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Thread: Oil Drum BBQ.......... Delivered ..... Let The Party Start!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Oil Drum BBQ.......... Delivered ..... Let The Party Start!!

    Now don't try to talk me out of this, it is NOT for me, but for my deer hunting buddy, Kajimoto san.

    He bought a used oil drum, well actually it held red wine from Oz a while ago, he said he wanted to make a large oil drum type BBQ, for the occasional time he has large parties, and for when he wants to cook something big like a haunch of venison, or a small pig.

    My basic idea is to slice it in half, some hinges on it to open and close like a clamshell. I'll put an ash pan in the bottom, using thin steel and some expanded mesh, then I'll put a large grill on it, made up of 1/4" cold rolled steel, as I know this will out last the expanded mesh grills, which usually sag after a few uses. Good large handles on the grill is another idea, to make it easy to lift off.

    I'll be making a frame on the inside of the lid and the bottom of the grill, to help the grill hold it's shape.

    What about vents? I'm thinking that two holes drilled in each side, with a corresponding set of holes on a plate that can be rotated to cover or open the vents would work....?

    large handle on the top, and a large rack on the front to hang tools from. I'm also thinking a grease pot on the bottom, hung under a grease hole might be a good idea....?

    The whole thing would be on a stand, with two wheels on the one side and two legs on the other.

    Well, what do you think?

    I've got a few Sundays to build this thing......

    Anyone here built one?

    Any links to plans?

    I've seen a few on the net, smokers as well as BBQs, but nothing very well done in the way of a step by step, dos and don'ts.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 08-03-2009 at 12:44 PM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    I built one like that years ago and it was basicly what you discribed. I recenly wet to my nieces wedding in N. Cal and the folks from my Brother in laws church were using oil drums that just had a few holes poked in them around the bottom and then somemore near the top. They would take the meat on hooks and hang it from rods inside the drum and put the lid back on. They had several of them and cooked ribs, tri tip roasts and chicked this way. I asked thrm how they kept the fire from burning a hole through the botom of the drum and they said they got the old discs from plows from farmer when they replace them, and put that iin the bottom to keep the wood off of the bottom. These worked realy well and the meal was delishous. They cooked enough to serve 300 people end had left overs.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Sounds like Stu is planning to half the drum in it length.

    While Don is halving his drum setting on end. If I am wrong please excuse me.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
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    That is correct these drum stood on end. They told me that this style of cooking had it's origins in WW II. It seems that as we took back the islands in the pacific the field kitchens were not keeping up with the troops so the cooks developed this method in order to feed the troops.They alway had empty fuel drums laying around.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Hi Stu

    That is the standard BBQ in SA. All we used to do is cut the drum in half, take some pressed diamond mesh (mild steel) heavy gauge and bend it over the edges. piece a few big holes in the bottom, throw the bag of charcoal in the drum light up put the grid back and presto you have a BBQ. The frame we made from 20mm square tubing. Nothing fancy just a H frame connected together with some cross bars. Mount the drum in the top of the H. Cut the H height to suit yourself.

    These things last a long time but ....with the heat and all they eventually rust and burn out the bottom. Thats why we never got fancy with them.

    I dont know why if you are going to use charcoal do you want to have clamshell design. Open top grilling allows access all round and if he is a hunter and wants to do things with his mates this allows everyone to stand around the fire so to speak.

    Good luck.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Stu, the guys a www.thesmokering.com/forum may have some ideas. I mostly see upright drum smoker being made there, but I'm sure there have been some charcoal grills built over there, too. When you have a BBQ question, go to the BBQ guys.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Stu. not sure if these pics will help but this is one i bought at lowes about 6 or 7 years ago.Maybe get some ideas anyway.
    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 001 [800x600].JPG   002 [800x600].JPG   003 [800x600].JPG   004 [800x600].JPG  

  8. #8
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    BTW, this article is great for building one of these, too bad I did not see it until AFTER I got started
    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowl...ontent/bbq.asp

    OK, this is what I got done today.......


    Here is the drum, it has a removable cap, which I'll have to weld on later.
    The drum is painted inside, which is going to smoke like heck the first time it's fired up, not something I'll be doing, as I live in the downtown area of Tokyo. My buddy, who lives by the sea, he will get to fire it up, and smoke out his neighbours, maybe we will do it at night, sneak down to the beach and let it rip He'll be painting it too, after the first time it is fired up.


    I used the seam on the drum as my front cutting line, easy, as it was nice a square, to cut the lid into the drum, I used a 5cm block of wood and a marker to keep things consistent on both sides.......


    To easily measure my top cutting line, equal distance from the seam, I put a piece of duct tape on the drum, and marked the seam, and where I wanted the top cut, I just eyeballed it. I then ripped the piece of duct tape in half, and now I have consistent measurements on both sides.....


    ..... then a piece of steel to mark the top cut and I cut the lid out of the drum.


    Next I put a piece of angle iron in to make the top edge more solid, and along the front edge as well, to make it more solid and to make a place for the grill to sit on. I also put another grill holding angle iron on the opposite side, and used some sticks to hold it in place, with a clamp, and I could set my level on the sticks to make sure things were level.



    Because of the ribs in the drum, I could not just simply hinge the lid to the drum, the ribs would have been in the way, so I made some stand off hinges, so the lid lifts up and out. I also put some flat bar on the top and will also do so on the rest of the bottom, to close the gaps in the lid as much as I can, this will not be as tight as some of the very nice other units I'm seeing, but it should help.

    The hinges need some refining, I'll at the very least round everything over, but I'm thinking to also put a stop on the lid, so it does not go all the way back. A lock out for the lid might be in order as well, as this BBQ is slated for beach work, and beaches can get windy.

    I'm going to use square tubing for the grill outer edges and supports, but I'm thinking the expanded metal mesh stuff would sure be easy to make the grills.

    I'll have to see what they have at the home center.

    I need to pick up some more steel, for the base, as well as a couple of big wheels, and something to make a chimney and other bits and bobs.

    Not a bad first day's work............?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...The drum is painted inside, which is going to smoke like heck the first time it's fired up, not something I'll be doing, as I live in the downtown area of Tokyo. My buddy, who lives by the sea, he will get to fire it up, and smoke out his neighbours, maybe we will do it at night, sneak down to the beach and let it rip He'll be painting it too, after the first time it is fired up...
    Not sure if he's planning on it, but after burning the paint off the inside (build a fire and run the cooker temp to 350º or so for a couple hours) and wire brushing the leftover ash and goop from the inside, he should season the bare metal with oil. Just about any food-based oil will work. A lot of folks use Pam cooking spray, but veggie oil, bacon grease, or lard will also do the trick.

    Never mind...I see you jumped into the Smoke Ring. Those guys'll steer you right.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    Rob asked: "I dont know why if you are going to use charcoal do you want to have clamshell design. Open top grilling allows access all round and if he is a hunter and wants to do things with his mates this allows everyone to stand around the fire so to speak."



    Basically, the open top you describe is grilling. Closing and capturing the heat and smoke is barbecuing. Some will say (argue) that true bbq is indirect low heat with smoke in a closed unit.
    Mostly, the differences are regional or dependant on amount of beer consumed while waiting for the food.

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