Skip to Content

Homemade Diy Cold Smoker – Step By Step Guide

What You’ll Need:

When it comes to building a smoker box, you’ll need a variety of materials to get started. For the wooden components, you’ll require scrap wood in its natural state, as well as cedar boards that will add a rich flavor profile to your smoke. You’ll also need tongue and groove pine paneling for added structure and stability. To hold everything together, you’ll need wood glue, a brad nailer with suitable nails, and screws for additional reinforcement. Don’t forget hinges and a handle or latch for the door, which will provide easy access and secure closure. For a tight seal, include a foam gasket to prevent heat loss. Additionally, you’ll want ventilation drill bits to ensure proper airflow within your smoker. Finally, you’ll need wood finish suitable for food contact, as well as smoking pellets and a tube for generating the perfect smoke. Cooking racks will provide ample space for your meats, while a thermometer ensures precise temperature control.


To embark on this project, start by compiling a list of necessary materials and tools. A crucial consideration when selecting your wooden components is to opt for untreated and unfinished woods, as these will be coming into contact with food. This is essential for maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene.

Building Steps:

Build the Framework

Before constructing the framework of your cold smoker, it’s essential to dismantle the material into individual components – specifically, the legs and crossbeams. To prevent splitting and ensure a seamless build process, take the time to pre-drill precise holes in each piece. With this crucial step complete, you’re now ready to assemble the legs and crossbeams, gradually building a robust structure that will provide the foundation for your smoking endeavors.

Adding Shelves

Measure and mark the precise locations where you’d like to position your shelves within the frame of the legs. Next, select the most suitable scraps of wood to serve as the shelf material. Once you have your shelves cut to size, secure them in place using a combination of wood glue and a brad nailer for a sturdy and efficient assembly process.

Skin the Sides

To ensure a seamless and smoke-tight seal on your smoker’s exterior, opt for tongue and groove pine paneling. The connected panels eliminate potential gaps where smoke could escape, creating a more controlled environment. For added security, use wood glue to bond the paneling to your frame, complemented by brad nails that provide extra holding power.

Construct the Top and Bottom

When designing the overall structure of your project, consider incorporating adjustable vent holes to allow for controlled airflow. To create this feature, attach boards using screws and alternate them with paneling to form a functional ventilation system. This will not only enhance air circulation but also add an aesthetically pleasing element to your design.In terms of the bottom portion, you may opt to use cedar scrap as a finishing touch. However, for added convenience and ease of maintenance, consider making this removable. This simple feature will enable you to quickly clean and maintain the area without having to disassemble the entire project.

Build and Attach the Door

To construct the door, begin by combining it with a cedar board frame that’s securely attached to the paneling. The door should be hinged to the main body of the smoker, allowing for smooth opening and closing.

Next, add a handle and a latch mechanism to the door. To achieve a tight seal when closed, incorporate a foam gasket that provides a snug fit.

Finalize Ventilation

To enhance airflow management, create precise drill vent holes along the sides of your smoker. This will allow for adjustable ventilation, courtesy of sliding tongue-and-groove paneling that effortlessly opens and closes these strategically placed openings.

Apply Finish

When it comes to finishing your outdoor furniture, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between food safety and durability. For the interior surfaces, opt for a finish that meets strict food safety standards, providing a safe and healthy environment for eating and socializing. On the other hand, choose a durable and UV-stable finish for the exterior components, capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and resisting fading or discoloration. To achieve optimal results, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, ensuring that all surfaces are thoroughly coated to provide both protection and an appealing appearance.

Testing Your Cold Smoker

To initiate the smoking process, begin by placing a tube filled with smoking pellets at the base of your setup. Next, ignite the pellets to generate a steady stream of smoke. As you monitor the temperature, make any necessary adjustments to the vents to maintain the optimal thermal environment. With this foundation established, you’re now ready to explore the world of smoked delights by experimenting with a variety of mouth-watering foods!

Video Tutorial

Building a DIY cold smoker is now more accessible than ever, thanks to April Wilkerson’s comprehensive YouTube video tutorial. This visual guide complements the written instructions provided in this blog post, allowing learners to benefit from multiple perspectives and absorb new information at their own pace.

For both novice DIY enthusiasts and seasoned professionals, constructing a cold smoker can be an exciting addition to one’s culinary repertoire. With April Wilkerson’s video tutorial and this guide, you’ll have the tools to elevate your smoking experiences.

Discover 15 Homemade DIY Cold Smokers for Delicious Smoked Meats and Veggies

DIY Mini Cold Smoker with Coffee Maker

image source

Upcycling a coffee maker into a DIY mini cold smoker offers a creative solution for reimagining ordinary objects. This innovative project is an ideal introduction to low-temperature smoking, allowing you to add depth and complexity to your dishes without cooking them through.

