How to Build an On-Farm Smokehouse – Meredith Leigh









Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • How to build a smokehouse for under $400.
  • Blueprint for Leigh’s homemade smokehouse—how it was built.
  • See photos of the smokehouse build in progress.
  • The #1 smoking method that Leigh recommends for ease & health benefits.
  • Tips for preparing your meats for smoking.
  • The difference between cooking with smoke vs. grilling and barbequing.
  • Cold, warm, and HOT smoking: what’s better?
  • Troubleshooting your smokehouse—common problems discussed!
  • Managing condensation: tricks and tools to make it easy.
  • The art (and science) of controlling temperature in your smokehouse.

About The Speaker:

Meredith is a farmer, butcher, chef, and author of The Ethical Meat Handbook.  She has developed a farmer co-op, founded and catalyzed non-profit ventures, grown vegetables, flowers, and meats, owned and managed a retail butcher shop, and more.

Above all, she is committed to real, good food as a means to connect with people, animals, and plants, as well as learn new skills, create intentionally, stay inspired, and experience deliciousness.


QUESTION: Have you ever tried smoking meat? Would you consider building a smokehouse? Why or why not?


  1. PA

    Good info and straight forward presentation. A smokehouse is on my (never ending) list of projects for my homestead. I like the simple design that even an all-thumbed individual like me might be able to pull off.

  2. Laura Emerson

    We purchased a propane powered smoker that we use frequently to cook/smoke meat. We L-O-V-E the flavor.

    This presentation interested me because the smoker I bought cannot maintain the low temperatures the presenter mentions so I have never smoked our fish, for example. I have always wondered how anyone smoked cheeses and similarly delicate food products!

    Since we live in an Alaska forest and are getting better at construction, you have inspired me!

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Laura, so glad to hear you got a lot out of this. I too hadn’t realized the difference in true ‘cold smoked’ meat or cheese and especially the health benefits. I had always thought that smoking was a mild carcinagen… but apparently not, huh?

  3. Danno

    Excellent presentation. Made me stare out the window looking for the perfect spot for a smoker. Now the question, since it is cold smoke mostly, is there an advantage to using thicker wood to build the smoke house or is it just overkill?

  4. Kathy

    how about baffles in the smokehouse to distribute smoke around meat?

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Kathy and Danno, I hope Meredith can get on to answer – I am curious too. But I know she is a single mom with kids and it is tough.

  5. Chuck

    While I appreciate the speakers expertise and experience I was disappointed in the slide presentation. I was looking for more instructional information on the actual building of the unit! While I understand the process and necessity of humidity, temperature and draft control are key and important; the design and build are symbiotic to the former!

    There were just one or two slides on the actual build and the rest was just “informational data”. This is one of the talks I think I could have learned the same amount of information by just asking Google. If you want a better description of the build then go to An American Homesteads Youtube channel. He built this same style smokehouse his video is much better and he offers plans!

    Over all I was disappointed in the presentation aspect but the information was useful.

  6. Tasha

    Hey Meredith! Great presentation! Lovely smokehouse! We ended up having to put a window box fan in our smokehouse to get good draft and control for humidity, but luckily it is sited next to our solar panels so we were able to power it off-grid. We’ve got the 7 hams you helped us carve aging in there now. We’ve also got four pigs about ready to go for this year. Thanks to your help with our pig slaughter last year, we’re much better prepared for this go round. Keep doing your great work! Tasha and Matt from Lowgap, NC

  7. Jean-Guy

    I built a portable smokehouse two weeks ago … looking forward to smoking deer meat … great advise and simple easy-to-understand presentation.. really good ! TY

  8. Martha

    I am with Chuck. The title was BUILDING a smokehouse. Good information overall but thought it was going to be the nuts and bolts of building.

  9. Birgitte

    Just as I started to watch this video, I could smell a neighbor smoking something! Made me so hungry!!!!

    Great info!!!

  10. Edith

    My husband is very excited about this!! Thanks for the info!

  11. Michael

    Great presentation. Can the angle of the pipe be 45 degrees instead of 10 degrees?

  12. Jon

    I always had great respect for very good smoked meats.

    Now, I have a whole other degree of respect for those who do this and do it well. A master of many things.

  13. Shivani

    Why is the smokehouse so tall?

    1. Johnny

      Probably to allow multiple racks on top of each other.

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