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These smokehouse ideas for your backyard will open up endless fine dining possibilities for your family. Smoked meat is tradition that goes back thousands of years as a way to preserve a harvest that normally took place each fall, winter and early spring. The saved meat would then been used throughout the warmer months having been properly preserved. But today, smoking certain meats is a way to make flavorful memories. And more and more people are experiencing this right in their own backyard.

It’s a very American tradition to have a BBQ grill in the backyard. But the origins of this was the smokehouse. Most farms even 60 years ago had a smokehouse that was pretty active in the winter months. Over the years, smokehouses fell out of favor and the iconic charcoal and gas grills reigned supreme. But now, smokehouses are coming back!

Famous charcuterie stores and restaurants have brought back the unmistakable flavors that only a smokehouse can provide. And then it dawns on us, “I can do this too, at home!”

Below are 10 smokehouse ideas and designs that people have built in their backyards. Our homestead has our own smokehouse that we have been using now for about 4 years. We have smoked all kinds of meats including, venison, lamb, trout, salmon and even SALT!

#10 – An American Homestead Smokehouse

Buy smokehouse plans here (ONLY $4.99)


Some of our delicious smoked trout after a couple hours of cold smoke.

MORE SMOKEHOUSES BELOW

#09 – Cinderblock and Wood Smokehouse

This is a modern design with a cinderblock base and a nice wood finish on the outside. Notice the multiple temp gauges on the front of the smoker that gives the cook accurate readings of what’s happening on the inside without opening the door. The separate firebox allows the smoke to travel to the meat and lose heat along the way providing a cold smoke.

#08 – Brick Style Smokehouse and Bake Oven

This attractive and well built smoker is also an oven for baking bread. It’s great to get a dual purpose out of your build. The all brick construction ensures years of use and should weather fairly well over the years.

#07 – Small Smokehouse with Firewood Storage

This is a nice little backyard smokehouse idea that would work well for most homeowners wanting to prepare their own meat. The attached firewood storage would come in handy for stocking your supply of your favorite hickory, maple, or apple wood.

#06 – Colonial Style Brick Smokehouse

This is the iconic style smokehouse you would have seen in the early days of colonial America in areas like Boston and New York. There are actually 200 year old smokehouse that exist today in these areas. Homeowners with access to lots of good bricks may want to explore a style like this. Although its very attractive, it can be somewhat expensive to build.

#05 – Smokehouse with Modern Look

This backyard smokehouse went with a more modern look instead of a wood exterior. It just shows how creative you can get with a smokehouse design. With this particular model, you have two fireboxes. One underneath your food for more heat and a firebox set off to the right for more indirect heat. However, with a firebox contained withing the same unit as the meat, it will be hard to get a true “cold smoke” of 80 degrees or less.

#04 – A Smokehouse With Character

You can see that the builder of this suburban smokehouse decided to decorate the outside. It shows that even if you decide to build you smoker from a set of plans found online, you can still make the final project unique and unlike any other.

#03 – It’s Just A Box Smokehouse

It’s nothing spectacular but it works. This is just a simple box construction with an outside fire source piped in to the center. You start the fire, hang your meat and leave until you are satisfied…or until your taste buds can no longer stand to wait.

#02 – Smoker with Screen Shelves

In this constuction, the builder placed screen shelves to place meat or other items on. The screen shelving ensures that the pieces your smoking will get proper airflow and exposure to the smoke. The screen shelves keep things moving internally and thus produces a better product. This is a simple construction that anyone can build.

#01 – Complete Cinderblock Construction

This smokehouse was build entirely with cinderblocks. Cinderblocks make a good building material for your smokehouse ideas and by far the most used material for these types of projects. It does require a bit of skill and practice to lay the blocks evenly but as someone who has done this, it can be done by a novice and have a good outcome. This is usually the most common smokehouse build that we see from backyard meat smokers and homesteaders.

Smokehouse Ideas: Honorable Mention

Not everyone is into building their own backyard project. If that is you and you still want to have the ability to make yummy meat products in your backyard, there is hope! There are numerous commercial products and kits available on the market that will allow you to cold smoke meat. Just spend some time searching online and asking about it BBQ forums with other backyard smokers. Pictured below is just one product that is available.

Our Smokehouse Construction Video

Here is the video of our homestead construction build. We hope these smokehouse ideas give you the inspiration to build your own backyard smoker or cold smoker.

Living Off Grid: Building Our Smokehouse - YouTube

Downloadable Smokehouse Construction Plans

The post 10 Smokehouse Ideas For Your Backyard appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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Have you ever tried a boneless lamb shoulder roast recipe? We love making delicious meals with food harvested on the homestead. This ram/lamb was given to us last year from a family wanting to give him a new home and the time has now come. He lived out his remaining days eating our growing green grass around the homestead and running and playing with the other sheep.

