Tepee and Wigwam Smokers

Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About
The more or less conical shape of the tepee used by the nomadic Plains Indians has a hole in the top to allow smoke to escape. This same shape can be used for smoking meat and fish, and is a good design for smoking a single ham or a few fish. It is not a good design for smoking a large batch of fish or meat, however. A wigwam structure popular with the Algonquian people can also be used.

A tepee smoker

With a tepee, three main poles are joined at the top and spread at the bottom like a tripod. Then more poles are spaced to round out the structure. Then the poles are covered with hides or some other material, leaving a hole at the top. (A real tepee doesnโ€™t have the hole at the very top; rather, it is off center, allowing for a flap to cover the hole.) A smoke fire is built on the ground, and the meat is suspended from the top. The covering for a temporary tepee can be made from canvas. Even plastic sheeting can be used if the tepee is large and the fire small and confined to the center.