Cool No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker: 9 Steps to Great Sundays

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by teamobn

The chimney:

No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker
No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker
No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

To make the chimney I used a turbo I had recently changed on my Landrover as it had places to bolt through. But I think a lot of exhaust parts would do the trick, see what your scrap man has.

I just cut the two pipes off, job done.

No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker
No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

For grill racks, I used a threaded bar.

I drilled two level holes just below the door level on each end, I then fed the threaded bar by putting a nut inside and out on both sides. I tightened the two outside bolts first to put tension into them, then used the inside nuts to lock them, this made the barrel much stronger. I left the bars long on one side to hang tools.

For the top rack I used a similar idea but put them through the top bracket on the exhaust pipes as well, with a nut and bolt to secure each chimney through the second hole.

No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker
No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker
No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

I just made a simple frame. Using 4 legs secured using washers as shown, this means it will fold away. With a cross member at the top to hold the BBQ and halfway up the legs for support. Chains stop it from opening too far and enable adjustment.

No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

This was just attached using self-tapping bolts.

No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

And that’s it — pretty simple!

Is there anything you could suggest to improve this smoker? If you’re after something smaller, ready to use today and capable of sitting in the kitchen, you might like this inexpensive indoor/outdoor smoker from Nordic Ware.

Thanks to ArtiSam for this wonderful project!

Choosing the Right Drum for Your No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

Building a no-weld drum BBQ smoker starts with selecting the right drum. The drum you choose is crucial as it forms the foundation of your smoker. It’s not just about finding any drum; it’s about finding the right one that ensures safety, efficiency, and durability. Below are key considerations to guide you through this important step.

Understand the Drum’s History

Before selecting a drum for your no-weld drum BBQ smoker, you must understand its history. Ensure the drum has not previously contained toxic or hazardous substances. Drums that held oils, fuels, or chemicals can pose serious health risks, even after cleaning. Prefer drums that were used for food products as they are generally safer and easier to clean.

Material and Condition

For a no-weld drum BBQ smoker, the best material is steel due to its durability and heat resistance. Check the drum for any signs of excessive rust or structural damage. Minor surface rust can be cleaned and painted over, but deep corrosion may compromise the integrity of the smoker.

Size and Shape

The standard size for a no-weld drum BBQ smoker is typically a 55-gallon drum. This size is ideal as it provides ample space for cooking and can accommodate various rack configurations. Ensure the drum is of a manageable size and shape for your smoking needs and available space.

Preparation for Use

Once you’ve chosen a drum, it’s crucial to prepare it properly to ensure safety and functionality. If the drum is painted, remove all paint from the exterior where heat will be applied, as some paints can emit harmful fumes when heated. This can be done using a sandblaster, a wire brush, or a high-temperature paint remover.

Choosing the right drum is essential in building a successful no-weld drum BBQ smoker. Take your time to source a drum that meets all the criteria above to ensure your BBQ smoker is safe, effective, and long-lasting.

Safety Precautions During Construction of Your No-Weld Drum BBQ Smoker

Constructing a no-weld drum BBQ smoker is an exciting project, but it’s essential to prioritize safety throughout the process. Working with heavy materials and power tools requires caution to avoid injuries and ensure a successful build. Here are key safety precautions to consider during the construction of your smoker.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Always wear the appropriate PPE when working on your no-weld drum BBQ smoker. Essential gear includes:

  • Safety goggles to protect your eyes from sparks and debris.
  • Heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges and hot surfaces.
  • Ear protection when using loud tools like angle grinders.
  • A respirator or mask if you are sanding or painting, to avoid inhaling dust or fumes.

Tool Safety

Power tools make the construction process easier, but they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Follow these guidelines to ensure safe tool use:

  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions for each tool.
  • Inspect tools before use to ensure they are in good condition and have no damaged cords or missing parts.
  • Use tools for their intended purpose and with the appropriate accessories, like the correct type of cutting disc for an angle grinder.
  • Secure the drum firmly when cutting or drilling to prevent movement that could lead to accidents.

Workspace Safety

The area where you build your smoker should be well-organized and safe:

  • Keep your workspace clean and uncluttered to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Ensure good ventilation especially if you are painting or using any solvent-based cleaners.
  • Have a fire extinguisher accessible in case of sparks or flammable material ignitions.

Electrical Safety

  • Avoid using electrical tools in wet conditions to prevent electrocution.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets when operating power tools to protect against electrical shock.
  • Ensure all extension cords are rated for outdoor use and are free from cuts or tears.

Fire Safety

  • Keep flammable materials away from your working area, such as solvents, rags, and gasoline.
  • Work in a clear area where sparks from cutting or grinding won’t ignite nearby materials.
  • Have a bucket of sand or water nearby when working with potentially flammable processes in case a small fire needs to be extinguished quickly.

Manual Handling

  • Practice proper lifting techniques to avoid back injuries. Lift with your legs, not your back, and ask for help with heavy or awkward loads.
  • Store heavy materials at a manageable height to avoid the need for risky reaching or bending.

Tool Maintenance

  • Regularly maintain your tools to keep them in optimal working condition. This includes sharpening blades, oiling moving parts, and checking alignments and settings.
  • Replace any tool that is damaged or worn out. Using compromised tools not only makes your work harder but also increases the risk of accidents.

By following these safety precautions, you can enjoy building your drum BBQ smoker while minimizing the risk of accidents. Always remember that taking your time and working carefully are your best tools for a safe and successful project.


Building a no-weld drum BBQ smoker is a rewarding DIY project that enhances your outdoor cooking experiences. Paying careful attention to selecting the right materials and adhering to safety guidelines ensures a safe and effective build. Once completed, this smoker will be a centerpiece for many enjoyable barbecues with family and friends.

We have more creative BBQ projects. Check out our tire rim grill guide!



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