What is labour day without a little labour? Since we have a ton of peppers coming on, I decided to make a smoker to give us another preserving option.
I started with an old oil drum. Yes, an oil drum that had oil in it. I've read advice to use a barrel that only had food in it, and others simply saying to burn off whatever was in there and that'll be more than enough. So, after making the little door and cutting the top off, I started a fire. A big fire. My little barrel billowed black smoke, the bright green paint on the outside lit on fire, the bars inside began to warp. And when it was over, the inside was cleaner than when it was made. And you know what? I might burn it again, just because. And then have my dad sandblast the inside. And then burn it again.
The door is a hatch to the fuel chamber where charcoal and wood chips will burn. Directly above it is a baffle made from the original lid. The baffle diffuses the smoke as it rises in the barrel. Above that is a makeshift grate for the food. I need to source, or just cut a proper fitting grate from some sort of metal mesh.
We have a lot of jalapeños coming on and as soon as I have any sort of quantity we'll be throwing them in here to make chipotle. I'll also try smoking some of our sweet peppers to make a sort of smoked paprika.
Any suggestions on what to smoke? I'm a total newbie and would love to hear some stories/recipes/advice.
Next up is a coat of bbq paint, a thermometer, a grate and a lid.