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Large oil drum cooker powered by a rocket stove

 
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Hello.  New here and new to this world of rocket stoves.  

Here's how I got here.  I've used traditional grills and smokers with offset smoker boxes for years and always thought there had to be a better way.  Every year, I cook on a very large oil drum that was cut in half, legs welded on, hinges on the lid, and a large expanded metal grate for the food to sit on.  Charcoal fills 2 channels that run the full length of the cooker front and rear.  It's hot, it's messy. it's a pain to reload.  

I've seen some self feeding smokers recently, and wonder if I could build a grill/smoker out of large oil tank and use a rocket stove to provide the heat?  I see so many ideas on this forum here and I have access to a drum that has already been cut in half.  

My questions are:

My idea is to build a large rocket stove that would enter the tank in the center under a diffuser, heat the air inside the tank and cook the food.    I cook about 15 hams, kielbasa, and some other items.  The fuel will be charcoal briquets or lump hardwood.  

What problems would I run into?  Any suggestions or ideas?  I'd like to keep it simple.  

Thank you for your knowledge and ideas!
 
pollinator
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Cooking 15 hams sound like an expensive investment that might be better suited to another method with more consistency and temperature control?
However I guess anything is possible ... most rocket stoves require a 3’ high heat riser so your barrel will be well above comfortable loading hight.
They also need to be tended and fed with dry wood, there are some auto loading ‘wood pellet’ designs but no a common sight!
Not to say your concept is not possible as there are rocket stove ovens that work without long heat risers. they seem work quite successfully and it may be possible to scale up the design.
 
Pat Verbanec
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Thanks for the reply! I find this rocket stove stuff very interesting, and I am learning all kinds of stuff from this forum.  

I've had issues with the traditional methods and was trying to figure out a remedy.  Mostly air flow and heat.  Traditional side box smoker would choke off the air after awhile.  Reloading charcoal was a pain.  

Some if the self feeding smokers I've seen, use a rocket stove principle.  They are vertical though, probably to accommodate the longer heat riser.  Air flow is also a problem on some if them.  

I'm going to keep reading and learning.  At the very worst, I'll have a pile of scrap and some fun with the welder!
 
Fox James
pollinator
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A lot will depend on your desired cooking temperature and duration?

 
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Might be that an insulated bell over the top of the rocket could bring the heat back down to the right height to enter the drum smoker?  Then you need a chimney to draw out the other end?  Huge guess from a newbie.
 
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