Smoker build??

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by target, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. target

    target Fire Starter

    I have been watching all of these smokers being built and have aspired to build one for a long time. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a propane tank I have been looking for over a year now.

    Can a bulk tank work? 200 - 300 gallon tank??
    I have access to a lot of them and know alot of people who have made them into large pig cookers but I would like to make a smoker and have not been able to find any examples or info.

    If you know anywhere I can find some info please share. Are these heavy duty enough to use for smokers. and are there other issues that may or may not work?

    Thanks for help and input looking for alot of it.
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What kind of bulk tank are you thinking of? I know a guy that made a smoker/pig roaster out of a fuel oil bulk tank. It made for a better pig roaster than a smoker. He was talking about adding a side fire box to it to make it easier to add wood but he move out of state before he could make changes to it. IIRC, the walls of the tank was kind of on the thin side-about half of the thickness you would find on a bulk propane tank.

    Also what are the dimensions of the tank?
  3. target

    target Fire Starter

    Thanks for reply Dutch.

    I dont have any one specifically in mind but I believe they are old fuel or oil tanks that have been sitting in a pile for years. I opened on up and there was no odor of fuel and it appeared to be completely empty.

    Just guessing I would say it is 3 feet long and probablly 18 -24" in diameter.

    I am certain they are not as thick or sturdy as a propane tank, and that was part of my question if it was thick enough. It appears to be pretty stury but after cutting I am not certain.

    What is the thickness of a propane tanke when cut??
  4. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Just remember a tank that will be under pressure will be a thicker wall. The smoker we built is out of an old air compressor tank and is 1/4" thick. The fire box is about half that.

    Now a thin wall tank will work, but it will require a lot more fuel. Might think about adding some insulation to help it hold the heat better.
  5. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    I am using an old kerosene tank for my smoker. As others have mentioned, it'll take a little more wood to keep your temps up, but we use them without any problems. Granted, our temps in NC are a little more mild in the winter than yours up in ND.
  6. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

  7. snickers

    snickers Newbie

    I just finished the top half of my cooker. As soon as I can I will build my firebox on the side to make it a true smoker / grill. Maybe this helps. I have a picture on my website feel free to peek.
  8. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have seen a lot of smokers made out of fuel oil tanks. I even have an old fuel oil tank i was going to use to build one but never did.
  9. I've read in this forum and others that you should not use a tank that was used for petroleum products ( fuel oil, oil, kerosene, gas, etc.....). Steel is porous, like the pores on our skin, and the petroleum fills the pores, almost like the steel absorbs it. You can never get all of it out of the tank and small amounts of it will burn or vaporize as the smoker is cooking possibly contaminating the food being cooked. If you look at the Ugly Drum smoker threads, you will notice that it is recommended to use a " food grade " drum, not one used for chemicals or petroleum products. You may not taste the fuel oil or whatever, but there is a possibility that over a period of time you may consume enough of it to cause health issues
  10. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    Gonna be lots of dead people in Indiana and North Carolina if that is an issue :)

    I have heard that too,,, But have eaten alot of food cooked in an old fuel oil cooker I aint sick yet ...

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