Project Concrete Block Smokehouse with a Concrete Floor

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Permanent smokehouses can be made of stone, logs, concrete, or wooden framing members, and should be large enough to meet the needs of an average family (usually a 6' x 8' x 8' structure). For these buildings, a concrete floor is necessary to protect the house from rodents, with concrete footings set below the frost line to insure a sturdy, durable structure. The fire pit, located outside the building, is vented through the floor into the smokehouse.

2 x 6 joist

1 x 6 ridge

8' x 22' vent on both ends (with mesh screen inside)

9558

2 x 6 joist

1 x 6 ridge

8' x 22' vent on both ends (with mesh screen inside)

9558

Block Smokehouse

concrete pier to blow frost line

Figure 11. Concrete block smokehouse.

concrete pier to blow frost line

Figure 11. Concrete block smokehouse.

Experienced builders will have no trouble erecting a permanent smokehouse; less experienced builders may want to consult manuals on masonry and wood-framing techniques.

The Site

The site for a smokehouse should be at least 50' away from other buildings as a fire hazard precaution, especially if you will be building a frame structure. The firebox should be located at least 4' (preferably more) from the smokehouse. The drawings here are for only 4' of tile for the smoke channel; buy additional tile if your firebox is farther away. The firebox smoke hole should be lower than the smokehouse floor smoke hole to facilitate upward smoke movement; the optimum pitch is 30 degrees. Placing the smokehouse on a knoll is also helpful.

The foundation of both the smokehouse and the firebox should extend below the frost line for your area. (This may mean relocating your smokehouse if your soil is full of boulders.) In cold regions with a deep frost line, you will need more sand, gravel, and cement than specified in the list of building materials.

Only a concrete block smokehouse is described in detail; however, the design and foundation for any permanent smokehouse are quite similar (the exception: the foundation walls for the frame building are only 6" wide; for the concrete block building, they are 9" because of the additional weight of the walls). The rest of a log or frame building is erected according to standard building techniques.

-7958"

000 000 000 000

-7958"

000 000 000 000

Masonry Jamb Block

9558'

Figure 12. Concrete block smokehouse floor plan.

9558'

Figure 12. Concrete block smokehouse floor plan.

Materials

Masonry

Concrete: 1:3:5 mix of cement, sand, and gravel

Mortar: 1:3 plus 10% hydrated lime (in total: 14 bags of cement, 1-1/2 cubic yards of sand, 2 cubic yards of gravel, and 65 pounds of hydrated lime)

Amount

145 12

14 52 8 10 10 100 Lumber

Size

8" x 8" x 16" smooth face concrete blocks 8" x 4" x 16" smooth face concrete blocks for the corbel section 8" x 4" x 8" smooth face concrete blocks 8" x 8" x 8" smooth face half concrete blocks 8" x 8" x 16" corner concrete blocks 8" x 8" x 8" lintel blocks 8" x 8" x 16" jamb concrete blocks 8" x 8" x 8" half jamb concrete blocks common bricks

Amount

Size

12 boards

2" x 4"

8'

7 boards

2" x 4"

x 10'

6 boards

2" x 4"

x 6'

1 board

1" x 3"

x 8'

4 boards

1" x 4"

x 10'

1 board

1" x 6"

x 6'

6 boards

1" x 6"

x 7'

1 board

1" x 6"

x 8'

1 board

1" x 6"

x 10'

3 boards

2" x 3"

x 8'

6 boards

2" x 6"

x 7'

2 boards

2" x 6"

x 8'

1 board

2" x 6"

x 10'

3 pieces

1" x 3'

hardwood

120 square feet plywood or board sheathing for roof 1 roll roofing paper shingles or roofing to cover 100 square feet Miscellaneous

Amount Size

8 4" lag bolts

10 J2" x 14" anchor bolt with nuts and washers

1 pair 8" T-hinges

2 pairs 2" x 2" tension hinges

4 linear feet

#30 mesh screening 10" wide

13 lb.

6d common nails

34 lb.

8d common nails

12 lb.

10d common nails

2 lbs.

16d common nails

14 lb.

