Functional Backyard Smokehouse: 3-in-1 Fun Outdoor Cookery

Smokehouse, Pizza Oven, Garden Grill
Build an all-in-one backyard smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill!

Are you interested in trying different types of outdoor cooking but don’t have a lot of space in your backyard? Then this project is definitely for you! It’s compact and can be used for three different types of cooking: smoking, grilling, and making pizzas. So if you’re looking for the ultimate outdoor cooking solution that will meet your needs, this is it!

Smokehouses have long been used to preserve meats and fish. The process of smoking meats and fish involves exposing the food to smoke from smoldering wood, which imparts a unique flavor and also acts as a preservative. Smokehouses are also effective in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria. There are several benefits to having a smokehouse.

Smoking meats and fish imparts a unique flavor unlike any other cooking method. Smoking is an effective way to preserve food, as the smoke helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Finally, smokehouses are also effective in keeping meats and fish fresh for longer periods.

A pizza oven is a great addition to any outdoor kitchen. Not only does it add a touch of class to your outdoor cooking space, but it also allows you to cook pizzas to perfection. A grill is a must if you and your family love to hang out in your outdoor space. Grilling is a great way to cook meats and vegetables to perfection. Grilling requires very little skill, so you can cook them as often as you like.

If you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to entertain friends and family, look no further than hosting a BBQ grill party! There are endless possibilities regarding what you can make on the grill, from smoked or grilled fish and meat to fresh pizzas and focaccias. No matter your guests’ tastes, you’re sure to find something to please everyone’s palate with this DIY smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill project.

Brick Barbecue

It’s certainly not a quick DIY project, but it’s a simple build that anybody can do it. If you don’t have prior knowledge, read the complete tutorial and do some additional research first. This way, you can be sure that you’ll be able to complete the project without any issues.

There are proper ways to do every phase of this project, but then again, do a little bit of research and your DIY all-in-one outdoor cooker should be a success!

Building a 3-in-1 Smokehouse Cooker


  • 10-12mm diameter Steel
  • Water-Resistant Insulation
  • Bricks
  • Clay/Special Fireclay Brick
  • Fire Resistant Mortar
  • Paper Tube (for making pizza hearth chimney)
  • Concrete
  • Plaster (sand, cement, lime)
  • Wood Planks
  • Tubs


  • Measuring Tape
  • Spirit Level
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Saw


Step 1: Design and Planning

  • Begin by sketching a detailed design of your smokehouse. Consider the dimensions and how each section (smokehouse, pizza oven, grill) will integrate with the others. Allocate space for each cooking mode, ensuring there’s adequate room for airflow and insulation.

Step 2: Foundation Preparation

  • Choose a flat, stable area in your backyard for the smokehouse.
  • Use the shovel to clear the area and dig a foundation pit according to your design dimensions. The foundation should be at least 6 inches deep.
  • Mix concrete according to package instructions and pour it into the pit to create a solid foundation. Allow it to cure as directed, typically 24-48 hours.

Step 3: Constructing the Base

  • Once the foundation is set, start laying bricks to form the base of your smokehouse. Use the spirit level to ensure each layer is even and apply fire-resistant mortar between the bricks for stability.
  • Incorporate water-resistant insulation between brick layers to maintain temperature efficiency across the smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill sections.

Step 4: Building the Smokehouse and Grill Sections

  • Continue building up the walls for the smokehouse and grill sections, following your design for dimensions and separation.
  • For the smokehouse section, install the 10-12mm diameter steel bars horizontally within the structure to hang meats.
  • In the grill section, use bricks to create a ledge for the grill grate and include openings for ventilation and ash removal.

Step 5: Assembling the Pizza Oven

  • Use clay/special fireclay bricks to construct the dome of the pizza oven for optimal heat reflection.
  • Construct the entrance to the oven and the chimney using bricks and the paper tube. Secure all parts with fire-resistant mortar.
  • Apply a layer of plaster around the dome for additional insulation and finish.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

  • Install water-resistant insulation on the exterior sections of the smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill to enhance thermal efficiency.
  • Use wood planks to create a work surface and storage around the smokehouse, ensuring they are treated to withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Allow all mortar and plaster to dry completely, following product guidelines for curing times.

Step 7: Curing Your Smokehouse

  • Before using your smokehouse, it’s essential to cure the pizza oven and smokehouse sections. Gradually heat each section to dry out any residual moisture in the materials, starting at a low temperature and increasing slowly over several hours.

Step 8: Seasoning the Grill

  • Coat the grill grates with high-temperature cooking oil and heat them to allow the oil to polymerize. This creates a non-stick surface and prevents rust.

Types of Wood for Smoking

The choice of wood used in your smokehouse plays a pivotal role in defining the flavor profile of your meats and fish. Each type of wood imparts a distinct taste and aroma, making the selection process crucial for any smoking enthusiast. Understanding the characteristics of different woods can help you achieve the desired flavor in your smoked dishes. 

Let’s explore some of the most popular types of wood for smoking, ensuring your backyard smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill project brings out the best in your culinary creations.


