Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em (UPDATED)

15 01 2007

If you saw this post earlier you’d remember the garbage can smoker. I think it’s pretty cool but this thing here is wicked. I’ve got an old oil tank and a wood furnace that’ll work just need a trailer. Working project names are either “Grill-Zilla” or the kindly “Smokey the Grill”. This has tailgating written all over it in big letters, underlined, highlighted and in italics!!!!

You know how I rave on about Southern Food and smoking this or that. Well if you want a smoker, make a smoker!

1 30-gallon aluminum trash can
4 24″ stainless-steel metal cross rods
2 181/2″ metal grilling grates
1 metal water pan
1 metal barbecue thermometer
1 drill and a 3/8″ bit

Step 1: Drill The Holes.
Start by drilling four evenly spaced holes 2 inches from the bottom of the trash can and another four on top of the lid, for airflow. Then, working 12 inches from the bottom of the can, drill two sets of holes for the rods, one pair opposite each other at 1 and 5 o’clock and the other pair at 7 and 11 o’clock. Move 8 inches up the can and repeat, lining up the holes with the first set. You’re creating a three-level smoker: the bottom to hold the charcoal and wood chips, the middle for the pan of water, and the top for the meat.

Step 2: Set The Grates.
Slide a grate down into the can to create the first level. It should squeeze down to about 4 inches from the bottom of the can. Insert rods into the lower pair of opposing holes and rest the water pan on top. “A water-filled dish provides moisture for the smoke and catches fat, preventing flare-ups,” says Lilly. Insert the last rods and lay the grate. “Good smokers provide enough room between the fire and the meat to cook at low temps without actually grilling the food,” he says. Sixteen inches is perfect.

Step 3: Watch The Heat.
Insert a probe thermometer through an extra hole halfway up the can; real BBQ is cooked between 200° and 300°F, so careful monitoring is critical. “The more air in, the more air out, the hotter the fire,” Lilly says. “Airflow is crucial to smoking.” To decrease heat, Lilly suggests plugging holes with foil to reduce the airflow; pull the foil out when temps drop.

Seriously that’s all you need. I’m going to whip one up shortly. Smoke beats propane anyday. I doubt it’s a long term unit but it’s definitely a conversation piece.


Mood of the moment ~ Waiting for the paint to dry

Tune of the Moment ~ Matt Minglewood – Can’t you see

What was for supper ~ An assortment of leftovers




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