Electrostatic smokehouse: how to make with your own hands with a generator for cold smoking

Are you trying to give your culinary explorations a special twist? Imagine your home filled with the aroma of perfectly smoked fish, meats, or even cheese. You may do just that with a homemade electrostatic smokehouse. You can add rich, smoky flavor to your favorite foods in your kitchen with this creative cold smoking method. This tutorial will teach you how to use a generator to build your own electrostatic smokehouse, making cold smoking accessible to all smokers.

Cold smoking is a technique for adding flavor to food without subjecting it to high heat, maintaining its original texture and flavoring it with a delightful smoky flavor. Cold smoking has always been a difficult and occasionally expensive procedure that calls for specialized tools and careful temperature control. However, home cooks now have easier access to cold smoking thanks to the development of electrostatic smoke generators.

Now, describe an electrostatic smoke generator in more detail. In short, it’s a machine that uses electricity, sawdust, or wood chips to create a continuous stream of cold smoke. Electrostatic generators produce smoke by running an electric current through wood chips, releasing flavorful compounds without producing heat, in contrast to conventional methods that burn wood to produce smoke. This implies that you can still reap the rewards of cold smoking without having to worry about overcooking your food.

Although it may seem difficult, building your own electrostatic smokehouse is actually a very simple process. With the correct supplies and a little know-how, you can put together a homemade smokehouse that has flavor and performance to match that of commercial models. This project is a great way to learn about smoking from the comforts of your own home, regardless of your level of experience with do-it-yourself projects.

Materials Needed Instructions
Wooden box or container 1. Choose a wooden box or container large enough to hold your smoking items.
Electrostatic generator 2. Acquire or build an electrostatic generator capable of producing cold smoke.
Wood chips or sawdust 3. Obtain wood chips or sawdust for smoking, ensuring they are dry and suitable for the desired flavor.
Wire mesh or racks 4. Install wire mesh or racks inside the box to support the smoking items.
Power source 5. Connect the electrostatic generator to a power source, ensuring proper safety measures.
Ventilation 6. Create ventilation holes in the box to allow airflow for the smoke.
Sealing materials 7. Seal any gaps or openings in the box to prevent smoke leakage.
Smoking process 8. Place the wood chips or sawdust in a container within the box and ignite them.
Monitoring 9. Monitor the smoking process to ensure the desired level of smoke is achieved.
Adjustments 10. Make any necessary adjustments to the generator or airflow to maintain consistent smoking.


Smokers that have an electrostatic circuit that they can create with their hands at home fall into one of two categories:

  • on an old television transformer;
  • on an old two-stroke engine or ignition coil.

The blocks that the smokehouse uses to create the field are the only things that separate them from one another; the housing and appearance might be the same.

Ignition coil and car battery

An alternative source of electrostatic field generation is an induction ignition coil found in an automobile’s internal combustion engine. It functions as a step-down transformer, and a battery can be used as a suitable stand-in power supply.

From a TV sweep board

With the spare parts from an old TV set, one can construct an electric smoker. The component you’ll need to complete the circuit is a sweep board, which was included in older televisions. Furthermore, a circuit is created on a sewing board, t.к. The electrostatic field’s power cannot be controlled by the sweep board alone. The final device’s dimensions are determined by the power of the high voltage unit; the more powerful the board and, consequently, the older the TV, the larger the electric field and larger housing that can be picked up.

From automobile parts

An automobile coil can be used for a smokehouse from an automobile. It has a step-up transformer application. The power supply can be swapped out for an automobile battery.

From a microwave oven

Diodes with a high voltage may be required for the microwave oven. Diodes rated between 0.3A and 2.5A, which are chosen based on capacity, are required for the device to function.

from the refrigerator

For a summer cottage, we have designed a refrigerator smokehouse layout.

Unneeded refrigerator will serve as a perfect case for the device. Electrostatic smokehouse from the refrigerator can be used both at home and in the countryside. The appliance from a refrigerator turns out to be large and spacious, it can be loaded with a larger amount of products. Before making an outdoor version of a smokehouse, you need to decide on the place where it will be installed. If possible, it is better to install the construction under a slope, the refrigerator itself should be above the smoke generator. If the territory is gentle, then at the bottom of the smoke generator you need to dig a pit or put the base itself on a stand

Construction from a duck pot

A sufficiently portable and small gadget will emerge from two duck pots. On one of the roasters, take off the handle from the lid and fasten it to the roaster’s base. Screws hold the two duck pans firmly together. They have specific holes drilled for them. Additionally, they drill holes for the chimney pipe. The master’s imagination fills in the remaining details. For instance, the product placement grid can be taken from an outdated stroller or refrigerator.

