One of the most common, durable, and efficient types of meat smokers can be created out of a 55-gallon steel drum. If you choose this method, make sure you have all the supplies you need before getting started.
- 55-gallon steel drum
- Three 1/4″ and 1″-long bolts and nuts
- Six flat washers with a 1/4″ hole and 1″ outer diameter
- One 21” ½ cooking grate
- Four 3/4″, 24″-long threaded pipe
- Four 3/4″ close-nipple pipe fittings
- Four 3/4″ locknut pipe fittings
- Four 3/4″ 90-degree elbow pipe fittings
- Four U-bolts with a 2 ¼” inside length and 3/4″ threads
- Four 3/4″ ball valves
- One 1/2″ close-nipple pipe fitting
- One 1/2″ flange pipe fitting
- One 1/2″ to 3/4″reducing elbow pipe fitting
- One 1/4″, 6″-long threaded pipe
- One 5″-long spring handle with 3/4″ hole diameter
- One 1/4″ cap pipe fitting
- Four 1/2″, 1 ¼” bolts and nuts
- One 12″ by 48″ piece of flattened, expanded metal
- One charcoal grate
- Six 1/4″, 1″-long bolts and nuts
- 12 flat washers with a 1/4″ hole and 1″ outer diameter
- One length of 14-gauge stainless steel wire
DIY Meat Smoker Instructions
Once you’ve gathered all of the supplies, it’s to time get started. Begin by assembling the four air intake pipes. Use the 3/4″ threaded pipe and fittings to connect the 90-degree elbow and the close nipple together. Then, connect the elbow to the 24″ pipe. Place one of the U-bolts and the mounting plate on the pipe and connect the brass ball valve. Tighten everything by hand and use a wrench to make certain it’s secure.
Next, create the lid by securing the 1/2″ close nipple onto the flange pipe fitting. Place the 6″ pipe into the reducing elbow and tighten it together. Put the handle over the pipe and thread the cap on.
The next step is crafting the fire basket. Roll the expanded metal sheet into a cylinder and secure the overlapping parts with three of the 1/4″ bolts, washers, and nuts (two on the top and one on the bottom). Use three more bolts in the middle. Create a handle out of the wire and thread it onto the basket.
Tweaking the barrel might be the hardest part. Drill eight 1/2″ holes around the top of the lid, and thread a 1/4″ pipe through each. Connect the previously crafted handle to the lid with bolts. Next, mark the air intake, thermometer, and grill support holes and use a 1/4″ bit to drill them. Add on the air intakes and grill supports with close nipples and bolts.
Your assembly is almost complete! One final step is to do a test run at a high temperature in order to season the barrel and remove any impurities or lingering chemicals.
Benefits of Smoking Your Own Meat
Other than satisfying your taste buds, smoking your own meat has plenty of benefits, which include:
- Killing harmful bacteria
- Helping the meat last longer
- Preventing mold
- Creating a more colorful product
- Using healthier ingredients
- Saving money
Why wait any longer? Start reaping the benefits and create your own meat smoker today.