How To Make A Trashcan Smoker for Under $65

2) DIY flowerpot smoker

DIY Flower Pot Grill & Smoker

If you’ve got a sudden craving for smoked meat but don’t have a smoker, don’t panic. You’re only one quick trip to your local garden center away from making your own out of a pair of clay flower pots.

Yup, you heard right.

The first thing you’ll need to do is drill airflow holes in your clay planters. To do this without cracking your pot, start with a smaller drill bit and work up to the right size. 

To control the airflow in your pot, shave down a couple of wine corks so that they’ll fit in the air holes.

One of your clay pots is going to act as the charcoal holder. Place a brick in the bottom of that pot and put a small BBQ grate on top of the brick to hold the coals.

Your top pot will be what holds in the smoke. Both pots are going to get quite hot, so it’s best to fit the top pot with a handle through the simple method of drilling two holes in the bottom and installing a standard U-bolt.

Once the drilling and cork shaving is done, you are ready to go. If you have access to a roll of BBQ gasket tape, you can use that to create a better seal between the pots, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

Put your started coals on the grate in the bottom of the pot and add the soaked wood chips. Place your food above it on a basic circular BBQ grill grate and pop the top pot on top to seal it. 

Job done!

Basic materials needed

  • Two clay flower planters
  • BBQ gasket
  • U-Bolt (with nuts & washers)
  • Wine corks
  • Circular grill grate
  • Small BBQ charcoal grate

Step-by-step guide

The belairdirect blog has a simple guide to assembling a Flower Pot Smoker, and you can watch them building it in real-time on YouTube


4. DIY $50 Concrete Kamado Smoker

Sticking with the theme of simple and inexpensive smokers, this YouTuber shows how he made a smoker for his friend that matches the performance of his Kamado model – but that only cost less than $50 while requiring the use of no tools. Want to see how he managed? Then check out his video to see what he did!

11. A Beginner’s Guide to Building a DIY Smoker

On opening this page, the first thing you’ll see i

On opening this page, the first thing you’ll see is the completed smoker in action, and when you see it, you can almost imagine all the tasty morsels that are being cooked to perfection inside. And if you want something similar for your yard, this blog has all the details you need to build one.

Check this tutorial

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Twenty million people smoked … heaped with garbage and toxic waste. There was evidence of the growers’ camp, including a dismantled tent, blankets, camping stove, empty fuel canisters, food wrappers, plastic water bottles and empty cans of food.

My Kingdom For A CapacitorYour browser indicates if youve visited this link

While working on a project recently, I required a capacitor of around 1000 μF and went rummaging through my collection of parts. No luck there. At that point I’d usually go through my …

4. Barrel DIY Smoker

Maybe my next girl what do you guys think? #bbq#meats#smokedmeats#barrelsmoker#webbergrill#webergrill#webersmoker#weber#traegergrills#traegernation#traegersmoker#dryrub#bbqsauce#biggreenegg#tritip#amazing#chicken#beef#prok#ribs#steak#brisket#southernbbq#homemade A post shared by Taste No Evil (@taste_no_evil_bbq) on Feb 18, 2020 at 5:24pm PST

If you know how to weld, then you can really upgrade your barrel smoker. The design here has the wood fire separate from the grill. That means that only the smoke can access the meat, allowing you to smoke at lower temperatures than on the pit. Just make sure you’re getting a food-grade barrel for this project. Any barrel that used to contain chemicals is not a good idea (unless you’re hoping to morph into a superhero, of course).

Get the DIY smoker plans here.

Step 2: Cut the Metal

I cut a hole in the top half of the old grill, and the same sized hole in the side of the garbage can a couple inches from the bottom.

These holes were the same inner diameter of the starters.

6) Trash can smoker


The trash can smoker is a great way to turn a commercially available hot plate and an aluminum trash can into a perfectly serviceable electric smoker.

You simply cut a hole in the side of the trash can so that the flex from the hot plate has somewhere to go.

You then place the hot plate in the bottom of the trashcan, and your wood chip box on top of it.

A standard circular BBQ grill grate holds the food at the top of the trashcan, and when the wood starts to smoke, you put the lid on.

