How to Build Your Own Barrel Drum Smoker

You can build your own barrel drum smoker using a few easy steps and materials that can be found or bought anywhere.

A picture of a product called the Barrel Drum Smoker

Building a Custom-made Barrel Smoker Is Easy.

It will really depend on your preference on what will finally encourage you to use in preparing the smoked-flavored meats and delicacies that will your family and friends will enjoy any time and wherever there's a get together. Some prefers enjoying a more commitment-requiring drum and vertical smokers. Other believe that traditional smoking over an offset barrel smoker or a usual smoke box less taxing, hence more appropriate to accomplish the job. Still, many opt for the less messy, more conventional gas, electric, wood or charcoal-fueled smokers to create what they believe to taste as the most authentic-flavored smoked meat.

If you are one of those just beginning to appreciate the art of smoking foods, a number of things need to be considered. As it will take some time to master the craft, you might need to opt for the more budget-friendly devices that still produce the quality and the taste of smoked meat you love. Several well-known brands are available in the market that you can choose from, most of which are easy to set up and use, have electronic controls, as well as built-in thermostat that, heat shields, and other smoker accessories to make smoking perfectly convenient to anyone even for beginners. Some brands even allow customization so you can enjoy your new smoker the way you want to.

Prepare the Materials You Need to Build Your Own Barrel Drum

Yes, there are unique smoker brands available on the market. Bar-B-Chef, Big Drum Smoker, Bradley, Brinkman, Camp Chef, Char-Broil, Masterbuilt, Old Smokey and Weber's Smokey Mountain are just some of the popular choices. But if you are just feeling a bit adventurous and would like to have your hands on your very own smoker, this could be the very best do-it-yourself project you can start with. The barrel drum smoker is one of the easiest smokers to use, and also the easiest to make. This smoker is a "set and forget" cooking device. You just need to tend the meat every once in a while.

For this you need to prepare the materials you will need to build barrel drum smoker. A new 55 gallon drum with an open top will just be the right size for this DIY project. You need to make sure, however, that there are no non-food chemicals, including rust inhibitors (these inhibitors are painted inside the new drums not only to protect them from rusting, but also to give them a glossy shine), that have been placed or painted within the insides of the drum. For this project you also have to buy some hardware and other supplies, such as the following: handle, bolts and nuts, grills, charcoal grates, steel rod, expanded steel, and a Terra cotta steel. This is an easy DIY project so long as you have some knowledge of steel fabricating and welding.

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Make Your Barrel Drum Smoker Following These Easy Steps

The drum should be enough to fit 22" grill racks. Divide the circumference of the drum into three sections, using a painter's tape so you can mark the locations of your holes for your rack bolts.Measure down the drum 5", 10" and 15" to create three levels of racks. Then measure up from the bottom 12" for the location of the separator rack. Use a 5/16" drill bit to drill all holes. Then locate and cut opening for the Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system. Make sure that the height of the hole is even with the bottom of the charcoal basket. Then, install bolts and nuts, nuts on the inside, weld the nuts to the drum then paint to protect. Remove the bolts then re-tap the nuts. Weld the nuts to the inside of the drum so you will be able to back out the bolts when smoking to remove any of the grills without having to tilt the rack. Locate two 3/8" diameter holes with bolts and nuts between the top and middle rack. This is where the of wires for the ATC system and meat will go.

After this, you need to fabricate the lid handle. Measure in 1/2" from each end and center punch to drill 1/4" hole. Measure 1" from the end and draw a line. Then 3" in from the end draw a line now. Put the piece of steel in a vise so you can bend it to form the handle of the lid. Place the handle in the middle of the lid. Drill two holes to attach the handle to the lid. Once done, you will also need fabricate a charcoal basket. Whether you are using the ATC system or just holes in the bottom you need to draw your oxygen from under the coals. For this you have to make sure that your draft tubes are located below the bottom of the basket. You can use a charcoal rack from for the 18" kettle, and roll a hoop out of 1/4" steel round stock to the same diameter of the rack. Then, cut three steel rods 10" long each. Weld the steel rods to the outside of the charcoal rack and hoop. Then finish the side with expanded steel.

Final Reminders in Building the Drum Barrel Smoker

You can also purchase a steel pan and just drill 1/2" diameter holes in the bottom and side of the pan. Or you may find a charcoal pan form other smokers that will fit. The fire box area needs to be separated from the meat. A 16"diameter Terra cotta bottom for a planter can be placed on a grill rack and wrapped in aluminum foil. A 1/4" steel plate with holes drilled in the perimeter that separates the fire box is where you will place the Terra Cotta. You can also place a water pan in the center if you need it.

Your barrel drum functions like any other smoker where the meat hangs suspended from hooks and smokes for the required time. A remote control thermometer measures the internal temperature of the meat. Coals are put in the bottom of the barrel along with some lighter fluid in and then ignited with a piece of paper that has a small flame on it. The low heat and smoke in your barell drum smoker will create the same results as the finest BBQ restaurants anywhere. When properly maintained, the quality of the drum smoker will last through many years of great pit barbecue flavor. If you need more information on how to use a barell smoker, you can check out related posts in our web site. Happy smoking.