Need ideas for homemade grill

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by woodswitch, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. woodswitch

    woodswitch Member

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    Hi everyone. I was hoping to get opinions and possibly pictures of some of your homemade wood/charcoal grills and smokers. My husband is a skilled welder and we love to cook on the grill but those store bought charcoal grills just don't get it ( or we can't afford the exceptional ones!)
    We'd really love to see what other people have come up with. Our idea is to make a grill/smoker with a lid, a grate that can be lowered and raised over the fire and maybe a separate smoking chamber. Nothing enormous, maybe 4ft long or so and 2 ft deep.
    Any advice is welcomed, and pictures would be awesome!!
    Thanks! :)
     
  2. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Woodswitch, this is our old homemade one. (sorry for the bad picture) I don't know if you can see it, but the fire box is on the end. It has wheels on one end and a bar/handle on the other so we can wheel it around the yard.
    The chimney has a hinged metal plate to adjust the temperature and to close when not in use. Same with the fire box.
    It's 20 years old, I would make a few changes to it if I were building a new one.
    It has notches inside to raise and lower the grill, but sometimes I want to raise it when I'm in the middle of cooking something and it's just too much of a hassle to reach in and raise the grate while cooking.
    My other complaint is that the lid is pretty heavy, I can open it with one hand, but it sure would be nice if it had a counter balance weight to help lift it.
    We use this both as a smoker and just to grill. It has another removable rack in the bottom to set coals on. This one is big enough to cook a 75lb pig.
    Overall we do love this thing, it will last forever. :)

    edited to add......the inside grate is in two pieces, I like this because I can remove one grate, slide the other to the middle of the grill, put coals on both ends and slow cook or cook with indirect heat...small things like turkeys, chickens, briskets, without using the firebox at all.

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  3. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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  4. woodswitch

    woodswitch Member

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    very nice! thanks for the advice!
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thank you wilderness and woodswitch. :)
     
  6. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    Lots of folks around here use 280 gal oil drums(flat ones are better) for cookers. Smaller ones can be made with 20 gallon drums but are too small for most needs. We use old shaker grids from the rock/sand pits and they last forever. Just grease them after cooking and close the door. Most use gas to cook with but some still use trays to slide coals onto. It requires a seperate burner to produce coals. BBQ is a big tradition among just about every fire dept that I know of. My smoker is a store bought vertical thing. A word of caution: do not use the grills from refridgerators as they are Cadnium plated and will poison you.
     
  7. woodswitch

    woodswitch Member

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    A word of caution: do not use the grills from refridgerators as they are Cadnium plated and will poison you.


    thanks for that...I wasn't aware. I think I'd really like to stick to cast iron if we can get it. But I know I've heard of people using those in their smokers!

    Knew I'd get good advice here!
     
  8. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Getting ready to have one made from A steel Diesel tank Got it for $10.00 Its A 100 gallon size.
     
  9. vicker

    vicker Well-Known Member

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    The best slow cooker/smoker I use is a 2 55 gallon drum system. Take two drums with the lids off. Cut a shovel sized hole in the bottom side of both of them. Poke 6 holes in the lowest rib of each so that you can insert 4 pieces of rebar in TIC TAC TOE type pattern. Now you burn fire wood in one of them and the hot coals fall to the bottom. The other one has a grilling surface (piece of old fence wire left over from the rabbit hooch) on top of the rebar. You place your chicken/pork shoulder/ brisket/rib roast on that, put the lid on (scrap lumber is fine if you don't have a lid) and shovel coals from the fire drum into the bottom of the cooking drum. Keep the cooker at the temp. where you can put your hands on the sides near the top, but you can't hold them there. A whole chicken takes a little over 2 hours (when you can twist the leg bone and it come free) Pork about 30 minute per pound, and a beef rib roast (4 lb bones in) is ready when the big baking potatoes beside them are :dance:(med rare).
     
  10. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    If you want a quick and easy grill/smoker for a single family meal, take two clay bricks - space a couple inchs apart; set a terra cotta clay flower pot right side up on the bricks making sure the drain hole is not blocked. Fill 1/2 up with coals (it's easier if you start the coals and wait until they are grey before putting them in flower pot. Put a metal grill (a cookie cooling rack will work if you have nothing stronger) on top. But meat to be grilled or smoked on grill - cover with another same sized terra cotta clay flower pot. More coals closer to the grill for quick cooking - less for smoking.

    Hugs
    Marlene