The interior paint will burn when cooking - burnt paint smoke is probably even less tasty than it is unhealthy.
Removing the exterior paint is mostly a byproduct of removing the interior paint. Initially there was a feeling that the exterior needed to be repainted with high temperature paint - but if you don't run w/o a lid - the outside of the barrel should not get hot enough to cause the regular paint to peal.
Seasoning will smoke a bit - might want to at least give it a chance to set before smoking with pam (that said, the lard might make for a tasty smoke...
All that said, I skipped most of the steps as I had a barrel that was unlined and was previously used to store coconut oil. I did do a test burn for a few hrs however to get a feel for the barrel before attempting to cook it it.
First full burn this weekend. Brisket came out fine. I changed to pipe nipples, added the ash pan lifter, and a smoke stack - still running cooler than I would prefer. Open valve and 1 nipple was having trouble maintaining 200. If I shook off the ash every hr or so, could maintain 205. 2 nipples open got it to 225. I think I will modify the ash pan next to get a clearer draft flow. That said, the temp issue could also be a direct result from my fuel. I used a 10lb bag of oak lump - but it had been sitting in the garage for about a year - (mostly near the dryer vent...)
On the lighter side, Sunday afternoon my neighbor came over (bbq'd Saturday night). He will be competing with his tandom axle custom Klose in Houston this weekend - I think he won 2nd last year. He asked a lot of questions about the UDS, and I think we may have another drum head in the works. (The Klose is a lot of pit for single brisket or a couple of chickens. He has a side pit on it, but was thinking the UDS might work even better for a quick BBQ).
Last edited by jcinadr; 02-23-2009 at 09:57 AM..