The Owner-Builder Network

Massive Cinder Block Pit Smoker For $250

Cinder Block Pit Smoker
A cinder block pit smoker for cooking whole hogs for only $250.

I have always wanted to try barbecuing food in a block pit smoker. I had seen them before but never had the opportunity to use them. Since my last yard task entailed re-stacking all the concrete blocks in my brick pile, I decided to seize the opportunity and re-stacked the blocks in the shape of a smoker.

I was not disappointed! The smoker worked just as well as I had hoped, and the food turned out great. I will definitely be using this method again in the future.

Most people would agree that buying a smoker is a bad idea because it can be quite expensive. A $10,000 cooker is certainly not a wise purchase if you don’t plan on using it very often.

A more budget-friendly option would be a $250 BBQ pit smoker. This would be a more sensible choice for someone who doesn’t plan on using their smoker on a regular basis.

If you’re looking for a summer project that will pay off in deliciousness, why not build your own barbecue pit? You can DIY a barbecue pit for $250 or even less, depending on your material source and the size that you want to build.

This particular project makes use of steel plates, which a lot of us would probably have to buy. But the results will be a sturdier, longer-lasting pit than anything you could purchase pre-made.

Plus, you’ll get to customize it to your own backyard and grilling needs. So if you’re feeling handy and hungry, roll up your sleeves and get started on building your own barbecue pit!

Cinder Block Pit Smoker

What are the advantages of making a Cinder Block Pit Smoker?

Building a cinder block pit smoker offers a unique way to enjoy outdoor cooking. It’s affordable, versatile, and fun. Let’s explore the benefits of creating your cinder block pit smoker.

Easy to Build

Building a cinder block pit smoker stands out for its simplicity. You can quickly assemble one even if you’re not a DIY expert. You only need cinder blocks and basic materials like steel plates and expanded metal. There’s no need for special tools or complex construction techniques. 

You can assemble the smoker by stacking the blocks according to your design. This approach makes it possible to have your smoker ready for cooking in just a few hours. It’s a straightforward project that delivers satisfying results without the hassle.


Regarding cost, a cinder block pit smoker is incredibly economical. Compared to the high prices of commercial smokers, which can run into thousands of dollars, building your smoker for around $250 is a steal. This price includes all the materials you’ll need, from the cinder blocks to the metal components. 

Not only does this save you money upfront, but it also offers long-term savings. Instead of investing in expensive equipment that might not see frequent use, you can create a durable, effective smoker at a fraction of the cost. The cinder block pit smoker is ideal for casual grillers and barbecue enthusiasts.


The cinder block pit smoker’s design shines in its adaptability. Whether you have a spacious backyard or a more compact outdoor space, you can tailor the smoker to fit perfectly. This flexibility also extends to the cooking area; you can design it large enough for big gatherings or smaller for intimate family barbecues. 

Additionally, you can modify the smoker’s height for comfort and efficiency, ensuring you can cook for hours without discomfort. This level of customization not only enhances the cooking experience but also allows the smoker to blend seamlessly with your outdoor decor. It’s an opportunity to create a smoker that meets your culinary needs while adding a personal touch to your outdoor space.


The portability of a cinder block pit smoker is a surprising benefit, given its solid construction. The key to its movability lies in the assembly method. Since the cinder blocks are stacked without mortar, you can easily take the smoker apart and reassemble it in a new location. 

This feature is particularly useful for those who rent their homes, frequently move, or want the flexibility to change their outdoor layout. It also makes the cinder block pit smoker an excellent option for special events or competitions, where you can bring the comfort and flavor of your home cooking to different venues. Despite its heavyweight materials, the smoker’s design ensures it can be transported with some effort, providing stability and flexibility.


The durability of a cinder block pit smoker is unmatched. This smoker is made from cinder blocks and is designed to withstand the rigors of high temperatures and harsh outdoor conditions. These materials are resistant to wear and tear and ensure that your smoker remains functional for years to come. 

With minimal maintenance, such as occasional checks for stability and clearing out ash, your cinder block pit smoker will continue to serve as the centerpiece of your outdoor cooking experiences. This longevity provides exceptional value, making the initial investment in a cinder block pit smoker a wise choice for anyone looking to enjoy endless barbecue sessions without the worry of frequent replacements or repairs.

Enhanced Flavor

One of the most significant advantages of cooking with a cinder block pit smoker is the enhanced flavor it imparts to the food. The smoker’s design allows for even heat distribution and smoke circulation, giving meats a distinct smoky taste that is hard to achieve with other cooking methods. 

