"For Father's Day my twin sons gave me the pieces to make a homemade smoker they saw on a Good Eats cooking show and it works great. It consists of 2 large clay/ceramic flower pots, a low cost single burner electric hotplate, a STEEL pie pan and a 12-14" round replacement grill. The bottom clay pot has a ID of 161/2 in. and stands about 16 in. tall. Select the top pot so it will just fit upside down inside the bottom pot (mine top pot has an OD of 16 in.). Make sure the the bottom pot has a drain hole large enough to run the hotplate power cord thru. If you have to buy everything new, should not cost more than $60.00.
To set-up, place the bottom pot on a couple of bricks or 2X4's (the bottom of the pot stays cool). Place the hotplate in the bottom of the pot and run the power cord out the bottom. Set the thermostat of the hotplate on high. Place the pie pan on the hotplate and fill with dry wood chips/chunks of your choice. Place the circular grill inside the bottom pot, place the meat on the grill, place the inverted top pot on top of the lower pot and plug in the hotplate power cord. If using an extension cord, make sure its rated for at least 15 amps.
Ours starts smoking within a couple of minutes and with a full pan of wood (using approx 2X2 in. chunks) will generate coupious amounts of smoke for up to 3 hours before refilling the pan. The smoker maintains a temp. as measured with a digital thermometer between 170-215 degrees as the hotplate cycles on and off. We recently cooked a 7 lbs. pork butt for 14 hours and it came out fantastic. We have also smoked chicken quarters for 3 hours and then finished them in the oven for about 30 minutes, testing with a internal thermometer for doneness. The pots hold the heat well but do not get hot enough for bad burns. The steel pie pan shields the meat from the direct heat and other than filling the pie pan with wood a few times, not much to do but watch it smoke.