Build An Ugly Drum Smoker!

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by teamobn

Lighting the Drum and the Initial Seasoning

The first thing you must do when the paint is dry and the hardware is assembled is to light an initial fire and season the new smoker. This charcoal basket can handle an entire 20-pound bag of briquette charcoal. The way to light this smoker is to fill the charcoal basket to about 90 percent.

Depending on your taste, you can intersperse chunks of smoke wood throughout the basket so it will smoke for entire 12-plus hours. Use a charcoal chimney and about 15-20 briquettes. Light the briquettes using a match and crumpled newspaper placed under the chimney. After about 15 minutes the coals should be lit and mostly ashed over.

Dump these briquettes directly on top of the 90-percent-full basket loaded with unlit charcoal and smoke wood. Open all of the air intakes, secure the cooking grate, and close the lid. For the initial seasoning, select a very fatty piece of meat, such as a pound of raw bacon or a tube of breakfast sausage, placed directly in the centre of the grate.

Close the lid, sit back, and get a feel for how your smoker will hold the temperature. If the temperature is too high, close one or two of the air intakes. If the temperature is too low, take the lid off for a while, or consider using more lit charcoal next time. When lit correctly, the ugly drum smoker should hover around 250 degrees F for the entire cooking process.

After about one or two hours you will see a good bit of seasoning on the inside of the smoker and you are now ready to use it. At this point, you can close the air intake and cover the exhaust holes with magnets.

We're really smokin' now!
We’re smokin’ now!

The assembly of an ugly drum smoker is a true barbecue experience. If you love a good “do it yourself” project and want a good, high-quality smoker for very little money, this project is perfect. The best part is that you are making one of the best smokers you can get, as it is simple to light and you can easily maintain a nice “low and slow” barbecue temperature.

Depending on your creativity and painting skills, there is no reason your ugly drum smoker needs to be ugly! Pick your favourite sports team’s colours and be creative. You can also attach a bottle opener to the drum for a convenient beverage opening as you smoke your afternoons away.

Guest blogger - John Thomas
Guest blogger – John Thomas

Originally posted by our friends at Fix. Written by John Thomas, author of the popular grilling and barbecue blog, Grilling 24×7.

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