Oil Barrel Smoker

What would you do with a pair of oil drums and a craving for delicious food? Like any sane person, redditor [Kilgore_nrw] made the logical choice and built a smoker.

To make the build easier, he picked up a double barrel stove kit which came with a door, hinges, legs and flue connectors. While fixing the legs and mounting the stove door — high enough for a bed of bricks in the fire barrel — went as planned, he had to improvise the installation of the smoke flue. It ended up being the exact same diameter as the flue connectors, but notching it enough to slide into place made a satisfactory seal.

Not liking the look of having the stack at the ‘front’ of the smoker, he mounted it above the flue at the rear and added two sandstone slabs in the smoking chamber to evenly distribute the heat. Finishing touches included heavy duty drawer slides for the cooking rack — ensuring easy access to deliciousness — and painstakingly grinding off the old paint to apply a new heat resistant coating. For any fans out there, the finished pictures are a sight to behold.

In today’s era of ubiquitous tech, it’s only natural that someone would go to great lengths to convert a cheap smoker into an automatic cooking machine, or have it text you once it’s finished cooking. If your appetite is not yet sated after checking those out, here a few more tasty morsels to tempt you.

[Via /r/DIY]

23 thoughts on “Oil Barrel Smoker

        1. Grilling meat is worse than smoking it. I suppose it depends on the technique in use, but in general creating char on the meat from burning the fat in it is the higher risk.

    1. A linesman pliers with two nails taped (electrical tape) toward the edge of the lower clamping surface and one in the middle of the upper clamping surface actually works quite well as a crimper.

  1. “Looks” mean nothing to function. In a sane fashonless world, looks is what function looks like. The connection should be at the rear and the final flue at the front to get cross flow.

    1. Unless the upper barrel consists of two chambers connected at the opposite end. Then you can have intake and exhaust at the same end.

      Though temp control will be a bit difficult with that.

  2. I was always under the impression that an oil drum would always have oil in the pores of the metal. no amount of heating will keep it from leaching out, even if you made a large fire in it first.

    1. Metal doesn’t have pores unless it’s some sintered stuff or your particularly bad at welding. Even then porosity isn’t quite the same.
      As for the crimps & seams, they should be oil free after a couple good high heat burns. That said, use a barrel that held food safe compounds.

  3. I used barrels that had food-grade propylene glycol (animal feed antifreeze) so I didn’t have to worry about contamination. Still burned them out pretty well first. I find it’s hard to keep temperatures high enough. Excellent for getting smoke flavor into meat (almost too good sometimes) but huge wood/charcoal hog. Very intefficient. I did dual 3″ chimneys at either end baffled to require a winding smoke path instead of a single chimney, diffuser plate along bottom. I should probably do a writeup/blog post or something to share.

    And to the naysayers… Hackaday (to me) is as much about building cool stuff and exercising creativity in construction. I think this qualifies.

  4. It might not be a hack per se, but a diy smoker is a really fun and easy project. Drum smokers especially, for someone who wants to smoke food you can build a better smoker than you can buy from a store.

  5. Aha … the whole neighborhood would be sooooo happy with the smoke and the smell. In particular those two houses just by the fence.
    What a considerate person.

    No wonder everyone hates everyone else in suburbia Australia.

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