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Drum Smoker Construction

NCSU-QNCSU-Q Posts: 104
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hopefully I don't get "boo'd off stage" for this one, or have rotten veggies hurled at me, but...

Has anyone taken on the project of building a smoker out of a 55 gallon drum? (aka Ugly Drum Smoker)

I know we eggheads are particular folk when it comes to our cookers, so before I started this journey, I wanted to see if any of you had advice/warnings.

Does it produce good results?
I'm budgeting about $200... about right?
What is my best bet for a domed lid so that I can get two grates that will both fit large pieces of meat (butts, turkeys, etc.)?

My reasons for contemplating this...
-bored & looking for something to do
-saw one and was intrigued
-recently wanted to cook for a larger crowd than my LG-BGE could handle
-Recently wanted to do butts and ribs simultaneously
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Comments

  • There's a big UDS community at the BBQ Brethren website. You will find LOTS of help there.

    Don
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  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    I use to buy 55-gallon drums from a place in High Point, near Greensboro. That's about as much as I can offer. Plenty of folks (me included) have cooked butts and ribs at the same time on a Large.

    Good luck with the project. GO PACK...Let's get to 4-0
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  • Go to
    http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=30&sid=4bd58a8b9ad0e062a8d54428afb3f527
    A lot of people on this site build those smokers.Check out the different forums
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  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    I've seen several nice sidebox smokers built from propane tanks. It would seem to me the extra mass in a heavier vessel would be an advantage -- just like the ceramic in the Egg.

    Something to chew on while you gather materials.
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  • I built one in the spring with a friend of mine. They work well and the food is great. With that said, I haven't used it in the cold but I can't see it holding temp in bad winters. We use a Weber kettle lid so it has 2 levels. Had to make a makeshift gasket out of foil to make a good seal. It was a fun project and it's a good conversation piece.
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  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    If I were going to go to the trouble of building one, it wouldn't be that design. The gain in grill space over a large Egg seems pretty modest, plus the one thing I would change about the Egg would be to further minimize the radiant heat effect. I would look at an offset design, where the drum would be horizontal with a fire box on the side.
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  • jeffinsgf wrote:
    If I were going to go to the trouble of building one, it wouldn't be that design. The gain in grill space over a large Egg seems pretty modest

    Two 22.5" grids is a modest gain over one 18" grid? Its almost 2X the space of one XL. My brother built one and its very large, holds temps rock steady as well. But its metal, and will eventually rust out. Who cares though right, its only ~$100 or so to build one.

    NCSU-Q, you should check out this thread:

    http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436

    Plan on several hours going through it, its the mother of all UDS threads. If I didnt have my WSM, I would build one of these, it looks fun.

    John - SLC, UT

     Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg, Smokin-It #3

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  • NCSU-Q wrote:
    Does it produce good results?

    I have enjoyed a lot of good food from my brothers UDS.

    NCSU-Q wrote:
    I'm budgeting about $200... about right?

    I think my brother paid around 100, but I donated one part.

    NCSU-Q wrote:
    What is my best bet for a domed lid so that I can get two grates that will both fit large pieces of meat (butts, turkeys, etc.)?

    He used a weber kettle lid. It was from one of my Kettles, but watch Craigslist, they are popping up a lot now because summer is over.

    John - SLC, UT

     Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg, Smokin-It #3

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  • Go to cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com Lots of good clean cooking and recipes.
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  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Didn't realize it was two grids. Even so, accessing the lower one has to be a pain. I personally would still prefer a horizontal offset design.
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  • NCSU-QNCSU-Q Posts: 104
    Thanks for all the feedback folks...

    I am shooting for a two grid - dome lid design... I will be on the look out for a used lid... unless anyone has one they want to sell/donate!! ;)
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