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 Plans for a whole hog cooker

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JWatson

  • Total Posts: 7
  • Joined: 9/19/2003
  • Location: Greenville, SC
Plans for a whole hog cooker Sun, 02/22/04 6:32 PM (permalink)
Does anyone have plans for a cooker, or know a good place to find them? I've ran across an empty 275 gallon oil drum, and I'd like to make a whole hog cooker.

Thanks
 
#1
    UncleVic

    • Total Posts: 6025
    • Joined: 10/14/2003
    • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
    • Roadfood Insider
    RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Sun, 02/22/04 9:01 PM (permalink)
    Start out with a good cutting torch! (After you clean out the oil)!
     
    #2
      UncleVic

      • Total Posts: 6025
      • Joined: 10/14/2003
      • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
      • Roadfood Insider
      RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Sun, 02/22/04 9:15 PM (permalink)
      Ok, after taking a minute to search the net, here's some ideas...

      http://members.bellatlantic.net/~cfmitch/BBQ3.html

      This next one is a trip: http://web.dbtech.net/~johnson/cookers/magnum/magnum.html

      Maybe one of these guys can steer you in the right direction also:
      http://www.bbqjudge.com/webpages/bbqjc_pitbuilders.htm


       
      #3
        Stogie

        • Total Posts: 128
        • Joined: 3/12/2003
        • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
        RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 02/23/04 9:58 AM (permalink)
        Here are a couple that use tanks. The first one is an offset...the firebox is mounted on the end of the tank. The second one is a barrel smoker using a 55 gallon drum. It uses direct heat but works well.

        http://www.oscarenterprises.f2s.com/barbecuing.html

        http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/bbq.asp

        Good luck!

        Stogie
         
        #4
          JWatson

          • Total Posts: 7
          • Joined: 9/19/2003
          • Location: Greenville, SC
          RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 02/23/04 5:25 PM (permalink)
          Thanks for the links.

          The tank was given to me by a relative. It is a 275 gallon tank that was used for home oil heating. The tank is empty, and had been in the basement, so its in really good shape
           
          #5
            Stogie

            • Total Posts: 128
            • Joined: 3/12/2003
            • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
            RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 02/23/04 10:48 PM (permalink)
            JWatson...

            I certainly hope you are a trained welder and have cut into used tanks in the past.

            Here is a thread on the BBQ Forum which explains the hazards of cutting into used tanks..........


            http://www.rbjb.com/rbjb/rbjbboard/messages/290000.html

            I just want you to be around to tell us how it went!

            Stogie
             
            #6
              Cakes

              • Total Posts: 562
              • Joined: 9/11/2003
              • Location: Sarasota, FL
              RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 02/24/04 12:18 AM (permalink)
              quote:
              Originally posted by JWatson

              Thanks for the links.

              The tank was given to me by a relative. It is a 275 gallon tank that was used for home oil heating. The tank is empty, and had been in the basement, so its in really good shape


              I have heard from pros that they would rather weld on a gasoline tank than a fuel oil tank. The fuel oil leaves an oil residue that will vaporize under heat, years after it is emptied. At least the gasoline evaporates. Not that an old gasoline tank is safe.

              If you are determined, make sure no one else is within a hundred yards and that your life (death?) insurance is paid up.

              Cakes
               
              #7
                UncleVic

                • Total Posts: 6025
                • Joined: 10/14/2003
                • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                • Roadfood Insider
                RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 02/24/04 1:52 AM (permalink)
                Oh ya on the Oil Residue! Just looking up grill plans they all seem to state to use tanks that stored cooking oil (or any other food grade substance)... I'd check first to see if that tank would even be usable for food use... Be a crying shame if the hog that was roasted was not edible. (Might even be some laws down south on cooking a hog that you cant chow down)..
                 
                #8
                  Capt.Ron

                  • Total Posts: 2
                  • Joined: 3/5/2004
                  • Location: Columbia, PA
                  RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Fri, 03/5/04 7:27 PM (permalink)
                  If you are worried about oil residue go to a plumbing & heat supply store and get a new one...
                  good luck

                  "Smokin' Ain't No Habit... It's an art...
                   
