Saturday, February 21, 2009

Building a Smoker Barrel - The First Step

The first step in building a smoker barrel is obtaining a food grade barrel. As luck would have it, I was able to obtain a food grade barrel for building my new smoker barrel from my brother-in-law for free. Free is a good thing!
I figured that since he was able to get me one why not ask and see if I could get two! Well, I asked and he said sure. So I've got another one coming soon and I plan to use this one to store extra food for my home security team (my two Labs).

Check your family and friends for sources of food grade barrels and you might come up with a free one yourself. Even if they don't have the resources to access a food grade barrel, they may know someone you don't who can get you one that is fairly inexpensive.

You can cook a lot of food on a smoker barrel with very little fuel in an emergency or crisis.

Staying above the water line!



Ken said...

...gonna try to build one of these things this spring,thanx for the link to directions(missed it first time around)...question: how does it with alternative fuels ? a few hickory,and a few pecan trees,so that will be my main material...can't remember the last time i bought charcoal...

Riverwalker said...

To: Ken

They are basically a smoker and don't function well as a "stick burner". You might try building a separate fire and once you get some good coals, add then to your smoker barrel. We do something similar as i have a lot of pecan limbs from trees out at my farm and from the big oaks at my home on the edge of town.


scoutinlife said...

You got my full attention on this one are you using a plastic barrel? Appears so in the picture! Great post River...

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

It's a metal barrel. It has a protective coating on the inside that has to be "burned out". The color of the coating inside the barrel may vary. I have already done a partial burn out on the new barrel. I'm going to try and take everyone through it step by step. This way maybe i can make it easier for everyone to understand.

Thanks scout!


James said...

I would like to paint the outside with high temperature paint. What prep needs to be done to a new barrel? Do I need to remove the original finish and prime? If so how?

Also can the gasket on the lid withstand the temp? Do you use, remove or replace the gasket?
Thanks, Jim

riverwalker said...

To: James

I don't use high temp paint because the temperatures used in smoking are around 225 to 250 degrees to get the best results.

Just sand any rust spots and paint it any color you need to use a primer. You can even add decals, etc. to the outside and the temps shouldn't be a factor.

You need to remove the gasket. The lid will seal effectively enough for smoking purposes without it.

The barrel shouldn't get much warmer than your smoking temps as the use of a charcoal basket keeps the fire from direct contact with the barrel walls.

Hope this helps James.


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