When the time came to butcher him, I knew exactly what meals I wanted to get out of him. Ribs, lamb chops, and a number of boneless roasts including those from the shoulder.

A shoulder roast is one of the most tender and juiciest roasts you can get from a sheep. There is a perfect mix of fat and meat that keep the roast tender and full of flavor. So much so that if you’re new to roasts and you make a mistake, a lamb shoulder is very forgiving. There is a good chance you are going to impress whomever is sitting at the table when you bring in the platter.

The challenge for most will be how to get a lamb shoulder to experiment with in the kitchen? Buying this particular cut of boneless meat at the butcher is going to run you about $50 on the low end. Lamb is expensive anyway but I’ve seen roast like this go as high as $100 in certain high end markets. When you raise your own animals and butcher them yourself, you can eat like a king.

This recipe is going to take you step by step with pictures on how I prepared the meat and then gave is a slight smoke flavor and finished it off in the oven. The result was lamb perfection!

That is our lamb shoulder roast recipe. Enjoy the video and leave a comment below. Also, if the video made you hungry, share the video with friends on facebook and your favorite social media site! Thanks!

BONELESS LAMB SHOULDER ROAST RECIPE! - YouTube

Need seeds for this years garden? Try these!

The post Boneless Lamb Shoulder Roast Recipe appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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We continue in our soup series with a green curry soup recipe. Jaimie is in the kitchen every day cooking from scratch and today she is sharing her favorite Asian soup.

The green curry paste is what makes this recipe pop! But it can be a bit too spicy for some people if you add too much. So maybe start off small at first and enjoy the distinct flavor the green curry delivers. Then if you enjoy the heat, add more.

We usually have a separate small bowl of additional green curry sauce at the dinner table for those who want to add more to their dish according to their taste. Zac always adds more as he likes the heat. But make no mistake that green curry even when used sparingly provides an amazing flavor that is hard to duplicate elsewhere.

Along with this recipe is an included short video on how Jaimie makes traditional rice on the stove top. Many people today make rice in a special cooker with a rice setting or they make instant rice.

We prefer making it the old fashioned way with Jasmine rice.

So start off with the rice video and then watch the soup recipe video. Give it a try and then report back on how it went.

The Homestead Green Curry Soup Recipe:
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Onion
1 Can Coconut Milk
1 Tbs Lime Juice
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1.5 Tbs Fish Sauce
4 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tps – 3 Tbs Green Curry Paste (based on your level of spice)
Assorted Veggies
1 Qt Chicken Broth
2 Chicken Breast (sliced)

Easy Stove Top Rice Recipe - YouTube
Green Curry Soup Recipe - Delicious and EASY! - YouTube

Thanks for watching and enjoy your soup!

IF YOU NEED GARDEN SEEDS THIS SPRING, CHECK OUT THESE BELOW!

The post Green Curry Soup Recipe appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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We are hungry! And one of our favorite meals is the stuffed squash that is baked and grilled. We fondly refer to this recipe as the Ozark Mountain Potato.

The squash that will be stuffed is grown right here on the homestead each year and its a very prolific variety that produces large pumpkin flavored fleshy fruits. This particular squash was harvested in late fall and finally this week fell into its final delicious fate. It was halved, cleaned out, stuffed with our favorite venison stuffing and then slightly baked before being finished on the grill and topped with cheese.

The video shows Jaimie going through all the steps necessary to bring this very savory dish to the table. So give it a watch and be sure to share it with your friends.

STUFFED SQUASH - OZARK MOUNTAIN POTATO - YouTube
STUFFED SQUASH INGREDIENTS
  1. Medium to Large Ozark Mountain Potato Squash (seeds available below)
  2. 2 Pounds of Ground Venison (substitute beef if needed)
  3. Rice (enough for stuffing)
  4. Celery (chopped)
  5. One Fresh Onion (diced)
  6. 4 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (diced)
  7. 1 Part Onion Powder
  8. 2 Parts Garlic Powder
  9. 2 Table Spoons of Italian Seasoning
  10. 2 Bay Leaves
  11. Half Tablespoon Black Pepper (optional)
  12. Salt (smoked salt is available at our web store)
  13. Salted Butter
  14. Shredded Cheese
  15. Parmesan Cheese

The stuffing is prepped first with the meat and rice. Low carb eaters can leave out the rice if they wish. Then the squash is halved and cleaned out. Save your seeds for next season!

The squash is smeared with butter and salt and pepper is added. Place your halves in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. The time will differ depending on how large and thick your squash flesh. The squash is finished baking when it becomes SLIGHTLY tender and a thin layer of skin has formed on the exposed flesh. Fork it!

