I found a company nearby that sells reconditioned drums. I sent this company an email and asked what their thoughts were on using these drums for smoking food. This was the reply I got from the president of the company:
"A reconditioned steel drum has been cleaned using one of two processes. Tight Head steel drums are washed inside and out in a chemical bath and then rinsed with fresh water. Open Head (removable top) drums are sent through a furnace and any prior materials are burned out. Both processes clean out most, if not all, of the prior ladings. However, they do not make the drum food grade.
The degree of cleaning is such that reconditioned drums are often used to make grills and smokers. However, I do not recommend them for food storage. For food storage I recommend a new drum."
I'd like to hear from others who are knowledgeable about using reconditioned drums and, assuming the drums don't have a rust inhibitor lining, would you guys still burn it out any way?
I'm trying to find a drum that I wont have to burn out but I don't want me and my family getting sick either. My biggest problem right now in building a UDS is finding a place around here to do the burn out.
Any good info will be appreciated, Steve