Diagrams and drawings

Understanding precisely what a smokehouse should look like and what the finished product entails is essential to creating one. The electrostatic smokehouse’s general layout includes all required components, especially the oven, whose body can be composed of dense plastic, metal, or wood. It should have a voltage generator connected next to it.

The right density and flavor of smoke is produced by heating wood chips with a gas burner or shadow. The sawdust is kept from catching fire by using a fan to blow a large enough volume of air. Water cooling is required for the saturated smoke to enter the oven through the connector.

Selection of materials and components

A high-voltage generator is used to provide the smoking unit’s required voltage, which should be between 20 and 30 kW. It can also be produced on its own.

  • From an ignition coil and a machine commutator. The high voltage unit, assembled with a coil and a battery, is a simple circuit with a power source and a key. Setting pulses generator should be with a frequency of 1-2 kHz, and the voltage of the entire circuit – 12 V, which will require about 1-2 A.
  • From a string transformer. As in the first scheme, here the pulses coming from the generator control the transistor. The end result is 20-25 kW of DC voltage. Both the first and second variants of the scheme involve generators operating at certain frequencies. In the first case, you need a frequency of 1000-2000 Hz, and in the second – 14000-16000 Hz. It is still better to use a generator from the sweep of a TV set, as it accelerates the movement of smoke particles more, and the process is completed earlier.

It is essential to move on to the steam generator’s manufacturing after choosing the voltage source. A thick-walled, stainless-steel pot or a cast-iron fryer make ideal housing for it. The heater is placed on top of a 2-3 cm layer of granite or limestone grits that has been poured into the bottom of the container.

An iron with ceramic insulating rings or a spiral from a fireplace make the perfect heater. It is covered with a sieve-like sheet that has holes in it. On top of such a sheet, wood chips up to 5 cm are added.

A connector and a flexible corrugated hose made of metal or plastic are attached to a hole drilled in the generator cover. Such a hose has the smoke cooler attached to its other end. A tiny water tank with copper tube that is at least 150 cm long is used to construct this cooler. The fan and smoke generator hoses are connected to the spiralized copper, which is placed inside the container via connections made to its leads.

Assembly instructions

The best materials for a homemade smoking cabinet are metal or wood, though the latter is more expensive and requires more work to properly insulate.

Its assembled measurements are 70 x 50 x 100 cm, and its hinged door should fit snugly without any gaps. Zinc plate that has been galvanized serves as the anode, or positively charged electrode. Because of the points on this tin plate that face the product, the field strength will be stronger. A bend and a corner cut are used to create the points. A metal mesh grate can also be used in place of tinplate.

Positioned on both sides of the cathode, the anode plate is constructed in the same manner. The anode’s two components need to be wired together and grounded in order to produce a static voltage strong enough to cause smoke particles to literally "drill" the workpiece.

Put the chips in the roaster or pressure cooker and turn on the heat source to get a ready-made smokehouse for work. The fan is turned on and the lard or fish is loaded into the smoking cabinet. The cabinet door can be shut and the generator turned on once the smoke is flowing continuously. When the smoking is finished, turn off the generator and let it sit unplugged for two minutes afterward. All soiled surfaces should be wet cleaned only after the steam generator and fan have been turned off and the unit has been unloaded before anyone touches the cabinet.

Instructions for assembling a cold-smoking smokehouse

There are numerous examples of similar constructions with waste materials like cardboard boxes and plastic barrels inside the chamber. You can accomplish this by using cold smoke, but the smokehouse will only hold up for a few uses. If they have a persistent desire to smoke, they should construct a capital structure by hand.

drawer for the cold smoking chamber

Any container that is the right size can be used to create the smoking cabinet. An ancient metal safe is one example of this type of device:

  1. remove the inner shelves;
  2. Use a gas burner and a steel brush to remove paint from the walls;
  3. cut a hole Ø100mm in the upper part of the smoking chamber;
  4. fix in it a chimney made of galvanized or plastic sewer pipe;
  5. drill a hole Ø20mm in the lower part of the side wall;
  6. weld a piece of 1/2″ threaded water pipe to it;
  7. on the side walls every 10cm weld the corners 20x20mm;
  8. Make the necessary number of grates and place them on the corners.