Then its time to put in your stuffing. Mound it up.

To finish on the grill, Zac takes over and gets his coals burned down to a low roar. Maximum heat is not what you’re going for as the squash has already gone through a slight baking. Add some hickory, maple, apple or cherry wood to your coals to bring a great flavor. It’s a crime to use a gas grill for this dish. We will come and arrest you!

Close off 90% of the oxygen to your grill. Let the squash bake in the grill for about 30 minutes and then add your cheese to the top of both halves. Close up your grill for about 5 more minutes.

SERVE! That’s it!

Enjoy the video and if you would like to grow this amazing variety of squash, be sure to get some seeds from our online store below! Enjoy your stuffed squash!

STUFFED SQUASH - OZARK MOUNTAIN POTATO - YouTube

The post Stuffed Squash Recipe – Ozark Mountain Potato appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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It’s a garden soil additive that is often overlooked as an explosive and helpful soil builder. Coffee grounds! The coffee bean is amazingly nutrient rich and packed full of energy. People the world over drink it daily and believe it or not, throw those used beans away when they are done without thinking about any future potential.

Today, we are going to encourage you to turn one man’s trash into a garden treasure that will bring huge growth potential to your soil. If you are a coffee drinker, don’t even think about throwing those used grounds away. If you don’t drink coffee, give a bucket to all your friends who do drink coffee and ask them to save their grounds.

The end result of your hard earned savings will be a fertile soil that produces reliably every year. Your garden soil will be a metropolis of micro-biology with happy little microbes and mycelium working together to produce healthy veggies for your family.

It’s no secret to experienced gardeners that worms love coffee. It sends them into a sexual overdrive that will surprise you with their reproduction abilities. More worms means more worm poop (castings) and that is one of the best ingredients for fertile soil. People pay a lot of money for worm castings at their local organic gardening centers. But why pay for something that you can make on your own. Simply save your coffee grounds!

Think of your worms inside your garden soil as thousands of tiny gardeners constantly tending the dirt and working it over. Workers like a cup of energy packed coffee. Why would your worms be any different?

Garden Soil Benefits Of Adding Coffee Grounds

Below are some of the most amazing benefits of adding coffee grounds to your garden soil.

  • Increased Plant Yields
  • Increased Worm Activity
  • Increased Mycelium Growth

The last benefit will also mean an additional food source produced by your garden. Mycelium growth will drastically increase with added coffee grounds in the soil. Some of the world most experienced mushroom growers add coffee grounds to their growing mediums. They know that coffee is packed full of nutrition that produces the biggest mushrooms.

Wine cap mushrooms are an easy garden grower and will see amazing benefits with added coffee grounds to your soil. And that means an additional food source produced by your garden every spring and fall!

So be sure to save those coffee grounds and encourage your friends to do the same!

GROWING GARDENS WITH COFFEE - YouTube
GET YOUR SEEDS FOR SPRING HERE!

Buying some of your garden seeds here helps to support the homestead! THANK YOU!

The post Better Garden Soil With Coffee Grounds appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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Today I found some amazingly large Reishi mushrooms growing IN MY GARDEN! They were huge but disappointingly old and probably beyond using for medicine. But it was exciting still to find them growing so close to home in my garden.

I have looked long and hard for these on the land and to find them in my garden right under my nose is upsetting because I should have seen them sooner. Had I spotted them a few months ago, I could have saved and used them.

Hopefully they dropped their spores and they will grow more around the homestead that I will be able to find.

Reishi mushrooms have a long history of medicinal use and the alternative medicine community know well the healing properties of this amazing fungi. If you find them or one of the other medicinal mushrooms, harvest them and use them for a healthy lifestyle. We primarilly use these and turkey tails for my son’s weakened immune system(see the video for more info on that).

Enjoy the video and we will see you in the next one!

LARGE REISHI MUSHROOMS ON PERSIMMON TREE! - YouTube

SEEDS FOR SPRING GARDENS ARE HERE!

The post Huge Reishi Mushrooms On Persimmon Stump appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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Until this point I had never held an American Enfield rifle but I knew from enough pictures I’d seen that this one was a bit different. The stock was not the same as the Enfield rifles I’ve seen.

After doing some research, I noticed that the serial number put this rifle at the end of the production line for the Eddystone arsenal. The born on date placed on the end of each barrel of the M1917 American Enfield rifle placed its birthday on the very month the Armistice was signed ending the fighting in Europe.

So with the war over in November of 1918, the Eddystone arsenal had a lot of American Enfield rifles on hand that would never make it to the muddy trenches in France. So they put sporting stocks on them and released them to the commercial civilian market.

