave a distance of 4 inches from the bottom. Once you have made holes into the drum that are evenly separated, screw bolts into each one separately. 

Step #2: Installing Pipe Nipples 

Install or screw pipe nipples into the exhaust holes you have drilled into the drum. Keep the length of these nipples around 3.75 inches, and top two of them off with matching pipe caps. For the remaining pipe nipple, attach a bail valve of 0.75 inches to it.

Step #3: Regulating the Inside Temprature 

After being done with the external changes you need to make in the drum to build a smoker, a few things need to be adapted to regulate the inside temperature of the oil drum. For this, drill numerous holes measuring 8.35 inches in the lid of the drum and its handle. 

Ensure to keep these holes at a significant distance from each other as they will allow the smoke inside the drum to escape from it. This, eventually, works in regulating the inside temperature of the drum. 

Now, drill 2 other holes towards the center of the lid and fix a handle on it. This will make it easier for you to remove the lid later on when needed. Don’t forget to insert a grill thermometer into any of the top holes for temperature monitoring at this point. 

Step #4: Adding Charcoal Basket 

Put 4 to 5 bricks on the floor of the oil drum and set a charcoal basket on them. Due to the presence of bricks under the charcoal basket, the air flows up into the basket, maintaining a smooth and continuous burning. 

Step #5: Placing the Grill Grate 

As the main purpose here is to build a smoker, it won’t be possible without adding a grill grate. Fix the grill gate above the charcoal basket using nuts and bolts. This way, the grate keeps the meat safe from fire and gives it the desired smokiness. 


Conclusion – (DIY) How to Make a Smoker at Home? (2 Simple Methods) 

Though many different methods can be used to make a smoker at home, I have included the top 2 methods that I find most successful and affordable. These smokers aren’t only super easy to make, but thanks to their sturdiness, they will last you a lifetime. 

Hopefully, this guide will help you make your own smoker and arrange a bbq party at your palace the next time. Have a good day! 


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