View Full Version : Need some BBQ modification help and advice

04-08-2015, 01:40 PM
Hey guys! I'm new and VERY happy to be here! I've been BBQ'ing for a long time, and smokin' for about as long. I've always been a fan of a vertical 55 gallon drum smoker. Over the years I've gone from straight barrel to modified versions and I'm currently on my latest and greatest version, and I'm in need of some help and/or ideas for modifications.

Here's what I have so far:

55 gallon barrel (duh)
bottom door in said barrel for move ash around
a farming disc modified with vents and fabricated to be removable and elevated from the bottom of the barrel for the coals (because it's iron, it's a great heat synch too guys)
2/3rds up the barrel welded ledge for grill grate
2/3rds up the barrel a BBQ thermometer
at the top, three U cut notches to hold re-bar rods for either hanging meat on hooks or to hold a top grill grate
Flat Barrel lid that fits securely for optimum cooking control

Here's what I need help with

VENTING! I'd like to put at least two vents at the bottom. In the past I've just used ball vales, which work fine, but I'd to use something that looks a little "cleaner". What I'd really like is either stainless steel or iron sliding vents, but the trick is, the barrel is round, cylindrical, and I can't find ANYTHING that will vent a curved surface! Ideas?
I also want to modify the flat top lid with a vent as well, I think a basic vent would work fine, round, flat vent...but open to other ideas or thoughts here as well
Domed Lid Modification! For those of you who are also a fan of the 55 gallon drum vertical smoker, you will know that a standard weber domed lid ALMOST covers the top to make a tight fit, but it doesn't. I've read a bunch of places that if I install an iron, metal or stainless ring just inside the 23 inch inside diameter of my barrel that it will create a lip that will be perfect for my domed lid. I LOVE this idea, but I CANNOT FIND WHERE TO BUY THIS SIZE RING ANYWHERE! Thoughts? Location? I can get a wine barrel ring that might work, but I really want this to look more slick that ramshackle. thoughts? Advice? Help!
Lastly, a new Weber lid...does anyone have a source for these? I guess it doesn't' have to be weber, but I can't find a source for any domed BLACK lids anywhere help?!?!?!?!

I'm happy to pay for services, or buy what I'm looking for, but my biggest problem is I can't FIND what I'm looking for to buy nor can I find anyone to help me fabricate it if that's what I need to do!

I hope some of you guys can help me here...entering my first local competition next month, and really want to look like I have a professionally done smoking rig, not just some old burnt out barrel I'm cooking food in!

04-08-2015, 01:49 PM
you can buy the vents from Big Poppa Smokers, they sell drum kits


04-08-2015, 02:18 PM
here ya go

Hook-n-Cook BBQ How To Build - YouTube

04-08-2015, 02:30 PM
I like the mods this guy did:

http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/77EADBCF-DF50-48FB-99D5-3EEE2E06D280_zpsobbdf1b9.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/77EADBCF-DF50-48FB-99D5-3EEE2E06D280_zpsobbdf1b9.jpg.html)

04-08-2015, 02:30 PM
I second the Big Poppa smoker vent, that thing works great. Some guys source the sliding vent from BGE's, that also work well in a UDS.

My UDS has a Weber lid, I have no idea where it came from. It fits fine, the seal is 'tuned' with a layer of seasoning that helps get a good seal. I've been giving some thought to modifying my lid with a chimney, as I think a nice 2" diameter chimney about 6" to 8" long would improve it's draft and airflow.

04-08-2015, 02:45 PM
"Some guys source the sliding vent from BGE's"

What is BGE? Website?

04-08-2015, 02:48 PM
"Some guys source the sliding vent from BGE's"

What is BGE? Website?

Big Green Egg. Many use a Primo slide vent too.

Will work for bbq
04-08-2015, 03:51 PM
I remember someone here using these as lids http://turnerbiodiesel.com/8_gallon_55_gallon_drum_cone can't remember who though.

04-08-2015, 05:17 PM
I've seen a post or two where a guy took a donor weber and cut the top couple inches off the base, set it down it the top of the drum and used screws to hold it in place. They just used the grill edge to set the top on all nice & tight like.

04-08-2015, 06:31 PM
You haven't been thru the monster UDS thread as all your questions are answered there. The 2 inch aluminum strips are available at home depot for your dome lid mod/make it fit if that is what you want to do. Like mentioned, plenty of places for slider vents or make your own, again all this is in the monster UDS thread, kind of why it is there. Easy to do exhaust vents and adjustable covers. Also you can get a cheap knock off weber for well under $50 at Lowes or HD or wally mart. Here is a start.