View Full Version : To burn or not to burn

07-09-2013, 07:50 PM
I just ordered a brand new drum from Amazon the, Skolnik carbon steel open top drum, 55 gallons, bolt ring, 1.2mm body gauge. So the question is. Should I burn the drum out? Not sure if it has a liner or not. I was thinking if I burned it, the paint on the outside would come off? So I would need to sand and repaint? I would prefer to just put the drum together, cause I would be able to use it sooner. But if I need to destroy the beautiful paint that's on it, so be it. Can't wait to get this thing going. Should be here Monday.

07-10-2013, 07:24 AM
The paint on your new drum isn't high heat paint so it's going to burn and flake off leaving exposed metal. Your ahead of the game if you strip and paint first. Otherwise at some point you'll have to dis-assemble to repaint. Paint stripper( water or solvent based) will work much faster with less elbow grease than sanding. I used high heat engine paint on my second drum. It can handle the heat and looks mighty purdy too.

07-10-2013, 09:30 AM
I can understand wanting to hurry up and get this done so that you can use it, but I would definitely burn off the paint and possible lining before setting up your drum, especially if you are not sure about the lining.

I was in a hurry to assemble my drum to have it ready for a family party, and only put one coat of high heat paint on my drum, and there are a couple of spots that I notice now, that make me want to take it apart and repaint it (which I plan on doing this weekend).

The paint will burn off most of the drum with a good high temp burn. My first burn took care of about 3/4 of the paint, a small amount of wind must have kept a portion of the drum cool enough that one side on the top did not burn off, so I did a second burn a couple of days later with part that still had paint on the opposite side of where the slight wind was coming from, and it burnt off.

I did not have my kit when I was doing my two prep burns so I was burning firewood in a drum with no holes drilled (and no holes in the lid either) so I could not put the lid on to burn the paint off of the lid or the fire would quickly go out. And the holes would have probably made for a hotter burn too. So I had to sand the lid using a 3M low grit sanding pad). If I had it to do again, I would have waited for the kit to arrive, drilled the holes (but not assemble, except for maybe the lid handle) before burning off the paint so that I could put the lid on and have that get nice and hot so that the paint would burn off the lid too.

Then I would spray one coat of paint, burn it to cure the paint per the instructions on the can, spray a second coat, and then install all of the components and be ready to go (cooking in it would cure the second coat).

A couple more notes, for each pre-burn I poured some canola oil in the drum and wiped it all over the inside of the drum. Not only did the oil help get the fire burning nice and hot, but it also helped to season the inside of the drum.

And finally, if you have a nice driveway (which as you can see in the picture, I do not) put the drum on cinder blocks for the burn. I do have a nice dark circle where the heat from the burn slightly melting the asphalt. Don't worry the bottom of the smoker does not get that hot when cooking in it. But I have started putting it on the concrete instead.


07-11-2013, 08:44 AM
Wow thanks for the replies. Those were exactly the the kind of responses I was looking for. Should b getting the kit by Monday.

07-11-2013, 01:24 PM
It will likely come with a rust preventive coating on the inside of the drum. I used a tiger torch to burn off the outside paint while taking care of the rust coating at the same time. Worked like a charm. Rustoleum BBQ paint seems to be holding up really well. I will link to the post of my build:

07-11-2013, 06:04 PM
Came home today from work to find my drum. Wow, $40 gets u pretty fast shipping. Now I'm hoping my kit comes tomorrow. So rockinshelby, all u used was a tiger torch? With no burn? I'm going to have to look into this. Have a tourney on Saturday, but if the kit gets here i'll have all day Sunday to get started.