Hickory is a classic choice for smoking, known for its strong, hearty flavor. It pairs exceptionally well with pork and ribs, giving them a sweet to strong, bacon-like taste. Hickory’s robust flavor profile makes it a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts, but it should be used sparingly to avoid overpowering the food.


Apple wood provides a mild and sweet flavor, making it perfect for smoking poultry, pork, and fish. Its subtle taste enhances the food’s natural flavors without dominating them. Apple wood is ideal for those who prefer a gentler touch of smoke and is excellent for dishes with a more nuanced flavor.


Mesquite wood is famous for its intense and earthy flavor, often associated with traditional Texas barbecue. It burns hot and fast, offering a strong smoky taste that can quickly overpower if not used cautiously. Mesquite is best suited for grilling red meat, especially beef, but should be used in moderation to balance the smoke’s intensity with the meat’s natural flavors.


Cherry wood, much like apple, offers a mild and fruity flavor that works well with virtually all meats, including poultry, pork, and beef. It adds a rich, red hue to the meat, enhancing its visual appeal alongside the taste. Cherry’s versatility and gentle smoking properties make it a popular choice for those looking to add a touch of sweetness to their smoked dishes.


Oak is a versatile smoking wood that provides a medium to strong flavor, less intense than hickory but stronger than apple or cherry. It’s particularly well-suited for smoking beef and lamb, offering a balanced taste that complements the meat’s natural flavors. Oak is a great all-rounder and a safe choice for those new to smoking, as it pairs well with a wide range of foods.


Maple wood offers a mild, sweet, and subtly smoky flavor, making it ideal for smoking poultry, vegetables, and small game birds. Its gentle taste profile can enhance the food’s natural sweetness, perfect for those experimenting with more delicate flavors in their smokehouse.


Pecan wood imparts a rich, nutty flavor that is milder than hickory but more intense than fruitwoods. It’s especially good for smoking poultry, pork, and cheese. Pecan adds a depth of flavor that complements the natural taste of the food, making it a favorite for those seeking a unique twist on traditional smoked dishes.

Selecting the right wood for your smokehouse is an art that can significantly affect the outcome of your culinary efforts. By understanding the flavor profiles of these woods, you can tailor your smoking process to achieve the perfect balance of smoke and taste, elevating the dining experience in your outdoor kitchen.

Here are a few other similar DIY projects which you might also be interested in:

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. 8-)

Rotisserie Pit BBQ

Whiskey Barrel BBQ Smoker

Brick Barbecue

DIY Outdoor Kitchen

Maintenance and Care for Your Smokehouse, Pizza Oven, and Grill

Maintaining your smokehouse, which combines the functionality of a smokehouse, pizza oven, and grill, is crucial for ensuring it remains in excellent condition and continues to produce delicious foods. Regular care not only prolongs the life of your cookery but also ensures safety and efficiency in its operation. Let’s delve into the essential maintenance and care practices that will keep your smokehouse performing at its best.

Regular Cleaning of Smokehouse and Grill

The longevity and efficiency of your smokehouse significantly depend on regular and thorough cleaning. After each cooking session, it’s imperative to address the grates and interior surfaces. 

Food particles, grease, and ash are not just byproducts of a successful cookout; left unattended, they can become detrimental to the taste of your food and the safety of your smokehouse. Accumulated grease, for instance, poses a significant fire hazard, while leftover food particles can lead to unwanted smoke flavors and even attract pests.

To tackle these issues, arm yourself with a sturdy grill brush designed for grate cleaning and a scraper for tackling the harder-to-reach areas and stubborn deposits. For a more comprehensive clean, especially after a season of heavy use, disassemble the accessible components. 

Soak them in warm, soapy water to loosen the grime. A soft scrubbing brush or sponge can clean each piece before thoroughly rinsing and drying to prevent rust.

Regular Cleaning of Pizza Oven

The porous nature of the bricks and mortar in your pizza oven means they’re particularly susceptible to food stains and ash buildup, which can affect the flavor of your dishes. After use, thoroughly brushing the cooking surface is recommended once the oven has cooled to a safe temperature but retains some warmth. 

This helps in removing the ash and any food residues. For spots where brushing isn’t enough, a slightly damp cloth can gently wipe the surfaces. However, using minimal moisture to avoid soaking the bricks is crucial, as this can lead to cracking or damage when the oven is reheated.

Inspecting for Damage

Routine inspections play a critical role in the maintenance of your smokehouse. The elements, frequent use, and even the passage of time can lead to wear and tear that, if not addressed, can compromise the structure and safety of your cooking.

For the pizza oven, look closely for any signs of cracks or deterioration in the bricks or mortar. These can affect the oven’s efficiency by losing heat and pose a safety hazard if the structural integrity is compromised. 

Similarly, the grill and smokehouse components are prone to rust and corrosion, especially if exposed to the elements or not cleaned properly. Rust damages the metal and can contaminate your food with harmful substances.

Early detection of such damage is crucial. For minor cracks in the pizza oven, a high-temperature resistant mortar can be used for repairs. If rust is spotted on the grill or smokehouse components, removing it with a wire brush and applying a protective coating can help prolong their life. 

