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Do I need to burn my drum?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by jmardock, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    My buddy gave me a drum he found behind an oil changing station that went out of business. The drum is bare steel (no red liner) and it doesn't look like it's ever been used. It's as clean as they come. Do I still need to burn the inside? I'm hoping I don't have to because I live in an apartment complex and can't burn that big of a fire here, but at the same time I want to make sure I wont have toxic meat.
  2. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Unless you can be sure its clean, burn it.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    J, ,moring..... If there is no visible coating, the drum should be rusty......... Wash with soap and water.... maybe at a car wash.... Build the UDS... nipples, exhaust, charcoal basket... Light a full chimney of charcoal and put in the basket... add more charcoal..... with all 3 nipples wide open, the drum temp should get up to 450-500 or higher, and cook for a few hours....The higher the temps the better...... Check to see there is no flaking of any type of coating you may have not seen.... then season with veggies oil or flax oil....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  4. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it where me I would burn it out, 4 oak pallets minimum.
  5. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    I forgot to mention the outside is painted black, but the inside is bare steel. I'll try and upload some pics later.

    Sounds like I should do a burn though. How long does the burnout take? I'll have to take it somewhere else to burn it.
  6. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First, give the inside a good heavy scratch with something sharp. Then give it a spritz with some water. Wait a while, see if it rusts where  the scratch is. If it does, then you have a clear coating that needs to be removed. If it doesn't, then you might be lucky enough to have a stainless steel drum.
  7. Hello.  The black paint is probably not high temp.  After the build you would probably have to go back and remove it and the repaint it.  My vote? Burn it first to at least remove the outer paint and to also be sure the inside is clean.  Safe than sorry.  The hotter the better.  Then clean and build.  Once burned keep it from ANY moisture.  Inside if need be.  Metal heated like that will rust overnight in a humid climate and surely if dew sets in. Good luck.

  8. rcwbud

    rcwbud Fire Starter

    If it was behind a gas station it is hard to imagine that it is a food grade drum and didn't have something toxic in it at one time or another. You could have it sand blasted inside and out. We did that here with ours even though it was a food grade drum. That gets all paint and any liner that might be sprayed in it gone. We also then did several hot burns in it before we ever cooked in it (the last burn being the cure burn with oil). We got it to nearly 500 degrees doing that. It costs a little money to get it blasted, I think I paid 40 here in Kansas City, and I have heard it being more other places so it adds to the cost of the build a bit, but it was worth it for us. Good luck with your build. You will really enjoy it.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  9. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I had a party and a bon fire, it took a few hours to do a complete burn. Drilling your intake holes in the bottom will help the bottom burn. There are some really good step by step UDS builds on this site explaining how to clean. Good luck, you are really going to like your UDS!
  10. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    I ended up just buying a Masterbuilt electric smoker because I found one for cheaper than it would have cost me to build an electric UDS. Thanks for the help anyways.