Over 2 million of these rifles were made and after the war they were distributed and sold all over the world to our allies and enemies alike. They are still used by the Danish military as their service weapon as they claim the M1917 Enfield performs well in cold weather Arctic operations. They also claim they are particularly effective against polar bears!

So in this video, I take this 100 year old piece of history out to our homestead range and attempt to put lead on steel. She performs remarkably well and I didn’t even have to adjust the scope. Someone did a good job of sighting it in years ago.

WAR RIFLE THAT NEVER MADE IT TO BATTLE - YouTube

Did you enjoy the video? Leave a comment below!

The post A Rifle Made For War appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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Jaimie is always asked in our comments about doing more cooking and kitchen related videos. We are going to start off a new series that will involve Jaimie cooking on the homestead and the methods she uses.

She thought Broccoli Cheddar would be a great place to start. Primarily because it involves a base formula (recipe) that can easily be a starting point for so many other meals. When you first learn the base formula, you’ll be off and running to create so many other wonderful meals for your family.

The base formula she uses in this video can be the starting point for the following:

  1. Broccoli Cheddar
  2. Chowder Soups
  3. Creamy Chicken Noodle
  4. Creamy Chicken Cheaters Alfredo
  5. Mack & Cheese
  6. Cream of Potato
  7. Cream of Mushroom
  8. Creamy Gravy over Biscuits
  9. LOTS MORE!

So instead of trying to keep lists and lists of recipes every time you want to prepare a meal, memorize this simple base formula and then add in whatever you have on hand at the time.

STARTING FORMULA:

  1. STOCK: Beef, Chicken, Turkey or whatever you have on hand.
  2. Cream Cheese (we use Neufchâtel)
  3. Onion
  4. Garlic
CREAMY SOUPS - BROCCOLI CHEDDAR - YouTube
Start Video! Enjoy!

That’s it! It is the beginning of a great tasting meal. Now add whatever you would like. Noodles, meat, diced potatoes, mushrooms, etc.

This video is going to show how we use this formula to make broccoli cheddar soup. Once you get the hang of this, you won’t need a recipe ever again when making your favorite creamy soup.

Enjoy! Leave a comment below please and let us know you were here!

The post Creamy Soups – Broccoli Cheddar appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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A recent trip to Bass Pro in Springfield, MO found me bringing home a box of Streak tracer or visual ammunition.  It’s a tracer alternative that is safer and cheaper.

As someone who went through a lot of tracer ammo in the military, I can assure you its fun to shoot. It’s super bright at night and just looks cool.  Normal tracer ammo you can even see during the day because it’s so bright. The downside is that it burns really hot because basically there is a HOT fire coming out of the butt of the bullet. And so it can be a significant fire hazard in dry conditions.

But this Streak tracer ammo is non-incendiary. That means there is no fire from the round to be a fire hazard in the target area. The technology it uses is a simple glow in the dark piece of plastic that is lit up by the explosion of the gun powder in the barrel.  So when the bullet leaves the barrel, the rear end is glowing.  

So unlike regular tracer ammo, it doesn’t get as bright and you can only see it during the day. 

Streak Tracer Video Review

Take a look at the video and review and let me know if you would buy a box of this or not. A bunch of this could be fun…but is it as fun as normal tracers?  Hmm…that’s a tough bill to pay.

The ammo is sold at Bass Pro.  Look for the Streak Tracer end cap.

The post Streak Tracer Ammo – Range Time appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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Have you ever thought about baking potatoes off grid in a wood stove? No, then join us for a new adventure!

An off grid homestead is assuredly going to have a wood stove working to keep the home warm during the winter months. And while that stove may do a wonderful job of keeping the family comfortable, that doesn’t have to be its only job.

All that cheap wood heat can be harnessed and used to take on cooking and baking duties for the family. You will constantly see pots on top of our wood stove.  We are heating water, warming a hardy soup, or maybe making nice afternoon tea.  But we may also be baking something inside.

We have used our stove as an oven to bake chicken, bread and today, we are going to bake potatoes.  Our camp style dutch oven is great for this purpose. 

Wood Stove Baking Tips
  • Use coals, not flames to bake
  • Push your coals to the back and sides
  • Keep whatever your baking rotated
  • If your new to this process, keep a close watch
We want you to have the most success possible when using your stove for tasks like cooking or baking. Like anything in life, you get better at it with practice. ENJOY THE VIDEO!
BAKING POTATOES IN YOUR WOOD STOVE - YouTube
Are you baking or cooking with your home stove? Give us a comment below and let us know how its going or share with us your favorite recipe! ————————— Get Your Seeds For Spring Planting!

The post Baking Potatoes In Your Wood Stove appeared first on Modern Homesteading Off Grid - An American Homestead.

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