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Old 07-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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Trash can smoker?

Does anyone have any experience making a homemade smoker out of a trash can? I have heard some people saying not to use galvanized some people say it doesnt matter because its such a low temp.



I went ahead and bought a 30 gallon galvanized trash can and decided to have a nice hot burn in it before attempting to smoke in it. after thats done I will drill two sets of small holes to support the racks (one for the meat, one for the water bowl.) drill a few holes in the lid for the smoke to breathe and to be able to control the temp a little.
If I like the way it looks I will cutout a spot in the lower end and put a hinge on it so I can add more wood.

Does anyone have any experience in all of this?



Note: I know I could have bought a smoker with the money I spent on this project so far, but I love the thought of making my own smoker. If this doesnt go well I might go any try the terra cotta smoker but I have heard strange things about that one too.

Thanks.

~sean

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mrscruffles
I have heard some people saying not to use galvanized some people say it doesnt matter because its such a low temp.
Galvanized trash cans contain zinc...Zinc gives off bad gases when heated...Some say it is carcinogenic...Proceed with caution.
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:31 PM   #3
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Thats the thing I've heard. But the thing that I havent heard is at what temp that happens. So I figured if I get a nice hot fire going on before I even think about smoking on it I might get rid of it.

I hear not to weld galvanized because of the gases givin off, but welding and smoking are two very different temps.
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:42 PM   #4
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Why take the chance?
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:51 PM   #5
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Because I've seen alot of people making them with the same kind of can and I havent heard of anyone getting sick or worse. Im just a little curious as to what people have to say or if anyone around this forum has done it themselves.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mrscruffles View Post
Thats the thing I've heard. But the thing that I havent heard is at what temp that happens. So I figured if I get a nice hot fire going on before I even think about smoking on it I might get rid of it.

I hear not to weld galvanized because of the gases givin off, but welding and smoking are two very different temps.
Speaking from someone who worked with galvanized metal for 28 years, both soldering and welding it, I say go for it. Let us know

Seriously, yes, zinc oxide gas is not supposed to be good for you and I actually got sick from it once (must have been a heavy day of closeup welding), but a glass of milk is all you need not to be sick before breathing the smoke in. Are you going to be breathing in or producing the whiteish, hang-in-the-air, floating zinc oxide? No. A smoker will never get that hot. And if you have your wood or coals resting on a rack, like a round grill rack or cut up oven rack, all the better yet. My non-expert opinion puts it right in there with the gasses given off from non-stick pans. And I would be more concerned from these 55 gallon drum grills. Who knows what's been stored in the drum they're using for a grill at the fireman's picnic?

Of course, I used to work with asbestos, too
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:10 PM   #7
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My step-FIL is a sheetmetal worker / welder and is thinking us up a smoker.... he wanted to make himself one at one point but was single w/ 3 teens at the time so didn't bother...
Dh and he are VERY excited about making one, but they both plan WAY too much so I'm not holding my breath....
But I'm thinking trash can no.... stolen duct metal?
Oops.
It fell off the back of the truck I mean...
:)
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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I attempted to locate the materials for AB's terra cotta smoker, but the only clay pots of the correct size I could locate had to be shipped here at an outrageous price. And that was a few years ago.
I can see a garbage can smoker working, but I bet it's a fight to maintain an even temp.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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FWIW, I just Googled garbage can smoker and came across this thread:
Is Smoking Safe? (in a galvanized garbage can) - Cookware - Chowhound
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
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Guess what I'm going to be building shortly

How to make a Smoker from a Trash Can
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:47 AM   #11
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Oh cool!!!
Thanks I will have to show that to DH when he gets up....
Or maybe I should "accidently" let the kids in our room now so we can go to Home Depot!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Guess what I'm going to be building shortly

How to make a Smoker from a Trash Can
Cool!! Can you build me one too?
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:54 AM   #13
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Kathe I bet we could pull it off ourselves it looked so easy!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:56 AM   #14
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Kathe I bet we could pull it off ourselves it looked so easy!
LOL true!! But it never hurts to ask!
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
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Cool!! Can you build me one too?
Sure. Bring me your items.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:14 PM   #16
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so I went ahead made a big old fire in it to make myself feel better about doing it. This morning I got up and decided I wanted to smoke my bacon for breakfast and other than the Ginormous size of the thing it worked well and surprizingly enough kept the temp right around 250 without me having to play with it at all. I think Im going to have to make a smaller one also If I want to smoke somthing small like today its kind of a waste.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #17
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Well I can tell you the electric/hot plate ones don't work.
I used a 20 gal can, got a hot plate that works and heats up to 300F +, and the temp in my lid thermometer hovers around 150 most of the time. What a waste, but now I know....
So I may turn it into a charcoal smoker instead, but now I wish I just would have boughten a cheap one to see if I like it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #18
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Sorry it didn't work so well, I was all excited about it too!!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #19
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Thanks, Suzi. It sounded like such a cool idea.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #20
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I feel it my duty to let everyone know you can also make a smoker that AB made on one of his episodes, I recall he had a box, a hot plate, a small skillet, dowels, a rack and sawdust.

the sawdust should be the same as the chips because anything else ruins the food. I think the episode has AB on vacation per his wife's orders and he cant do any cooking at all.
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