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nascar mike 06-30-2010 12:55 AM

275 Gal Oil Tank BBQ Build
I am brand new to all of this and I am looking for help in design ideas to utilize a 275 gal oil tank to make a bbq/smoker trailer. Any and all help would really be appreciated.:doh:

Lightning 06-30-2010 05:09 AM

Well, I am in the same boat as you... sort of. Right now I am trying to figure out how to safely get out the oil residue and fumes so I can make some cuts and sandblast it.
The 2 options we have at this moment is;
A: Fill it up full of soap and water and let it sit for a few days and drain it.
B: Use some gas to cut the oil and drain it and let it air out.

Whatever you do make sure its cleaned out real good before you cut on it or you will blow yourself to kingdom come!!! That being said, I have decided on keeping it vertical and going reverse flow. We are picking up a trailer kit from harbor freight this weekend since it is cheap and will work well for this project.


Skidder 06-30-2010 05:59 AM

Don't use gas!! EVER! I would power wash it then give it a good burn.

Smokin Turkey 06-30-2010 07:19 AM

you can get oil dry sold through NEW PIG which you can search out online. This is still a HAZ Waste but it is the safest. Then I would build a modest fire to rid yourself of the rest of the waste. Warning that too hot will warp your pit. You should also look at sand blasting which I just got myself setup with for under $100 at Harbor Freight. I dont plan on doing it often which is why I went with a low grade machine but it does a great job of taking off paint. I would hang some tarps up around the area you plan on doing this as the sand will go everywhere and wear proper masks. It will leave you with the best end product for the least amount of work. Goodluck and post pics!

J_Don 06-30-2010 07:20 AM

I would definitely be very very careful when cutting on tanks. I recently went to a professional welding shop to cut the end off of a tank and when they discovered what had been in it they absolutely refused to do the job. I also lost my best friend in Houston welding a patch on an oil storage tank. The Vice President was on site and promised him that the tank had been purged and cleaned and basically told him to do the patch or get in his truck and go home. He took their word for it and now is no longer with us. Another friend was a mortician and handled the funeral. They never found Jerry's eyes and the mortician said that the explosion literally broke every bone in his body. All I can say is be VERY CAREFUL. Best of luck on your build.

The Pigman 06-30-2010 07:49 AM

I would not be building a Smoker out of a oil drum because it is too thin of metal. Grill yes but no good for a smoker.

Smokin Turkey 06-30-2010 09:05 AM

If you want to start with an oil tank, as I said, be very careful and all that but OIL is relatively safe to cut. If it is FUEL OIL or GASOLINE, you should be doing something like piping exhaust into the tank before cutting or filling with an inert gas. I am only giving my opinion and in no way advocate starting with a used oil tank. You can buy a new one for roughly $375-450. It could be worth it to know it's never been filled.

Smokin Turkey 06-30-2010 09:06 AM


Originally Posted by The Pigman (Post 1324201)
I would not be building a Smoker out of a oil drum because it is too thin of metal. Grill yes but no good for a smoker.

Also this.

bmarley5780 06-30-2010 09:08 AM

2 Attachment(s)

nascar mike 07-01-2010 12:26 AM

Thanks for all the concern folks. It's good to always keep safety first. I will of course clean and purge the tank first. I plan on doing all my first cuts with a Sawzall in order to help vent any vapors. Big thanks for the pictures.. Keep the picturs and different construction ideas coming all are welcome. Thanks again Mike

GEORGIA BULLHAWGS 07-01-2010 08:22 AM

fill the tank with soap and water, and make sure you have burped it to make sure it is COMPLETELY full of water, no trapped air pockets. While the tank is full of the soap and water mixture start cutting.

If the tank is full of residue from oil, you might pressure wash the inside using a cleaning solution, (purple power or some of the same alternative) and then rinse out, then fill it with the water and soap solution and start cutting.

My dad is 50 year welder (He is 84 now), and he has never hesitated to weld on gas tanks, or propane tanks as long as it was slam full of water. But he goes throgh meticulous methods to make sure that there are NO AIR POCKETS left inside..

Hope this helps.

4dueces 07-01-2010 09:10 AM

Oil Drum Smoker

Not sure what your barrel looks like, but if you go to Photobucket I have pics posted as I built a similiar smoker this spring. It's under Creating Hog Zilla. I cut the barrel with a skil saw and abrasive blade with out any problems. After I cut the top off, took it outside and did a good burn with some old pallets and oak firewood. It works great, no residue or smell. After we completed the build, had another 500 degree burn before cooking anything in it. Good luck.


PTSidehow 07-01-2010 06:53 PM

This is the one I built for the son,
Used a hot water tank for the fire box. It also is in 4 trailer Jacks so it can stand on cinder blocks to use or so he can use the trailer for other things.

I will say that make you cut so the side 1/4 of the tanks opens with the top of the lid over the grill smoker area. We followed the advice of a so called expert and will be bringing it back to weld a patch over the cut out door and cut it so the whole 1/4 of the tank will open. It will be a lot easier to seal up the cut lines straight rather than on the curve.

As to cleaning it out, drain the tank completely unless you know for sure what was in it and when. This tank had about 2 gallons of oil not water as my son was told.

I like Dawn industrial/commercial cleaner cuts oil, grease very good. I get it at Gordon's food service store. I use my power washer pour a lot of the degreaser in. Fill by using the power washer to spray in the bung openings all directions. Let sit for a day or two. With all the air out you can cut with it filled. Or I drain and rinse out with the power washer, Depending on how you are cutting I used the cut off wheels and a die grinder or the air cut off tool with the wheels.

Son didn't feel that he couldn't do a good job with the plasma torch. It was his first time using one.
This is it loaded up and heading out to his smoke with it 100pounds of pork shoulder for a shindig at a veterans home.
You can see the opening for the grill area that we are planning to change.

After it was opened, we sprayed vetabale oil in all the seams and over the flat surfaces. and used a turbo weed burner torch to burn out the residue. Did that twice and then the son fired it up and did a wood burn in it. Then he did a test smoker and not a hint or smell.

They eat everything at the cook out, and sopped the drippings up with bread out of the pan's. After the pork was gone. :-D

Chef Country 07-01-2010 08:40 PM

i built mine out of a old fule tank, all i did is perge the tank with argon and started cutting, then burnt it out 2 times, i used the front frame of a 79 ford for my trialer and welded all the stearing solid it, they say these thin tanks wont hold heat but mine seams to work just fine and i have been using it for about 2 years, I have cooked 6 whole hogs and countless briskets on this smoker i have temp gauges on both ends and they stay within 15 degrees of each other.

Smokin Turkey 07-01-2010 09:54 PM

PTSideHow - We need to make a new thread on UFS (Ugly Fueltank Smokers)

That is amazing and ugly at the same time! Reminds me of the Diamond plate smoker pits. Good stuff!

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