                  #9
                    Capt.Ron

                    • Total Posts: 2
                    • Joined: 3/5/2004
                    • Location: Columbia, PA
                    RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 03/15/04 2:38 PM (permalink)
                    If don't use a torch... I use a sawzall and a jigsaws to cut mine... Know problems... Once I had mine cut i burned the heck out of it to get rid of the residue
                     
                    #10
                      zigfus

                      • Total Posts: 35
                      • Joined: 3/23/2004
                      • Location: Selkirk, NY
                      RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 03/23/04 5:58 PM (permalink)
                      I had no problems with the oil residue. The first thing you want to do is cut a hole in the tank and make sure you clean out the sludge that will surely be in the bottom of the tank. Then throw a load of wood into it (I used pallets). Then start a nice big fire with the pallets and let the fire burn down. Then use the ash, some water and a stiff broom to wash it out. There was no problem with the welds or with any aftertaste. But mind you you will need to season it like a cast iron skillet. Smoke and crisco until you get a nice black coating on the inside.

                       
                      #11
                        UncleVic

                        • Total Posts: 6025
                        • Joined: 10/14/2003
                        • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                        • Roadfood Insider
                        RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 03/23/04 9:29 PM (permalink)
                        Hey Zigfus! Welcome to Roadfood! Nice thing about the site is people sharing their knowledge! Keep us informed on your project, I'm sure there's several folks out there that just read these threads and not post... All your input is well appreciated... Never know when you can come across a 275 gallon oil drum and see it's future! (And better yet, keep asking questions.. Beleive me, this board has helped me out several times)... My name is Victor, I'm a food-aholic.. :)
                         
                        #12
                          zigfus

                          • Total Posts: 35
                          • Joined: 3/23/2004
                          • Location: Selkirk, NY
                          RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 08/8/05 9:58 AM (permalink)
                          It's an offset. Can cook two 80/lb pigs or 30 butts... Sorry we don't have pictures of the racks

                          Runs on wood or charcoal or both...

                           
                          #13
                            tmiles

                            • Total Posts: 1908
                            • Joined: 10/1/2004
                            • Location: Millbury, MA
                            RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 08/8/05 1:04 PM (permalink)
                            A friend of a friend was recently killed cutting into an oil tank that exploded. I have cut tanks myself in the past thinking that I was being "safe". I will never cut a tank again.
                             
                            #14
                              zigfus

                              • Total Posts: 35
                              • Joined: 3/23/2004
                              • Location: Selkirk, NY
                              RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 08/8/05 1:41 PM (permalink)
                              tmiles-
                              That is terrible. What was he using to cut with? A sawzall is the best to cut the first holes because the relatively low RPM's keep sparking down. If it exploded it sounds like he was cutting into a sealed tank or using a grinder or torch. You are sure it was an oil tank and not a propane tank? Heating oil is slow burning by nature. I have had a fire start in one I was cutting, but that just made it easier to get the wood fire going. Normally we take off all the pipes, caps and drain plug so there is no pressure inside the tank and we completely drain the tank of any liquid oil. There will still be sludge. I am sorry about your friend but I think there had to be some kind of error on his part as to why the tank exploded. When the heating company takes tanks out of homes they cut the top half off lengthwise right in the persons home. It makes it easier for them to get it out of basements. I've seen this done. The two tanks I used to make the trailer rig are the 10th and 11th tanks I have cut into and I only had one fire start prematurely. But I guess anything anyone does has a possiblity of turning out bad.

                              -Jeff

                               
                              #15
                                tmiles

                                • Total Posts: 1908
                                • Joined: 10/1/2004
                                • Location: Millbury, MA
                                RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 08/8/05 4:25 PM (permalink)
                                zigfus, it was the tank on an oil delivery truck, and the guy was a prof welder who was known for safe work habits. I filled my own tank with water and used a grounded sawsall to cut it. I then burned the sludge out by building a fire in the newly vented tank. I thought that I was smart, but I was stupid.
                                 
