How to Build a Brick Meat Smoker

by Mason Howard ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • 42 8-inch x 8-inch x 16-inch cinder blocks or fire bricks
  • 32-inch x 32-inch piece of plywood
  • Wire racks or hanging sticks

Smoking meat or fish is a unique way to enhance and add flavor. Smoking your own meat is an involved and highly rewarding process. A brick smoker in your backyard can be used all year, but it is especially enjoyable when used during family and neighborhood gatherings. A brick smoker can be constructed with cinder blocks or fire bricks. It should always be placed on a level, solid surface.

Step 1

Create the base rows of bricks for the smoking chamber. To start the sidewalls, make two parallel rows with two cinder blocks for each row. Space the rows 16 inches apart. To start the back wall, place a perpendicular cinder block on one side, between the sidewall blocks. Leave the front open on this first row. This will be where the fire pit chamber is attached. Place a perpendicular metal lintel across the sidewalls at the front, above the opening to the fire pit, to support the subsequent rows of bricks. You should now have a 32-inch x 32-inch square.

Step 2

Build up the front, back and sidewalls of the smoking chamber with five additional rows of bricks. Stagger and alternate the brick pattern for each row. Cut a 32-inch x 32-inch square piece of wood for the cover.

Step 3

Install the fire pit at the bottom opening of the smoking chamber. Butt two parallel rows with two cinder blocks for each row so they extend forward on either side of the opening. Create the roof for the fire pit by placing three perpendicular bricks on top of the two rows.

Step 4

Place smoking screens for holding the meat or sticks for hanging the meat throughout the chamber by pushing in opposing bricks, just enough to straddle the screen or stick.

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.