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I baked my barrell :(

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I made a bad boo-boo.


Some of the slats in my WBS were getting loose, so, based on recommendations I heard here, I started boiling pans of water in the chamber to moisten the wood.


Unfortunately, had a brain-fart and I left the power on for a few days, with the smoker covered due to some rain that we got, so I've basically baked my barrel.  I'm working to salvage it by applying water internally and externally - I'll let you know how it works out.  Worst case, I'll use small screws to hold the slats to the hoops, but I don't want to do that if I can avoid it.


I'm also thinking about adding an indicator light to the heating element power circuit so that I don't do this again.

post #2 of 9

Q-view , please...

post #3 of 9

Yea, pics.



How bad is it?

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

It's bad.  The inside of the barrel is charred, and the staves are all loose and rattle-y.  (You can see the Brinkmann heating element in the bottom, and the lava rocks that I use for a heat sink, btw)


It won't hold smoke any more, and I'm not sure how long before the whole thing collapses.




Here's the good news - the guy who sold me this barrel (as part of relocating his business) has one left still in the Dallas area, and he's gonna hook me up next week.  So now I get to build a second one, using the lessons learned from the first one.

post #5 of 9

Don't know how much help this will be for you but a few years ago a buddy gave me two half barrels that he had used for planters. They had set in the sun until all the stave's could just fall out. There were gaps of 1/4" or better in some spots. I took the barrels and put them in a plastic bucket with enough water to cover about 6" of the bottom and sides and let it soak. As the stave's began to swell back up I would make sure they were positioned correct and and added a bit more water. After about a month or more they all came back into place and with a little adjusting with a leather mallet they looked good as new. I still use them as planters today......



post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the suggestion, BK, but the damage on my barrel's staves is beyond what sitting out in the sun would do.  You can't really tell from the pictures, maybe, but the inside of the barrel is charcoal.  In fact, I may use the wood from this barrel for smoke in my next smoker :)


Since I've got a line on a new barrel, I'm going to go ahead, strip this one, and build a new one with the advantage of knowing now what I wish I'd known then.

post #7 of 9

Suggestion:  try aging whiskey in the barrel. :biggrin:

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

yeah.... that would take more re-coopering than I'm qualified to try.


I just hope that I didn't bake all the old-wine goodness out of the oak - if I did, then it'll be pretty much useless as a smoke source.


We'll find out.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, I've got my new barrel.  The wood's a bit dry, so the hoops rattle a bit, but it seems fairly tight.  I'm watering it down now to make the wood swell - mostly on the outside because I want to wash away as little of the wine goodness as I can.  I figure I'll be able to do my build some time later this week.  I'll do a better job of documenting it - promise :)

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