General Question

jaketheripper's avatar

How can I convert my charcoal grill into a smoker?

Asked by jaketheripper (2773points) November 6th, 2011

I have a charcoal grill made from a 55 gallon drum turned on its its side. It has a sturdy frame and a lid with hinges is cut out of it. I would like to turn it into a smoker now, but all I can find online is making upright drum smokers. Is my desire a possibility? Could it work well?

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4 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Here’s some information on smoking food in a charcoal grill which hopefully you can adapt to your 55 gallon drum. The big issues are temperature and air flow and you will need some kind of lid for your BBQ. Do you have a lid? For the purposes of smoking you might be able to make a serviceable lid from a big sheet of metal and weigh it down with bricks. And you have to find a way to create the proper vents and airflow conditions. It should work and hope it does. I have a charcoal smoker that I haven’t used in ages, but I smoked some trout in it once and it was absolutely to die for.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Just add charcoal and hardwood wood chips. Don’t use pine, or most soft woods.

A temperature gauge added to the lid would help, but is not really needed. Don’t open the grill until you need to add more charcoal and wood chips.

I have a cheap Weber clone that I use for smoking all the time.

Do you want to cold smoke or hot smoke your food? Cold smoking imparts the smoke flavor, but you have to cook your meat before you eat it. Hot smoking makes your meat safe to eat after it has smoked.

prioritymail's avatar

I don’t see any reason why smoking vertically would be much different than horizontally so long as the lid is well sealed to the drum. In fact, it seems like horizontal might be preferable since smoke rises…maybe horizontally you would have a more even distribution of smoke in the can than vertical or maybe it doesn’t really matter because it’s not like the vertical smoker would be a chimney.

shirleylopez's avatar

What I know is that you just have to cover the griller so that the smoke will not go out and remain inside the grill.

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