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DIY Projects | How to Build Your Own BBQ Barrel In a Few Simple Steps

If you’re looking for a practical and easy to make backyard BBQ, a BBQ barrel is one of the simplest DIY projects you can get your hands on. Cheap to create and practical to use, the BBQ barrel can be completed simply in one day and DIY enthusiasts can turn a 55-gallon barrel into a BBQ any backyard would be proud of.

A basic BBQ barrel can turn an old 55-gallon drum into a super practical BBQ that you can enjoy over the summer months without having to fork out lots of money on a store bought BBQ set up. In this article, we share with you how to create the ultimate homemade BBQ barrel in s few simple steps using some simple tools and materials you can find around the home.

Materials needed:

  • Old oil drum

  • BBQ paint

  • Steel hinges

  • Dowel for handle

  • Air vents

  • Old chain link fence posts (for legs)

  • BBQ temperature dial

  • Steel mesh for grill

  • Nuts and bolts for hinges and frame

  • Spray painting mask

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BBQ barrel tools:

  • Angle grinder including a range of discs

  • Welder with all necessary safety equipment

  • Hammer

  • Hacksaw

  • Tape measure

  • Pen

  • Ruler

  • Engineers square

Always remember to wear appropriate safety equipment when you’re taking on a DIY project including equipment for your eyes. Fabricating metal can be dangerous so eye safety when you start your DIY BBQ barrel project is an absolute must.

Step 1: The Prep

First, I had to empty out all the excess honey and clean the inside (not exciting enough for a photo). Then I borrowed a grinder from a friend and cut the opening.

It’s way less of a hassle to have a food grade barrel. Imagine bbq’n in a barrel that use to have oil or fuel. Yuck!

Step 2: Constructing the Stand

I had to make a base and the only things around were some old chain-link fence posts that I’d never taken to the dump and some scrap plywood I’d demoed out of a creepy room in my basement.

I cut 6 posts at different lengths – 2 the length of the barrel & 4 for the legs. I wanted to bbq to be portable so the best way for that was for the barrel to sit on top of the stand.

Two posts held the barrel while the 4 legs were attached by drilling holes for the carriage bolts on either end. To attach keep the legs sturdy I secured them with pieces of plywood. Put the barrel on top and it stood tall and proud.

Step 3: Attaching the Lid & Grill Grates

I added brackets to hold the grills and to keep the lid from falling inside, as well as a lower rack to hold the coals and allow for air circulation.

Be sure to purchase stainless steel brackets and hinges. If you buy galvanized you should take a torch to it to burn off the fumes that will be there the first couple times you grill.

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Step 4: Burn Off the Inside

I lit a fire in it to burn off any paints or coatings or who knows what. There may or may not have been a burn ban going on this day so I made burgers on my gas grill to disguise the smoke.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Last steps in the construction were to add a handle (plain wooden dowel from the hardware store), air vents, and a temperature gauge. I also decided to spray the barrel with a high heat resistant pant.

Besides customizing the color a little, the paint helps prevent rust on the barrel. The only thing left was to test it in a real-life BBQ situation.

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

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