Is this Drum safe?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by wmarkw, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all.  Wanting to build a UDS.  Found some drums on Craigs and this guy is selling them for $10 ea.  I talked to him over the phone and he has 3 different kinds of drums but they will work.  However they are not food grade; but here is his description he sent me.

    I have a few left. The material in originally in the barrels was inert. It was part of material that mixes together to make spray foam insulation. Basically, just wash the barrels out with water and some absorbent material. I have sold a few of these to guys making a BBQ so I know they will work. They are stored inside so they are in good shape.

    What do you all think??


  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could build a 24' ladder out of rotten 2x4s but would it be safe?

    First thing i would want to know is what exactly was in them...

    I would think that after a good burn out they would probably be safe but that would depend a lot on what was in them...  Are they lined?  If so you would have to burn out the liner and so that would be a plus.

    I personally have never built a UDS but many here have and will be along soon to give you their opinions...

    Good Luck...
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I personally wouldn't buy one that isn't food grade but that is because I can get them here locally for a reasonable price. That being said many people have used old barrels that had bad stuff stored in them and after a few good burns and some scrubbing, scraping or pressure washing you can get them clean enough to use so I am told. The main thing is to find out if it has that liner in them as I am told they are hard to get out some times. Mine didn't have that so I don't know what it is like. Get him to take a picture and send it to you and maybe post it on here and people can tell you if there is a liner or not if you aren't sure.
  4. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    The drum is not lined. I really want to get two of them for that price. He said he has sold several to BBQ people
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can make them usable as others have done before it just take some more work to ensure all of the toxic stuff it out of there. But as was mentioned before just because he said he has sold them to BBQ people before doesn't mean they are automatically safe. They could have been uneducated in the dangers that can occur if you leave that toxic material in there because they didn't know any better. You just never know.
  6. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Ok thanks for your help. Found a oil company that sells drums for $38 and they send them out to get professionally cleaned. Will those work? Thanks
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    No on the Petroleum barrels either. Food safe or something that is good for you. After all you don't know how much of the stored material has seeped into the barrel and will it all come out when you burn it out or what. I personally wouldn't take the chance of some to left and you get some sort of toxic fumes or some thing like that. It's not worth the chance to me.
  8. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Damn ok this all makes sense.  I did find a guy who has them and they were used to store apple juice and are food grade.  But he is about 90 miles away and my only hope!  So I'm gonna plan a road trip.  Thanks for your help and I'm sure I will be bugging you all again.

  9. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mark, how much is the guy 90 miles away wanting for his drums.

    I agree with much of what was said above, but as far as fuel oils and such. I would clean um out and use um for myself, thats just me tho.

    I have several smokers that started there life as a diesel tank and know several that have old propane tanks. Both which are far from food safe. Just Sayin!!!!

    If you are comfortable doing it, clean it out and roll with it.
  10. Food safe barrels can still have the epoxy lining. Food safe means they figured a way to hold food products in them, usually with a epoxy liner and a plastic bag.I quit trying to use lined barrels years ago. Too much hassle and wastes time and effort, let alone wood.I build three sizes of BarrelSmokers, all of which start as new, unlined barrels, period. My customers deserve that. I know that many people have used vessels that had a non food beginning. That's fine for them, not me. I have judged hundreds of contests and have tasted several things that would explain their origin. Foul tastes, diesel smell, oil smells, and many other things. Not everyone's taste buds are the same. I have a rule that says it all, Never put anything in the cooker that you don't want to taste. All things do not rinse, wash out,wirebrush or burn out. Sometimes they change into other chemicals, none of which I want to serve or taste. These cookers are too much fun to use,so why take a chance on sickness? Good luck. Steve.
  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have to say if fuel oil used inside drums are not ok to use for a cooker then there are alot of pig cookers out there putting out alot of bad meat. pig cookers are very popular in the south and are made of old fuel oil drums.. I would find a drum with no liner, burn it out, get to building and lets see some smoked Q.....I would say no to toxic chemicals like insecticides. Ask around your local oil change shops and see if you can pick one up for free.....

    heres a drum grill i built


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