You’ll need to drill some air holes in the lid to improve circulation and a hole in the side for a temperature gauge, but the whole process should take you around 30 minutes and cost less than $50!

Basic materials needed

  • Trash Can w/ lid
  • Electric Hot Plate
  • Grating
  • Wood Chip Box
  • Temperature Gauge

Step-by-step guide

You can find a full step-by-step guide over at, although, since you’re just drilling a few holes in a trash can, you might not need one.

DIY Smoker on a Budget

If you’re really on a budget, or if you want to make a makeshift BBQ smoker for camping trips, then we’ve got you covered. While our other suggested guides are cheap, you might not want to spend $100 on materials. Or you might not have tools like an angle grinder or a welding torch. Don’t worry because this DIY BBQ smoker is an ingenious idea that only requires a handful of items to make.

Materials You Will Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Aluminum trays (2)
  • Charcoal or cedar wood
  • Cooling rack

Basic Skills Needed

As long as you know how to safely use a normal Stanley knife, you can definitely give this DIY a go!

Guide to Building It

Take one of the aluminum trays and cut out two flaps on the side of it. Place in the sizeable cooking rack inside and then poke through the metal skewers on the other side of that tray. Next, you’ll want to fold up a piece of aluminum foil to use as a divider between the skewers and the cooling rack. Finally, you can move onto the other aluminum tray. Cut a flap into the bottom of the tray and then use it to cover your first tray. Then all you have to do is place it on a direct heat source, or have some sort of heating element beneath it, and voilà! That’s it!Click here to watch the entire process of how to make and use your cheap DIY BBQ smoker!

Build your An Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS)

A standard DIY item to make BBQ smokers out of is an old oil drum or barrel. A classic drum or barrel smoker you can buy is the Pit Barrel Cooker. Why would you pay that much for one when you can easily make a DIY drum smoker at home for way less? Drum smokers are fantastic because they’re generally faster at smoking meat, and they’re able to hold a lot. People usually highly recommend smoking brisket, chicken, and ribs in BBQ drum smokers. Here’s how you can make your own ugly drum smoker from scratch!

Materials You Will Need

  • Baling wire
  • Ball valve
  • Bushing (½ inch)
  • Expanded steel
  • Grill lid
  • Handles
  • High-temperature paint
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Oil barrel or stainless steel drum
  • Shelf clips
  • Shelving rail
  • Smaller grill grate
  • Circular grill grate (preferably steel)
  • Washers (M20 and Fender)

Guide to Building It

Before you begin drilling any holes, you’ll want to make sure that the inside of your 55-gallon drum is completely clean. Next, cut out the top of your drum if there is no removable cover. You’ll then want to strip off its existing paint. You can leave the barrel bare or give it a coat of heat-resistant paint. After that, go ahead and drill a hole at the bottom of the drum and install the ball valve. When you’re done with that, you can begin on the shelving. Follow that up with creating and inserting a charcoal basket. Install your temperature gauge — so you can read the internal temperature — cover the barrel with the lid, and that’s it!Here is the full guide on how to build your own UDS.

Removing the Turkey from the Trash Can

Prepare the area where you are going to move the hot trash can and lid once you remove them from around the turkey.

Make sure there is no debris or flammable material.

Be extra cautious when removing the lid and can as they are EXTREMELY hot.

Only do this part while wearing high heat and flame-resistant outdoor cooking gloves, and even then, minimize the amount of time you need to touch the can and lid as much as possible.

Do not attempt this with conventional household cooking mitts!

For best results, put a sheet of aluminum foil between your gloves and the metal lid handles to keep your gloves from sticking to the hot metal. Place the lid and hot coals aside.

Use the same technique with gloves and foil to remove the metal trash can itself and also to slide the hot turkey up off the stake and into a large aluminum pan.


At this point the turkey should be done, but make sure to check it with an instant read thermometer.

The middle of the thigh meat should read at least 175 degrees and the breasts should read 165 degrees.

Powlaken Meat Food Thermometer for Grill and Cooking, Instant Read Waterproof Digital Probe

Check Price on Amazon


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