The smoking chamber’s metal safe

A smokehouse constructed out of a gas cylinder is an additional variation of a smokehouse box. For adequate room to hold the products inside, a cylinder with a large volume and diameter is preferred.

Pipe length for cold smoking

These installations use chimneys for both cooling and smoke supply. The smoke cools down more strongly and moves through the pipe more slowly the larger its diameter.

The pipe’s diameter and length in these smokehouses vary according to how smoke is produced:

  • In units with a smoke generator, the smoke is not produced by burning but by smoldering sawdust and is mixed with cold air. Therefore, the pipe is made of PVC and has a length of up to 1 meter and a diameter of 16-20mm.
  • In smokehouses with a chimney in the ground, its length depends on the cross-section of the ditch. With its dimensions of 30x30cm is enough length of 3-4 meters, with a cross section of 15x15cm length should be increased to 5-7 meters.
  • In devices with a smoke duct made of steel pipe, its diameter can be 100-150mm and its length 5-10 meters. The first 2-3 meters of the product, through which the smoke, heated to a temperature above 100 ° C, is made of ordinary steel tube. The rest of the pipe can be galvanized or plastic pipe.

Cold-smoking smokehouse chimney


A minimum of two meters separates the hearth from the chamber. Red, fireproof bricks are used to construct the hearth. Provide a door so that ash and raw materials can be loaded and removed. The base beneath the stove should be concreted. Install a damper behind the chimney. It is closed at ignition to keep the first caustic smoke that forms at the start of combustion out of the chamber that contains the products.


Special consideration is given to the channel’s design. The smoke’s carcinogenic ingredients will condense inside of it.

Since the channel is attached to the back of the stove, it is typically started at the same time as the hearth.

A 300–500 mm diameter thin-walled metal pipe is the easiest to install. But, it accumulates soot over time and needs to be cleaned. A ground-level channel is thought to be efficient. Red bricks cover its sides, and metal sheets cover the top to keep the ground from collapsing. Condensate and soot are accumulating on the ground. Carcinogenic waste will be broken down by soil bacteria, negating the need to clean the channel.

Smoke cooling radiator

We must cool the smoke exiting the generator in order for the smoking to be cold. Ordinary PVC pipe, 1-2 meters in length, can be used to construct the cooler. This tube should be wrapped around the chimney, with one end connected to the water tap and the other lowered into the sewage system. Additionally, the length of the chimney can be adjusted to alter the temperature of the smoke. For this purpose, a telescopic tube from an old vacuum cleaner works perfectly.

Moisture collector

The food will release moisture, fat, and juice while it is smoking. Constructing a moisture collector at the smoking chamber’s base is advised. If the smokehouse will only be used for cold smoking, then a plastic basin can be used for this purpose; if it will also occasionally be used for hot smoking, then an enameled basin should be used.

Anode grid

Any metal grid can be used as an anode grid—that is, the grid onto which our high voltage generator will supply a positive charge—though stainless steel or non-ferrous metal works best. For equal spacing and a consistent ion flow, tiny metal pins measuring 3–4 centimeters can be screwed onto the grid.

cathode hooks

The cathode, or negative pole, to which the products will be connected, can be the hooks themselves. The hooks should be inserted into the product between five and seven centimeters deep for optimal and quicker smoking. The cathode wire can be connected inside the crossbar if it is made of metal with insulating gaskets, otherwise the minus wire is connected straight to the hooks if the crossbar is made of wood.

High-voltage generator for electrostatic smoking

A high-voltage block with a cyclic timer was developed after several months of nearly daily experiments on the topic of electrostatic smoking. A few more months were needed for the device’s final design and component selection.

Characteristics of the high-voltage unit:

  • Case dimensions: 135x75x50 mm. (excluding the PSU and protruding parts);
  • Power supply voltage: 12 volts, consumption up to 1A;
  • Power supply unit: 220V 2A included;
  • Output Voltage:

Twenty kilovolts (variable);

Cyclic timer:

  • High voltage time: 5-60 seconds;
  • Pause time: 5 seconds to 5 minutes;
  • Adjustment step: 1 second.

Control unit

It should be remembered that a high-voltage wire is required in order to connect the smoking chamber to the high-voltage generator. The simplest way is to place an order for "high voltage wire" or "high voltage wire" on AliExpress; this type of wire is specifically used in CO2 laser machines like this one. It can tolerate up to 40 kilovolts, as mentioned.

