how to build an electric smoker

Do you relish smoked foodstuffs but can’t justify the cost of a store-bought electric smoker? Look no further. With this guide on how to build an electric smoker, we’ll teach you how to build one and get smoking delicious meals for the family. We know it sounds daunting at first, so let’s break down what needs to be done: gather materials, assemble the smoker box and install the heating element. Don’t worry if all these terms sound confusing – by the end of this blog post you will have mastered building an electric smoker like a pro. So buckle up – time to learn something new today.

Table of Contents:

Gather the Materials

Constructing an electric smoker is a fantastic way to relish the taste of smoked food without needing to tackle the difficulty of using charcoal or wood chips. Before you get started, it’s important that you have all the materials necessary for building your smoker.

The first item on your list should be a smoker box. Smoker boxes come in many shapes and sizes, so make sure you choose one that fits your needs. If you plan on smoking large cuts of meat, look for a larger box with plenty of room inside. For smaller items like fish or vegetables, opt for something more compact.

Next up is the heating element. This will provide heat to smoke whatever food item you decide to cook in your new electric smoker. Look for an element made from stainless steel as this material won’t corrode over time due to moisture from cooking foods like meats and fish. Make sure it has enough wattage power so that it can generate enough heat when needed – usually, around 1500 watts should do just fine.

Finally, don’t forget about getting a thermometer. It is essential for monitoring temperatures while smoking food so that everything cooks evenly and safely without burning or undercooking any ingredients inside the smoker box itself. There are several types available, including digital models which allow users to set exact temperature settings if desired; these are especially useful if you plan on doing some serious smoking.

Gather your supplies, and get ready to construct the electric smoker. To begin, let’s assemble the smoker box.

Assemble the Smoker Box

Assembling the smoker box is an essential part of smoking food.

Begin by attaching two sides of the smoker box together with screws and nuts using washers as spacers between them. Tighten each nut firmly but not too tightly so that they don’t strip out when tightened further later on in the assembly process. Once both sides are attached securely together, attach one end cap to each side using the same method as above with screws and nuts/washers combination until both ends are secured tightly in place with no gaps or loose parts visible anywhere along edges of smoker box frame itself.

Install the Heating Element

Installing the heating element in your smoker box requires precision and caution; however, the process is relatively simple. To start off, you’ll need to gather the necessary items:

• Heating element

• Screwdriver

• Power source (outlet or extension cord)

Once you have acquired the necessary components, carry out these procedures:

cooking food outdoors

1. Unscrew the screws that secure the heating element in place and remove it from its packaging.

2. Carefully insert the heating element into its designated spot inside of your smoker box and tighten down any screws necessary to keep it securely in place.

3. Connect one end of an extension cord or power outlet cable to the backside of your smoker box and plug it into a wall socket or other power source nearby.

4. Plug in your heating element by connecting one end of another extension cord or power outlet cable to its backside and then plugging this second cable into a wall socket as well for powering up your device properly before use.

That’s all there is to installing a new heating element. Make sure that everything is connected correctly before turning on your device for safety reasons and once you’re ready, enjoy smoking with ease.

FAQs in Relation to How to Build an Electric Smoker

What kind of metal should I use to build a smoker?

When it comes to building a smoker, the best metal to use is stainless steel. It is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for outdoor cooking. Additionally, stainless steel provides excellent heat retention and distribution, ensuring that your food cooks evenly every time. For extra protection against corrosion or fading, you may consider powder-coated stainless steel which offers an additional layer of defence from the elements. With its superior strength and durability, stainless steel is the perfect choice when constructing a smoker.

Can I use a 55-gallon drum as a smoker?

Yes, you can use a 55-gallon drum as a smoker. It is an economical and effective way to smoke food. The large size of the drum allows for ample space to fit larger cuts of meat or fish, making it ideal for smoking large amounts at once. However, there are some important considerations when using this type of smoker such as proper ventilation and temperature control. Additionally, you must ascertain that the drum is constructed from non-toxic elements prior to using it for smoking. 

What kind of wood do you use to build a smoker?

The kind of wood you pick for constructing a smoker is critical – ranging from hardwoods like oak, hickory and mesquite that offer high heat resistance as well as smoky flavour to softwoods such as pine or cedar which can impart an unpalatable taste. With careful selection and proper seasoning techniques, you can create delicious smoked foods with any type of wood.


Learning how to build an electric smoker is a great way to add flavour and convenience to your outdoor cooking. With the right materials, you can easily build a DIY electric smoker that will provide delicious smoked food for years to come. So if you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective way to upgrade your grilling game, why not try building an electric smoker? It’s sure to be a success with those who appreciate the taste of smoked food, and your gatherings will never be the same!

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