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MikeUSMC: "Bury Me in Smoke"

Ok, I started with a Jim Beam barrel on Craigslist for $100

Sanded it down with a wire wheel on an angle grinder on the bands.
80 grit, then 120 grit, then 150 grit sandpaper "flapper" wheel on the oak
Cleaned it up nice

5/8" self tapping stainless screws (predrilled pilot holes) in every stave to hold the bands up, and to stop the barrel from falling apart when I cut the top off. This took FOREVER

Off comes the top, out comes the loose char. Smelled like smoky bourbony awesomeness

Little 14" Weber "Smokey Joe" for the bottom. I drilled a ton more holes in this for better airflow, and altered the legs a little so it would sit lower

Access door to refill water pan/charcoal

Four 3/4" threaded pipe air vents w/ caps to control the airflow. High-temp, food grade caulk in each stave joint

Somewhere along the way, after all the hardware was on (holes drilled), I was ready for paint. I love the textured look of this stuff. (Spray paint) "Forged Hammered Antique Pewter"

A coat of stain, and BOOM!

'MERICA. :cheers:

Boss, let me know if you want me to delete any of the double posted pics. I'm not looking to get in trouble here :)


Extreme Member
Well, the competition was yesterday, and I had a BLAST! So much fun, and met so many awesome people 🍻 I’m pretty happy with how I did, knew exactly what went wrong (and did it anyway, lol), and learned a lot.

Ended up getting 🥇1st place in chicken thighs ($250), and 🥈2nd place in ribs ($150)! I wasn’t thrilled with how my ribs came out but they still did well 👍🏻 The guy who came in first was an actual chef, lol. Cool freakin’ guy too! The reigning champs defended their title, deservedly so! :clap: Another great couple of guys. Their Wild Card entry was a smoked cheesecake covered with candied bacon, and it was absolutely phenomenal! After we all turned our boxes in, we all shared the leftovers with each other :cheers:

My Wild Card entry came out like garbage, hahaha. Didn’t even place, and it shouldn’t have, lol. I made the pork belly pineapple skewers, but for whatever reason, the bacon tasted like a salt lick, lol (low sodium bacon too! :shocked: ) I knew that and, like an idiot, I put the bacon on anyway. I have no idea what I was thinking, hahaha. Must’ve been my nerves getting the best of me. Talking to the judges after the awards ceremony, 2 of them told me that if I’d just omitted the bacon, I would’ve won 1st place in the Wild Card (another $250), AND won the Grand Championship ($500). What the HELL was I thinking?! That salty ass bacon ended up costing me $750 and the title 🤣 Either way, I had a ton of fun and met some really great people 🍺

Some random pics:









My turn in boxes:





I can’t even describe how much fun I had yesterday. I’m still smiling 😁

This pic pretty much says it all :metal:

Thanks for looking, everybody! And thanks for all of your continued encouragement, advice, and support! I love all of you clowns 🤡😉

Cheers! 🍻
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Extreme Member
Man those chicken and ribs looked Amazing not surprised you did so well Mike and we'll done buddy and on winning you can see you enjoy it and the passion runs deep.👍🙂


Extreme Member
Congrats @MikeUSMC ! Looks like ya done good.

When is the next one? :cool:
Thanks, everybody🍻

Next one was supposed to be in 2 weeks; October 15-16. The “Hartford Riboff.” SCA on Friday night, and KCBS on Saturday. They just officially canceled it because of rising COVID cases around here.

I wasn’t planning on competing anyway. Too much going on with the kids’ sports and stuff. Plus, I have the big cook I always do for Halloween coming up and, the week after that, I have to cater a party for a guy at work 😎 I did want to go, just to hang out though, and have someone else cook some BBQ for me for once 🤣


Extreme Member
Hey it's nice to have someone do it for you for a change.Halloween cookup sounds great can't wait to see the pictures.🙂🎃


Extreme Member

Seasoned with a base layer of Kosmo’s Q “Dirty Bird Hot” and a final layer of Kosmo’s Q “Honey Killer Bee” BBQ rubs. Glazed with Kosmo’s Q “Apple Cherry Habanero Rib Glaze.” Cooked on my Weber Smoky Mountain with cherry chunks. Look at those smiling “teeth” 😎






Thanks for looking, everybody 🍻

(@The Hot Pepper would you mind moving this thread out of “Wares” and into one of the food/cooking subforums? Thanks, Pook! :cheers: )
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Extreme Member

Finally pulled the trigger and bought some air intake pipes. Hopefully I can get around to starting this project soon! I’ve been talking about doing it for years, lol 🍻


Extreme Member
@MikeUSMC I'm in the same boat Mike. I have TWO 55's sitting in the garage. Even had them sandblasted and then I primed them. Also bought a drum kit from BPS. That's up on the shelf. Been at least five years now lol. Maybe you'll inspire me. :thumbsup:
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Extreme Member
Maybe you'll inspire me. :thumbsup:
Hopefully I will, bud! 🍻
I got the barrel for free from the shop at work (glass company), and there’s literally an unlimited supply of them. They’re absolutely flawless. Zero scratches or dents, and the insides are IMMACULATE. They were used to hold caulk but the caulk was inside of a plastic drum liner (clear 55 gallon bag), so the insides are as clean as a whistle. Once the shop transfers the caulk out into smaller containers (1 or 5 gallon), they just throw the drums in the dumpster 😳 I got the rest of the hardware delivered the other day, minus the grill grate supports. I’m still not sure how I want to hold those up. If all goes well, I’m planning on drilling all of the holes for the pipes, handles, exhaust, etc. during the week, and (hopefully) burning it out this coming weekend.

If this all goes well, I might swing back to the shop and grab a truckload of them and start slinging them on Craigslist or FB marketplace, haha! I just don’t want the boss gettin’ wise and wanting a cut though 😉

Yes, sir! 👍🏻 I can’t decide on a paint color though. I’m going with the traditional black (high temp engine paint; hopefully I can find something with a glossy finish) for the barrel itself, but I want to use a different color for the pipes, handles, hinge, etc. (I’m thinking caliper paint)

I’d really like it to “pop”, ya know? I’m leaning toward a bright green (neon-ish, but not “safety vest” lime, lol) or maybe a bright purple. I’d really like to do an American flag theme, and make the intake pipe on the left blue with white stars, and the one on the right red and white stripes, but I don’t think I feel like getting into all of that, lol


Extreme Member
Been a while 😎 What’s up, everybody 🍻










Thanks for looking 🍻


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Extreme Member
I’m thinking about doing an Emerald green one too but, I think my wife will kill me… 🤫


Extreme Member
hard to fairly judge from a picture but you might need to crack your inlets open a bit further judging by the white stuff spewing from your purple beast. 😉 unless of course you have been elected the Pope of BBQ. 🙂