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Red lined barrels


Joined Nov 17, 2013
just found this from a barrel manufacturer. Please tell me what you think.

JT says:

July 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

I bought a drum from you recently with the epoxy phenolic liner that I intend to convert to a smoker. I don’t anticipate ever cooking anything at over 400 degrees, mostly low & slow, 225 degrees. I know it is supposed to be safe for food but Is it safe for cooking bbq? Does this liner need to be removed prior to smoking on it? Thanks!

Howard Skolnik says:

October 16, 2013 at 8:23 am

Hello, I must apologize for the delayed response. Thank you for purchasing a drum from Skolnik. Having the interior lined will not effect your smoker environment. The liner is similar to a high temperature paint and all the ingredients in the liner are food safe. After some use, the liner may begin to peel due to heat exposure. Just wire brush the peelings to prevent them from dropping onto your food. Hope you have many great tasting bbq’s!


Joined Nov 6, 2013
This is interesting. I'm wondering if all red liners are the same or are theirs the only ones that are safe.

hance gesell

Joined Jul 2, 2014
I am almost done with my first UDS and had the red liner. I did two long burns of 5 large pallets each time. I even laid the drum on its side to try to burn it off. Nothing seemed to get it off completely so I was about to get out the grinder. Instead I read somewhere that comet and a scour sponge is all you need. I didn't have comet so I tried Bar Keepers friend and a scour sponge. The liner came out with very little effort and cleaned it right down to the steel. It also took the liner off the lid and I only heated that up enough to remove the paint on the outside.

Don't know if I was just lucky but worth a shot for anyone trying to get the last stubborn sections of the red liner out.


Joined Jul 10, 2014
Soooooo, has anyone left the red liner in since seeing the info stated above? Just wondering as I'm going to start this week with my own UDS build.


Joined Aug 30, 2014
I left the liner in mine I have 2 smokes on it behind me and not a problem. The liner is a phenolic resin safe for long term food storage. The MSDS for the resin has no mention of off-gassing! My research shows that the worst that should happen is flaking if temperatures exceed more than a thousand degrees.


Smoke Blower
Joined Aug 15, 2014
I just purchased several of these red lined barrels and was wondering if the paint liner on the inside could be left in. I assumed that if it is safe to store fruit juice and nothing leech into it that it may be safe to burn. Finding this thread has helped me decide what to do. To hell with all the extra work... I will be leaving the liner in.

doug lacombe

Joined Aug 7, 2014
I'm really interested in building a UDS so, I've been reading a lot about the drums and what not.  I live in south Louisiana, where do I look to purchase a drum.  Also, any how-to instructions would be greatly appreciated.


Joined Oct 22, 2014
I made a seperate post about it before I found this, but I just bought a barrel with the rough red liner.  I'm leaving it in.  


Joined Sep 13, 2008
Sorry to revive a zombie thread but how are all of you guys doing with using your as-is lined drums?


Master of the Pit
Joined Jan 29, 2010
They probably all died. Hahahaha.... not nice I know. But, well, if you want to play russian roulette with the family and friends go right ahead.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jun 11, 2013
They probably all died. Hahahaha.... not nice I know. But, well, if you want to play russian roulette with the family and friends go right ahead.
Yeah, not nice.

Progress is made by people willing to do the research, and understand the chemistry and physics.

For those who understand it, it is not Russian roulette.


Joined Jun 2, 2016
I'm wondering the same thing.  I'm getting ready to start a UDS build and the only drums I've found so far have the red liner of death.  Burning them out is out of the question, it seems we have rules against that here and I've got busy body neighbors who have nothing better to do than call the authorities about everything. I've called several sandblaster and they all want $100 to blast a single drum.


Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 3, 2013
My first build was with the dreaded red liner. Burned it , used a wire brush on my grinder, and sanded. Still had some red left. Took too much time and effort.

Either leave it as stated by some, or avoid it altogether.

Joined Jun 23, 2016
hi, I'm new to the site. But I've built many many smokers with the liner untouched and have NEVER had an incident. I get my barrels from a local food company and asked the question a long while back, was informed that the liner is not harmful or they wouldn't have food and juices in it. He said once it's removed that rust may form and then that would be the hazard. That was all I needed to know!


Fire Starter
Joined Mar 8, 2016
The best way I found was a propane torch (the kind that goes on a 20lb tank) burn the in side and out side at the same time. Then a quick wash with some auto was and a few rinses and done. Hole thing takes about 2 hours and it all down to bear metal and if it had any bad stuff in it I know it is gone to. The torch gets to 3,000 f°. Just don't hold in one spot on the bottom or lid because it will uncle the steel.


Fire Starter
Joined Oct 3, 2015
First one I aquired had a tan liner, decided not to mess with it, has the lid with the lock ring. It makes a great storage device for keeping my wood chunks dry
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