Replacing the affected parts is the safest option in significant damage cases. Regular inspections ensure you can enjoy your smokehouse without unexpected breakdowns, maintaining a safe and enjoyable cooking environment.

Protecting from the Elements

The durability and functionality of your smokehouse are heavily influenced by how well it is protected when not in use. Exposing the smokehouse to harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, and prolonged sunlight can accelerate wear and tear, leading to rust, structural damage, and decreased performance. 

Investing in high-quality covers specifically designed for outdoor kitchens is advisable to mitigate these risks. These covers are made to withstand the elements, providing a barrier against moisture and UV rays that can degrade materials over time.

For an added layer of protection, consider the construction of a permanent shelter or positioning the smokehouse under an existing covered area within your outdoor space. This could be anything from a custom-built canopy to utilizing the natural shelter your home’s architecture provides. Such measures not only safeguard the smokehouse from direct exposure to weather but also contribute to the aesthetic and functionality of your outdoor cooking area.

Curing and Seasoning

Seasoning your smokehouse and grill components is an essential step in preparing your equipment for use and maintaining it over time. Seasoning involves coating the grates and interior surfaces with a high-temperature cooking oil and heating them to high temperatures. This process causes the oil to polymerize, forming a protective layer that protects against moisture and prevents rust. 

Additionally, this layer provides a non-stick surface that enhances cooking and cleaning convenience. It’s crucial to repeat this seasoning process periodically, especially after a deep clean or at the start of a new cooking season, to preserve the integrity and performance of your smokehouse and grill.

Curing your pizza oven before its initial use is vital for moisture removal from the bricks and mortar. This process involves a gradual and controlled heating schedule over several hours or days, depending on the size and design of your oven. The slow increase in temperature allows moisture to evaporate without causing damage, thereby preventing cracking that can occur if the oven is heated too quickly. 

Annual re-curing of the oven is recommended to manage any moisture absorption that may have occurred during periods of non-use. Proper curing is essential for the longevity of your pizza oven, ensuring it remains a cornerstone of your outdoor culinary adventures for years to come.

Checking and Cleaning Ventilation

The health of your smokehouse’s ventilation system, encompassing both chimneys and vents, is paramount to its operational efficacy. Ensuring these pathways are devoid of obstructions and soot accumulation is critical for maintaining the delicate balance of airflow needed for optimal smoking conditions. 

A well-ventilated smokehouse allows for precise control over temperature and smoke distribution. These are key factors in the smoking process that directly influence the flavor and quality of your food.

Regular inspection and cleaning of your smokehouse’s ventilation system cannot be overstated. Blocked or restricted airflow can lead to uneven cooking, excessive smoke buildup, and even pose significant fire hazards. 

A routine cleaning schedule will help prevent these issues, ensuring your smokehouse operates smoothly and safely. This practice contributes to your smokehouse’s longevity and enhances the overall smoking experience by providing a consistent and controlled cooking environment.

Monitoring Temperature and Smoke Flow

The culinary art of smoking requires a keen eye on the temperature and smoke flow within your smokehouse. These elements are the cornerstone of achieving the perfect balance of flavor and texture in your smoked dishes. Utilizing thermometers and smoke flow indicators allows you to monitor your smokehouse’s internal conditions precisely, adjusting as necessary to maintain the desired environment.

Inconsistent temperatures or uncontrolled smoke can quickly undermine the quality of your smoked foods, leading to overcooked, undercooked, or unevenly smoked results. This makes it imperative to regularly check and maintain your monitoring equipment, promptly replacing any faulty or inaccurate devices. Keeping a vigilant eye on these aspects ensures that your smokehouse operates at peak efficiency, delivering consistently excellent culinary creations that are a testament to your smoking prowess.

Storing Wood and Fuel Properly

The selection and storage of wood and fuel play a significant role in the flavor and success of your smoking endeavors. Properly stored smoking wood and fuel are critical for maintaining the integrity of your smokehouse’s operations. 

Wood and other fuels should be kept in a dry, covered area to shield them from moisture, which can seep into the material and adversely affect its burning properties. Moisture-laden wood burns inefficiently, producing excessive smoke and potentially imparting an undesirable flavor to your food.

Ensuring your smoking wood is well-seasoned and stored correctly optimizes combustion and enhances the smoke flavor imparted to your foods. Seasoned wood burns cleaner and more consistently, offering a controlled smoke flow essential for the delicate process of smoking meats and other foods. 

By dedicating attention to the proper storage and care of your smokehouse’s fuel sources, you contribute significantly to the reliability and flavor excellence of your smokehouse’s output, elevating the overall quality of your smoked dishes.

With these maintenance and care tips, your smokehouse will continue to be a centerpiece of your outdoor cooking adventures for years. Regular attention and care not only enhance the performance of your smokehouse but also ensure the safety and enjoyment of your outdoor culinary experiences.


Investing time and effort into building your smokehouse sets the foundation for a versatile outdoor cooking experience, blending tradition with innovation. Proper construction, meticulous planning, and material selection guarantee a durable and efficient smokehouse that meets all your culinary needs. This endeavor elevates your outdoor cooking capabilities and promises endless enjoyment and exploration of smoked, grilled, and baked delights for years to come.



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