Solar-Powered Smoker

John Benoit built an outhouse smoker powered by the sun.

| November/December 2017

John Benoit’s smoker may look like an old-fashioned outhouse, but it has solar power, computerized controls, and Wi-Fi. He uses the 5-foot-11-inch-tall, 29-by-32-inch steel box for family meals, as well as taking it on the road for catered events.

“It started out as a standard, steel box smoker the size of a small refrigerator, but I wanted something different,” says Benoit.

Benoit framed the outhouse with 1-inch square tubing and used fiberglass insulation and Styrofoam around the smoker before attaching 1-by-4-inch cladding. A warming oven mounts under the roof.

The smoker door has a handle made from Osage orange wood and a solid brass crescent moon salvaged from an antique door. Large caster wheels support the “outhouse.” They make it easier for Benoit to winch the smoker into his 16-foot trailer for transit.

A thermometer is mounted between the doors of the smoker and the oven, but the computer and Wi-Fi are key to the operation.

“The star of the smoker is the Flame Boss 200 controller,” says Benoit. “It is the best tool I have bought for saving time and improving the quality of meat.”

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