The best 55-gallon drum smoker

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Looking for the best 55-gallon drum smoker? With our pick, it can be the best weekend project you’ve done.

You can build a drum smoker at home quickly and easily with the Big Poppa’s SS Drum Smoker kit. No more having to purchase the tools and materials separately.

We review the Big Poppa’s SS Drum Smoker kit which is one of the best 55-gallon drum smokers. Plus we cover:

  • Can you make a smoker from a 55-gallon steel drum?
  • Are drum smokers any good?
  • How can you tell if it’s safe for food?
  • To support the 55-gallon drum what weight do you need?

What is BPS SS Drum Smoker Kit?

This Drum smoker kit is a DIY (Do it yourself) task, where you can build a drum smoker. The kit includes a 55-gallon steel drum which can be used as a smoker. Making a drum smoker on your own is exciting as you can always customize and add something fun to the smoker. 

The 55-gallon drum is a metal container design to hold 55 gallons or 208 liters of any substance. This metal container was first used for shipping a large number of chemicals, oils, powders, food ingredients, etc.

However, the new modern 55 gallons drums are made of stainless steel and are much more durable. Therefore, many people convert these drums into smokers, which they use for cooking meat.

How do you make a smoker out of a 55-gallon steel drum?

55-gallon smokers are easy to make. Get a steel drum and clean the insides very carefully with dishwashing soap to remove the steel drum’s toxic and grease. You can make either a horizontal or a vertical smoker.

Vertical smokers are easy to make. All you need is a charcoal basket steel mesh of around 45 × 9 inches, two standard grill grates of 22.5; one for the meat and the other to hold the charcoal, and a lid to cover the smoker. 

You need to drill at least three holes in the smoker about 3-4 inches high and place a grill grate and lock it tightly with bolts from all three holes. In addition, make similar holes a little above half of the steel drum and lock tight the grill grate. 

Drill eight holes evenly, space 1inch all the way around the lid. Horizontal smokers can take a bit of time. You need to cut the drum in half and join the one side of the drum door hinges. This will allow the drums to open and close.

Now, put two grills grate, one on top to grill the meat and the other below to hold the charcoal. Make a chimney vent on the side of the smoker to let the smoke escape. 

Are drum smokers any good?

Drum smokers are good and can produce outstanding results in cooking any meat. It is very easy to use, provides versatility, perfect for low and slow cooking, and easy to clean. They can be comparable with any factory-made smoker. 

Drum smokers have the ability to cook a higher capacity of food products and are faster than an average cooking time. Drum smokers are cheap and easy to make and can save you a lot of money. 

Can I use an oil drum for a smoker?

Yes, oil drums are excellent and durable and can make a perfect smoker for cooking your meat. However, one should adequately know how to clean it, as the oil drums are filthy. To clean the oil drums, start from starch and remove all the excess grease and oil with a strong dishwasher. 

Burn the oil drums with a blow torch and properly smoothen the area by sanding all edges. The last step is to cure it, and your smoker is good to start cooking your favorite BBQ.

How can you tell if the 55-gallon drum is food grade?

It is very easy to tell whether the 55-gallon drum is food grade by checking for the Resin identification code or the recycle number. The code will consist of arrows and triangles surrounding a number between 1 to 7, indicating food-grade plastic. 

Food grade on a drum is a package for long-term storage, and it is very safe. The plastics are carefully tested so that no harmful dye and chemicals will be present in the food. A food-grade drum usually comes in white dye color where you will know that it is food grade.

How many weights will a 55-gallon steel drum support?

55-gallon steel drums will hold weight up to 500 pounds. A 55 gallon will float approximately 450 pounds when the drum is submerged. However, you need not worry if you’re making a drum smoker as it can support a lot more weight than you need for cooking.

55-gallon drum smoker BBQ kits

In order to make a 55-gallon drum smoker, there are specific BBQ kits, which are readily available perfectly fit for the 55-gallon drum smoker. Here are the lists of Big Poppa’s SS Drum Smoker kits you will get to build your Drum smoker

  • A 55 gallon SS drum
  • Charcoal Nest Hook
  • BPS Drum Thermometer
  • A bottle opener
  • Two bottom side vents (SS)
  • Grill cooking plate
  • Lid Hook
  • Top vent
  • Lid Handle with wood grips
  • Charcoal Nest Assembly
  • Mounting Hardware for parts
  • Shield Assembly
  • Drum smoker Handles with wood grips

Thus, the Big Poppa’s DIY drum smoker is one of the best 55-gallon drum smokers available in the market. You can experience fun and memorable BBQ sessions at your place. Along with all the materials, an instruction manual is also included, so it is pretty easy to assemble if you follow the instructions well. In case you need more help in building the drum smoker, you can read the DIY making a drum smoker article. 

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.