I posted this on a forum I frequent and was given a link to this thread so I joined.
After two joyful, but finicky years with a Brinkmann Gourmet, I decided to build a BDS after google imaging drum smokers and finding pics of the actual BDS smokers. I started with a Chicago built (4/2010) food grade barrel. It was grey outside and tan inside. I gave it to a co-worker to cut a 12"x14" door, weld some 1/8" bar around the seam, and fab a lid / exhaust damper, and make a 1/4" round bar fire grate with 1/2" spacing. I got it back last Fri. and marked / measured all the holes for the hardware, filed them inside and out, and cut my 2"x4" intakes. I burnt it out for 10 hours over 2 days half full of cherry logs. I then installed the stainless hardware with washers, lock washers, and nuts on each side. Think I have about $350 in it so far.
The fire grate sits 2" above the actual bottom. The top rack sits 10" below the top lip. The lower rack sits 8" below the upper rack. The water pan sits 1" below the lower rack. Exhaust is 3". I finally started to season it last night. Rubbed it down with canola oil and did a 7 hr. smoke @ 275 deg. After seeing this thread I realized that my intakes were was oversized, but I did make some 6" x 6 3/4" slide plate dampers, so I kept them fully closed. I was able to adjust the temp from 240-300 just by using the exhaust damper. Keep in mind this was with a fully stoked "fire box" with MUCH more wood than I typically use. Used half cherry and half hickory. The entire outside and middle section of the inside burnt right off. The lower inside wiped right off as soon as I applied the canola oil. The upper portion isn't going anywhere and is quite blackened, and now buried in oily smoke.
Hopefully the intakes become more useful after loading up the bottom of the smoker with ash on long hauls. I typically do multiple 10 lb. shoulders, so a 14-16 hr. smoke isn't uncommon, but I use to smoke at 230 or so deg. Looks like this one will run closer to 260. I probably need to seal off the door better and will eventually have to address these oversize intakes, but I need more time to learn to run this beast first.
Does anyone use / know of a cover to keep it out of the elements? I don't care about looks, but the super thin food grade barrel doesn't inspire too much confidence when a burn barrel will only last about 2 years of VERY light use in my experience.
Thoughts / opinions?
More pics: http://s493.photobucket.com/albums/r...ckalAR/Smoker/