16d casing nails

20

2" wood screws

hanging hooks (optional)

stucco, stone, or brick facing (optional)

8' rebar

1 latch and strike plate at least 4' of 6" sewer tile and elbow Firebox

7 bags cement, J2 cubic yard sand, K cubic yard gravel 450 common bricks 90 firebricks

4 pieces J4" steel rods 44" long 4 pieces J4" steel rods 36" long

2 pieces 1J4" pipe 36" long 24" x 32" metal sliding door 24" x 48" light gauge metal strip 36" x 44" piece X" hardware cloth hanging hooks (optional)

stucco, stone, or brick facing (optional)

8' rebar

1 latch and strike plate at least 4' of 6" sewer tile and elbow Firebox

7 bags cement, J2 cubic yard sand, K cubic yard gravel 450 common bricks 90 firebricks

4 pieces J4" steel rods 44" long 4 pieces J4" steel rods 36" long

2 pieces 1J4" pipe 36" long 24" x 32" metal sliding door 24" x 48" light gauge metal strip 36" x 44" piece X" hardware cloth

Locating the Smokehouse

1. Decide on the exact location of the 79%" x 9558" smokehouse; then dig the foundation trenches to below the frost line. In firm soil, foundation forms aren't needed for the concrete walls.

2. Locate and mark off for the 44" x 52" firebox. Dig trenches for the fire pit to below the frost line.

Also dig a trench for the 6" tile, remembering to pitch it up towards the smokehouse. Join and place sections of tile in the trench. Attach the elbow so that the pipe will reach through the concrete floor and into the smokehouse.

Cover the floor surface of smokehouse with 4" of M" gravel or broken stone.

3. Pour concrete footings for smokehouse and firebox; let harden. Then level the gravel layer on the smokehouse floor, plug the tile opening with a metal or wooden ring stopper, and pour a 4" concrete slab.

Batter Boards

Figure 13. Mark off the four outside coroners of the foundation wall. Then erect batter boards. Run masons cord between the batter boards and adjust until the line accurately outlines the foundation. Check that the lines are level and the corners are square. Building lines are removed during excavation but can be replaced whenever necessary (step 1).

Figure 13. Mark off the four outside coroners of the foundation wall. Then erect batter boards. Run masons cord between the batter boards and adjust until the line accurately outlines the foundation. Check that the lines are level and the corners are square. Building lines are removed during excavation but can be replaced whenever necessary (step 1).

Firebox Cover

4. The firebox cover is made of concrete. Build a 36" x 44" form from 1 x 6s. Nail the form together and lace on level ground. Along the inside, draw a line 1" down from the top edge. Add a M" sand bed in the bottom of the form to make it easier to remove the slab after the concrete has hardened.

5. From the 24" x 48" metal sheet, cut a semicircle 48" in outside diameter and 36" in inside diameter. You can improvise a compass with a nail, a 30" piece of string, and a magic marker. Rivet the ends of the strip together so that it forms a circle with a 24" diameter and tapered sides. Stake this in the center of the form.

6. On the top of the sand, lay the hardware cloth (you will have to cut an opening for the tapered metal circle). Twist short sections of wire at the joints to lock the reinforcing rods in place, and fit the grid around the metal circle. Let grid rest on top of the hardware cloth.

Dampen the sand and pour in concrete until it reaches the line

Figure 14. The firebox cover is made of poured concrete and leaves an opening for a lid to control combustion rates.
Taj Mahal Plan
Figure 15. The firebox cover is reinforced with 14" steel rods (step 6).

along the inside of the form; do not pour any concrete into the center circle. Allow to harden; then remove the form and metal circle.

7. Use the metal circle to separately cast a 4" concrete lid. Place a sturdy metal handle in the center before the concrete hardens. Once cured, the tapered concrete plug should fit neatly into the center of the concrete lid.

Figure 16. Smokehouse fire pit (step 8).

The Fire Pit

8. Lay up the walls from the footings to the fire pit with common bricks. Thereafter use firebricks for the inner row. A 24" x 28" door opening must be left for access to the fire pit. On top of the firebox, center the 36" x 44" concrete cover and cement into place.

Smokehouse Walls

9. Lay up eight courses of concrete blocks on top of the smokehouse foundation walls. Remember to alternate between jamb and half jamb blocks around the doorway; the 2" x 4" indentation on these blocks is for the door framing which will be added later.

