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Old 05-24-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

My new drum grill came with a charcoal grate measuring 32" x 16" that sits flat at the bottom of the lower half of the drum. It's a large area and I wanted to confine the fuel to one side and be able to build it up without it running against the sides of the drum.

I bought a 3/4" x 24" x 24" sheet of extended metal and some bolts and fender washers. Cut the metal with bolt cutters and metal sheers so it would fold up into a basket measuring 5" x 14" x 14". All I needed was a 3lb. maul and a block of 4x4 post to bang the corners into shape. Formed a 2" tab that overlapped the opposite sides and used 1/4" x 1/2" bolts with fender washers on each top corner to secure the shape.

Added a Mickey Mouse electrical pipe grid at the bottom to raise the basket about an inch. Now the bottom of the basket is about 6" below the grilling grate. Just experimenting with the height to see its affect on temps at the grate. I use a cast iron pan for browning onions and pepper and I want to see how it does with the coals a bit closer to the grate.

The charcoal basket went together pretty easy and it only cost me about $20.00 with bolts and all.



Here's a shot of the outside of the drum grill and inside with the grill rack.



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Old 05-24-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

Great job Lew. Looks like it gonna work fine. Prob prolong the life of the barrell to keep that hot fire off the bottom. Seems like it would anyway.

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Old 05-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

Looks great Lew and you increased your surface area of the coal too! Fill the basket with Stubbs and light the top by pouring on a half of chimney or use a weed burner. You'll be cooken for hours! Shoot, with that basket you can cook something under the grill grate next to the basket. The possibilities are endless! I have to attend an Angel game tonight with a customer so I cannot cook . So cook something tonight and post the picts!!! P.S. Get a big piece of sheet metal and bend it. That way you can simply lift the ashes out! If you look at mine I have it come up pretty high on inside. Also I put my used french fry oil in a container with a paint brush. After each cook I brush off all the ash with a hand broom and then paint all the exposed metal with oil. No Rust in mine whatsoever.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

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Originally Posted by Tri Tip
Looks great Lew and you increased your surface area of the coal too! Fill the basket with Stubbs and light the top by pouring on a half of chimney or use a weed burner. You'll be cooken for hours! Shoot, with that basket you can cook something under the grill grate next to the basket. The possibilities are endless! I have to attend an Angel game tonight with a customer so I cannot cook . So cook something tonight and post the picts!!! P.S. Get a big piece of sheet metal and bend it. That way you can simply lift the ashes out! If you look at mine I have it come up pretty high on inside. Also I put my used french fry oil in a container with a paint brush. After each cook I brush off all the ash with a hand broom and then paint all the exposed metal with oil. No Rust in mine whatsoever.
Hey Mike, thanks for the advice. I got a large 10" x 18" disposable, heavy duty aluminum pan under the charcoal basket. I bent the top edges over a bit so it fit nicely under the coal rack and pounded the bottom so it fit the drums contour. It works pretty slick, caught all the ashes from last night's cook and it was easy to dump out the next morning. I was afraid the heat might mess it up but it came through fine.

I also have a spray bottle filled with some leftover vegi oil that I keep on hand for painting the inside of the chamber. So I'm with you on the rust thing. Talk at you later.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:12 AM   #5
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

Looks great. Nice job. I need to make one for my 250 gallon cooker as I don't do whole hog any more. Love the 1/2 inch EMT deal to hold it in place.

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Old 05-25-2010, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

That's a pretty comfy lookin' chair there Lew, is there a cooler someplace just out of sight?
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

That looks fine Smokey Lew. Tell us, how is that split drum at holding the smoke in? I have a el-cheapo one that leaks like a sieve around the sides, but I'd be willing to bet yours is a better piece of engineering.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

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Originally Posted by Ashyface
That looks fine Smokey Lew. Tell us, how is that split drum at holding the smoke in? I have a el-cheapo one that leaks like a sieve around the sides, but I'd be willing to bet yours is a better piece of engineering.
Hey Ashyface, there's a bit of smoke that comes through the split but very little. It's cool to see it all going out the top chimney. It reminds me of my old Lionel train engine after stuffing a couple of those little white pills in the smoke stack.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:24 PM   #9
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

Smokey Lew, I've seen some who say the smoke should be forced to vortex around the top of the drum, and then exit up the exhaust pipe from the lower half of the drum. Do you find that to be a real issue? I really like your smoker btw, that 2x6 counter must be a godsend too.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
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Re: Built a charcoal basket for a drum grill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashyface
Smokey Lew, I've seen some who say the smoke should be forced to vortex around the top of the drum, and then exit up the exhaust pipe from the lower half of the drum. Do you find that to be a real issue? I really like your smoker btw, that 2x6 counter must be a godsend too.
Hey Ashyface, there's a bit of smoke that comes through the split but very little. It's cool to see it all going out the top chimney. It reminds me of my old Lionel train engine after stuffing a couple of those little white pills in the smoke stack.
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