If you’re looking for a practical and easy to make backyard BBQ, a BBQ barrel is one of the simplest DIY projects you can get your hands on. Cheap to create and practical to use, the BBQ barrel can be completed simply in one day and DIY enthusiasts can turn a 55-gallon barrel into a BBQ any backyard would be proud of. A basic BBQ barrel can turn an old 55-gallon drum into a super practical BBQ that you can enjoy over the summer months without having to fork out lots of money on a store bought BBQ set up. In this article, we share with you how to create the ultimate homemade BBQ barrel in s few simple steps using some simple tools and materials you can find around the home.
- Old oil drum
- BBQ paint
- Steel hinges
- Dowel for handle
- Air vents
- Old chain link fence posts (for legs)
- BBQ temperature dial
- Steel mesh for grill
- Nuts and bolts for hinges and frame
- Spray painting mask
BBQ barrel tools:
- Angle grinder including a range of discs
- Welder with all necessary safety equipment
- Tape measure
- Engineers square
Always remember to wear appropriate safety equipment when you’re taking on a DIY project including equipment for your eyes. Fabricating metal can be dangerous so eye safety when you start your DIY BBQ barrel project is an absolute must.
Step 1: Measure your barrel to decide how high you want it to be when you are standing at it
Measure the distance from the ground to the barrel to get an idea of the high you want for the BBQ. This will allow you to ensure when you add legs you have the perfect height without having to hunch over the BBQ.
Step 2: Clean out the inside of the barrel
It’s important to ensure you’re working with a BBQ barrel that is clean and free from any old residue. Give the inside a good clean ahead of starting your DIY project and ideally only use old barrels which have stored food as barrels that have stored oil or fuel is going to be problematic. Try and track down a barrel that has stored grain or even honey for best results.
Once you have cleaned out your barrel, next using an angle grinder cut the desired opening for your new BBQ.
Step 3: Create a stand for your barrel BBQ
Next, once you have cut the opening for the BBQ it’s time to create a stand or legs for the barrel to rest on using any legs you have laying around in your DIY cupboard or garage.
If you want your BBQ to be portable you can cut the posts to be a couple of lengths, two for the length of the barrel and an extra four steel legs to act as a stand.
Two of the posts will act to hold the barrel and the other four legs will need to be attached to the barrel by drilling a couple of holes in either end of the barrel. If you want to ensure the legs are super sturdy, secure them in place with a few pieces of plywood you might have laying around. Once you’re all done stand the barrel on top to ensure it is nice and balanced.
Step 4: Attach your new BBQ barrel lid and grill
To ensure the lid is secure and doesn’t fall inside the BBQ barrel you’ll need to attach a couple of brackets to hold the grills and also secure the lid. As well as this, you will now need to add in lower rock to hold your BBQ coals and help the BBQ to circulate.
Buy stainless steel brackets and hinges to ensure when you light the BBQ the brackets remain in good condition. If you don’t have any hinges and screws in your toolbox you can find them at your local hardware store.
Step 5: Light up your new BBQ barrel and do a quick burn off
You never know what’s been stored inside your barrel, while you might have used a grain barrel or honey barrel you will need to burn off any old paint or coating to make sure your BBQ meat doesn’t end up with old fumes or chemicals covering it. Light up your new barrel and let anything burn off ahead of your first BBQ.
Step 6: Add some polish to your BBQ barrel
The final step is to add some polish to your new BBQ barrel. If you have it available in your DIY pile, add a handle using some dowel, as well as some air vents and a temperature gauge. All of these can be purchased from your local hardware store or use anything similar you have in your DIY collection.
To give the BBQ a really slick look, spray your new BBQ barrel with a heat resistant paint – choose any colour you like to add a little personality to your new BBQ. Not only does the paint add a little bit of uniqueness to your BBQ, it will also help to keep the rust away from the inside and outside of the barrel.
Perfect for summer BBQ’s or keeping warm during winter, your BBQ barrel will be the centre of attention at your next cook up and provide a unique way to enjoy a snag, steak or burger when socialising with your friends.
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