The Owner-Builder Network

Charming & Versatile Cedar Smokehouse: 9-Step Build

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by teamobn

DIY Cedar Smokehouse
DIY Cedar Smokehouse

Do you like smoked meat? Smoking offers a lot of advantages. Not only do you get great-tasting food, but smoking also acts as a natural preservative. You’ll know that what you serve to your family and friends is delicious, healthy, and safe.

What is a Cedar Smokehouse?

A structure where meat is hung and smoked with cedar wood is called a cedar smokehouse. Many ethnic cultures have been using cedar smokehouses for ages. The unconventional taste explosion as cedar smokehouses reveal flavors you can’t get anyplace else.

But that’s not all! Beyond the taste sensation, these smoke havens are your secret weapon in preserving meats in style, ensuring your flavors last for an epic duration. Say goodbye to ordinary cooking; with cedar smokehouses, your meats are not just cooked – they’re stars of a timeless flavor show!

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Picture this: a flavor-packed delight that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also plays the long game. How? The smoking process dehydrates the meat, throwing a curveball at bacteria and making it last for months, even years!

Although smoked meat is a favorite around the world, it is particularly popular in the US and Canada. Usually manufactured from cow, this kind of cured meat can also be made from lamb, pig, or mutton.

The meat is cured for a few hours, normally, using a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices. Thereafter, it is smoked.

Although it’s not hard to build a cedar smokehouse, you should know a few things before you begin.

You must first decide where to put your smokehouse. Selecting a spot that is distant from your home or any other structure is crucial. You don’t want the smoke from the smokehouse to enter your home or any other structures because it can be an annoyance.

Secondly, ensure that the site you select has adequate drainage. There will be a lot of moisture produced by the smokehouse, and you don’t want it to build up and cause chaos.

Cuisinart COS-118, Vertical Charcoal Smoker, 18"

Thirdly, you must ensure that the site you select is level. To make sure it cooks evenly, the smokehouse must be set on a flat surface.

The one featured here is made from very simple materials, using basic tools – and it’s been built by a self-professed amateur! By following the instructions in the link below this gallery, you’ll be able to make your own regardless of your skill levels.


The nicest thing about building it yourself is that you can fit the smokehouse in your yard because you may alter its size. Using locally available, inexpensive, and plentiful materials will also help you keep costs down. And you don’t need to pay extra for the services of a contractor building it for you.

By the way, have you tried smoking cheeses or mushrooms? Yum!

Smoking the Perfect Flavours

1. Cedar Sensation

Choose fragrant cedar wood; it’s not just for decoration! Your culinary creation has an additional dimension of flavor from the unique scent. Consider making an aromatic masterpiece instead of just building a smokehouse. it’s the key component that gives your recipes an extra taste dimension.

Imagine your meats and vegetables infused with an alluring aroma that transforms every mouthful into a delightful voyage of smoke. Select cedar not merely as wood but also as the fragrant storyteller that turns it into a flavor-filled oasis.

2. Size Matters

Consider the size of your smokehouse. A compact design conserves heat, while a larger one allows more culinary adventures. Choose based on your smoking goals.

For those craving an intimate culinary experience, embrace the compact design. It is the heat-conserving cocoon that ensures each bite is infused with precision and warmth. Enjoy cozy family dinners or romantic evenings under the stars, the compact smokehouse is your culinary haven.

On the flip side, dream big! A larger smokehouse isn’t just a structure; it’s a canvas for your epic culinary adventures. Imagine the possibilities – racks filled with an array of meats, veggies, and delights waiting to be transformed by the smoky embrace. It’s not just about square footage; it’s about crafting a stage for culinary grandeur.

3. Perfect Planks

Ensure your cedar planks are untreated and free from chemicals. You want pure cedar goodness infusing your dishes.

Gold standard assurance: When handpicking your cedar planks, insist on the gold standard – untreated and free from any chemicals. This isn’t just a preference; it’s a culinary commitment to ensure that your cedar planks are a pristine canvas, ready to absorb and impart the pure magic of cedar to your dishes.

Imagine your planks as sacred conduits, untouched by chemicals and ready to weave a tale of pure cedar bliss through every bite.

4. The Flavor Dance

Experiment with different wood chip flavors. Mesquite, apple, or cherry – each adds a unique dance of flavors to your smoked delicacies.

Mesquite Marvel – Unleash mesquite’s bold and robust notes, infusing your meats with a hearty and savory essence. Picture the lively two-step southwestern charm that adds a touch of cowboy flair to your smoked dishes.

Apple Bliss – Envision the sweet and fruity waltz of apple wood chips, imparting a delicate and delectable aroma to your culinary masterpieces. It’s the elegant dance of sweetness that transforms your smoked delights into a heavenly experience.

Cherry Charisma – Let the subtle charm of cherry wood chips take center stage, bringing a hint of fruitiness to the gastronomic dance floor. Picture the sophisticated tango that adds a touch of elegance to your smoked dishes.

