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garbage can smokerI never would have guessed that you can build a barbecue smoker out of a garbage can and hot plate. You can smoke a whole turkey this Thanksgiving and re-use it again at Christmas. Instructables member DEel brings us the steps we need to for build our own garbage can smoker. I've summarized the steps here.

How to make a garbage can smoker
  1. Build a grafting support inside the garbage can
  2. Add support for a dripping pan
  3. Add the hotplate
  4. Add a thermometer to the lid
  5. Prepare the wood chips
  6. Prepare the turkey
  7. Smoke it
  8. Enjoy!
The full instructions have accompanying pictures and important details for each step. You'll learn everything from putting all the pieces together to properly preparing wood chips. Eating out of the garbage never tasted so good! This DIY project will definitely leave your Thanksgiving guests talking.


  • Jim Murphy

    The first time I read about How to Make a Garbage Can Smoker was in an article in the December 1981 Issue of Fish Fur Game Magazine. The article was written by, Louis Bignami, and titled: Smoking Your Own. That was 27 years ago ! I too, would caution about using a "galvanized" can.

  • Joe

    Good idea, but DO NOT use a galvanized trash can as shown. Galvinization releases all sorts of nasty stuff when it gets hot & this nasty stuff will get into your food. Stainless & raw steel are fine, and you can even smoke inside a cardboard box just fine (check out Alton Brown on Good Eats) Just never smoke anything inside of something galvanized. It is a good way to poison yourself.

  • Steve

    It takes high heat to make Zinc vaporize and the temp for smokers is much lower than that. You wouldn't want to use galvanized for a BBQ, but a smoker is OK. If your smoker is getting that hot, it would be glowing red. If it's not even hot enough to make wood catch fire then you're certainly not going to vaporize metal.

  • Tom San Diego

    Damn - this looks great. I have a friend in my old home town in the Mountains of Southern Oregon (Klamath Falls) - who went into the smoking business, and his smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving were just about the best ever. This would probably also work for other things too? Venison, elk, etc.

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