The wide range of modern electric, gas, wood and coal smokers for sale out there promise to enhance the process of smoking meat to make barbeque. Brands like Bar-B-Chef, Big Drum Smoker, Bradley, Pitts & Spitts, Super Cajun, The Good One have earned rave reviews widely. A traditional alternative is the brick BBQ smoker, and you can custom make your own.

A brick BBQ smoker should stand on solid paving and have vents or a chimney. Its primary parts are a fire pit and smoking chamber. If you have plans to build your own, the fire pit should be slightly smaller than the grill that goes above it. A heat-proof sheet metal base in the pit will prevent damage on the ground surface.

Your heat source – firewood, charcoal, a propane gas burner or electric hot coil or plate – goes to the fire pit, where oxygen deprived burning generates smoke and not fire. Smoke will rise and form a cloud for slow-cooking meat on the grill and then it is exhausted to the outside right away. Hardwood like oak, mesquite, pecan and fruit tree woods like apple or plum are good for b-b-q.

Outside the edges of the grill, begin the brick wall that will enclose the smoking chamber. Lay the bricks out dry for a makeshift cooker, or on a bed of mortar for a more permanent brick BBQ smoker. Mix cement, soft building sand and plasticizer to make mortar. Make sure the bricks are level and plumb after each layer laid.