55-Gallon Drum BBQ

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This project was inspired by pictures of awesome barbecues. I'm posting it with hopes that it will inspire others.

This is not a normal project for me: most of the materials were scavenged, and I made up the design as I went along.

The barrel was free (thanks, Gus!), and had previously held apple juice concentrate. Unfortunately, it had been sitting outside for over a year and was in poor condition. It took me several hours with an angle grinder fitted with a braided steel wire cup brush to remove the paint & rust. In hindsight, it would have been a lot less work to find a used barrel in good condition and have it sandblasted.



  • 55 Gallon Drum
  • Stainless Steel Grab Bar ($12, Mr. Used)
  • Stainless Steel 1" Welded Wire Grate ($38, Metal Supermarkets)
  • 6x 4" x 2" Angle Iron: ($8, Metal Supermarkets)
  • 2x Expanded Metal Sheet: ($15, Metal Supermarkets)
  • BBQ Thermometer: ($5, TSC)
  • 2x High Temp BBQ Paint ($10, TSC)
  • BBQ Stand (Free, side of the road)
  • Front table (Free, side of the road)