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my drum smoker

11171 Views 36 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  TATERDAVID
been asked about this a few times so i thought i'd show some more pictures and talk alittle about the build.

i got the idea from a few of the smokeing website i check out so this isn't some crazey idea i thought up but a well researched and tested bbq

i have less than $100 into this smoker and there is nothing that even comes close to it for a reasonable price.

i bought the drum new for $64 out the door from penn barrel inc in pittsburgh. you can find drums anywhere but i wanted new just to save on the hassel of burning and all that. well worth the money. if ya go there you want a NEW UNLINED OPEN TOP BARREL. if you have a weber lid take it with you sometimes they fit better on the bottom of a closed head drum so try it out

heres a picture of the inside of the drum when new. they come with a light anti rusting agent so ya gotta wash that out real good with soap and water

i had the weber lid already my uncle had one he was throwing out so i got it for free. keep an eye out for these lots of good parts.

heres the charcoal basket. i can burn for over 16hr on one load so its very fuel efficent. if you have been paying attention i have used this drum almost every weekend and sometimes saturday and sunday and only used three or four bags of coal i can't remeber exactly but we'll call it 4.

it was made by rolling some expanded metal bought at home depot(took 2 peices) around a propane tank and bolting together with STAINLESS STEEL bolts and nuts. i bought these at home depot as well. the bottom peice is from the donor weber my uncle gave me so freebee. i think i got about 2.5 -3 inchs of space for the coal ash to fall thru, this is very important.

here you see the cooking grate, its a cheapo 22.5 in bought at walmart on clearence for 8 or 9 bucks. its held up by 3 STAINLESS STEEL BOLTS AND NUTS. these i had so they were free. DO NOT USE GALVANIZED STEEL IN YOUR SMOKER

heres a temp gage i installed its a cheapo walmart clearence also was somewhere around $8. i use digital thermos so this is just for an emergency if my batteries died or something like that but if you don't have a digital you need this

now in the first and 3rd picture you can see the vent holes on the bottom and see i have a valve on one. this method works very well for controling airflow but i have since removed the valve and the nipples and am using magnets as i like them better. no pictures of them but i can take some.

as for what height to drill holes that all depends on the drum and lid set up for your cooking grates. there is lots of info out there for you guys to look at

this drum is very easy to use and fuel efficeint. wind and cold has no effect but i did have to shut it down one day cause even with 40# of weight i was afraid it was gonna blow over other than that never a problem.

I can take more pictures if anyone needs some these i had loaded already

i'll leave ya'll with some Q-VEIW

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21 - 37 of 37 Posts
Actual smoking is lower temps.
The trick is to control the temp and keep it low
but the internal temp of the meat(to doneness(rare, med rare,well done etc) must still be achieved,
This is why smoking takes so long
but this is why the meat has time to absorb the smoke
which turns some of the muscle fibers into types of sugars
and makes it tender and sweet.
So if I was at 220 I would be smokeing??

The drum will stay at 220 for 16plus hours on one load of coal like I said I never tried to go lower than 220 or higher than 350 doesn't mean that I can't

While not true smokeing by some peoples definition its what I call it and a whole lot of other people do to

Its all BBQ and taste good to me. Myran cooks his brisket at over 300 degrees and he's won a lot of money
Smoking as I always understood it was " Low and slow". I do brisket at 205 usually takes 12-20 hours depending on the poundage of the meat. Yesterday I did a 8.5 lb one that took 17hrs. I cook till an internal temp of 185-190. I also did 3 pork shoulders yesterday. They were 7 lbs apiece. They took 13 hours to get to 185 internal. When the hit the right internal I FTC them for around 3-4 hours after I brush they with apple juice. Foil, Towel, Cooler. It helps keep the meat from drying out and tissue breakdown. 17lbs of pulled pork and a whole brisket for friends and family party not a scrap leftover!
sounds good 6.5, i love pulled pork its my favorite dish i think.

smokeing is low and slow but do chicken at low temps and you'll have rubbery skined dry chicken unless you brine which i don't brine my wings.

pulled pork i go to 165 then foil and take to 200 and then to the cooler

there is no absolute in cooking or smokeing if there was we would all eat the same stuff. just look at all the different styles of BBQ in our country
forgot the finished product

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Bump for bobcat
I picked up a barrel today. It had heavy equipment grease in it, but the grease was in a plastic bag. There was a light oily film on the inside of the drum. Do you guys think this would be ok to use if I cleaned it out and burned it real good? No grease was touching the inside of the barrel.
Spray with kero and light.You need to get it hot enough to get the paint off.Then brush paint outside with Rustolium High temp grill paint.

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Thanks, I burnt it real good tonight and got the paint burnt off the outside. Now I guess I just need to paint it wit high temp paint and make a charcoal basket. I just wanted to be sure it was ok since it wasn't a food grade barrel.
A real good burn should do the trick, your gonna love the drum. i use mine every weekend year round
great job & pictures
IMHO smoking is smoking.
smoked cheese 90 temp
smoked pork shoulder 230 temp
low & slow is what I call BBQ
but call it what you want as long as it turns out the way you want it is all that really matters
would a drum that had raceing fuel in it be ok if i burned it out
anything will be okay if you get it hot enough, how hot does it have to be i don't know

i went with a new one just for peice of mind and less hassel.

glad to see some more interest in this type of smoker. i will tell you it will perform as good or better than anything you can buy anywhere. thats a bold statement but i truelly believe that
i can run low and slow or hot like a oven with this smoker.

if you look at the last picture it was absolutly miserable out during that shot and the smoker could care less, it actually runs better when its really cold like that
I realize this post is old, but I'm bumping it up to the top because it was my inspiration to research the UDS. Since there was no school today due to power outages, I used my day off to get mine built!

Tomorrow I'll fire it up nice and hot to season the inside for a couple hours and work on the temp/air adjustments. I'll get some pics while I'm at it. This weekend I'm going to go all out for Football food.

Thanks Tater for the idea
Good luck, you will love your drum
21 - 37 of 37 Posts