5. Patience Pays

Smoking is an art that requires patience. Allow your dishes to absorb the smoky goodness slowly for maximum flavor impact.

The Artful Pause: Smoking isn’t a sprint; it’s a slow, tantalizing waltz of flavors. Embrace the artful pause, allowing your dishes to leisurely absorb the smoky goodness. Picture it as a culinary meditation, where each moment adds another layer of complexity to your masterpieces.

Flavor Infusion Extravaganza: Patience isn’t just about waiting; it’s about savoring the journey. Allow every nuance of flavor in the smokey environment to be absorbed by your dishes. A leisurely dance of flavor infusion makes sure that every mouthful is a palate-lingering symphony of flavors.

Maximum Flavor Impact: Slow and steady wins the flavor race! Allowing your dishes to absorb the smoky goodness slowly is the key to achieving maximum flavor impact. Picture it as a culinary crescendo, where each moment builds toward a symphony of taste that leaves an everlasting impression.

6. Culinary Symphony

Use your smokehouse to make a symphony of flavors. Experiment with various meats, vegetables, and even cheeses for a diverse culinary experience.

Explore various types of meat, from the deep bass of beef to the tender serenades of poultry. Picture your smokehouse as a concert hall where each meat cut performs its savory solo, creating a melody that resonates with richness.

Elevate your flavor repertoire with a colorful array of vegetables. Let the vibrant hues and textures dance together, forming a visual and flavorful feast. Your smokehouse transforms into a garden of delights, with vegetables contributing their unique taste.

Add a touch of sophistication to your culinary composition by exploring the world of smoked cheeses. From creamy brie to the sharp crescendo of cheddar, infuse each bite with a melody of richness. Your smokehouse becomes a cheese maestro, orchestrating a crescendo of smoky flavors.

7. Cleanup Choreography

Keep your smokehouse in top-notch condition with regular cleaning. A well-maintained smokehouse ensures consistent and delectable results.

Kick off your cleanliness jam by giving all surfaces of your smokehouse a regular wipe-down. A sparkling clean surface sets the stage for flavor brilliance, allowing each dish to shine with its unique taste.

8. Spice it Up

Infuse your culinary masterpiece with flavor by placing herbs, spices, or citrus on the grates. It’s the perfect way to add an extra kick.

Infusing herbs in oil is a popular method that can be used to add flavor to your dishes. To make an infused oil, you can start by finely chopping your clean, dry herb and placing it in a lidded glass jar. Then, add pure plant oil such as olive, sunflower, coconut oil, or almond oil to the jar.

Get ready to be the maestro of your backyard BBQ with these cedar smokehouse tips. Let the smoky symphony begin!

How to Build a Cedar Smokehouse

Ready to merge traditional craftsmanship? Embark on the journey of building a cedar smokehouse. Are you excited to taste a symphony of flavors that will turn your backyard into a culinary oasis? Gather the materials to get started.

You’ll need these materials:

  • 2 x 4 Cedar Wood
  • Black Stove Pipe
  • Stove Door
  • Concrete Blocks
  • Clay Bricks
  • Fire Bricks
  • Fire Clay
  • Mortar
  • Bolts
  • Door Hinges
  • Door Knob
  • Bolt Lock
  • 2-1/2 inch Deck Screws
  • Wood Screws
  • 3 pieces 16 Gauge Steel Plates
  • Metal Mesh

And these tools:

  • Trowel
  • Electric Drill
  • Handsaw
  • Power Drill/Driver
  • Level

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 😎

Follow the step-by-step procedure:

Step 1: Dream It, Sketch It

Unleash your inner architect and sketch out your dream smokehouse. Whether it is sleek and vertical or robust and horizontal, let your style set the stage.

Step 2: Cut, Assemble, Conquer

Time to turn those sketches into reality! Cut your cedar planks and plywood, then assemble the frame. Secure it with screws and nails – your smokehouse is taking shape.

Step 3: Chamber Charm

Insert metal grates or racks for your culinary masterpieces. Ensure they are snug to experience the flavorful performance about to unfold.

Step 4: Door Drama

Install a door with hinges for easy access. Elevate the style with handles – because even your smokehouse deserves a touch of flair.

Step 5: Let It Breathe

Drill small ventilation holes near the top for the perfect airflow. You want that smoky goodness to waltz around your mouthwatering masterpieces.

Step 6: Temp Control

Attach an outdoor thermometer inside to keep an eye on the smoking temperature. Precision is your secret weapon for culinary perfection with your cedar smokehouse.

Step 7: Seal the Flavor Deal

Seal any gaps with heat-resistant materials for your cedar smokehouse to keep that delicious smoke right where it belongs – enveloping your gastronomic wonders.

Step 8: Aesthetics & Awesomeness

Give your smokehouse a personal touch with a splash of outdoor-friendly paint or sealant. It is not just protection; it is a statement.

