Best Vertical Reverse Flow Smoker Plans [7 Steps Building Process]

Are you looking for vertical reverse flow smoker plans? You probably searched for a free plan and were disappointed. Well, your disappointment ends here, because in this article you will get free bbq smoker plans. 

The instructions and information we have here in this article will help you to build the perfect vertical reverse flow smoker like a professional. Plus, learning the building process will help you when you look for vertical smoker modifications. So, let’s get started.

What Is A Vertical Reverse Flow Smoker?

You probably already know what a reverse flow smoker is. In simple terms, reverse flow smokers are a better alternative to regular offset smokers. The benefit of such a device is that they evenly distribute temperature and the result of this is delicious smoked and juicy meat.

The reason why it is called a reverse flow smoker is the way it functions. It forces smoke and hot air under a metal pan (also known as ‘baffle’) and back through the cooking chamber. Here the device reverses the airflow in order to escape through a smokestack positioned on the firebox side of the device.

The baffle plate or the metal pan is the essence of a reverse flow smoker. It blocks direct heat that can overcook the meat closest to the firebox. As a result, every piece of meat gets an equal amount of heat and eventually, they get evenly cooked. For this reason, reverse flow smokers are such an efficient option.

Best Vertical Reverse Flow Smoker Plans: 7 Steps Building Process

There are different types of reverse flow smokers. Among them, vertical reverse flow smokers are deemed to be the best. But it can cost you $200 to $300 to buy one from the market.

Well, this is not a bad deal if you consider the benefits you are getting. In fact, purchasing a smoker can be a better option. However, it is also a great idea if you want to build a smoker for yourself. This way you can buy each part separately which will save you a lot of your hard-earned money. 

The problem, in this case, is, you can’t find the perfect vertical reverse flow smoker plans. These plans alone can cost you around $100. And above all, they are not satisfactory at all.    

So what can you do?

We have the answer. Here we present to you the best vertical reverse flow smoker plans with the building process. The 7 simple steps that we are about to discuss will allow you to make a stunning vertical reverse flow smoker for yourself.

The best thing about our method is, it will cost you the minimum amount to build the whole device. So prepare your tools and let’s get into it,

Step 1: Gather The Tools

Before jumping into the main process you have to gather around all the tools and parts you will need for the process. Having these things around will make the whole task easier for you. Here is a shortlist of the tools you will need:

  • Mini grinder
  • Welder
  • Pilers
  • Chipping hammer
  • Welding shield, gloves, face shield, safety glasses 
  • Wire brush

Along with these tools you are going to need some parts as well. 

Here’s what you need,

  • Firebox
  • Angle iron for the frame
  • Baffle plate
  • Casters
  • Smoke Stack
  • Thermometer
  • Vents ( some sheet metal and bolts)
  • Expanded metal for fire basket and cooking grate
  • Hinges
  • Wooden handle
  • High heat paint
  • Shelf

After you have collected all these parts, you are ready to jump into the building process.

Step 2: Building The Body Of The Cooking Chamber

You can use different types of cylinders to build the cooking chamber. However, using cylinders similar to the expansion tank of the boiler can be the best option. But if you want, you can use whatever you can find available.  

Whatever you choose, you have to keep in mind that you are making a place for your meat to rest. Now, after choosing the frame, you have to weld legs to the frame. Four legs on four opposite corners should be enough to hold the device. 

Now cut an opening into the tank and keep the piece of metal that you have cut. You will need that for the chamber door. Weld the hinges near the opening you just created and bolt the door to the hinge. Screw some aluminum stock around the opening. This way the door will have a place to sit.

Step 3: Building The Firebox

Building the firebox is the most crucial part of the process. The first thing you need to do, in this case, determines the size of the firebox you want. It totally depends on the size of the unit you are building. 

To know what size your firebox should be, you need to know how to measure and get the measurement. After getting the measurements, get set to the building. It is better to make the firebox a bit oversized to avoid potential problems. 

It is recommended that you make the firebox from 1/4“ plate steel. This will allow the firebox to evenly distribute heat and maintain a stable temperature. Here is how to build the firebox:

  • Make a square box 
  • Weld sturdy hinges on the box for the door
  • Drill holes on the side to allow air intake
  • Weld a bolt in the hole so that you can control the vent

This is how you can easily build the firebox. It is better if you make the firebox removable. The firebox in general will be heavy and will be hard to move around. This is why bolting the firebox to the body of the smoker can be very helpful. 

And now you are done dealing with the firebox. You can proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Installing The Baffle Plate

Now,  it’s time to install the baffle plate. The baffle plate is the part that gets the name “reverse flow” for the smoker. It is a steel plate that is attached to the body of the smoker. Its purpose is to prevent heat from directly affecting the meat. 

