Here Is How To Turn An Old File Cabinet Into An Awesome Outdoor Smoker!

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Turn that old file cabinet into a smoker and your sure to get some reaction from friends at your next BBQ party.  

There are many different options when making a smoker from a file cabinet, below is just one of those options.



  • – 1 Metal 4-drawer File Cabinet (preferably free)
  • – High Temp Grill Paint
  • – Grill grates/baskets (these must fit in the drawers)
  • – 1 Propane burner
  • – 1 Water pan
  • – Metal hinges
  • – Scouring Pads
  • – 3 Thermometers
  • – Drill and bits

1. Sand All Paint Off Of The Cabinet


Who knows what kind of paint is on that cabinet….get rid of it.  Using an electric sander is easiest!

2. Make The Fire Box


The bottom cabinet will become your firebox. The video below will show an example of this using  two burner propane stove.  

Place your water pan on the bottom (cast iron or stainless).  Find a grill grate that fits the cabinet and place a few inches above the water pan.  You will have to look at your cabinet and figure out how the grate will rest inside, each cabinet is a little different.  

The grill gate is for the wood or wood chips. You don’t want flames/fire on the wood chips.  

3. Design The Food Drawers



Please make sure your cabinet is well sanded and clean before food is inserted.  Now place grill grates inside the rest of the cabinet drawers.  Don’t use your bare hands to pull the cabinet doors open they will be hot.  

4. Make The Vent Holes


Use a hole saw like the photo above 1.5″ and drill one hole per cabinet drawer. If you don’t have a hole saw and just have drill bits, then just drill 6 or 7 holes wherever you want.  

5. Cut A Top Vent


The damper is a nice thing to have and the best solution is use a normal grill damper like the one in the photo above.  You will want to control the airflow with a simple twist.

Drill on the top of the cabinet to match the holes in the damper.  Use the damper as a guide to mark your holes before drilling.  View the video below to see how he vented.

Check Out The Video Below To See What The Smoker Looks Like Finished! 



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