Got a 59 gallon, 200 litter oak barrel I want to make into a smoker.

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canadianbacon

Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 5, 2013
44
10
Got a 59 gallon, 200 litter oak barrel I want to make into a smoker. I have got oh so tired of saying.. " I wish i had more jerky" So i think this massive barrel will solve my problem. I have seen several build but had some questions if anyone had ideas... 

Can i stain and varnish the exterior? Will it leach in and contaminate food?

And will I have to worry about adding insulation under the heating element and a sheet of i was thinking copper to look nice and to avoid burning the oak and insulation under that.

Can i drill half inch holes to vent or do i need horizontal slits at the bottom?
 
I would be using copper used during still builds so it would be lead free. Stainless steel might be cheaper tho. Just hard to solder. Thanks for the advice on the air gap, I never conmsiders that.
 
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