How To Burn Out A Barrel For Your UDS Drum Smoker Build
HOW DO I GET THIS LINER OUT?
You've found a used drum for your UDS Build
BUT you discover that the barrel has a LINER!
What the heck do you do now?
You may be thinking "Can't I just leave it in?"
And the answer is NO and here's why:
If a barrel has a liner it's because it was used to transport some kind of food item. The liner exists as a protective layer against contamination of food, liquid, or other organic materials once stored inside.
However, once you increase the temperature, like during a UDS cook, the toxins in the liner will seep into your food which is Incredibly hazardous!
So, how does it come off?
You have to BURN the barrel out. I know it sounds intense. But it works and it's something we've done hundreds of times before! Check out this video to see how we did it:
What do I need to burn out my barrel?
Burning out your used drum requires a bit of set-up, but once you get started it goes pretty quick. Below are all the tools and equipment you'll need to to do it:
1. Shop/Bucket Vacuum
In order to have a good control over your fire, you're gonna need some control of the air flow. This is where a shop or bucket vacuum comes in.
2. Drill Bits
In order to properly insert the vacuum hose, you will need to drill out your drum before you start your fire. The bits you will need are:
-1 3/8" Step Bit
-2" Hole Saw
-1/4" Drill Bit.
If you don't have these bits we sell them in a kit on our site for just $39! Click Here!
(These are also the bits you need for your UDS Build)
You'll need an idea of where your inlet holes are gonna be on your final build before you start drilling. We recommend using our UDS Drum Smoker Layout Template- Click Here! to help with laying out your holes!
(This template helps layout the rest of your drum for your UDS Build)
4. Scrap Wood
The type of wood we recommend is old pallets (all busted up of course). The slats on the pallet are thin and small enough to fit into the drum and it burns quick also. Of course, as with all fires you'll want to make sure you have old newspaper or some sort of paper for starting the fire up.
(You will also need other fire-starting materials such as a LIGHTER, and OLD PAPERS for starting it)
5. Metal Tubing
When using your shop vac to control the flow of the fire you will need a piece of metal tubing to transfer the shop vac's exhaust into the drum. If you use the shop vac's plastic hose only, it will melt and no one wants that. Make sure the tubing is long enough to prevent any unwanted melting(maybe about 6 feet).
(You will also need some ELECTRICAL TAPE to secure the metal tubing to the plastic hose.)
6. Charcoal Basket Set Up
Using a small handheld charcoal basket will help to initiate the fire by dumping it onto the kindling you put in the barrel.
7. Water Hose
Finally, as a safety measure you will want to keep a running water hose nearby in case your fire gets out of hand.
How Do I Burn Out the Liner?
With the above tools and supplies burning out is a simple process!
STEP 1: CLEAN OUT YOUR SHOP VAC
For this process you'll be using the shop vac's EXHAUST to stoke the fire in the drum. You don't want to shoot god knows what from your previous vacuuming session into your barrel.
(The hose also comes in handy for this).
STEP 2: DRILL OUT YOUR DRUM
To control the fire you will need to drill a hole into your drum for the metal tubing to go into. This is where your template will come in handy.
(For burn out purposes you will only drill out the AIR INLET HOLES)
STEP 3: POSITION YOUR BARREL
Now this may seem like not even a step, but it's important to remember that your are making a big fire! So, with that in mind, you'll want to place your barrel a good distance away from whatever building you're working in.
(A distance of about 8 feet or more should do the trick)
STEP 4: GET YOUR SHOP VAC & METAL TUBING IN POSITION
First, you'll want to make sure you have power, and that your shop vac hose is attached to the EXHAUST port. Then, you'll Attach the metal tubing to your shop vac hose by wrapping in electrical tape. Finally, place the free end of the metal tubing into the air inlet hole on your barrel.
(Don't start the shop vac yet)
STEP 5: PLACE THE KINDLING INTO THE BARREL
Put some paper and/or cardboard into the bottom of the barrel for kindling.
(You will add the scrap pallet wood AFTER the fire has been started)
STEP 6: FIRE UP YOUR CHARCOAL BASKET
First, you'll want to fill your charcoal basket with the Charcoal.
Next, you'll set the tumble weed Fire starter's on the concrete and light them.
Then, you'll place the charcoal basket(filled with charcoal) on top of the lit tumbleweed.
(Once you get all that set you'll have to wait for a little bit for the charcoal to start burning)
STEP 6: DUMP LIT CHARCOAL INTO BARREL
Once the charcoal in your charcoal basket is lit, then you will dump the coals into the barrel, igniting the kindling at the bottom.
STEP 7: SET YOUR SCRAP WOOD INSIDE BARREL
As soon as your fire is started you'll want to put in your scrap wood. Be sure and stand the wood up to insure the fire burns throughout the whole length of the barrel.
STEP 8: TURN ON VACUUM
Once you've got your fire burning at a decent pace, and you've got a good amount of wood in the barrel, you'll turn on the vacuum. When you do that, it will increase the oxygen flow, causing HIGHER flames. You want higher flames because it will thoroughly burn out the whole barrel instead of just the bottom where the flame would normally reside.
(Keep your WATER HOSE and the CORD CONNECTION nearby incase you need to stop your fire immediately).
STEP 9: LET IT BURN!
Once you've got a good flame going you can tend the fire by turning the vacuum on and off as needed. You even reposition the metal tubing to stoke a another part of the drum.
From there you just the fire work until you see the outer paint began to burn off.
With the outer paint bunt off, this is a good indicator of the liner being completely burned off as well!
And that's how it's done!
The only thing left to do is to clean it out!
If you get a barrel with a liner it HAS TO BE burned out.
To do that you will need 7 things:
1.) Shop Vacuum 2.) Drill Bits 3.) Layout Template 4.) Scrap Wood 5.) Metal Tubing( with Electrical Tape) 6.) Charcoal Basket(with Charcoal & TumbleweedFirestarter) 7.) Water Hose
Once you have those things you can Burn out your drum by doing as follows:
First clean out your shop vacuum. Next, drill out your drum using the Layout Template. Once you've done that set your barrel at a safe distance from your building(10-12ft). Then you will set up your shop vacuum by taping the metal tubing to the shop vac hose and inserting the tube into air inlet hole.
Once that is set you can set some paper kindling in your barrel. Then light your charcoal basket and wait for the coals to start burning. Once your coals are burning, dump into them into the barrel.
Add your scrap wood. Turn on the vacuum exhaust and let the fire burn until the paint has burned off!