Making An Inexpensive Terra Cotta Flowerpot Smoker

Making An Inexpensive Terra Cotta Flowerpot Smoker

Range Govindan
Jul 1, 2010

When you need a nice-looking smoker for your backyard, and you don't want to spend a lot of money on getting something this specific, then making your own is probably the best. This great-looking smoker was made from a Terra cotta flowerpot and will look great in your yard.

Prof Jellis wanted to get a great smoker for her fiancé, but didn't want to spend money on something that didn't look good. The best-looking smokers are expensive, so she decided to make her own after seeing something similar on the web.

Her budget for this build was $60 and she stuck to it. This is really interesting. She scrounged about for materials, to make sure that she didn't spend too much money. Going around the local stores in your area is probably the best idea, since you'd want to save money on shipping. While this build might seem complicated, the really cool thing about it is that it just involves putting the elements together. The hot plate will heat the wood chips, which will be in the modified grilling skillet. This in turn will start smoking up the food.

-1000W single burner hot plate
-cookery gear
-small saucepan
-grilling skillet
-frying thermometer
-rubber stopper and washer
-azalea flower pot with bulb bowl for a top
-Terra cotta feet

First, you'll need to remove the handles from the saucepan and the grilling skillet. Then you can start assembling the smoker. The base will hold the heating element and the chip container. The hot plate will go inside the flowerpot. The hand hole at the bottom of the pot will serve as a cable guide for the power plug. The legs will prop up the flower pot so that the cable can easily be handled and plugged in.

Then, the grill is placed on top of of the flowerpot. The top pot will also have the thermometer. A rubber stopper was used, which was carefully drilled. The thermometer fits through this small hole. A hole needs to be drilled in the bottom of the flowerpot so that you can adjust the settings of the hot plate. You'll need a glass drill bit in order to do so safely. A screwdriver can now easily adjust the settings of the hot plate.

You'll need to crank the hot plate to maximum so that the smoke starts. Then, you can turn it down. this needs to be repeated a few times while you're smoking your food. While this smoker can't really take much food, it all depends on the size of the flower pot you choose. The bigger the pot, the more expensive it will become. Also, some of the larger pots don't have any bulb bowls that can be used as tops. You could probably use two of those, but the top pot would get heavy. Prof Jellis reports that she lost quite a bit of smoke because the pot wasn't sealed tight. A damp towel did the trick, but something more permanent would do well.

The only really thing that is annoying is that this isn't one of those smokers that you can just put on and forget. You need to monitor it closely for a few hours, which can get tedious. The Big Green Egg smoker is another option, though it will cost you between $390 and $700. There are loads of other options, like the Primo Oval XL, but it costs $1,200!

[via Make, photos by Prof Jellis]

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