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Old 01-15-2010, 09:24 AM   #4720
caliking
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Join Date: 01-13-10
Location: Houston, TX
Default New drum build questions.

Hello all. n00b here. Building my first drum smoker, wife thinks I'm crazy (she was doing okay until I walked in with a weedburner)

I have most of the bits and bobs gathered, almost ready to start assembly. I have a number of questions which I was hoping the brethren can help me out with ( I promise the pron will come when I start assembling).

1. I bought a reconditioned drum - no liner, no rust inhibitor, painted lid and painted on the outside. The place I bought it from said that all drums had the inside burnt out. The inside has just a bit of rust, and some soot when I run my finger along the inside. I figured that if I washed the inside a few times I should be good to go?

2. I made a charcoal basket about 16" diameter and about 9" high. Found out that bending/shaping expanded metal when its 25F outside is nearly impossible, but much easier when it is 60F! I was going to use an 18" cake pan as the ash pan. Should the pan be 2" deep or 3" to catch the ash generated from a basket of this size? Also, how far above the rim of the pan should the basket be? 1"?

3. A few years ago I got a good deal on bags of Royal Oak hardwood lump charcoal, but it has lots of scraps in it as well as small pieces. I have been to the naked whiz site over the years, but was wondering what most other folks have been using (especially in the Houston area), and where they get it from. I have been tempted by regular Kingsford briquets and the promise of a slow even burn, but I'm worried about the meat tasting funky if the Minion Method is used for the fire during smoking.

4. The lid has the standard large and small bungholes. Do I need to drill extra holes in the lid to get good air flow? The bottom will have 3 intakes (1 of which will have a ball valve).

Thanks. I can start a new thread if that is what is preferred.
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