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Rajun Gardener February 16, 2018 06:03 PM

The Start of a Drum Smoker
Referred to as a UDS(ugly drum smoker).

I finally found a food grade barrel with a removable lid and stopped by HD for a few parts. I started on it today and it's really easy to make a basic smoker, I would be finished already if I found the 22.5 Weber grates for it.

It came from a pepper/sauce processing plant not too far from me, this must be used to make hot wing sauce.

I opened it up today to start and noticed it has a epoxy phenolic coating on the inside. I started researching and most say it has to be removed but one barrel manufacturer says it doesn't.

[B]What are your thoughts on this?[/B] I plan on doing a few burns and then cleaning before cooking on it and I can also get it sandblasted but If I have to. I'll find out tomorrow if any of the coating came off in the burn. I filled that barrel twice with hardwood and when I put the lid on to burn it too the barrel had coals up to the bottom ring and is still going.


Here's the email
I bought a drum from you recently with the epoxy phenolic liner that I intend to convert to a smoker. I don’t anticipate ever cooking anything at over 400 degrees, mostly low & slow, 225 degrees. I know it is supposed to be safe for food but Is it safe for cooking bbq? Does this liner need to be removed prior to smoking on it? Thanks!

Howard Skolnik says:

Hello, I must apologize for the delayed response. Thank you for purchasing a drum from Skolnik. Having the interior lined will not effect your smoker environment. The liner is similar to a high temperature paint and all the ingredients in the liner are food safe. After some use, the liner may begin to peel due to heat exposure. Just wire brush the peelings to prevent them from dropping onto your food. Hope you have many great tasting bbq’s!

I also found a chart saying it's good to 400F

I'll never have this thing over probably 325, it's not used like a pit where you light a big fire. You add some already started coals to the filled basket and it slowly burns for about 12 hours at 250-275F.

I got started and Step-Bits made it easy, I probably finished it in an hour. I used self tapping screws for a temporary fix to get it burning, I'll replace those with bolts when I clean and paint the outside.

I lucked out and has a metal basket for the coals and only had to add legs to the back.

I've been burning it for about 4 hours now and the only paint I see starting to burn is the outside paint mostly around the air intakes.

I'll give updates and food porn as I go along, I have some ideas to add a little bling and make it NOT so ugly.

Worth1 February 16, 2018 06:16 PM

Had one for years it finally rusted out.
Did my first ever cured smoked ham in it.
I had friends that worked in a barrel factory I picked it up there one ((night.))


Dark Rumor February 17, 2018 02:35 AM

If you keep the burning coals in the basket and not let them touch the bottom of the barrel, the drum will probably last longer.

Rajun Gardener March 4, 2018 12:02 PM

I decided to remove all of the paint inside and out just to be safe. I burned the barrel again and it did remove some paint but not all so I grabbed the Harbor Freight weed torch and burned it all off. The torch is cleaner than a fire inside, the black is metal and the brown is surface rust from sitting after the 2nd burn.
I used oven cleaner and a new toilet brush to scrub the light paint haze that was left and it all came off easier than I thought.
I wanted to do a break in cook and see if I need to change things before a paint job so I applied a liberal amount of cooking oil to the inside and started coals in the chimney. the basket worked great.
All fired up with 3 intakes open and she burns about 300
After about 3 hours I added a chunk of bacon fat to the water pan and cooked some pork steaks. The temp settled in about 230 with only one intake open.
I pulled them off after about 3 hours, these came out great considering I didn't add woodchips.
That was late last night, I checked the barrel this morning and it's nice and seasoned inside, today I'm doing checken legs for a flare up/fire test.

wildcat62 March 4, 2018 05:58 PM

Those look good.

Rajun Gardener March 4, 2018 08:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks Wildcat, it tasted good too!!!

This morning I bought a Jumbo Old Smokey bottom plate to use as a diffuser and it worked great. I wanted a diffuser to cut down on the flare ups while cooking and it also helps to even out the heat inside. It held 245 the whole time I was cooking and the chicken tastes awesome. This was a 3 hour cook but I should've taken them off 30 minutes earlier. The skin dried out a little too much for me but the meat was juicy with that sticky fat feel in your mouth and had a mild smoke flavor. I used apple wood for smoke and about 4 lbs of Kingsford.

I don't think I've ever used the word succulent talking about chicken but yes it was and finger licking good.

Worth1 March 4, 2018 08:49 PM

Makes me want BBQ chicken.
I really do think I like it over all the other meats.

whistech March 5, 2018 12:40 AM

Rajun, that is some delicious looking meats you produced on your cooker and two of my favorites.

AlittleSalt March 5, 2018 01:23 AM

Rajun, it looks good and so does the chicken.

dustdevil March 6, 2018 07:28 PM

Looks great! Need to try catfish and redfish...

Rajun Gardener March 6, 2018 09:49 PM

[QUOTE=dustdevil;687563]Looks great! Need to try catfish and redfish...[/QUOTE]

I would not ruin my meat pit with seafood, that's what a gas grill is for!!!!:)):)):))

Worth1 March 7, 2018 06:55 AM

[QUOTE=Rajun Gardener;687599]I would not ruin my meat pit with seafood, that's what a gas grill is for!!!!:)):)):))[/QUOTE]

I heard about a guy that felt that way about chicken.
I heard he even tossed some ladies chicken off the grill and on to the ground for putting it on his big pit.

chiefbeaz March 7, 2018 09:32 PM

I built a UDS last year and it works great. A red neck's version of the Big Green Egg minus the cost. I did a test run for my first burn and got tired of checking it after 16 hours at around 250 degrees. Still had charcoal left in the basket after I shut it down. It does pork shoulder good. I like your charcoal basket.

Worth1 March 9, 2018 09:39 AM

My luck if I bought a big green egg it would get broken in a week.

Rajun Gardener March 9, 2018 10:10 AM

BGE is too expensive for me, I'd be scared to break it too.
Walmart also has a cheap version called [URL=""]Char-Griller Black Akorn Kamado Kooker[/URL]

And a [URL=""]smaller version[/URL]

Different type pit/smoker but check out what this guy built.

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