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Best way to clean an oil tank for smoking?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Was looking on Craigslist and there was a post near me for 150-200 gallon oil tank for the taking.
Have also noticed in the past posts that offer free tanks and was wondering what the process would be for actually preparing something like that for smoking.
The build and such I will search for but was wondering before I get something like that how much of a PITA it would be to clean to an acceptable food grade level.
post #2 of 17
Hey there FIU. I would think that if you had the door cut out, you would have fairly good access to the inside. Maybe wipe down what you can then take one of those propane torches and light er up. Im sure a good hot fire would clean most if not all the nasties up.
post #3 of 17
I agree with meat hunter build a fire in it and let it burn all day, it will burn out all the oil and make a good smoker.
post #4 of 17
My son built a beauty of a smoker with a 275 gallon oil tank.
He sandblasted the whole thing clean as a whistle.
He built a 2'X2'X2' firebox on each end, with adjustable deflection baffles at their inlets, and 3 chimneys. The only thing he did wrong was install wheels that were too small. Now the only time it gets moved is with his forklift. He was going to put a trailer axle & a hitch on it, but he never gets around to it.mad.gif

post #5 of 17
If you have a access to the sand blaster thats the method I would go for cause you will build a good fire in it soon enough I'm sure of that. Or you can go for the double wammi and burn then sand blast it too.
post #6 of 17
post #7 of 17
This process requires several Steps.
  1. Open Filler Valve
  2. Light Match
  3. Throw in tank
  4. Run like Hell (Note: This Part Is Very Important)icon_mrgreen.gif JK
It shouldn't be that hard, I see them all the time made out of old fuel oil tanks, in fact I have a tank up at my nephews I got a few years back to make one out of but never used....

I would do a good burn in it after you get it opened up and that should do it. You can also steam clean it and sand blast it if you want...
post #8 of 17
You are soooo right !
All I can find are close-ups of stuff in it ---Turkey, a whole hog, etc, and pics my wife took of him working on it--welding etc, but I can't find any of the great ones I took from back far enough to see the whole thing. I even asked my son if he had any. He said he'd look, but I doubt it. I could take some new pictures, but it would be embarrassing showing how he let it get rusted & grown up with weeds. I told him if he doesn't want to use it, he should put a hitch & an axle on it and sell it, or rent it, or something! He really did a nice job on it!PDT_Armataz_01_19.gif

I'll look again for some pictures.

Bearcarver (with a procrastinating son)
post #9 of 17
Here is a couple made from oil tanks...

post #10 of 17
I'd use my weed burner (after the doors are cut) and just torch the interior.
post #11 of 17
OK Red Stick, I found one, so my thread is no longer entirely useless.PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif Here's my son working on the hinges.
I'll keep hunting for more pics. If I find any worthy of posting, I'll start a new post.

post #12 of 17
Wow, what a monster! That is one good looking rig! Does it have duel fire boxes? I wish I had the talent to put something like that together.

Thanks for the pics! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 17
Yeah, he put a lot of bells & whistles in it:
Two fireboxes made of 1/4" plate steel, continuously welded on all sides of 2' X 2' X 2' boxes.
Doors on each firebox copied from an old wood stove (lift-latch).

Inside the tank where each firebox is welded to the main chamber is a big flat piece of steel on a rod that goes through the back. This is a baffle, and the outer end of that rod has a handle, so you can turn it to adjust how much heat goes into the main chamber.

He welded 3 big barn hinges on the lid/tank.

The main handle is an aluminum pipe floating on a steel rod, so the outer handle never gets hot.

He was going to put a counterbalance on the back of the lid, because the lid is so heavy, but he figured the weight would keep kids from playing around & getting hurt. He said, He and I can lift it, and that's all who have too be messing with it.PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif

The 3 chimneys thread right in the old tank holes (fill hole, guage, and vent).
He put a rotating cap on each chimney to adjust the venting (similar to the one you see on old tractor exhaust stacks). If you close them, no bees or rain gets in when not in use.

Expanded steel for the pig rack.

Everything is great except the wheels were way to small to handle all the weight. It is a beast! Those little tires went "splat" in a couple days.

He hardly ever uses it, so I told him he should fix it up & sell it, but he is a procrastinater.

I gotta find more pics & put a whole post for you guys to see. It's pretty neat. He is much more mechanically inclined that I am. I'm only good with wood.

post #14 of 17
So its only got one cooking grate?
post #15 of 17
LOL---One really BIG one.

post #16 of 17
Very nice smoker bearcarver.
post #17 of 17
Looks Great ...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
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