There’s no point shelling out big bucks just to get a taste of BBQ ribs.

A homemade smoker will do the job just as well.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Cooler or ice chest (must not be made from Styrofoam)
  • Wood chips
  • Electric hot plate
  • Metal cooling rack (3 tier)
  • Cake pan
  • Metal pie tin


Set the hot plate beside the cooler. Set the chord above the cooler. The plug must be on the outside.

Put the cake pan on the base of the cooler. It must be close, but not touching the plate. Ensure the rack can fit in the pan.

Put the pan on the rack. Make sure the rack doesn’t come into contact with the cooler or the plate.

What this homemade smoker will do is use the rack for the meat storage. The cake pan will be used to absorb all the juices.

Now put the food on the rack. Arrange the foods so the smaller ones are at the topmost level. Put the tie pin at the burner (this would be at the hot plate).

Put wood chips in it. Turn the plate on. Shut the cooler but don’t lock the latch. Keep it shut for at least three hours.

Replace the charcoal as needed. Check every hour to see if more wood chips are needed.

Note: you can use soup cans if you don’t have a 3-tier rack. Just put the soup cans on the pan and put the rack there. This type of homemade smoker will work just as well.

Using Cardboard Smokers

Put four stakes and set them on the ground. Space them so the grate will be supported.

Now put a skillet with wood below the grate. Set up the hot plate and the food is going to start smoking.

Do not try this cooking method near the house. Also, make sure you have water or a fire extinguisher nearby.

The box might burst into flames so it’s better to be ready.

Using Kettle Grills

This can be used as a smoker quite easily. Put a brick on one side of the charcoal grate.

Put some briquettes (unlit) and wood in the midst of the grill and brick. Light a few briquettes and wood chips.

Put them above the unlit ones. This homemade smoker can now be used.

Set the food at the other end of the charcoal. The vents can be used to manage the heat.

Using Trash Cans

Needless to say, the can must be new or cleaned thoroughly. You also need a food grate and an electric plate.

Get a cast iron skillet ready too. Aluminum foil and wood chips are needed.

Make a hole in the can. Insert the hot plate in it. Put the chord through the opening you made. Turn it to medium.

Put the wood chips in the skillet. Wrap it with the foil. Set this on the plate. Now place food items on the grate. Turn on the plate and start cooking.

Making homemade smokers doesn’t take too much time. It is certainly cheaper than the ones you see in stores. Best of all, the food tastes just as good.