Monday, July 20, 2009

Two Barrels Double the Fun


Fairly easy to make, and excessively inexpensive, this double barrel rolling smoker was created in just a few hours of time. The barrels were on hand, as was the cast off rolling cart, and everything else was found at a wood stove shop. Quite a bit of welding is necessary, as is a little creative imagination, but what a conversation piece this little smoker is. The first barrel is welded to the cart, and each barrel is connected via the two short stovepipes that deliver smoke into the upper chamber. A single stovepipe with a cap releases the smoke at the top. We cut a simple door in the side of the bottom barrel through which sweet smelling hardwood can be loaded. The barrel plug is left in place in order to control the amount of air entering the fire chamber below- simply pull it off to increase airflow and therefore create a more intense fire. Watch your temperature gauge that has been neatly welded in place on the top barrel, and replace the plug when your heat is correct. We were amazed at how much control we had over the heat in this smoker, and how consistent the temperature remained. A large door was cut into the top barrel and a handle welded in place. We used heavy duty industrial grate flooring as our grill tray and welded pins in place to hold it steady. A nice hardwood shelf sits below the door to hold all the necessary supplies and provide a work surface for important tasks- like cutting cheese to sit atop newly smoked sausages coming off the grill. It is extremely important to use wood stove paint to finish off your smoker because the heat generated inside is substantial. Two dampers sit inside the connecting stovepipes to give us that precise heat control we mentioned earlier. If you click on the top photo and enlarge the image you can see their black decorative handles.

Our first run on this little smoker
cooked up sausages, barbecue chicken, and barbecue ribs. It was a veritable feast. We also roasted ears of sweet corn that had been soaked in water still in their husks. Brown sugar maple syrup baked beans with thick slices of bacon finished it all off, followed by new cantaloupes and watermelon from the garden.
Cleaning time is a snap. All the fats from cooking drip to the bottom of the barrel, as do the bits from scrubbing the grate with a wire brush, and can be neatly swept out. While all this was going on, one of our guests hopped atop our old Ford tractor attached to a mower and groomed nearly all the grass surrounding the house. That, my friends, you can't beat with a stick.

Guest Blogger Kristin Smith lives on an eleven acre farm in the Ohio River Valley and looks forward to Chef Greg Shapiro coming into town every year for the Country Living Fair.

1 comment:

  1. SWEET! Great idea - You should start building these babies!