Turn an Old Fridge Into a Cold Smoker

image source

Transforming an old refrigerator into a cold smoker is a unique blend of sustainability and innovative cooking. By repurposing this appliance, you’ll gain the ability to smoke substantial amounts of food, ideal for hosting events or preparing meals in advance. This creative approach not only reduces waste but also opens up new possibilities for culinary experimentation.

Homemade Cold Smoker on Budget

image source

Crafting a budget-friendly homemade cold smoker requires creativity and resourcefulness. By leveraging affordable materials, you can create a functional smoker that infuses your favorite dishes with the rich, velvety texture of smoked flavors. Whether you’re looking to elevate cheeses, fish, or meats, this cost-effective approach allows you to achieve professional-grade results without breaking the bank.

Building a Cold Smoker Using Steel and Wood Drum

image source

Crafting a cold smoker using steel and wood drums provides a sturdy foundation for enthusiasts of DIY endeavors. This unconventional approach combines the ruggedness of metal with the rustic charm of wood, resulting in a visually striking structure that will undoubtedly draw attention to any outdoor setting.

Miss Betsys Cold Smoke Generator

image source

Miss Betsy’s cold smoke generator offers a game-changing approach to slow-smoking, effortlessly catering to the needs of both novice and experienced enthusiasts alike. With its intuitive layout, this innovative device simplifies the process of infusing your favorite dishes with rich, velvety smoke flavors.

DIY Wooden Cold Smoker At Home

Embarking on a DIY wooden cold smoker project at home infuses a sense of tradition into your smoking endeavors. The wood’s inherent insulating properties not only maintain a consistent temperature but also impart its unique flavor characteristics to the final product, elevating the overall smoking experience.

How to Make a Cold Smoker

Embarking on the journey of learning to create a cold smoker unlocks a vast array of gastronomical adventures. By grasping the fundamental concepts outlined in this guide, you’ll be empowered to explore diverse culinary creations and innovative pairings using various ingredients and smoking mediums.

BBQ Food Cold Smoke Generator

For BBQ aficionados seeking to elevate their culinary game, a cold smoke generator is an indispensable asset. This innovative device allows foodies to infuse dishes with rich, smoky flavors without the need for actual cooking. Its purpose is to cater to enthusiasts of the slow-cooked art, providing a gateway to the world of cold smoking techniques.

DIY Cold Smoker Using Cardbox

With a dash of ingenuity, transforming a humble cardboard box into a DIY cold smoker is a remarkable demonstration of creative problem-solving. This unorthodox approach to small-scale smoking yields impressive results, making it an excellent choice for curious enthusiasts looking to experiment with the art of cold smoking.

Making a Cardboard Cold Smoker

By repurposing everyday materials, you can create a functional cardboard cold smoker that’s accessible and cost-effective. This DIY approach is ideal for experimenters who want to dip their toes into the world of cold smoking without breaking the bank or committing to complex setup. The simplicity of this project belies its potential to yield delicious results, making it an attractive option for those looking to explore new culinary horizons.

DIY Cold Smoker with Old Refrigerator

By transforming an outdated refrigerator into a DIY cold smoker, individuals can seamlessly merge environmental responsibility with culinary creativity. The resulting setup offers ample room for experimenting with diverse smoking techniques, allowing enthusiasts to craft a wide range of mouthwatering dishes.

How to Build a Cold Smoker Box

Creating a custom cold smoker box from the ground up offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to tailor the setup to suit your unique smoking requirements. Embarking on this DIY endeavor provides an opportunity to dive deeper into the intricacies of cold smoking and develop a hands-on understanding of the process.

Make Your Own Cold Smoke System

Embarking on a DIY cold smoke system project allows you to delve into the fundamental art of smoking, where you can meticulously craft an environment that harmoniously blends smoke and heat to produce unparalleled culinary results.

DIY $1Cold Smoke Generator Design

While the cost of traditional cold smoke generators can be prohibitively expensive, the DIY $1 option offers an accessible and affordable entry point into the world of cold smoking. This ingenious design demonstrates that with minimal investment, you can start exploring the rich flavors and textures that only a well-executed cold smoke can bring.

Free Cold Smoker Plan

For aspiring pitmasters, acquiring a reliable cold smoker plan can be a game-changer. By offering a clear and concise blueprint, even novice DIY enthusiasts can successfully construct a functional cold smoker. This approach eliminates the need for trial-and-error methods, allowing individuals to focus on perfecting their smoking techniques instead.


With the comprehensive guide to building a homemade DIY cold smoker now complete, you’re all set to embark on an exciting adventure in smoke-filled culinary exploration. The step-by-step instructions and valuable tips provided will serve as a reliable guidepost for crafting mouthwatering smoked meats and cheeses in the comfort of your own backyard. As you begin your cold smoking journey, you’ll not only unlock new flavors but also hone your cooking skills and discover the joy of creating delectable dishes at an affordable price.