Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:22 pm

Right good people, i've now got to the stage where a "proper" drum barrel bbq has entered my life, how successful are these in terms of moving onward & upward?

I do need to fit a proper chimney naturally (wish i'd bought a cheap arc welder from aldi) but seems like progress in terms of good expansive space & room to play.

Asides from a rub down & re-coat of stove paint, what improvements should be made by "any old fool" (me) & the kid i'm going to stick it round by my office so I can nip out & check it when in operation, still will plan on the other smokers & finishing smoker no2 as the barrel smoker still needs proving it's worth.
it's one from here http://www.barrel-barbecue.co.uk/ but I am not aware of whther it is full mesh grille or hot plate & grille variety (ad didn't say & it's free)
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:11 pm

Is that not more for grilling rather than low-and-slow bbq?

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:17 pm

Yes, but it's "free" ...& I can tart it up for cubs & beavers to sausage sizzle on!

I wanted to get the unit outside for the smoke generator & csg cos i'm running a hepa filter in the room to draw out some of the smoke leakage till I used a well sealed unit with proper venting, & the daughter loves ribs.

The smoke generator has created a good amount of smoke, more than I can handle, so I'm wanting to feed & control it (multi-speed settings) & measure a proper burn or two, as well as try my hand at something along the lines of proper bbq, see how it runs & if need be run separate chamber.

I've got to judge the condition of it before making any grand plans, or whether to just use it for cold smoking, (fashion some baffle plates if it's worthwhile we'll have to see, if it's no good it'll be re-purposed, one step nearer to a pizza oven build (mind games with the wife), have a nice contemporary (read expensive bit of gazebo type stuff to set into the ground ..& 10 ft above it) ...slowly slowly catchy monkey.

But my eye is primarily on a larger outdoor smoke chamber with added possibilities, can't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Incidentally the daughter was spurred on today upon getting in from primary school, to make an impromptu rib sauce, rather than accept a few bland flavours I pulled out of the freezer some of the pre-packaged ribs "innabag" ran through the multitude of flavours which she'd not have if asked to use anywhere near a reduced rib sauce, & from then on we were flying, all sorts, much more intense flavour & a willingness to stir it for a good 25 mins, result? ..proper sauce (if we exclude the butterscotch sauce) which is marinading on some ribs for the next 24 hours prior to a 10 year olds honest appraisal of her secret sauce.
Result.
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:04 pm

That sounds like a plan! I wish I was more adept at DIY. I'll follow your exploits with interest.

It's good to get the kids involved. They're so much more adventurous with food that they've helped to make.

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:56 am

Diy?...didn't say I was any good at it :lol: just willing to have a go, fail & turn out something crap.
The best tool I own is a dremel multi tool, it get s me out of all sorts of jams & encourages me to have a go regardless.

When I was opening up the fireplace & removing concrete from the clay flue liner it was amazing, superb kit to own, veritable workhorse & go to gadget. Life much easier with a deemed, ought to be compulsory tool to learn with at school, inspirational imho, had the nipped cutting through a padlock with it just the other day, grindtastic! simply not intimidating, light even in a kids hands.

(Will use it to sort out rust on this bbq, perfect for pilot holes where they matter, cutting pipework, sharpening mower blades etc.
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:02 pm

I've added one of those to my birthday list. However, I really need one that comes with it's own operator attached!

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:33 pm

Good move that man!

(I would never have been able to put doards down in our loft without it, normal drill just failed due to lack of manouevreability).

Whilst you can "top up" on the cheap from other more cumbersome & cheaper hobby drills, (dremel are owned by bosch) for regular deals at aldi & lidl, I've tended to support a few dedicated sellers on ebay, & have made good use of the mower blade sharpening kit, (also good for all my axes & big billhooks I chop logs with), the plasterboard hole cutter, chainsaw sharpener, tile drill bits (so great for starting off on slippery ceramics when you get round to popping up a hook, rail & the like.
Various cutting discs for chimney pieces, plastic letterbox replacements, & the like.

To me there are a few main items you need to get at point of sale.

