Need ?? answered about 55g Drum

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Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
I am aquiring a 55g drum and unfortunately they will have been used.
they will have either.
motor oil
transmission fluid
washer fluid
or coolant

which ones can be cleaned and used safely???

I was also looking around this site for the plans for the 55g smoker but to no avail.All the links are dead.
May I have the new link I need parts lists to get it started this week.

Eric -

It is not recommended that you use anything but a food grade barrel for smoking.

That being said ... if you choose to use it anyway I'd light a fire in it with gas or something and then powerwash it real well then hit it with a bleach solution. Hard to be sure anything it in did not contain PCBs or something just as bad.
I totally agree with Debi on this...I'd nix the whole bunch!

Motor oil and transmission fluid both have some really nasty stuff in'em...
and coolant...if it's even remotely in the same family as antifreeze...well...
you just don't wanna go there!

It could have some of the various glycol's in it! That'll wreck your kidneys...and the effects can be cumulative.

Washer fluid?...If it's windshield washer fluid it'll have methanol in it...BAD stuff!

I'd suggest trying bakeries, large restaurants, schools and institutions, grocery stores that have bakeries, maybe even hospitals...etc., etc.

Large commercial bakeries, (smaller ones too) use lots of malt syrup (malted barley) as does any of the dairies (I'm talkin' cows here) as an ingredient in the sweet feed that is fed to the dairy herd.

Same stuff they put in a chocolate shake to make it a malted...except that it has vitamins and trace minerals added...good for folks...better for cattle.

At any rate...there are numerous places to look and ask for food grade barrels...all kinds of food products are packed in them.

Good luck with the quest...

Until Later...
Welcome Eric........I concur with the above posts. I would try to find a food grade barrel. It would not be worth the risk to your health to use one of those you named. Glad to have you on board....Harold.............
The health risks would not bother me. After you burn it out, you will be fine. What bothers me is the safety factor of cutting into the barrell. If you do this, fill the barrell with water first and start cutting with the barrell full. I personally know a man who is no longer with us because he cut into a barrell without being safe.

If you do chose to use one of those barrels you mentioned, you may want to find out the name of the product the barrel contained and then do a net search for the MSDS on that product.

The MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheets) will list the hazard of the product in general, as well as the hazards of any/all of the individual components of that product.

This can be of great help to you in deciding whether or not to use it.

Goat has an idea that didn't occur to me at the time I posted my original reply..however he does make a valid point.

Thanks Goat!

At any rate...I urge you to utilize the MSDS...that's what they're there for.

As a matter of fact...Federal Law requires of each employer that a number of binders containing MSDS pages for each and every product that an employee could come into contact with in the work environment be posted throughout the plant. The binders must be readily available to every employee.

They must even include the window cleaner the janitor uses, no less!

Good luck, and if i can be of help...please don't hesitate to call on me.

Until later...
Coley i will be safe when cutting my barrels.
I have a few laying around are there any I deas/plans out there for this I did notice something on here about a build thread for a 55g rig and cant find the link.offset looks cool but hows about building one like a T??
I've seen a few double barrels around. Having the heat below would be more efficient than a side fire box.

There isn't a thread yet about building barrel smokers - it's a plan but we haven't had the input yet.
Hi Eric,

Sorry I missed you as I wasn't online at the time of your post...

Hopefully...I'll do better next time around!

Offset is good...and I've seen a Tee somewhere on the net, and it looked as if it would work fairly well.

If I can find it again, I'll pass it along...

The firebox was in the upright barrel, with the smoke chamber horizontal on top of the f.b.

I believe it had a 30 gal. for the f.b./upright with a 55 gal. for the chamber, stack in the center, and probably had tuning plates to help distribute the heat evenly from the center to each side.

This has got my mind stewing around here!...May have to draw up a set of plans or something!!!...

As soon as I read your post the 2nd and 3rd links Desert Smokin sent immediately came to mind as I had looked at these pages a couple of months ago. Desert beat me to the punch though!...

Thanks Desert for taking up the slack for me!!!...

There are a number of folks here that have built 'Barrel Smokers' but I don't think there's any plans far as a thread goes that is...however...I'm still learning my way around this site!...

This thread may help some: Building an offset smoker

The folks posting there may have some plans...but I'm not sure...

Barrel smokers are not hard to build and are a popular alternative to store bought...And lots cheaper too!!

When you decide the kind you wanna build, let me know and I'll keep an eye out for plans for you.

Wish I could be of more help!

Until later...
Those are both great now I guess I have to search for food grade barrels then.

I looked at the vertical brinkmann and I was apalled how flimsy it was I wasnt impressed.

Now I did like how this one was built

That one is a viable starter/instant gratification model.

there was a round vertical one but havent seen it for a long time and dont remember who made it.
Just my opinion............decent design, decent price, but you'd be lucky to get 2 racks of ribs on there, not even close to the 55 gal. you were talkin about
Don't know what part of the country you are in, but in tx there is Try a local search in your area and you should find some reasonably priced barrels. I have an outfit out here that has food grade 55 gal. barrel for $15.00 each. The outfit in texas has barrels up to 300 gal. if you were thinking really big. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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