To make a simple homemade meat smoker from a garbage can, cut a small hole near the bottom of a metal garbage can. Place an electric hot plate in the bottom of the garbage can, and pull the cord through the hole. Place a small pan on top of the hot plate, and install a grate at the top of the garbage can. Fill the pan with soaked wood chips, and turn the hot plate on to use the smoker.
To install the cooking grate at the top of the garbage can, drill 4 evenly-spaced holes in the garbage can approximately 7 inches from the top. Install four long bolts in the holes so the bolts extend inward toward the center of the garbage can. Secure the screws with lock washers and nuts, and set the grate into place on the screws.
Turn the hot plate on, and adjust the setting as needed to maintain the appropriate temperature to smoke the food. Another option is to use a standard BBQ grill to smoke food.
To use a standard grill, light a small amount of charcoal, and allow the charcoal to burn as usual. When the charcoal is ready, move it to one corner of the grill, and place the soaked wood chips on the charcoal. Place the food in the corner opposite the charcoal and wood chips to smoke the food.