The wood drill bits set
The metal drill bits set
cutting blades (they wear down, keep em straight or they break)
rust removal & grinding bits,
& ditch the pita collets, worth buying the adjustable head same as on your big 14/18v drills.

Maintainence of a dremel is simple, more often than not it's merely replacing the carbon doodads, 10 minute job, & remembering to run it on "no load" to help cool it if using it on big jobs.

When grinding down the cement to find the delicate lip I needed to attach to I had it running in 30+ minute stints for several hours with little downtime, small & great for fine tuning or a full on assault with bigger tools.

Recently used with the nipper to cut out tin cans to reproduce an school project anderson shelter, ..magic.

If I need to cut holes in this BBQ then the dremel will be the first port of call for cutting, then smoothing the edges.
Just don't drop it, or else you'll have to open it up (schematics on web) & re-seat it, (easy), good spares support too!
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:56 pm

Great info, thanks for taking the time to post it all.

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:15 pm

Wow, first impressions this being a great bit of kit potentially.

Spent the afternoon cleaning it out, rust removal, inside & out, pretty good nick for an item thats lived outdoors.

taking the rust on the outer down to bare metal, but am wondering whether it needs a heat primer or straight on with a coat of high temp paint?

Takes around a minute to set up, legs simply "pin" via a metal clasp, KISS ethos, ..love it.

Think i'll re-fashion a charcoal tray, or use a couple of tefal roasting dishes & see how that go's.
Am tempted to partially line with high temp silicone? round the lid & hinges (where there is a tiny bit of smoke escape on the join & see how that go's.

Throwing a few ideas around , shooting the breeze...
Chimney placement for cold smoking: this is where I fall down currently, will need to check some images, guessing some additional angle iron welding to the frame would be sensible to carry that off & possibly allow for a simple slot on offset heat source as an alternate.

But the last thing I want is to be hindered opening the unit, so not necessarily simple (either that or simply un-researched).
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:08 am

Still removing rust prior to a re-paint, so far found 5 pinholes in the metal which, at first glance may appear to correlate with the support poles for the ash pan's heat transfer.

Rooting around in the garage, & from a cold smoking perspective I have some upvc (new) piping for modern water tank requirements, this would tie in (at the moment with running it as a fairly large capacity cold smoker, (bigger cubic inch's than I have currently) ..so maybe pop the cap out & trim fit for the upvc / silicone it in place.

I note on the website for their converted barrel smoker a typical screwfix type ventilation slider is on the opposite side, seems a sensible addition unless someone can put me onto a better one, please!? (easier to use a metal circular cut out & smooth edges than "dinky" ones I imagine.
...................................

Still having problems gathering old cooling racks for the tall smoker,...it'll happen, but in the meantime it's on hold as I can tidy the barrel up far easier to get it on track.
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:25 am

I used some of those Screwfix vents on my first smoker; they ceased up within a few weeks. Would a UDS type, gas pipe and ball valve, system suffice? There's a picture of the sort of thing I mean here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Ugly-Dr ... o-and-FAQ/

HTH

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:54 am

Yes, thought of those & only one hole to drill, saves time, just very sticky-outy, but probably best bet.
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:44 pm

Now been offered a weber bbq to add to all this mess in the conservatory. :lol:
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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby wheels » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:22 pm

Now, why don't I know people that do that? :( :( :cry: :cry:

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Re: Barrel bbq smoker pro's & cons?

Postby GUS » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:30 pm

check out your local freecycle, for me there are 4 "districts" within easy reach, including 2 cities techniclally, so worth checking daily (you have to join, it's free, all the kit is free).
sometimes you just hit lucky & get in just after someone has listed an item.

the weber is your trad black unit simply left out over a winter, handles a bit green & grotty as a result of crud dripping off their roof. ...as to the state inside, well, I don't know but I hardly think it'll be melted puddles of steel :lol: ..some polish, sanding & a good scrub, bingo!

plenty of fridges & freezers for conversion, i'm going to try to blag a decent enamelled steel drum washer for a fire pit, they look fantastic with the fire glow poking through the holes & take a wok well!
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