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My Trash Can Smoker

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, I finally have pics of my trashcan in action!

A short description -

I found the plans online. I read a lot about the dangers of using galvanized anything for cooking, but finally learned that it took over 600 degrees to melt the zinc to create a hazard, so I went ahead with the project.

Bought the standard metal trashcan with a lid. Plans called for using a hotplate to heat wood chips in a cast iron smoker box. That got the heat to a whopping 120 degrees after 6 hours, so I needed a new plan. Bought one of those tabletop-light the bag-one time use grills to use as the charcoal pan. Add metal pizza pan 6 inches above that for a heat shield (left about an inch and a half around the pan for the smoke and heat to rise). Sitting on that is a metal bake pan for a drip/water pan. Then top it off with three round replacement grates spaces 5 inches apart simply resting on three bolts each.

Added a thermometer to the lid, and drilled holes in the lid and the bottom of the can for air flow. With the conversion to charcoal brought the need for an access door to maintain the fire. Cut that out, attached hinges and a latch. Maintaining temp is as simple as propping the door and lid more or less to keep the right heat.

So far I have smoked turkey legs, chicken halves and pork. The pics are of my latest effort smoking a bone-in picnic. I have used so much of the advice found in here and my results have been outstanding. I had to smack my wife in the back of the head when her eyes rolled too far back after her first bite of the chicken!

The trashcan is responsible for my new found love of smoking meat, and has been the subject of a lot of laughter at my house, but the jokes stop when the smell gets to my neighbors and guests, and is gone for good after the first bites!

I am confident that from the successful smoking sessions to date, I will be successful in convincing Santa to bring me something more worthy to do the smokin' on!

Enjoy the pics and I look forward to any comments!

post #2 of 19
very cool & great lookin vittles.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #3 of 19
Looks good Ken! Keep up the good work!
post #4 of 19
Nice job!!! To keep the ball rolling, maybe your next project should be a BDS clone. Same thing as what you've done, only different!
post #5 of 19
hey...not bad! Something amusing about pulling awesome Q out of a trash can :{)

Might I suggest a few 1/2" holes at the base, and a simple adjustable vent at the top? You could then keep the door and the lid closed and adjust the top vent for temp. Hmm someone here made a simple vent by drilling 1/4 inch holes in a triangle pattern, and cutting a small piece of sheet for the "closer".

Arrggh...ASCII art don't work here...the system keeps eliminating my spaces used for alignment...ignore the dots.

.......... X
......... o o
.........o o o
....... o o o o
.......o o o o o
......o o o o o o

Cut a triangular chunk of sheet and bolt it thru the "X"- and slide it over or away from the holes to adjust top venting...
post #6 of 19
Very Nice!!!
post #7 of 19
Nice job Ken. Thanks for sharing.
post #8 of 19
Great job Ken, I can see that you use it regularly. I started one myself but heard about the galvanized problem and gave up. icon_cry.gif Terry
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Great idea for a vent. I'll have that in place in no time!
post #10 of 19
Let us know if it makes life easier!!

Enjoy :{)
post #11 of 19
you happen to have to url for the plans for this?

nice q should of taken step by step pics, for us that need visuals to make summin............

post #12 of 19
Ken, great job on your smoker and q-view, that little project is exactly how I ended up here ....but I ended up using a 200# propane tank ...a.k.a. as the q-bottle ,and hav'nt looked back since ,great fun smile.gif
post #13 of 19
My first feeble attempts at smoking was on a trash can smoker. I never could find an element that would work. I guess I should have gone with charcoal!
Good Luck!
post #14 of 19
Great lookin smoker Ken, thanks for the pictures.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Don't have the url, just google trashcan smoker plans. I can probably come up with some plans for the one I did if anyone is interested.
post #16 of 19
Nice smoker and Qview Seboke!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #17 of 19
yeah i did.........i like your mods better.........the plans i found used the single burner hot plate.........that mite be fine for cold smoking......but as you found out.......i don't see how it can get temps approaching 250-275

still.........great job not only ON the trash can smoker, but the q you produced...........

post #18 of 19
To help get air to the firebox or charcoal grill in this case, you can drill 5 or 6 half inch holes about 3 inches up from the bottom and spaced evenly around the can. Use cork plugs to close off the air into the smoker (like the BDS).
post #19 of 19
dutch.............where was you able to fine 55 gal. drums that hold just food products..........MUCH easier to clean up and use, than trying a 55 gal. drum that held WHO knows what............

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