This video shows Kyra’s Caston carp column and his boy Tom and they are showing how to make a smoker out of a file cabinet. He states that: I’m not the guy who came up with this idea but I’m gonna walk you step-by-step on how it’s done. This has been around for a long time. A four drawer vertical file cabinet is a great foundation and a great starting point for building a smoker. It’s actually pretty nice so I’m going to show you how it’s done and I’m going to show you how to smoke some fish because I’ve got 25 pounds of salmon that I brought back from Alaska and it needs some love and attention and I’m going to give it to it. So alright without further ado we’re gonna get started.

First you’re going to need a drill bit to drill, an electric hot plate with a thousand watts of power or more, an old cooking pot or a coffee can, and you’re going to need some barbecue thermometers. For the shelving you’re going to want 10 to 15 16 inch sections of 2×1 wood. You’re going to need some chicken wire or hardware cloth. You’re going to need some wire cutters for cutting coat hangers and you’re going to need a couple coat hangers. Some cooling racks are also very helpful. You’re going to want a 1 inch drill bit, a four-foot roll of duct insulation can also be helpful in cold weather.

Once you have everything you need the first step is to drill holes in the bottom of the top three drawers and only the top three drawers. These holes are going to let heat and smoke circulate through the file cabinet. I’ve put about 12 holes in the bottom of each drawer I put the holes along the side. Now one of the things to look out for is that there is a cross section on the bottom of the drawer on the underside and you see here I
accidentally started to drill into it so just be cautious that you don’t destroy the structural integrity of the door. Also be careful that you don’t overheat your drill or drill bit.

Now the most labor-intensive part of making the smoker is drilling the holes in the drawers. I’ve got 12 holes in each one of the top three drawers. I’ve got six on one side, six on the other. This doesn’t take that long, I mean you could get it all done in 45 minutes without too much of a rush except that my drill keeps overheating right now. It is hot to the touch. I mean that’s not good for the drill, you’ll destroy your drill that way.
So if you had two drills where you could switch them on and off and let one cool down while you’re using the other one that would help but I only have one drill so I’m doing six holes then I have to let my drills sit for about 10 – 15 minutes and then I do six more holes and have to let it sit. That’s taking the most time with letting the drill cool off. So anyway if you have two drills it’ll go a lot faster.

After you’ve drilled holes in the bottom of the top three drawers put a single small hole in the bottom front of the bottom drawer. This is to let the electrical cord out for your heating element and of course you can drop it on the ground as well and that seems to not do any harm but once you get the hole drilled you put the heating element in the bottom and feed it through like so and it works out just fine. Next I’m going to
install the thermometers in the side of the file cabinet. Just this little nut washer just screws in like that. Just slide the probe in and then tighten the nut you’re good to go easy as can be ……..