The Barrel: My Ugly Drum Smoker

Why an ugly drum smoker?First smoke on an Ugly Drum Smoker

It was early in the summer of 2016. I just got married and we were both working internships before our last year of college. We didn’t have a whole lot of money and I needed to find a way to justify putting money into getting a smoker. So, for me, the Ugly Drum Smoker was the best solution. It was something I could make for under $100 and, from what research I had done, it could still hold up as a solid smoker. Long story short, that $90 I spent making that barrel into an ugly drum smoker has supplied me with many hours of good times with family and friends, and not to mention some great BBQ.

Build an ugly drum smoker for under $100 dollars

Yes, making an ugly drum smoker for under $100 is possible, but there is a catch! Mine would have to be reliant on a temperature controller. I suppose it would still be possible to keep it under $100 if you fashioned a way to control the air flow. There are a lot of how-to videos online that are guides to building your own ugly drum smoker and they all give their own solutions to air flow. If you do decide to build your own ugly drum smoker, you’re in control! Choose what you would like to do, explore different options, and see what other people have done. No matter what you decide to do for airflow, you won’t regret you decided to go with an ugly drum smoker after you eat some of the goodness that can come out of it!

Pictures building my ugly drum smoker

Here are some photos of the process I went through to build my own ugly drum smoker. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Burning out the barrel for the ugly drum smoker

Found this barrel for $25 in my local classifieds. First thing I did was burn it out.

Spray painting the ugly drum smoker

I bought some matte black high temp spray paint. It was the cheapest high temp spray paint.

charcoal basket for ugly drum smoker

The Charcoal Basket: small cooking grate with four 4inch bolts (for feet) and expanded metal sheets welded together.

The cooking grate for the ugly drum smoker

I used three 3inch – 3/4″ bolts. spaced them equally around the smoker, ten inches down from the top. These bolts hold up the 22inch weber cooking grate.

Seasoning the ugly drum smoker

Season your Ugly Drum Smoker. I used vegetable oil and wiped down the interior walls. This will help seal up any cracks and create a base layer to help season your ugly drum smoker. This is the last step. You’re ready to get smoking!


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