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My New Smoker

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Been wanting to build a vertical drum smoker, a BDS clone if you will. So, I picked up two drums and bought some parts. Burned one out and got it done, starting on the other. About $70 total for one smoker. All hardware is stainless except the grill and expanded metal.
I fired it up yesterday to season it and see what it will do. Sprayed the interior with Grilling Pam. I loaded the basket with 10 lbs. of Best Choice lump, included three hickory chunks mixed in with the lump. I dumped a lit chimney of lump on top. Need to buy a weed burner.
There are 6 plugs (holes) in the lid and 4 in the bottom around the base of the drum
I started with all the plugs out on the lid and one plug out on the bottom. All lid plugs out was WAY too much, temp shot to 390! I put 4 plugs back in the lid and the temp dropped to 280. Put another plug in and temp. dropped to 260. So, it was running at 260 with one plug removed in the lid and one plug removed in the bottom. The holes are 1". That is one inch of air flow through the drum bottom to top past the charcoal.
I let it sit and burn while I mowed the yard (2.5 hours). Checked and it was still right at 260° and light blue smoke out the hole in the lid.
I figured it was as seasoned as it would get. I put on 4 fatties, 2 chubs of balogna, and a pkg. of Johnsonville Polish. I put the fatties in the center so the grease would drip into the fire. That is supposed to add flavor, and it does. Similar to grilling. Everything came out great.
I decided to try reducing the air flow to see what sort of temperature regulation I could achieve. I blocked 3/4 of the lower hole with aluminum foil. The temp. dropped and the fire died. This was 9 hours after I lit it. There was a good amount of charcoal left and it would have burned a lot longer at smoking temp. Some folks report getting 16 hour burns at smoking temp. with this type smoker.
Going to smoke two butts for pulled pork for next weekend when we make apple butter. I will post results and pics. Also plan a SmokyOkie brisket in the very near future.
Here are some smoker pics - note the smoker is SILVER. The drums originally were pale green and held pineapple, so these are "Pineapple Smokers".
More about the SILVER paint later PDT_Armataz_01_25.gifwink.gif
post #2 of 29
Hey great idea. Looks like it'll smoke awesome!!!
post #3 of 29
Good deal Mike. I remeber you were wanting to do this a while back. SO, my ? is, can you get the temps down to 225 or so without killing the fire?
post #4 of 29

nice smoker

you made yourself a nice one now lets see how good it will smoke some food
post #5 of 29
Mike,on the drum I built I used 3/4" pipe fittings welded into the bottom for air flow and put a cheap ball valve on one of the fittings. With the valve shut just a small amount I can run it at 220 very consistant.Also when wide open it runs 250 ish.Thats with the other 3 closed.I have a weber lid on top and leave those vents wide open all the time.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's just a matter of playing with it and regulating air flow to get the temp. right. Next one I build may get smaller holes, and maybe fewer holes. I am going to pick up some extra plugs and drill different sized holes in them to use for air flow regulation. We'll see. PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif
post #7 of 29
Peculiarmike, you mentioned the plugs for air in the bottom. What are they made of and where do you get them? I have a drum I plan on making like yours. Thanks for the info, Paul
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I bought these snap-in plugs at Sutherland's, I would say Lowe's or Home Depot, or your local hardware store would also have them. These are 1". The "fingers" are easily bent for tight fit.
post #9 of 29
You should do your own line ....

The pineapple express smokers.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
As easy as these are to build, I might. PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
I tried to stay away from welding, though I do have a welder. Have considered using copper instead of iron pipe, with the valve. It would be fine.
I was going for the "BDS style" on this one to see how it would work. rolleyes.gif
post #12 of 29
I appreciate the info Mike. I will look for them tomorrow while I am out at Home Depot. Everyone who has this type smoker has given a good report about them. I think it is a set it and forget it system. Thanks again, Paul
post #13 of 29
I'm interested Mike! I love the pineapple on the front. It has absolutely nothing to do with smoking meat and that makes it pretty damn cool!

I have been scoffing at the drum style strictly because of how they look. But what you have there is a beauty! Think about a price and let me know!
post #14 of 29

Drum Smoker vent plugs

Nice job on the drums Mike! If you don't go with the ball valves for regulating the intake you could plug the 1" holes and drill three 3/4" holes in a triangular pattern and use 1/2" E-box (bung) plugs. I know a guy that has small holes drilled into the plugs and regulates the temps accordingly.

Chadpole-here are the plugs that I use on my drums. They are in the electrical dept. of most hardware stores. Electrical box conduit plugs or Bungs as they are commonly called.
post #15 of 29
Thanks Brian, I'll check those out too. I sure would like to have a drum like yours and Mike's. That way I wouldn't have to crank up my trailer grill for medium sized smokes. My ECB's are too small sometimes unless I use two of them side by side. Appreciate the info, Paul
post #16 of 29
Good lookin smoker Mike. Great job.
post #17 of 29
Great job on those drums! Did you line the bottom with anything or just leave it as is?
post #18 of 29
Was the same way, but bit the bullet and got one. Best dam smoker I've ever used!! And one of the easiest!
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Just left it "as is". But I have thought I might put a double layer of HD aluminum foil in the bottom to catch ash and make cleanout easier.
post #20 of 29
Excellent job Mike. Looks like you have a winner on the first run. Now you're getting me thinking. Thanks for sharing.
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