Cinder block smoker pit - post your pics

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    Jonesy Yep, those concrete blocks will hold up better than cinder blocks any day. Still not sure that they would hold up to the higher heat of a fire pit.

    How hot have you gotten your smoker, I would guess never over 250 F or so

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    processhead I had cinder blocks, one high, just as a temporary fire pit. It was about 6 feet in diameter. They lasted all of about 10 burnings or so.

  • Regular Contributors

    When discussing smokers made from block, we probably need to make some distinction between low temperature smoke houses and barbeque fire pits that are cooking meat at high temperatures and are full of live coals.

    Its really apples and oranges and the life of the block materials will vary according to which application they are used for.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors

    I think if I am right in my thinking you would have to fill the blocks with sand/dirt to keep them from breaking and to hold the heat but I could be wrong in my thinking


  • Watch the video described below, they do exactly what you want to do, but as others said you may have to modify the design if you want the blocks to last.

    Block pit whole hog by meat church bbq

  • Regular Contributors

    Thanks for the tips thus far.

    My intent is to cook hogs similar to the Meat Church and other southern style videos using coals spread along the long walls and not directly under the meat. I would use a separate fire box to generate the coals (and possibly smoke) for the BBQ pit.

    I should clarify, the blocks I have access to are concrete and not cinder as I had originally posted.

    The base would likely be poured concrete over gravel base. The surface of the floor sloped so that the drippings run to the middle and out of the pit as the coals will be along the long walls and this will hopefully reduce any potential flare ups. If looking at the short sides, the left and right of the bottom course would have a removable plate for access to add coals without opening the lid.

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    Ridley Acres If I understand correctly you will definitely be using higher heat near the blocks. I would a be careful using concrete blocks close direct flame or coal. The problem with not using a fire block is the construction of concrete or cinder. If it has an air pocket that can heat up, it could pop (explode) and a slim chance it may send a hot rock flying. Having said that, I have built a square pit out of cinder and used hickory logs to cook 1/2 chickens on a 3’ by 3’ metal rack that we could flip. I never had any problems using cinder blocks except occasionally having to replace one due to cracks from the heat. My situation was definitely different than what you are going to do, since you are looking for a more permanent pit and I was using mine occasionally and storing the block in a barn. I would suggest talking with a good Mason in your area for advice, unless we have one here that can help out. Good luck on the build and send pics when its up and running.

  • Cast Iron Canning

    Chef I have lately sustained temps of over 300. Years ago, my neighbor actually got it so hot that he burned the roof off of it. The roof was rebuilt after sheet steel was added on top of the block walls, to keep that from happening again. He also burned off the wooden door. That was also replaced with steel. Lesson learned: never lend out your smokehouse.

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    Jonesy I remember when I got my smoker/pit. The welder told me never to lend it out. He even went as far as to tell me to lend out my wife before lending my smoker. LOL

    Truth is, it someone does not know how to regulate the temperature, there is a great likelihood that they will over heat it.

    I know once I loss control of my smoker, Temperatures got as high as 500F . Took me awhile to get it under control.

  • Regular Contributors

    GWG8541 said in Cinder block smoker pit - post your pics:

    If it has an air pocket that can heat up, it could pop (explode) and a slim chance it may send a hot rock flying.

    Good point, it may be worth it to have the fire block or some metal shield along the bottom course if this will be a permanent setup like I intend.

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