Barrel Smoker

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    Posted: 25 Dec 2021 at 11:34am
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Two weeks ago I did an annual boat service. While in the workshop i noticed bunch of empty 55gal steel drums. When asked what they planned to do with them ?... Scrap, mate !
Well welcome to my home made pit barrel charcoal smoker/grill. 
Done three cooks on it already, and the flavour and the smoke ring in the meat have been much more intense, great outcome.
I haven't learnt how to control properly the burning temp yet, experimenting by blowing air through the vent hole using No1's hairdryer :)  
For charcoal basket I cut a 9kg LPG bottle and some rebar for hanging the meat. Lots of stuff in the refrigerator dying for their turn in the queue to go to the barrel ;) 





















P.s. Wash this with lots & lots of beer & wine Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2021 at 12:11pm
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It all looks pretty yum to me, good job
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2021 at 12:42pm
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awesome well done on repurposing, I reckon barrel smokers are great. By looks of results, yours works well.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2021 at 3:55pm
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Very cool
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote RockCrashing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 4:18pm
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The barrel been used few times now and it cooks the meat very nicely. Here are some pic from recent cooks, roast chicken, tandoori chicken, Cantonese crispy roast pork-siew yoke.


















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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote RockCrashing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 4:29pm
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and now the barrel got a lid and cooking grills 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 4:42pm
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What’s the skin on the chicken like, I find mine chicken skin a bit rubbery sometimes. What sort of temps are you smoking at?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 5:19pm
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Looks real nice.Must ask the dumb question though.The barrel being ex lube??Did it have a plastic liner in it ,if not how did you remove the oil residue?? Just burnt it? 
Looks simple enough that I could have a crack at(still using the old portable,saw dust,meths one)does the job ort of.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote RockCrashing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 6:06pm
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The skin on the chicken is ok, not to rubbery, stretchy. Before smoking/grilling i dry the skin and brush it with little clarified butter, apply dry rub (Soft COQ from Rum and Que, very nice on chicken) live  those birds in room temp for 30min before grilling. In the last 15-30 min before finish cooking i do drop the birds on cooking grill plate siting on top of the charcoal basket to crisp up the skin. Temperature ... i realy don't know how to control the internal temp in the barrel. I just put two probes in the meat and wait for the magic to happen LOL
How do you control temp in a barrel?
Btw. to cook the chicken i do 1 charcoal chimney.

Some more pics from the last two cooks 

 
 



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote RockCrashing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 6:25pm
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PCJ, after cutting the lid off, it was very clean, used whole 200l storm water and detergent to wash it and 10kg of charcoal to burn it. Was burning for two days, little worry not to set my home on fire, lucky did't hv much wind. I definitely recommend it, cheep, easy with great flavour of the meat and great smoke ring Wink  
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Originally posted by RockCrashing RockCrashing wrote:

PCJ, after cutting the lid off, it was very clean, used whole 200l storm water and detergent to wash it and 10kg of charcoal to burn it. Was burning for two days, little worry not to set my home on fire, lucky did't hv much wind. I definitely recommend it, cheep, easy with great flavour of the meat and great smoke ring Wink  
Thanks 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 7:30pm
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Originally posted by RockCrashing RockCrashing wrote:

The skin on the chicken is ok, not to rubbery, stretchy. Before smoking/grilling i dry the skin and brush it with little clarified butter, apply dry rub (Soft COQ from Rum and Que, very nice on chicken) live  those birds in room temp for 30min before grilling. In the last 15-30 min before finish cooking i do drop the birds on cooking grill plate siting on top of the charcoal basket to crisp up the skin. Temperature ... i realy don't know how to control the internal temp in the barrel. I just put two probes in the meat and wait for the magic to happen LOL
How do you control temp in a barrel?
Btw. to cook the chicken i do 1 charcoal chimney.

Some more pics from the last two cooks 

 
 




Thanks mate I can live with a bit of stretchy skin, looks awesome.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Keith C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2022 at 8:52pm
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I used to hot smoke ‘couta commercially in Africa on a 44 gal. drum using pieces of oak & a wet hessian bag as lid. Worked like a dream for many years.

