ColdSmoke the primary object here is to get that red off. the Red epoxy is the hard one to remove and may take several burns with very hot fires. I should mention that you should NOT use any accelerent to start the fires since that would again defeat some of the purpose of the burn out. ( so no gasoline or charcoal fluid )
The white ash is the look you are going for you will notice that it rubs off quite easily and with a light sanding, and revels bare metal. the interior red will require more time in the fire than the outside.
Consider dumping a few fully lit chimneys of charcoal lump in the drum to get the bottom end burnt off. It would help if the drum were supported by four bricks, so that the ground does not suck off some of the heat from the bottom. add some smaller wood peaces to gradually elevate the level of the burn hot spot. once you have the bottom burned off add wood until you have flames burning off the rest of the drum.
what wood to use is a point of contention but I would say use the same types of wood that are used for smoking, namely hardwoods. most of the wood used for construction are types of fir and can be hazardous to smoke with. Hardwoods will produce a hotter fire as will lump charcoal. You need heat more than you need smoke for this burn out.
A good weed burner is always a good tool for this as well, it will produce lots of heat in a small area, so you will need to heat evenly as you burn off the paint to avoid distortion of the drum and lid.
Once you have it well burned out you will need to get the inside to bare metal with either:
- A "wire wheel on a stick" ( wire wheel screwed to a length of threaded rod sandwiched between some nuts and lock washers)
- Hand or power sanding
- Wire brushing by hand
- Anyway you can get it to bare metal
- many of the above
Do you know what was in your Drum before? one thing to remember is that even an unlined bare metal drum will react with what was in it before and become part of the metal. Lined or drums with a painted interior help to prevent that reaction a little but not completely. SO bottom Line is that What ever was in your Drum in the past will leave trace amounts in the metal of the drum. so if you are not sure that you drum did NOT contain some poisonous or hazardous stuff in it before you should find a drum that YOU KNOW had only food grade non hazardous contents. After all you will be cooking for you, your family and friends in it!
That being said I'm sure there is someone somewhere cooking up a storm in a drum formerly used for storing spent plutonium in an DDT bath, that will say just rinse out the pained and lined drum and start smoking in it!