HOME > Chowhound > BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling >


Home-Smoking Meat Without a Smoker – It Can Be Done!

I was REALLY in the mood for some Smoked Duck Pastrami yesterday. Problem is, unless you have the room and disposable income for a proper setup, or live out in the sticks somewhere with an outhouse, smoking meats at home seems like something the average person can only dream about. Well au contraire mon frère, because with a little time and effort it’s entirely possible to smoke the hell out of some meats in the comfort of your own abode. So, we wanted to share the wealth.

To start, there are two main ways to smoke at home: a) using either a charcoal grill, or b) an electric or conventional oven. For our purposes we focused on the oven method:

1) The first step to smoking meat in an oven is really wet soaked wood chips. Submerge your hickory, mesquite, or whatever flavor chips in water for a few hours. Once soaked, drain your wood chips through a colander, reserving some of the chip water in a container.

2) Now you’re ready to cook so preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. First, so you don’t burn yourself adjust your oven rack so that it is one notch below the middle notch and closer to the bottom of the oven.

3) Using a metal pan, (preferably aluminum) place the soaked wood chips at the bottom of the pan, making sure some of the water creates a film at the bottom along with the chips. Be careful to only line the bottom of the pan and not stack the chips in layers as it will produce too much smoke. The right amount of wet wood chips will ensure there is an appropriate amount of smoke.

4) Over the wood chips place a raised metal baking rack. Make sure there is enough space between the chips and bottom of the rack for the smoke to flow freely.

5) Now you’re ready to place the meat onto the baking rack. The meat should be placed directly over the wood chips. When you put the meat on the rack, make a nice tent of aluminum foil that seals the roasting pan on all sides and has room in the top for the smoke to circulate. The more tightly the foil is sealed, the more the wood flavor will penetrate the meat.

6) Place the aluminum pan in the oven and let the meat cook. Depending on the amount and type of meat you’re smoking, let it slow cook for 3-6 hours. During the smoking process, the water may become absorbed, drying out your chips and conversely your meat. Pour some of your reserved chip water in, rewetting the chips and re-creating the film of water at the bottom.

7) Once you’re nearing completion time, check the internal temperature of your meat according to your favorite cooking guide to determine readiness. Pull the meat out of the oven, slice (or gouge) to your liking, and enjoy all that smokey goodness.

(Photo enclosed: Homemade Smoked Duck Pastrami)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. hello I am wondering if someone could help me. I want to make homemade kielbasa I do not have a smoker is there a way to smoke this sausage. I am looking for a recipe as well. I am hoping perhaps the method used above for the duck pastrami is good but would I need different wood or temps or whatever. please help and thanks in advance for any help you can give.

    1. Sounds like you DID make a smoker

      4 Replies
      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        No that's not me in the abovementioned. I wanted to know if I could do that with out a real smoker.

          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            thanks for your reply. I misunderstood what you meant.... so I can use the info I found as is for the kielbasa if I am understanding you correctly...

            1. re: jeline

              Personally I would never do that type of smoking in my oven.

      2. I have successfully smoked meat in a gas grill. I don't think I would use our oven.

        1. Alton Brown did a backyard smoker with a large cardboard box,electric hot plate, metal pie plate/cast iron pan,woodchips,dowels for rack, and probe thermometer...I am sure it online in Good Eats library.


          1. That sounds like a good way to ruin your oven.

            1. The first step should be to take the batteries out of the smoke alarm!

              2 Replies
              1. re: carolinadawg

                The second to turn on the heavy duty exhaust system.

                1. re: JMF

                  SUCCESS!!!!! oven on 225 range hood fan on high and two foil trays with apple chips made into a smoker. heavy duty foil for the covers. we smoked for 3 hours after the smokers started smoking.(temp of the meat in three places was 165) the sausage was wonderful we served with our homemade sauerkraut and it was great!!
                  no smoke in the house at all and the oven is none the worse for wear.. so I think as long as you properly seal the smoke in, there are no worries. I will post pictures as soon as I figure out how to do that in this software.

              2. I live in an apartment and like to grill and smoke out on the patio, but don't have room for two dedicated pieces of equipment. So, I got the Smokenator 1000 for my 22" Weber kettle grill, and love it.

                I've made lots of ribs, a number of briskets, pork shoulders, chickens, turkeys and it's just a great little device. It is simply a piece of bent stainless steel with a water pan and holes you set into the Weber grill to turn it into a smoker that allows you to hold 225 all day long.

                Sure, you could make one yourself if you had the materials and tools, but you wouldn't be able to call it a Smokenator 1000!


                Meathead Goldwyn of amazingribs.com raves about it too.

                1. hi, could one do a version of this when baking bread to make it taste like it was made in a wood cookstove? and without damaging the oven?

                  Thanks, Caryl

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: baire702

                    I would try it but that's me. If you do you might want to use very little wood clips light them after burning for a bit blow out and smoke away