How to: Build A Backyard Smoker from a Trash Can
To be clear, this is not the kind of industrial strength smoker used by top restaurants like Montreal’s Joe Beef (see photo) to create succulent, smoke-flavoured meats—and the occasional pig’s head. But it is a fun summer project that will yield delicious barbecue, and it might make you feel a bit like McGyver. Plus, if you want to throw it away after one use, you’ll already be halfway there.
1. Buy an unused aluminium garbage can with a lid. This will be your new smoker. Surely, we don’t have to explain why it’s best to buy a new garbage can.
2. Place a hotplate at the bottom of the can. You will need to cut a small hole in the garbage can for the power cord.
3. On the hot plate, place a steel box full of wood chips. A pan will also work, provided it’s not Teflon-coated and doesn’t have a plastic handle. Dampen the wood chips for more smoke and more flavour.
4. Rest a circular grill on the interior ridge at the top of the can. If it doesn’t fit, use three metal shelf brackets to hold it in place.
5. Drill two to three quarter-inch holes in the can’s lid.
6. Insert a digital thermometer into the lid.
7. Turn on the hotplate to high, place seasoned meat on the grill, cover, and cook according to our handy instructional chart. – GH