By experimenting with different types of wood chips—such as hickory, mesquite, or applewood—you can further customize the flavor profile of your barbecue, adding unique and delicious tastes to every dish. Whether you’re smoking brisket, ribs, or vegetables, the cinder block pit smoker ensures that your food is cooked to perfection and enriched with the deep, smoky flavors that barbecue enthusiasts crave.

Easy to Clean

Maintaining a cinder block pit smoker is incredibly easy, thanks to its straightforward design. Unlike traditional grills or commercial smokers that feature numerous parts and complex mechanisms, the cinder block pit smoker boasts a simple structure with no intricate components. This simplicity makes cleaning a breeze. 

Once you’re done cooking, accessing all areas of the smoker for a thorough clean-up is hassle-free. You can quickly remove ash and food residues, ensuring that your smoker is ready for its next use. This ease of cleaning not only saves time but also helps maintain the smoker’s performance, allowing you to enjoy delicious barbecues without the dread of post-cooking cleanup.

Building a cinder block pit smoker combines the joy of DIY projects with the love of outdoor cooking. It’s an affordable, efficient, and enjoyable way to prepare delicious smoked dishes.

What are the materials needed to make a Cinder Block Pit Smoker?

You’ll need these materials:

  • 48 Cinder Blocks
  • 2pcs 4 x 4′ 16 gauge Steel Plate
  • 1 2 x 4′ gauge Steel Plate
  • 4′ x 80″ Expanded Metal
  • Working Gloves
  • Mortar (optional)

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer  8-)

Here’s a quick video…

Safety Measures When Using a Cinder Block Pit Smoker

Using a cinder block pit smoker can transform your outdoor cooking experiences, offering delicious flavors and a unique way to entertain. However, safety is paramount when dealing with fire and high temperatures. Here are essential safety measures to ensure your barbecuing is enjoyable and secure.

Choose a Safe Location

Selecting an appropriate location for your cinder block pit smoker is crucial for safety and enjoyment. It’s essential to place the smoker in an open, well-ventilated area to prevent smoke accumulation, which can be hazardous to health and uncomfortable for you and your guests. 

Ensure the smoker is far from any buildings, wooden decks, trees, or combustible materials to reduce the risk of spreading fire. An ideal location is on a non-flammable surface like concrete or bare soil, where the risk of fire spreading is minimized. 

Additionally, consider the direction of prevailing winds to ensure smoke is carried away from your home and gathering areas. This careful placement safeguards your property and the environment and enhances the overall barbecue experience by keeping the air around your dining area clean and breathable.

Use Proper Materials

The materials you choose for your cinder block pit smoker play a significant role in food safety and the quality of your cooking experience. When selecting cinder blocks and steel plates for construction, it’s vital to ensure they are suitable for high-heat cooking and do not release harmful substances. 

Opt for cinder blocks that have not been treated with chemicals, as these substances can become airborne or leach into your food when heated. Similarly, the steel plates used within the smoker should be food-grade. Avoid using galvanized steel or plates with coatings that could emit toxic fumes when exposed to high temperatures. 

Investing in the right materials for your cinder block pit smoker not only ensures the safety of your food but also contributes to the durability and longevity of your smoker, allowing you to enjoy countless barbecue sessions without health concerns.

Monitor Fire Constantly

Constant vigilance is key when using a cinder block pit smoker. Leaving the smoker unattended, even briefly, can lead to dangerous situations, such as fire spreading beyond the intended area or sudden flare-ups. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on the fire, adjusting the fuel and airflow as needed to maintain a steady temperature and prevent overheating. 

Regular monitoring allows you to react quickly to any changes, reducing the risk of accidents. This practice ensures the safety of the immediate area around the smoker and protects your property and the wellbeing of everyone present. By staying alert and responsive, you can enjoy the cooking process and ensure a safe, controlled environment for your barbecue.

Wear Protective Gear

The importance of wearing protective gear while operating a cinder block pit smoker cannot be overstated. The high temperatures involved in smoking and grilling and the potential for sparks and hot surfaces pose a risk of burns. 

Protective gloves are essential for handling hot utensils, adjusting grills, or adding fuel, providing a barrier against heat and preventing direct contact with hot surfaces. Long sleeves offer additional protection for your arms, shielding your skin from sparks and radiant heat. 

Choosing the right protective clothing from fire-resistant materials can significantly reduce the risk of burns and injuries. This precaution ensures your safety and makes the cooking experience more enjoyable, allowing you to focus on preparing delicious barbecue without the concern of getting hurt.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

A fire extinguisher within easy reach is a critical safety measure when using a cinder block pit smoker. Fires can escalate quickly, and having the means to extinguish them immediately can prevent a minor incident from becoming a major disaster. Choosing a fire extinguisher rated for all types of fires is advisable, ensuring it’s suitable for any situation. 

