How To Make A Grill Out Of A 55 Gallon Drum

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12 Cool Homestead Hacks for a 55 Gallon Drum

How to Make a Grill out of a 55 Gallon Drum

Why Choose a 55 Gallon Drum?

Using a 55 gallon drum to make a grill is an excellent choice for several reasons. Firstly, it provides ample space for cooking a large quantity of food, making it ideal for hosting gatherings and parties. Secondly, it is a cost-effective option as 55 gallon drums are readily available and relatively inexpensive. Lastly, repurposing a drum contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing waste.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • A clean 55 gallon drum
  • A drill with various drill bits
  • A jigsaw or reciprocating saw
  • High-temperature paint
  • A cooking grate
  • Charcoal or wood for fuel
  • Grill accessories (tongs, spatula, etc.)

Step 1: Prepare the Drum

Start by thoroughly cleaning the drum to remove any residue or debris. Use a mixture of water and mild detergent, and scrub the interior and exterior of the drum. Rinse it well and let it dry completely.

Step 2: Create Air Vents

To ensure proper airflow, drill several evenly spaced holes around the bottom of the drum. These holes will act as air vents, allowing oxygen to reach the fuel and maintain a consistent temperature during grilling.

Step 3: Cut Openings

Using a jigsaw or reciprocating saw, carefully cut an opening on one side of the drum. This will serve as the access point for adding fuel and placing the cooking grate. Additionally, cut a smaller hole on the opposite side for ventilation.

Step 4: Apply High-Temperature Paint

To protect the drum from rust and enhance its appearance, apply a high-temperature paint designed for grills. This paint can withstand the heat generated during cooking and will help prolong the life of your homemade grill.

Step 5: Install the Cooking Grate

Place a sturdy cooking grate inside the drum, ensuring it sits securely on the edges. The grate should be large enough to cover the opening you cut earlier. This will provide a surface for placing your food while it cooks.

Step 6: Fuel the Grill

Choose your preferred fuel, whether it be charcoal or wood, and add it to the drum. Light the fuel and allow it to burn until it reaches the desired temperature for cooking. Remember to follow proper safety precautions when handling flammable materials.

Step 7: Grill Your Food

Once the grill has reached the desired temperature, place your food on the cooking grate and start grilling. Use grill accessories such as tongs and spatulas to flip and move the food as needed. Enjoy the process of cooking delicious meals on your homemade grill!

Step 8: Clean and Maintain

After each use, clean the grill by removing any leftover ashes and food debris. Store the grill in a dry area to prevent rusting. Regular maintenance, such as repainting and replacing the cooking grate if necessary, will help ensure the longevity of your grill.


Making a grill out of a 55 gallon drum is a fun and rewarding project that allows you to enjoy delicious grilled food while repurposing an otherwise unused item. With the right materials and steps, you can create a functional and cost-effective grill that will be the centerpiece of your outdoor gatherings for years to come.

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