2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3, Page #30[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Barbeque Roaster Made Out Of Old Propane Tank
The 30-in. dia. tank measures 8 ft. long and is mounted 4 ft. off the ground.
"I was disappointed at the small size and thin material used on most commercial cookers, so I decided to build my own," says Gallaher.
He first thoroughly cleaned out the tank and then used a cutting torch to cut out holes for a fire door, two hinged food rack lids, and a 4-in. dia. smoke stack with a damper on top of it. Cooking is done on two removable grills. A pair of overhead door springs are used to help raise the lids. A drawer at the bottom of the tank is used to collect ashes and can be pulled out for easy cleaning.
"It really works good and was cheap to build," says Gallaher. "I buy steel for the legs and smoke stack at salvage yards for only pennies a pound. The biggest cost is for new expanded metal for the cooking racks. I get the propane tanks free from a local propane company. My total cost was only about $50.
"I've made about 20 propane tank cookers during the past year, and no two have been built exactly alike. The first one I made was much smaller and had a firebox at one end and a stack on top. One day while I was cooking on it, a gentleman drove up in our driveway and asked if the cooker was for sale. I sold it to him right on the spot. Then I made another one, and the same thing happened again. I've built cookers with and without fireboxes, with single cooking racks and double racks, and from big and small tanks. But even what I call a small cooker is larger than most cookers you see for sale at most stores."
The smoke stacks on his cooker come out the ends of the cooker. "That way the smoke and heat have to swirl around inside before exiting as opposed to the smoke stacks being on top and the smoke and heat going straight out the top."
Gallaher offers a word of caution. "Even if the valves have been cut out, old propane tanks can still have residual lubricating oil impregnated into the pores of the metal that will explode when heated and exposed to flame. Before I do any cutting I always fill the tank with water and pour in a bottle of dishwashing detergent. The water and detergent helps keep the oil from vaporizing."
Gallaher is willing to sell step-by-step plans for the do-it-yourself barbeque.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Martin Gallaher, 7553 East State Hwy. 52, Hartford, Alabama 36344 (ph 334 588-6700; E-mail: email@example.com).
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