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Long-time Toolmonger and friend Joel Miller sent me some pictures and a link to a blog post about a project he took on to get familiar with his new Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder: a 55-gallon drum smoker. When I think “beginner w/inexpensive MIG rig makes drum smoker,” I envision a drum badly cut in half with some hinges metal-glued on, and maybe a coffee can smacked on the side.

Of course, Joel’s a little more together than that.

In fact, his smoker looks completely awesome — and better and more durable than most commercial models I’ve seen.

He started with Weber’s Smoky Mountain design, then assembled his own ideas in CAD, planning to utilize two scrapyard-sourced 55-gallon drums as the basis. To notch the bottom can to fit into the top T-style, he printed his curves on a printer, wrapped ’em around the barrel, and cut with a jig saw. He used the same jig to cut out his pretty, radiused fuel door.

Much grinding, welding, and painting later, he’s created what you see above. But that single picture doesn’t do it justice. To get the full monty, check out the link below to his personal blog where you can see the whole process including his reinforcements, recessed hinges, and a bunch of really, really nice-looking welds.


55-Gallon Drum Smoker [JMillerID]


6 Responses to The Nicest Drum Smoker I’ve Seen

  1. Rusty says:

    Pretty sure this was posted here a few weeks ago. Nice stuff though.

  2. ArmchairDIY says:

    Welding and smoking meat gets my testosterone pressure up! Ya just gotta love it.
    I really like the design, and Joel did a real nice job building it too.

    Buy that man a beer.

    Great job.

  3. Nappy says:

    I came across that smoker while searching google for best barbeque oil drum grill . That guy Joel really make it look too easy to build that drum smoker so, I started looking around for drum & found an empty acetone drum for free from a local auto paint store . I immediately get to work and try to make one for myself & instead of a T-design and I will make it like an L-shape for more space for indirect heat barbeque rib. I have no experience whatsoever on welding . I look around for a cheap Chinese made tool store( Harbor frieght) in my area and buy me a Welder, plasma cutter, and a welding helmet. I will let you know how it turns out. Nappy

  4. marty says:

    Could you post plans?

  5. Lara says:

    One question though – what keeps the heat radiating from the fire chamber on the bottom from cracking your cement porch or setting the lawn on fire? Would it help to add legs? Or just make a little brick paved area for it?

  6. Brandon says:

    Hey I came across this smoker looking for a Prodject for a welding class I’m taking in high school. I was wondering If I could get the prints or the supplies ill need to make this. I don’t wanna make it a smoker I wanna make it a coal or many a propane grill. So if u could email me at mcallbra000@me.com that would be awesome!

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