Homemade Smoker From A 55 Gallon Drum

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by JERMSQUIRM, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    Here's a project I've been working on. Its a 55 gallon drum. It will be and almost is a smoker now. First thing done is a burn out. To burn and remove any pollutants inside of the barrel. You can use a drum lid, but to add space I am using a salvaged old Weber kettle lid. A little modification and rolling of the metal was needed to make it fit. I used some fork horn deer antlers that my friend left me to make a jackalope that I never got to do. And a fresh coat of high heat muffler paint.

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    I then pressure washed the drum. We are still gonna sandblast the inside of it before I season and use it. Then I added a rack from an old gas grill and axle and tires to make it mobile.

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    I added some 2" thick oak boards and a couple shelf brackets to make a table on it for digital thermometers beer ect... I stained them last night. I also added some hooks to the front of them for hanging grill tools. They have to be pretty well sealed, so I added some 2 part epoxy around the axles for an air tight seal.

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    There are three levels for grates in this one. Made the holders from simply bolting stainless bolts through the side. I need two more replacement grates yet. But I havent got them.The air intakes at are at the bottom. There are 4 of these around the bottom. It's a stainless steel bolt with a spring and some flat steel to cover the holes. They have to have very sensitive air adjustments so as not to burn hotter than 250-300 degrees. This allows it to cook for upwards of 10 hrs on 9 lbs f charcoal in one fill. The fire box is a salvaged grill grate with a box made of expanded metal lath. This will be mounted 3" off the bottom inside to hold coals. I still have to put a water pan in this too.

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    This is where it sit's now. It has three hooks under rack for mopping brushes. and a beer can chicken holder hooks under the table. Oh and I installed a thermometer on the lid to manage temperatures. I even put a brass frog on the lid.

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  2. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    Here's a better picture of it outside.

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    The design is so simple. This is all you need:

    • 55 gallon drum
    • 2 grates 22" or close to that
    • Non galvanized bolts, stainless is better
    • Washers and nuts
    • Some expanded sheet metal
    • Drum lid
    • 2-3" pipe for chimney
    • 3/4 or 1" black pipe
    • Ball valves and caps

    The barrel needs to be burned out to remove whatever was in it. Oil, gas ,coatings etc. Hot fire like 5-6 pallets. Sandblast or wire brush it on the inside to bare metal. Paint the outside with grill paint. Use 90 degree brackets or just long bolts through the sides to hold grates from grill. Firebox needs 3" of clearance from the bottom. Oil or spray Pam on bare inside and burn a fire in the box with coals to season like cast iron. This prevents rust.

    Intakes on bottom: 4/ 4-5" pieces of pipe welded or fastened with threaded bolts 3" from bottom. You need one brass ball valve and caps for rest. The air flow is controlled by these to burn slow and low. Less air lower fire.

    And a lid and chimney: You don't need the Weber lid. It just adds space. The idea is a sealed unit with air in coming in the bottom and out the top.

    The fire box: Add your raw charcoal. Open a spot in center and drop in 12-15 pieces of hot gray coals. And add meat and keep top on. It will cook all day. Just need a thermometer to regulate heat by opening caps or capping up and slight adjustments with ball valve or use the way I showed to intake with holes and closures held tight with springs.

    I didn't use tonight but I added movable supports in mine right above the firebox for a rack and stainless water pan. Then you have the option for that and can even steam with it. You can see the stainless steel bowl and rack in the picture where I said I seasoned it.

    I'm gonna build a better one in 4 weeks for a contest. Then one I can cook 40lbs of pork butt on one and steam 50 ears corn on other. They're cheap to build. I have about $20 in it. Got all the parts from old grills and friends.


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