Many people enjoy smoking meat at home but don’t have the resources to buy a specialized smoker. One option is to use an old propane BBQ that you no longer need or want. These BBQs are typically free or cheap to buy. It would help if you considered adding a non-adjustable firebox in your backyard with your existing BBQ. When cooking traditional BBQ in an old propane BBQ. The firebox will make it difficult or impossible to use your regular smoker setup or smoker wood. As a result, it is not suitable for long-term smoking at home. The idea of using old propane BBQs for smoking is not bad. But you will probably be disappointed in the results when comparing with a dedicated smoker at home.
Parts of an Old Propane Bbq That You Can Use as a Smoker:
Many people enjoy smoking meat at home but don’t have the resources to buy a specialized smoker. One option is to use an old propane BBQ that you no longer need or want. Here is a list of a few parts of old propane that you can use to make a smoker:
- The grill part of the BBQ: This is important because it holds your meat during cooking. If your grill leaves rust marks on food or has hot spots, you cannot use it for smoking purposes.
- A vent tube with a valve at the end.
- Cooking grate. It is what you set your meat on, and it will serve as the heat source for the smoker.
- The firebox or coal pan” of the BBQ: You need this to cook with and serve as a heat sink to keep your meat from getting too hot.
- The bottom of the BBQ: This needs to be heavy gauge metal since it will be sitting directly on all the coals without a lid or cover. You can read more about this topic here.
- A chimney cap: This is used to siphon off excess smoke from the top of your smoker during cooking.
- A rack: This goes inside the BBQ and helps keep your food off of the grate.
- A smoker box: Keeps your meat off of the ground and also serves as a heat sink.
- A lid: Lid for this is essential too so that you can get away from the sun and vent smoke for hours at a time.
- A thermometer: To get an accurate reading on what temperature it’s cooking at. The degree range that works best with a smoker is around 200 degrees F – 250 degrees F for prolonged slow smoking or 325 degrees F or higher for short smoking times.
Steps to Convert an Old Propane Into a Bbq Smoker:
If you have an old propane BBQ that you no longer need, then you should take it to your local scrapyard. You can pick up a used smoker box for around $15 or so, although there are other ways to convert this grill into a smoker. Here are the steps to take if you are converting this grill into a smoker:
- Remove the BBQ cover and firebox. You want to do this because it will be much easier to use the BBQ as a smoker with everything removed. It will also decrease the chances of rust or hot spots ruining your smoking experience.
- Buy a new smoker box from Amazon here. That is where you will put all your smoking wood and smoking pouches. It sits right on top of your cooking grate, and the meat sits on the cooking grate.
- Place your cooking grate into the BBQ and then place some bricks or rocks to support the smoker box you just bought. Place this just below where the chimney cap was located on your old BBQ.
- Screw your smoker box onto your BBQ with some screws, so it doesn’t fall off during smoking sessions. You can also use metal wrench clamps if you don’t have screws.
- Get a sheet of tin and place it directly on top of your chimney cap. You can use copper pipe flashing or flashing from your local hardware store. The flashing needs to be long enough to go way past the opening of the chimney cap.
- Place a sheet of tin over the hole in your propane BBQ, where you took out the firebox. Take a metal wrench and tighten down all screws sticking out from underneath the thin sheet you just put on top of your chimney cap.
- Place a grill grate over the top of your new smoker box and place a couple of bricks or rocks on top for support while cooking. Make sure to take the grill grate off when you are smoking so you can put your smoking wood or smoking pouches in the box without any obstruction.
- Fill your smoker box with your choice of smoking woods or smoking pouches, and place it over top of the grill grate bricks. Close up all your vents on your BBQ to complete the conversion into a smoker.
- Place a thermometer probe into the side vent tube that is still in place on your BBQ. You can also use an infrared thermometer to get accurate readings without opening up your smoker too often.
- Grill up some tasty food for family and friends with an easy sauce recipe.
Now that you have an easy guide on how to turn old propane into a smoker, then you’ll be able to start smoking something delicious in no time at all. For smoking, you will need a smoking pouch from BBQ Pitmasters to sell for around $7.00 on Amazon. That is a pretty good price for smoking pouches made of foil and paper, and they’ll last for several years with regular replacement. The pouches are light enough to use in a propane smoker but heavy enough to hold up your food while you smoke it over some coals or chunks of wood.
If you have an old propane BBQ that you no longer need, then this is an easy way to get a homemade smoker for a relatively low price. I would get the smoker mentioned above box from Amazon and get a bunch of your choice of smoking wood from Amazon or your local lumber yard. That should do the trick. Be sure to put some bricks on top of your grill for support, and make sure that you have all your vents closed while smoking. Smoking meat can be a great hobby if you practice it correctly, but it’s not recommended that beginners try this without supervision from someone who knows what they’re doing.