Furthermore, wires PMVK, PVN, and PVV can be fitted; in their absence, a Soviet antenna cable will function just fine. Here’s what I tried:

Practical part

It is now necessary to construct the actual high-voltage smoking unit, also known as the HV unit. We’ll use parts from Aliexpress for this. We’ll require:

  1. Any 12 – 16 volt power supply. 16 volts allows you to develop the maximum power of the BB block and this is the power limit for the chip NE555, on which the PWM works.

  1. Voltmeter – ammeter to visually control the strength of the smoking process. Using a voltmeter – ammeter allows you to select the smoker current and voltage that is optimal for the smoker you are using. It also allows you to adjust the voltage of smoking at different humidity, for example, in winter and summer.

  1. The PWM unit itself. It can be different, but must produce pulses with a frequency not higher than 1500Hz. This is the maximum effective frequency for operation of the used high-voltage diodes from microwave oven. And also have a power of at least 4 amperes, more reliable. For example, I am quite satisfied with this one from Aliexpress. However, it needs to be modified to lower the frequency, it is necessary to replace the capacitor indicated by the arrow to the rating of 103 (or 001μF).

  1. Ignition coil. I can"t say for sure which one will work better, I used a coil from Toyota A/M for 12 volts. I assume it"s better to use a coil to work with electronic ignition.

  1. Diodes used from a microwave oven at 0.35A 15000V. They are perfectly capable of withstanding the load, even a brief short circuit. Generally there are diodes up to 2.5 amps, this is for very powerful smokers.

  1. And capacitors. Preferably 15,000 volts and approximately 560 pF. The variation of parameters up to 25% in both directions will not deteriorate the quality of the rectifier assembled on them.

High-voltage generator for smokehouse with your own hands

5 volt supply for a high voltage generator (VVG):

By producing an electrostatic field inside the smokehouse, a high-voltage generator (high voltage generator) can cut down on smoking time and chip consumption by ten times.

When powered by the mains power supply, this type of generator produces approximately 20 kV of DC (not pulse) voltage at a load current of about 25 μA, and it has double galvanic isolation from the AC 220V network. There is absolutely no such problem when a lithium-ion battery powers the device. The cyclic timer and battery power will be covered in the upcoming articles.

The high-voltage circuit’s current limitation (10 mOhm resistor at the generator output) prevents the smokehouse from forming strong electric arcs and discharges, preventing the formation of large amounts of ozone and minimizing the harmful effects of high-voltage electric shock (in the event that BB parts are touched).

Even though such a shock is extremely unlikely to occur with a well-designed and skillfully operated smokehouse, you should not overlook safety precautions, particularly for those who are not using the smokehouse but have heart conditions, pacemakers, etc.д.

After turning off the VVG, the high-voltage charge at the generator’s output vanishes on its own in 20 to 30 seconds.

High-voltage generator schematic diagram for electrostatic smoking

The video shows the complete assembly procedure for the high-voltage generator they used to create electrostatic smoking with their hands.

Assembly of the high-voltage generator

The primary component of the electrostatic home smoker is a high-voltage generator. Large amounts of product are smoked in industrial settings using specialized, strong transformers. The voltage needed for a 7–10 kg home smokehouse per session is roughly 10–20 kV. A transformer from a broken device works well for providing it, or you can buy one specifically on Aliexpress.

What you will need to assemble the generator?

Use a high-voltage generator to provide a high voltage source for your network. You can get one at home by taking the ignition coil from an old car or by using a line scan transformer from an old TV set. This will provide a voltage of about 12 V. DC current is already present in a transformer you found for your smokehouse if it was taken from a TV set with a vacuum kinescope.

A key is an essential component of the generator’s most basic design, in addition to the high-voltage source. Either a transistor or a relay is used during assembly. It is vitally important to consider that the coils produce a voltage that could be fatal while operating. If you’d like, you can use ready-made kits from Aliexpress to assemble the generator entirely by yourself.

