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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
Caseyville, IL
Hey all, Im almost done with my first homeade smoker, made it out of an old oil tank used to heat old furnaces, I know I know, shouldnt use something that had chemicals in it, but I power washed the heck out of the inside, then saturated the inside with oven cleaner and powerwashed it again, got it down to clean bare metal inside, then we stoked a fire in it that was hotter than the blazes of hell to burn away anything that could have been left in any crevices........ My smoke source is a beer keg mounted to the back......it will have 2 sets of racks, each 25 inches deep and a hair over 5 feet wide........ I will take and post some picture tomorrow....... Just wanted to say Hi, ill be checkin out the forums gettin some Ideas, ive never smoked meat before, all i have done is pre-cook "boil ribs" and then smoke them in a pan on my weber kettle, but were gonna do a test run, hopefully this weekend on some ribs and a brisket on the REAL smoker
sounds like one great smoker, excited to see the pics. I have read of many people turning old oil tanks into smokers and from what I've read it sounds like you've done plenty to clean it up. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
heres some pics, still some work to do, ive only been working in the evenings when its cooler though

Looks awesome. I would recommend a heat shield to stop direct cooking from the smoking chamber.
I agree with riz, you will probably need something to cause the heat to spread across th smoker or you are going to a have a bad hot spot.

Also, either I can't see it or it's not there yet, how do you load wood into the beer keg?
lol, you dont see it, I havent got the door cut out of the keg yet, as far as a heat diffuser, I have a stainless steel pan, its about 20 x 15 inches and about 6 inches deep, I had planned on making a rack to set this pan on over the hole from the keg, and inside this stainless pan I will put my water........ what do you guys think? the pan itself is wider than the hole, and its very heavy thick stainless so it wont warp....... heres a pic of it with my dewalt to give you scale
OK, that means I'm not legally blind yet :P .

The pan looks good. The water will suck up a lot of BTU'S and thats a large chamber to heat. :?: I'll be interested in seeing your burn in/curing smoke. Be sure and keep us up to date on development.
well I figured I would try this..... get the smoker going, with empty water pan in place, while inside I will get a big pot of water boiling, then just before I put the meat on, pour the boiling water into the pan, that way, its already to temp and doesnt have to be heated up by the coals
Geez, Midwestcop, sure seems like you have everything under control! I would suggest that you invest in several cheapie oven thermometers; they're about five bucks each, and place them around the interior to see how you have to tweak your heat. And if the heat does not tweak then just place your goodies accordingly!

Looks like a great project and I wish you the best of luck with it! We'll be watching!

OOPS! Almost forgot! Welcome aboard!

Midwestcop, Welcome to SMF. Looks like you got you self into a fine mess er, oops :oops: I mean a fine hobby and that smoker looks like quite the project. With that keg hanging off the back side with no door on it I figured that you'd use some cheap alcohol for the heat source. :P

If that smoker gets to be a monster to heat, you could always cut the height of it down. :shock: But then Icemn62 will just tell ya to box it up and send it to him in SoCal. :D
I hope I dont have trouble gettin up to heat, but a freind of mine has a smoke house bout the size of a Porta Potty, and his heat source is a barrel about the same size, although his smokehouse is insulated :? but we will see what happens, if I do end up having trouble with it I thought about putting an electric heating element under the water pan to add some BTU's
Well, the first smoke was a complete success, cooked up 3 racks of pork spare ribs, a pork butt to make pulled pork, a brisket, and about 20 brats, and also some steak kabobs......it all turned out great, the water pan was boiling just as planned, and there are absolutely no problems getting it to temperature, I moved the thermometer around and the Temp was maintained the same throughout the smoker.......In fact it was too hot at first, the thermometer said it was 375 in at first, so I had to let it cool down a bit, and I made sure it was calibrated the night before by puttin it in my oven set at 225 and it was dead on then...... all in all the brisket and the pork but took 9 hours, did the 3-2-1 method on the ribs.......all goodness, wish I had taken some pics of the food but I forgot, will next time though. I used Hickory at first, then some apple wood, then finished off with mesquite, started it off with oak to get the temp up as I have ALOT of oak chopped up as it is, everything else I have to buy.
Looks great! Congrats on the first smoke, and all you need is a sandblaster and some high temp paint, and you have a world class cooker!

Glad to see it all came out good. Maybe you ought to hook another keg on the other end for refreshments. :P
Glad things worked out well for you MWC. Sounds like you laid out a great spread of food.
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