This is how it ensures that all the foods are getting an equal amount of temperature despite their position. Though you can use any steel sheet, purchasing a baffle plate is the best idea. This will only cost you about $1 or so. After making the purchase, make sure to wash them properly with detergent. Now make a slot inside of the vertical smoker for the baffle plate. 

This slot must be at least 20cm above the bottom of the smoker. After you make sure that the baffle plate is perfectly placed in its slot, you can move on to the next step.

Step 5: Installing the Chimney

You definitely need a chimney to allow smoke to escape the smoker. It would be best if you can make the chimney from a 4” ventilation pipe. As you are making a vertical reverse flow smoker, the chimney’s height doesn’t have to be very high. 

Step 6: Final Touch

You are almost done. At the end of the process, you have to install a fire basket and a thermometer in the smoker. The fire basket will hold the hot coals in it. These baskets are usually made from aluminum.

The thermometer will help you to monitor the cooking progress of your food

Step 7: Test The Smoker

Now you have perfectly built the vertical reverse flow smoker in the simplest way possible. What you have to do next is test the smoker to see if it is functioning in the right way. To do this you will have to:

  • Fill up the smoker with woods
  • Ignite the smoker and let it burn
  • Wait for it to smoke up
  • Put a piece of meat on it once the smoker gets to the temperature of around 260℉

If, after 20 minutes, your meat is properly cooked with a smoky flavor, then you can rest assured that you have built a perfect vertical reverse flow smoker.


Do You Really Need A Vertical Reverse Flow Smoker: Pros and Cons

You probably have already decided to build a vertical reverse flow smoker. And having such a device in your house can be very beneficial for you as well. 

However, you must not finalize anything unless you are fully aware of what you are doing. This is why you must know about both the reasons why you need a vertical reverse flow smoker and why you don’t. Take quick glance at the pros and cons of a vertical reverse flow smoker below:


  • Takes up less space than other options
  • Even distribution of smoke and heat ensures a greater flavor
  • Does not get “too hot” no matter how much fuel you use
  • Quickly returns to the cooking temperature as soon as the cooking chamber door is opened
  • Effectively moistures the whole meat


  • You cannot simultaneously cook different types of food that need different amount of heat
  • The baffle plate restricts airflow and this can cause the smoker to get dirty quite fast.
  • Can take longer to heat up
  • Less fuel-efficient

These are the merits and demerits of vertical reverse flow smokers. If you think about it, the demerits are not that much problematic. With minimal maintenance, you can keep your smoker in perfect condition.

The functionality is also better compared to other options. However, if the cons seem too much to handle for you, you can consider other types of smokers as well. 


How does a reverse flow vertical smoker work?

Reverse flow vertical smokers work in a very simple, yet effective manner. It has a baffle plate inside (which is basically a metal plate) and this plate forces hot air and smoke to distribute evenly throughout the smoker. This creates a uniform cooking environment.

Are reverse flow smokers worth it?

Reverse flow smokers are actually considered to be a better alternative. The reason behind such consideration is that this smoker generates heat in such a way that it evenly distributes throughout the entire smoker, affecting each item with equal temperature. This ensures perfectly cooked food. And this is why reverse flow smokers are worth it.

How do you use an offset vertical smoker?

You can easily use an offset vertical smoker in the following method:

  1. Start the fire. Use woods and charcoal at the same time
  2. Wait till the temperature rises to the point you need it to be
  3. Manage the fire to make sure it remains in perfect condition
  4. Perfectly place the marinated food inside of the smoker
  5. Keep the lid closed and wait for your food to cook 

And this is how you use an offset vertical smoker.

Does a reverse flow smoker cook faster?

Reverse flow smoker cooks faster than most alternatives if the heat is on a perfect level.

Who makes the best reverse flow smoker?

Here are a few choices of reverse flow smokers that you may want to consider,

  • Best Choice: Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy Duty Reverse Flow Smoker 
  • Best Value: Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Reverse Flow Smoker & Grill
  • Best Overall: Backwoods Smoker Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker

What is the benefit of a reverse flow smoker?

Here are the benefits of a reverse flow smoker,

  • Even distribution of heat
  • More consistent internal temperature
  • The baffle works as a searing plate and it perfectly cooks the meat
  • There is no chance of your food getting burnt

How do you season a reverse flow smoker?

Here is a simple method to season your reverse flow smoker,

  1. Clean the smoker part by part
  2. Coat the interior of the smoker with vegetable oil
  3. Keep heating the smoker for 2 to 4 hours

And now, your reverse flow smoker is perfectly seasoned.


Chances are that you will not find vertical reverse flow smoker plans online. And most of the reverse flow smoker plans pdf costs a lot, you will not get them for free. This is why our vertical smoker plan is all you need. 

If you properly follow our homemade smoker plan discussed in this article then you shouldn’t have any problem building the smoker all by yourself. However, if you have any questions, you can comment below.    

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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