Bang the Drum: Do-it-Yourself Oil Drum BBQ

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In this month's Slow Food USA newsletter, Dick Bessey offers a guide to building your own oil drum BBQ, or as they say in certain parts of the county, "Texas hibachi."

With a 30- or 55-gallon oil drum, you can build your own charcoal grill, tandoor oven, or smoker. All you need is a clean, rust-free oil drum (good luck), some hinges, metal legs and some racks (salvaged from an old stove, perhaps?). Bessey says "find someone to safely cut the barrel for you" lengthwise, put in the hinges so you have a clamshell, add the legs at the ends, and drop in the racks. You'll need some holes for ventilation on the ends, and you're ready to grill.

Makes you kind of wonder - are those $1000 brushed steel rigs really worth it?

If you're feeling really ambitious, here's a guide to building your own Big Baby Double Barreled BBQ.

And while you're at it, enough with the bags of Kingsford. Why don't you make your own charcoal?

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.