In addition, the following components must be assembled:

  1. voltmeter-ammeter, which will allow you to control the smoking process. It can be used to select the optimum current and voltage mode for your installation. Such a detail will help to change the voltage under different atmospheric conditions (humidity, temperature).
  2. 12-16 volt power supply. You can buy it or use a part from an old device, such as a music synthesizer.
  3. The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) unit changes the width of the pulse of constant amplitude at a fixed frequency and provides control of voltage and current values. When buying in online stores, you may need its English name – PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation).
  4. High-voltage diodes – purchased or from an old microwave oven. Depending on the power of the smoker, you will need diodes from 0.35A up to 2.5 А. When working with diodes, be attentive to the markings. At one end of the part there are strips marking the cathode.
  5. High voltage capacitors. The choice of their parameters depends on the features of the rectifier.

Safety precautions

Working with the future smokehouse will require adhering to safety regulations because it will have an electrical circuit.

  • First, the unit should be placed on a rubber mat (or some other dielectric base).
  • To the process of cooking can proceed only if the level of humidity in the room does not exceed 80%.
  • Smoking ingredients must be hung exclusively, no contact with the grid or housing is permitted.
  • All components of the electrical circuit must be safely isolated from the structure itself, which is additionally recommended to be earthed.
  • Smoked dishes can be taken out only after disconnecting the device from the network.

Any indication of a problem, such as a spark or static charge on the housing, should prompt you to switch off the appliance right away.

Possible smoking problems and how to solve them

Home cooks, especially the less experienced ones, frequently face a variety of challenges, chief among them being the poor quality of the food they produce, even if the installation was put together in accordance with the instructions. Let’s examine the most prevalent issues and their fixes.

  • The presence of bitterness – this is due to the wrong choice of wood chips. It is not recommended to use pine wood, sawdust of spruce and other coniferous trees, as they contain quite a lot of resin. This, in turn, negatively affects the taste of the final dish.
  • In addition, excessive moisture of chips, as well as excessive concentration in briquettes (special compressed smoking tile) has a negative impact on the product properties.
  • Loose, fuzzy structure – due to excess moisture. Before starting smoking, the ingredients should be dried.
  • Pungent odor – jerky and fish need to be properly ventilated – at least 6 hours. In reality, the cooking procedure is not over yet, the excess smoke must be gotten rid of.
  • Low temperature, lack of smoke – this phenomenon is usually associated with damage to the heating elements. Inspect the heating elements for any malfunctions and replace if necessary.

Building your own electrostatic smokehouse to smoke food for cold aging is a fulfilling project that can improve your cooking abilities and give your food a distinctive taste. With easily obtained materials and a homemade generator, you can build a smokehouse by following the instructions in this guide. In addition to giving do-it-yourselfers a chance to show off their inventiveness, this project offers a useful method of flavoring and preserving food.

Making your own electrostatic smokehouse allows you to tailor it to your tastes and requirements, which is one of its main benefits. You can customize the smokehouse’s size, design, and features to meet your needs, regardless of your level of experience. This adaptability lets you try out various smoking methods and materials, giving you the opportunity to create smoked meals with the ideal ratio of flavor to aroma.

In addition, building a smokehouse with a homemade generator is more affordable than buying a commercial one. You can drastically lower the project’s total costs by using inexpensive materials and upcycling objects from around the house. This not only increases the accessibility of cold smoking to a larger population, but it also encourages sustainability by reducing waste and resource consumption.

In addition to being a useful project, building your own electrostatic smokehouse is a creative way to express yourself and promote independence and ingenuity. Every stage of the process, from layout design to technical troubleshooting, promotes problem-solving and experiential learning. Furthermore, the satisfaction you get from building and operating your smokehouse yourself can boost your self-esteem and encourage you to try more do-it-yourself projects.

In conclusion, culinary enthusiasts and do-it-yourself enthusiasts alike can discover a world of possibilities when they set out to build their own electrostatic smokehouse using a homemade generator. You can start a rewarding journey that improves your culinary creations, your cooking abilities, and your enjoyment of dining experiences for years to come with a little forethought, creativity, and a willingness to learn.

In this article, we"ll dive into the exciting world of DIY cold smoking with an electrostatic smokehouse. With a homemade generator, you can achieve deliciously smoked meats, cheeses, and more right in your backyard. We"ll walk you through the steps to create your own smokehouse, explaining how the electrostatic generator works and how to set it up for optimal cold smoking. Whether you"re a seasoned smoker or new to the craft, this guide will help you elevate your culinary skills and impress your friends and family with flavorful, homemade smoked delicacies. Get ready to embark on a tasty adventure and become the envy of your neighborhood with your very own electrostatic smokehouse!

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Making Cold Smoking Smokehouse-3 (High Voltage Generator)

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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