                                #16
                                  zigfus

                                  • Total Posts: 35
                                  • Joined: 3/23/2004
                                  • Location: Selkirk, NY
                                  RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Mon, 08/8/05 8:55 PM (permalink)
                                  "I thought that I was smart, but I was stupid." well I'll pass no judgement either way..... (I couldn't resist that)

                                  but I'd say there is a bit of a difference between an oil delivery truck and something that is about 1/25th it's size and virtually empty.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    n4cment

                                    • Total Posts: 1
                                    • Joined: 8/13/2005
                                    • Location: memphis, TN
                                    RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Sat, 08/13/05 7:28 PM (permalink)
                                    The best thing to use is an old liquid propane tank. I have made several cookers with each type of tank, and the lp tank is the best. The fuel oil tank is much too thin for any real use. Propane tanks are available around here (Memphis) for next to nothing. I'm not sure where you are, but it would be worth it to check into a lp tank. I have several pictures of construction. The cutting is quite safe if you take the proper steps. I fill the tank several times and let it sit for a couple days, drain it, and repeat about 5 or 6 times. The smell will still be strong, but all you have to do is fill the tank while cutting it. I never use the cut steel to make the door, I use a little lighter guage steel and make a sort of flange so that the door is actually flat. Lots of cutting, lots of welding, fireboxes, clean out traps, vents, a lot of work but it is well worth it. I can send you pics if you like.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      zigfus

                                      • Total Posts: 35
                                      • Joined: 3/23/2004
                                      • Location: Selkirk, NY
                                      RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/16/05 10:35 AM (permalink)
                                      "fuel oil tank is much too thin for any real use"

                                      I just cooked for 50 people this weekend. 15 racks of ribs, two pork butts, 15 chicken halves and 1 brisket. It kept the temp at 225 for 10+ hours with 6 bags of charcoal. In February I cooked for about the same number of people in 30 degree or less weather with the same outcome, I live in upstate NY. I think that is considered real use. Up here there are free oil tanks all over.
                                      I do agree that the propane tanks are thicker and probably easier to manage but you can bbq in a cardboard box if you keep your mind on the task. My smoker has 24 square feet of cooking surface with plans to add 16 more feet (2 more racks). It was also designed to fit a 27" log in the fire pit. How much cooking surface can you get in a propane tank?

                                      Hey, as long as it tasted good it worked good...right?
                                       
                                      #19
                                        V960

                                        • Total Posts: 2429
                                        • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                        • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                        RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/16/05 3:05 PM (permalink)
                                        Oil tanks work just fine. Propane tanks or water well pressure tanks work better (more mass) but not that much better, IMHO.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          trax

                                          • Total Posts: 9
                                          • Joined: 8/4/2004
                                          • Location: Defreestville, NY
                                          RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/30/05 10:14 AM (permalink)
                                          quote:
                                          Originally posted by tmiles

                                          A friend of a friend was recently killed cutting into an oil tank that exploded. I have cut tanks myself in the past thinking that I was being "safe". I will never cut a tank again.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            trax

                                            • Total Posts: 9
                                            • Joined: 8/4/2004
                                            • Location: Defreestville, NY
                                            RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/30/05 10:54 AM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by tmiles

                                            A friend of a friend was recently killed cutting into an oil tank that exploded. I have cut tanks myself in the past thinking that I was being "safe". I will never cut a tank again.

                                            Fuel oil is not explosive no matter how big the tank is. It will catch fire but it will not explode. Gasoline, propane and hundreds of other chemical's are a different story. I have been in the HVAC business for 23 years and have cut 100's of oil tanks for removal an disposal.Using a sawz-all will not ignite the oil.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              zigfus

                                              • Total Posts: 35
                                              • Joined: 3/23/2004
                                              • Location: Selkirk, NY
                                              RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/30/05 11:28 AM (permalink)
                                              Trax, thanks for the professional input!!! You must have a nice line on free oil tanks!
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Cakes

                                                • Total Posts: 562
                                                • Joined: 9/11/2003
                                                • Location: Sarasota, FL
                                                RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/30/05 12:12 PM (permalink)
                                                Trax,

                                                Fuel oil is explosive if it is vaporized. Welding on a tank or using a cutting torch is very dangerous. Using a sawsall is probably safe.

