Infuse meat, cheese and vegetables with the tasty flavors of smoke by building your own barbecue smoker. Alton Brown, cookbook author, debuted his own homemade smoker on his Food Network show, “Good Eats.” His smoker was made from a terra-cotta flower pot. If you are worried that a terra-cotta pot will break, you can use a clean, aluminum garbage can instead. Work outside when building and using your smoker, so that you don’t fill your house up with smoke or start a fire.
Drill several holes into the bottom of the trash can so that the smoke can escape. Make one hole large enough so that you can fit the electrical plug of the hot plate through it. If you do not have a drill bit suitable to use on metal, use a hammer and nail to make the holes. Also, put a hole in the lid wide enough to fit the probe of the thermometer.
Arrange the 2-by-4s or the bricks in a square and place the trash can on top.
Place the hot plate into the trash can, threading its plug through one of the bottom holes.
Put the wood chips into the pie dish, and set it on top of the hot plate.
Lower the grill rack into to the trash can. Make sure it does not rest on the pie plate or come in contact with the wood chips.
Push the grill thermometer through the hole in the lid, and place the lid on top.
Plug the hot plate into the extension cord and plug the extension cord into an outlet. Let the smoker heat up to about 240 degrees F before you place the meat or other food inside.