Cooking Guide to a Brick BBQ Smoker

Big Green Egg, Brinkmann, Camp Chef, Char-Broil, JR Enterprises and Lang make some of the top-notch electric, gas, wood and coal smokers for sale nowdays. Or you can kick it old school and use a traditional brick BBQ smoker. You can even build your own and possibly earn rave reviews and bragging rights.

The basic design of a brick BBQ smoker will have a fire pit for holding any of wood, coal, a propane gas burner or electric hot plate or coil. Burning with limited oxygen in the pit produces smoke instead of fire, which raises up to the grill cooker for holding meat, enclosed in a brick wall smoking chamber. Hot smoke forms into a cloud that will slow-cook the meat using indirect heat, before it is quickly vented out through a chimney.

If you have plans of building your custom brick smoker, start from the fire pit. Make it a tad smaller in diameter than the grill above it, and begin the brick wall where the grill ends. Lay the bricks out dry to build a makeshift smoker. For something longer-lying, lay the bricks on a bed of mortar using cement, soft building sand and plasticizer. After every layer laid, check that the brick parts are level and plumb.

A brick BBQ smoker should be placed on a hardstand. The fire pit should have a heat-proof sheet metal base to keep from charing the ground surface. If using wood, as is traditional, choose from hardwoods like oak, hickory, alder or fruit tree woods like apple and cherry.