10. Being the ninth row from the doorway and work to either corner. Down the sides set 8" x 4" x 16" blocks on edge and flush with the outside edge of the wall. Mortar the brick corbelling into place on the remaining interior lip. The corbelling makes a strong continuous ledge for the removable 2 x 4 hangers to rest on.

11. Frame the doorway. Some jamb blocks come with predrilled holes to accept lag bolts. If so, use lag bolts to fasten the 2 x 4s to the block walls on either side of the doorway. If you have blocks without predrilled holes, drill them yourself using a mortar bit. Then attach with lag bolts.

brick laid lengthwise

% brick brick laid widthwise

Brick Smoker

Figure 17. Corbel detail (step 10).

plywood scraps (¡2' spacers)

2 x 3 door casing plywood scraps (¡2' spacers)

Casement Door Drawing

2 x 3 door casing

Figure 18. Door framing (step 11). The 2 x 3 door casing is attached in step 18.

Figure 18. Door framing (step 11). The 2 x 3 door casing is attached in step 18.

Cinder Block Smokehouse

Continue laying up the eleventh and twelfth tiers of concrete blocks, setting a lintel of eight lintel blocks and two sections of rebar, each 48" long, over the doorway.

12. After the top tier of blocks has been laid, set the anchor bolts in place. Bolt the 2 x 6 top plate to the concrete walls.

13. To frame the roof, use 2 x 4 x 5' rafters with a 60° plumb cut and spaced on 24" centers. Nail these into the 1 x 6 x 10' ridge.

14. On both gable ends of the smokehouse, there will be a 8" x 22" vent. Frame these using scrap 2 x 4 stock.

15. Cut three 2 x 6 joists to span the distance between the two side walls; they will sit on the top plate. Nail joists into second, third, and fourth sets of rafters.

16. Blocking is necessary before the fly rafters for the overhang can be nailed into place. Cut twelve 2 x 4s to 101/2". Nail these to the existing end rafters at 1' intervals from the ridge. Then nail fly rafters into ridge and into blocking.

How Cut Rafters Roof Pitch
Figure 20. The joists are nailed to the rafters. Joist tops will have to be trimmed to match the angle of the roof pitch.
Lookouts Frame
Figure 21. Nail the fly rafters into the ridge and into the blocking attached to the end rafters (step 16).

The Roof

17. There are different roofing materials available, such as asphalt shingles, hand-split cedar shakes, and metal roofing. You may want the smokehouse roof to match that of your house, or you may have access to leftover roofing materials. The most common method is to sheath the roof with plywood, and cover with felt paper and asphalt shingles.

The Door

18. Align the 2 x 3 casing pieces flush with the outside edge of the door framing and nail into place.

19. Build a 291/4" x 76M" board and batten door out of 1 x 6 and 1 x 3 stock. Mount the hinges 8" from the top and bottom of the door, and lift door into place. Predrill and screw hinges to frame. Then mount the latch and strike plate.

Vent Doors

20. Trim the vent door opening with 2 x 3s. Cut two pieces of plywood to 8" x 22" and hinge to top trim piece using the tension hinges.

Around the inside of the vent opening, staple the wire screening to keep out insects. Close in gable ends with plywood.

Hanger Racks

21. To span the distance between the brick corbelling on the interior side walls, cut six or as many 2 x 4 x 71" hanger racks as you will need. The hangers can be pegged with 1" doweling as in the Box Smoker rack hangers.

For greater capacity in your smokehouse, suspend a tier of lower level hangers on an additional support instead of building the removable bench.

Bench

22. If desired, construct a bench along one wall. Most useful may be a slotted bench of hardwood strips to hold small or delicate foods that cannot hang.

Finishing Touches

23. Heap earth over the tile. Drive two sections of 1/4" pipe into the ground in front of the firebox opening. Slide the metal door into place, and the smokehouse is ready for use.

24. When using the smokehouse, always open the firebox door with a long-handled poker.

The gable vents are opened from the inside with a long pole; the tension hinges will hold them open at the desired angle.

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Responses

  • patrycja
    How to build a smoke house out of concrete blocks?
    8 years ago
  • MALVA
    How to build a small smokehouse from concrete block?
    4 years ago
  • Faith
    How to build a block smoke house?
    3 years ago
  • lemlem
    How to build a concrete block smoke house?
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