The Smokehouse Part 3 – Just about finished

The actual smokehouse needed to be built and it was slowly built on warm days over the winter. Below you see the framing for the smokehouse. On the left is a side and the front is on the right. All four walls were panel built in my garage and stood up and screwed together. If you look closely at the left picture you can see where the bolts from the block are holding the side walls in place.

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Next came making the roof and I cut one 2 x 4 and a piece of OSB plywood to make each truss. It was 2′ long on the left and 6′ long on the right. Then screwed together and then the notches were cut for sitting on the walls and the notches are spaced at 32″ to match the walls.

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Next all three trusses where set into place, as you see on the left. I had the over hang already for the sides and I wanted it to be the same on the front and back to keep more rain off of the siding. So I built it like a house but only gave it 6″ of overhang and not 1′ like a house. On the right you can see how I used pressure treated boards for the outside soffit. When building this I found I needed to trim 1 1/2″ off of each truss so the side soffit boards would sit flush and not show the ends from the front.

Now the drip edge and tar paper were added to cover the OSB plywood that you did not see me put down. I was working steady and forgot to pull my phone out to take a picture. A side note, if your not much into building. Notice the scrap 2 x4’s across the side and the back. Without the siding the framing will wobble in every direction and this stiffens the structure up until the siding will be put on.

Below are pictures of the metal roof for the long and short side. I cut a left over strip of roofing to make the roof cap. If you look at the right picture and see the high raised part, which ended being the very top of the cap. Then I took the angle grinder with a cutting wheel and cut up where the flat spot went to the next small ridge. There are two small ridges between the high ridges. So I had a cap with flat sides to over lap the two pieces. I bent it to shape the to roof angles. It was 2″ longer on each side than the width of the smokehouse and I trimmed the sides then folded them and close up the sides of the cap to keep rain out. My buddy Jerry taught me this trick and it word very nicely. I forgot to take a picture of this, but can add it if anyone asks for it.

I had a test burn and the input for the pipe into the smokehouse was too low in relation to the opening in the firebox. I made the fire box lower than the smokehouse, but I should have made it much lower. 4″ was not enough and I needed to raise the smoke pipe to get better flow. As you see on the left I drilled with a 1/2″ bit with the hammer drill and then beat it out with a masons chisel. That was a fun day and my right forearm really appreciated all the extra work. The right picture shows plastic wrap on the frame as it got cold and I said that is it for winter and spring will continue this project.


We got 3′ of snow earlier this year and the smokehouse held the weight fine. I was going to take a picture but went out to shovel and help the neighbor and it slide off the metal roof before I got to take one. It held the weight of all that snow just fine.

Spring showed up and I got the urge to start working on it again. I know a Mennonite through my one buddy’s that runs a planning mill. I called him and it took a couple of weeks for him and I were both free, but I got over his place and bought some old scrape planned barn wood. These boards were shorter with some nail holes that people didn’t want for other things, but it makes a damn pretty smokehouse. They are old reclaimed barn boards as you can see on the inside of the door from the old sections that didn’t get planed off.

I built the door and added it after the first small strip was added where the hinge would be mounted. Most all the siding is 6″ wide but I had a few 10″ pieces and used one for the door center to reduce the amount of boards and hopefully and door sagging.

Next you can see the inside of the siding and the blocking I installed. The original plan was to install siding horizontally and after thinking a bit, they install barn siding top to bottom to allow rain to run off better, so I decided to so the same. The blocking allowed me to have nailing surfaces between studs.

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The inside bottom showing the smoke pipe and parging covering the top of the block wall.

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Most smokehouses use the roof as the ceiling, but I used OSB plywood and you don’t want that glue in the heat with your food. I cut 2 – 10″ boards and a strip to fill the top up and act as the ceiling.

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The last test burn worked and I got enough flow to generate heat very well. I had to learn to be patient and leave the door cracked until the fire box got good and hot and then I got good air flow and was able to generate heat well in the smokehouse. I exceeded 220° with the door open, but that is way too hot. I was able to keep it at 140°, 150° or 180° depending on how hot I let it get and how I choked the door for air flow. I need to get a better dual heat thermometer or one just for the smokehouse heat temperature, but this worked for now.

I didn’t want a chimney and a guy on a message board told me not to have one chimney, but to evenly let smoke and heat out. I originally figured on a 4″ chimney for air flow but decided to drill 4 holes on each side to make up for this. The guy told me one chimney on one side would make for uneven heating in the smokehouse and hot to warm heating zones. Even venting would make for even heat distribution.

I had planned on drilling one inch hole in 4 places, but I changed to use 1 3/8″ holes and the following is why.

A 4″ chimney has 12.5 sq. in. of space
A 1″ hole is .78 sq. in and x 8 that is 6.24 sq. in and not near as much flow as I might want.
A 1 3/8″ hole is 1.48 sq. in and x 8 that is 11.84 sq. in of space and about the same as the 4″ pipe.

So you can see I could get all most the same flow as the 4″ pipe and twice as much as 1″ holes with a 1 3/8″ hole.

Here is the finished smokehouse with the firewood rack on the right. The firewood rack can handle 2 rows deep of 12″ long fire wood. I don’t need full length pieces like in the house, but I can use them if I needed to in a pinch. Now I just need to get some cherry wood to fill the rack up.

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Next I will show the inside as I have the dowels done to make bologna and snack sticks. I am still working on how I will make jerky trays for it still.



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