How To Build A Barbecue Out Of a 55 Gallon Drum!

Ever wanted to build a barbecue, that huge barbecue of your dreams? The one that can cater for an army and looks amazing in your back yard when friends come round? The issue with this is that barbecues of this nature is very expensive, but you can get yourself one at a very low price if you build it yourself! 

That's right, if you have the desire to build your own barbecue then read on as we show you how to one out of a 55 gallon drum. Many novice and veteran builders wonder how to build a barbecue out of a 55 gallon drum and the project we have for you is the perfect way to gain this knowledge.

Imagine being in your garden flipping those burgers in front of a massive barbecue to the envy of all your friends, and when they ask you where you got it you get to say with pride, "I built it!" 

First I will cover the materials and tools needed to build a barbecue of this nature, and then the simple 13 steps to make your very own 55 gallon drum barbecue are after that.  

12 Steps To Fabricating A 55 Gallon Drum Into A Barbecue:

This project is an intermediate project given the final product will have hot coals within it. If you are ready for an intermediate project then this project is for you. 

  • Mig Welder 
  • Metal cutter/Angle grinder with cutting disc 
  • 2 inch (54mm) box section 
  • 55 gallon drum 
  • Mesh sheet 
  • 2 Hinges 
  • 1.4 inch plate 

It's the right time to take action and build your barbecue: 

  1. Measure the length and width of your barrel and cut 2 pieces of box section at the length plus 600 mm and 2 pieces at the width plus 54 mm 
  2. Cut 4 pieces of box section at 1000 mm in length, these will be the legs of the barbecue. 
  3. Weld the four pieces of box section together from step 1 to make a rectangular frame. Place your barrel in the frame and weld it into place. 
  4. Cut out a rectangle section on your barrel where you want to have a door for your barbecue 
  5. Weld the hinges on the top and back of the rectangular piece cut out of the barrel and then weld on to the barrel ensuring the rectangular piece fits neatly back where it was before. You should now have a door. 
  6. Weld the four 1000 mm box section pieces on the underside of the rectangular frame the barrel sits in at each corner where the barrel finishes. 
  7. Measure out the width and length of the inside measurements between the legs. Cut out two pieces of box section at the length and two at the width. You can now weld these 300 mm from floor level on the inside of the legs 
  8. Cut out the wire mesh sheet to the same width and length as step 7 and weld on to the shelf 300 mm from the floor level of the barbecue 
  9. Measure from the end of the barrel to the end of your rectangular frame it sits in on both sides and cut out a piece of mesh sheet at the sizes then weld into place on top of the frame. Measure once, and then measure a second time as you build a barbecue...or any project for that matter.
  10. Measure across the barrel door and cut out a piece of box section 100 mm short and weld onto the bottom of the door to give you a handle to open it.
  11. Cut out two piece of box section 300 mm in length and weld these on the inside of your barrel just under the half way section of the barrel, these will be where your barbecue grill will sit with the food on. You can add more for security that your grill won't fall if you feel the need. 
  12. Measure out four 100 mm by 100 mm plates and cut out, now weld these on the bottom of each leg as feet. 

You simply need to now design your own grill section for putting the food on in the barbecue. 

You will now have your own barbecue designed and made; you will need to simply paint the barbecue in water and heat resistant paint on the outside. Make sure you do not paint the inside of the barrel. 

And choose your 55 gallon drum wisely. Clean it up, and make sure there is no material of any sort that can cause harmful gasses during welding and during your barbecue. 

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