                                                Cakes
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  zigfus

                                                  • Total Posts: 35
                                                  • Joined: 3/23/2004
                                                  • Location: Selkirk, NY
                                                  RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Tue, 08/30/05 12:37 PM (permalink)
                                                  "Fuel Oil and Fire Safety:

                                                  I've seen people who were afraid that fuel oil or diesel fuel could explode. That is a clear sign of ignorance. Anybody who is familiar with these fuels knows that you can't pay these fuels to burn, and explosive combustion is basically impossible. It is difficult to get fuel oil to burn; it has to be spread out in a thin layer, such as in a wick, or sprayed into a fine mist (which furnaces do). A pool or container of oil just won't burn readily.

                                                  I think one of the most appealing features of fuel oil is its high degree of safety."

                                                  http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/hvac/oil_furnace/tank_removal/from_basement.htm
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    noclue

                                                    • Total Posts: 1
                                                    • Joined: 9/14/2006
                                                    • Location: kalamazoo, MI
                                                    RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Thu, 09/14/06 4:32 PM (permalink)
                                                    I have no clue. I was planning on using a sawsall for my 275 oil tank witch seems to be the best idea. But on the design i am lost. I want to make it into a grill, not a roaster. I want to cook stakes and chicken and dogs for large parties. But i am not sure the best way to make the top or on what or how to set up for the actual cook. Any help
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Dr of BBQ

                                                      • Total Posts: 3716
                                                      • Joined: 10/11/2004
                                                      • Location: Springfield, IL
                                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                                      RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Fri, 09/15/06 10:18 AM (permalink)
                                                      Propane tanks or water well pressure tanks work better

                                                      The thicker the tank the better they hold the heat and the less likely they are to leak both smoke and heat at the doors.
                                                      Jack@DrofBBQ.com
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        CajunKing

                                                        • Total Posts: 6317
                                                        • Joined: 7/6/2006
                                                        • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                                                        • Roadfood Insider
                                                        RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Fri, 09/15/06 12:18 PM (permalink)


                                                        This is one of my smokers in use a few weeks back, it is a former propane tank. It has an offset firebox with propane starter. It has been in use for about 5 years now.

                                                        I had a fuel oil smoker that I used for over 10 years (60-70 x's year), but it finally was retired, dismantled and pieces reused for a friends smoker.

                                                        My new smoker is a custom built smoker with offset fire box and propane starter. A friend who is a welder by trade made it for me. It will handle 2 piggy's, 60 butts easy, 20-25 turkeys

                                                        ( I am still paying it off, This week weekend I get to smoke 6 piggy's for his annual "fallfest" party at his farm )

                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          CajunKing

                                                          • Total Posts: 6317
                                                          • Joined: 7/6/2006
                                                          • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                                                          • Roadfood Insider
                                                          RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Fri, 09/15/06 12:33 PM (permalink)
                                                          quote:
                                                          Originally posted by noclue

                                                          I have no clue. I was planning on using a sawsall for my 275 oil tank witch seems to be the best idea. But on the design i am lost. I want to make it into a grill, not a roaster. I want to cook stakes and chicken and dogs for large parties. But i am not sure the best way to make the top or on what or how to set up for the actual cook. Any help


                                                          For grilling, I would suggest cutting the tank in half. Weld angle iron the ends for legs.

                                                          On the inside, use the expanded iron grating cut to fit across the bottom of the U shape for your coals.

                                                          for the grilling surface.

                                                          use the expanded iron grating cut a little bigger than the top surface of your tanks, weld angle iron around the outside edges of the grilling surface, but then on the ends go an 6-8 inches off each end for handles.

                                                          If possible, make 4 of these cooking grates. It makes things much easier to turn if your grill is fully loaded. Put the extra one on top hold tight and flip, remove the grate that was on the bottom continue cooking

                                                          We have used 55 gallon drums cut in half, set up like this for years, when we cook LOTS of BBQ chicken.

                                                          Hope this helps you

                                                          Donald
                                                          aka cajunking
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Miss Prissy

                                                            • Total Posts: 8
                                                            • Joined: 2/24/2006
                                                            • Location: Fayetteville, NC
                                                            RE: Plans for a whole hog cooker Sun, 09/24/06 1:17 AM (permalink)
                                                            Got my own design; custom built all SS. Look at Ole' Hickory Pits web site for a good commercial product.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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