Step 9: Fire It Up!

The grand finale is here – fire up your cedar smokehouse, throw in some wood chips, and let the smoky spectacle begin. Get ready to be crowned the BBQ monarch of your neighborhood.

Bonus Tip: Safety First

Place your cedar smokehouse in a well-ventilated outdoor space away from anything flammable. Remember, good things come to those who wait – so be patient and let the flavors unfold.

There you have it – your ticket to cedar smokehouse BBQ glory! With a dash of imagination and a sprinkle of craftsmanship, you will be savoring the sweet success of your very own cedar smokehouse. Happy smoking!

Thanks to Smoking Meat Forums for sharing tips on how to make a cedar smokehouse!

If you liked this project, you will also like viewing these outdoor kitchen ideas…

Cedar Wood Selection Guide for Your Cedar Smokehouse

Choosing the right cedar wood for your cedar smokehouse is crucial for both the durability of the structure and the flavor of your smoked foods. This cedar wood selection guide will help you make the best choice for your cedar smokehouse, ensuring delicious results every time.

Selecting the Right Cedar Variety for Your Cedar Smokehouse

When building or maintaining your cedar smokehouse, the choice of cedar wood is vital for both the integrity of the structure and the quality of the smoke flavor. Cedar wood, renowned for its durability and aromatic properties, comes in various types, each suited to different preferences and needs.

Western Red Cedar is a top choice for many cedar smokehouse enthusiasts. Its exceptional durability and resistance to decay make it perfect for withstanding outdoor conditions, ensuring your cedar smokehouse remains sturdy for years. More than just its resilience, 

The Western Red Cedar imparts a mild, sweet smoke that subtly enhances the flavor of your smoked meats without overwhelming them. This makes it an ideal choice for those who appreciate a delicate cedar smoke touch in their foods.

For those who desire a stronger flavor profile in their smoked foods, Eastern Red Cedar presents a compelling alternative. Known for its more potent aroma and flavor, Eastern Red Cedar can infuse your smoked foods with a robust cedar smoke essence, making it a favorite among those looking to elevate their smoking game. 

This variety of cedar wood adds an adventurous twist to traditional smoking, offering a bolder cedar smoke profile that can transform ordinary recipes into extraordinary culinary experiences.

Moisture Content and Age for Cedar Smokehouse Wood

Selecting cedar wood with the appropriate moisture content and age is crucial for achieving optimal smoking results in your cedar smokehouse.

Seasoned cedar wood, which has been allowed to dry and reduce its moisture content, is the gold standard for cedar smokehouses. This drying process ensures that the cedar wood burns more evenly and produces a consistent, manageable smoke. 

Such uniform burning is essential for imparting a balanced cedar smoke flavor to your foods, enhancing their taste without the risk of overpowering them. Seasoned cedar wood not only contributes to the flavor quality but also to the efficiency of your cedar smokehouse, making it a crucial element for successful smoking sessions.

The age of the cedar wood plays a significant role in determining the intensity and character of the smoke produced. Older cedar wood tends to offer a more concentrated cedar smoke flavor, providing an enriched experience for your smoked foods. 

This aged cedar wood can introduce a deeper, more complex smoke profile, adding layers of flavor to meats, cheeses, and other smokehouse delicacies. Selecting cedar wood of the right age allows for a tailored smoking experience, enabling you to fine-tune the flavor intensity to match your personal preference or the specific requirements of the foods you are smoking.

Grain and Source of Cedar Wood for Your Smokehouse

The grain of the cedar wood, including whether it’s straight, wavy, or knotty, impacts how it burns in your cedar smokehouse. Cedar wood with a straight grain is generally preferred for its predictable burning and smoke production. The source of your cedar wood is also important. Opting for locally sourced cedar for your cedar smokehouse not only ensures the wood’s freshness but also supports sustainable practices and gives you insight into its origins.

Safety and Treatment of Cedar Wood for Smokehouses

Ensuring the cedar wood for your cedar smokehouse is untreated and free from chemicals is paramount for the safety of your smoked foods and your health. Treated cedar wood can release harmful substances when burned. For the best and safest smoking results in your cedar smokehouse, always choose natural, untreated cedar wood.

The Wrap Up

Unleash your inner grill maestro with this cedar smokehouse guide – a roadmap from handpicking the finest wood to crafting meats that dance with mouthwatering aromas. This is not just a DIY guide; it is your golden ticket to flavor-packed perfection.

Get set to send surges of savory goodness into the air and transform into the backyard BBQ legend you were destined to become! So, fire up those grills, let the aromas swirl, and revel in the joy of becoming the neighborhood BBQ virtuoso. Happy smoking – because your journey to culinary greatness starts!

This guide will help you select the best wood and infuse your meats with a delicious aroma to get the perfect flavor. With the help of this guide, you can become a backyard BBQ legend and smoke up a storm.

So, are you ready to smoke some meat?


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.