To adjust the temperature, I adjusted the height of the fish in the barrel i.e. the distance from the heat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 9:20am
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Thumbs Up Brings back lot memories in the backyard growing up

 Old school 50/60s 45 gal smoker before the upright cabinet clothes dryers came into fashion.
Holes in the side made with cnr of the hatchet, steel bars thru.
Small air / excess square hole in the bottom and the flap kept to lean up against as a door, keep air flow to min.
A small but well heap wood burnt back to embers, then the smoking wood chips over.
Hang as above pics
Heavy potato sack over the top..
Adding a few handful of smoker wood chips and chunks every few hrs.
Smoked long and slow

There was no need for a flame (pre lpg burner days) once the wood embered to charcoal it was self sustaining...

Last couple smokes in my new bigger smoker, the lpg burner turned right down,had blown out... the cake tin with small holes top and bottom on small stand, of chips / chunks kept alive nps for 5 to 6 hrs.

Shame have to add this for some... the burner has a heat protection sensor that turns off gas supply if flame goes out... its not going to blow up

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 10:49am
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Has burning nutsLOLreduced taintness from burning manuka??and hanging instead of racks,does that allow better run off from moisture. As I find in flat liquid gathers may be the cause of tainting??

for a drum ,bottle of red is the exchange rate.Showed wife and she is impressed .
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 2:15pm
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Originally posted by Keith C Keith C wrote:

I used to hot smoke ‘couta commercially in Africa on a 44 gal. drum using pieces of oak & a wet hessian bag as lid. Worked like a dream for many years.

To adjust the temperature, I adjusted the height of the fish in the barrel i.e. the distance from the heat.
Interesting did you sell it to the local market, never had couta was it nice smoked.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Keith C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 5:06pm
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Interesting did you sell it to the local market, never had couta was it nice smoked.


Coutta (snoek) is a local delicacy in the southern regions of South Africa. Can be used in many forms besides smoked. Fresh on a bbq (including basted with garlic butter or apricot jam). Salted then wind dried for preservation (‘gesoute snoek’) , and used as the base ingredient in a traditional sautéed dish with tomatoes, onions and potatoes (“smoorsnoek”). Smoked it also makes an excellent pate. I used to sell smoked & pate countrywide in NZ to ex-pats & Kiwis for a few years until the demand and the health regulations got the better of me and my other full-time job.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 5:54pm
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Originally posted by Keith C Keith C wrote:

Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Interesting did you sell it to the local market, never had couta was it nice smoked.


Coutta (snoek) is a local delicacy in the southern regions of South Africa. Can be used in many forms besides smoked. Fresh on a bbq (including basted with garlic butter or apricot jam). Salted then wind dried for preservation (‘gesoute snoek’) , and used as the base ingredient in a traditional sautéed dish with tomatoes, onions and potatoes (“smoorsnoek”). Smoked it also makes an excellent pate. I used to sell smoked & pate countrywide in NZ to ex-pats & Kiwis for a few years until the demand and the health regulations got the better of me and my other full-time job.
Fresh on a bbq basted with garlic butter sounds like the go but don’t know about the apricot jam.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote RockCrashing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 6:08pm
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Originally posted by Keith C Keith C wrote:

Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Interesting did you sell it to the local market, never had couta was it nice smoked.


Coutta (snoek) is a local delicacy in the southern regions of South Africa. Can be used in many forms besides smoked. Fresh on a bbq (including basted with garlic butter or apricot jam). Salted then wind dried for preservation (‘gesoute snoek’) , and used as the base ingredient in a traditional sautéed dish with tomatoes, onions and potatoes (“smoorsnoek”). Smoked it also makes an excellent pate. I used to sell smoked & pate countrywide in NZ to ex-pats & Kiwis for a few years until the demand and the health regulations got the better of me and my other full-time job.
Fresh on a bbq basted with garlic butter sounds like the go but don’t know about the apricot jam.
I realy would like very much to see some pictures Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Keith C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2022 at 6:17pm
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There you go - couta with apricot glaze.
Many recipes available via Google for those longing for a piece of appetising couta😉
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