In addition to a fire extinguisher, keeping a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby can offer a quick solution for smaller fires or flare-ups. This preparedness not only ensures your safety and the safety of those around you but also protects your property from potential fire damage. Familiarize yourself with using a fire extinguisher properly before you begin cooking, so you can act swiftly and efficiently in an emergency.

Educate Yourself and Others

Knowledge is a powerful tool in ensuring the safe operation of your cinder block pit smoker. Taking the time to learn about proper smoking techniques, fire management, and safety precautions is essential. This knowledge becomes even more crucial when others are involved in the cooking process or are present near the smoker. 

Ensure that everyone who helps with the smoker or is nearby understands the basics of fire safety and knows what to do in an emergency. This includes knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, maintaining a safe distance from the smoker, and recognizing the signs of an uncontrolled fire. 

Educating yourself and others minimizes the risk of accidents and enhances the enjoyment of the cooking experience, as everyone can relax knowing they are prepared to handle any situation that arises.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Cinder Block Pit Smoker

Picking the site for your cinder block pit smoker is crucial for safety and enjoyment. The perfect spot ensures your barbecue sessions are enjoyable and safe for everyone involved. Here’s how to select the best location for your smoker.

Ensure Level Ground

Your smoker must be on stable, level ground to function correctly and safely. Uneven surfaces can cause instability, which might lead to accidents. A flat area also makes it easier to construct and use your smoker.

Think About Accessibility

Position your smoker in a easily accessible spot without regular yard traffic. You should be able to move around it freely and access it without obstacles, making it easier to cook and entertain.

Consider the Wind Direction

Be mindful of the prevailing wind direction in your yard. Placing your smoker downwind from your house and seating area prevents smoke from blowing directly toward you and your guests.

Check Local Regulations

Before building, check any local codes or regulations regarding outdoor cooking and fire safety. Some areas have specific rules about the distance of cooking apparatus from structures or property lines.

FAQ on Cinder Block Pit Smoker

What is a cinder block pit smoker?

A cinder block pit smoker is an outdoor cooking apparatus constructed from cinder blocks. It’s designed for smoking and grilling food, offering a unique flavor profile thanks to the smoke from wood or charcoal.

How much does it cost to build a cinder block pit smoker?

Building a cinder block pit smoker is highly cost-effective. On average, the materials required can cost around $250, making it a budget-friendly option compared to commercial smokers.

Is building a cinder block pit smoker difficult?

No, it’s quite easy to build a cinder block pit smoker. You don’t need advanced DIY skills or special tools, making it a great project for beginners.

Can I customize my cinder block pit smoker?

Yes, one of the advantages of a cinder block pit smoker is its customizability. You can adjust the size, shape, and features to meet your specific cooking needs and space requirements.

How do I choose the right location for my cinder block pit smoker?

Select a well-ventilated, open area away from structures, trees, and flammable materials. Ensure the ground is level and consider the direction of the wind to keep smoke away from your home and guests.

What materials will I need to build a cinder block pit smoker?

The basic materials include cinder blocks, steel plates for the grill area, and optionally, expanded metal for the grates. Ensure all materials are safe for cooking and free from harmful chemicals.

How do I maintain and clean my cinder block pit smoker?

Maintenance is straightforward. After use, let the smoker cool down, then remove ash and food debris. Regularly check for stability and wear, adjusting or replacing blocks as necessary.

Is a cinder block pit smoker safe to use?

Yes, when used correctly and with the proper safety measures in place. Always monitor the fire, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, wear protective gear, and ensure the smoker is placed in a safe location.

Can I move my cinder block pit smoker?

While cinder block pit smokers are sturdy, they can be disassembled and moved if needed. This makes them a flexible option for those who might want to change locations or transport their smoker to events.


Constructing and using a cinder block pit smoker offers a unique and satisfying way to enjoy outdoor cooking. Its cost-effectiveness, ease of construction, customization options, and delicious flavors it impart to food make it an excellent choice for barbecue enthusiasts. Following the safety measures and choosing the right location can ensure a safe and enjoyable cooking experience for years.

Are you still looking for cheap methods of making great ingredients? Check out our DIY solar food dehydrator project next!


Search All Projects:


Our Deal For Today!

Your details will never be shared with any third party. Unsubscribe at any time with a single click.

The posts on this site sometimes contain an affiliate link or links to Amazon or other marketplaces. An affiliate link means that this business may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through those links.