I've been eyeing the ugly drum smokers for quite awhile, but never pulled the trigger since I have a WSM at home and my home-built one at our lake cabin. However, trips to the lake last summer showed me that my home-built was a little bit small when I was cooking for 10+ people. We don't have a stove/range at the lake, so the little smoker got tasked with cooking everything at meal times (meat, taters, corn, etc.). While I did manage to feed us all w/o issue, some extra capacity would have been nice. I came across a couple of drums at work that were unpainted and bladder lined (SCORE). I picked up a couple of weber replacement grills for the food rack and fire box, and got to working. Took about an hour, hour and a half to put together.
After I had assembled, I did a dry run seasoning session.
Keep in mind, it is still a work in progress as there are a couple of things yet I would like to do such as, a ball valve, paint, exhaust stack, tool hooks...
The stack is just a chunk of pipe I tossed on just because. I will get a piece of pipe that I can screw into the bung hole.
Right now, I'm just using some fridge magnets to cover the air holes. My wife had a bunch left over from a previous business she owned, so I just as well use them up until I decide exactly how I want to regulate air flow.
The lid came from my aunt's house, it had been out behind her shed for who knows how long. Obviously it needs a little paint. Ultimately, I'd like to pick up a dome lid for it. Found out the weber gauge I pulled off my WSM is bad...maybe I'll get a new one someday.
I fired it up about 5:30 last night with about 5lbs of charcoal and some hedge sticks. It took about 30-45 minutes for it to get to 250 (it was extremely windy). After it settled out and chugged along for a couple of hours, I opened it up to see what it would do. It got to over 392* (that's as high as my therm unit reads) in less than an hour. I let it roll for another hour before I shut it down. I opened it up this morning and was pleasantly surprised by how much fuel I still had left. :-)