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a finished homemade DIY oil tank smoker

How to Build an Oil Tank Smoker

Learn how to build an oil tank smoker at home out of an old or new oil tank, propane tank, or air compressor tank.
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Cook Time 5 d
Total Time 5 d


  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Welders Tools


  • New or used oil tank, propane tank, orcompressed air tank
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Metal Hinges
  • Flat Bar Stock
  • A Smoker Stand
  • A Steel or Iron Firebox
  • An Airflow Damper
  • A Chimney Exhaust Vent
  • Angle Iron
  • Cooking Shelves
  • A Handle
  • Heat Resistant Paint
  • A Temperature Gauge


  • Empty and clean the inside of your tank.
  • Make cuts 1/4 the circumference of the tank to make your door(s).
    tracing where to put the doors on an oil tank smoker
  • Add hinges and handles to your doors.
  • Add door seals using flat bar stock iron.
    Cutting the doors out of a homemade oil tank smoker
  • Purchase or build a stand to support the smoker.
  • Purchase or build your steel or iron firebox,about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of your tank.
    turning up the fire to finish cooking a raw ham
  • Cut and add a damper on the far side of the firebox to control the airflow to the fire.
    side lower bottom vent on a masterbuilt propane smoker
  • Cut matching holes and weld your firebox to your oil tank in a typical offset barrel smoker fashion.
  • Cut a hole in the opposite top side of your tank and weld an exhaust chimney vent in place.
    welding the chimney exhaust onto a DIY oil tank smoker
  • Use angle iron to create supports for shelving on the inside of your oil tank.  Purchase Or build iron or steel shelves to hold the food.
    placing angle iron in the oil tank smoker for the shelves
  • Do at least 1 final cleaning and then a hot burnout to get rid of any remaining oil and/or chemical residue left in the smoker before you cook food in it.
  • Paint the exterior with a glossy heat resistant paint that will be easy to clean and wipe down.
  • Add any final accessories of your choosing.
    putting the shelves into a homemade oil tank smoker
  • Load up the firebox with wood and/or coals, cook some food and enjoy!



Video courtesy of and Instructions inspired by Chuds BBQ
Keyword 275 gallon smoker, barrel smoker, DIY smoker, drum smoker, homemade smoker, oil tank smoker, smoker instructions, smoker plans, smoker project
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