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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: BBQ and Stainless
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 21:26:06 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Wed, 31 May 2006 13:10:02 -0400, Frank Tabor <>

>> Has anyone bought a stainless BBQ that has started to show signs of rust
>>that would care to comment??
>Take a magnet with you.  I'll leave it to you to decide how the test
>PS, steel (iron) rusts.

Since almost all commercial stainless-ware is magnetic, I'm not sure
what your magnet is going to tell you.

To the OP, after watching a very expensive stainless lava rock
charbroiler rot out in just a couple of years of continuous use in my
restaurant, I lost my enthusiasm for stainless grills.  The cast iron
one I replaced it with served for >6 years before I retired it, still
in good working order.

If you're wanting to BBQ (slow cooking over a hickory or other
hardwood fire as opposed to grilling over charcoal), then you might
consider a drum cooker like this:

(please don't buy from this dirty scumbag spammer.  I just pointed to
his site to use his photos since his is an almost exact knockoff of
mine.  I learned that he was selling an almost exact knockoff of the
smoker I've been building and selling for >20 years because he spammed
just about every usenet group I look at a few weeks ago.)

This is so simple to make that it's not worth buying one unless you
just want to avoid the work.  Weber kettle grill replacement grates
fit perfectly inside a 55 gallon drum.  I weld in two sets of sleeves
with sliding pins to hold two Weber grates. (this knockoff artist uses
fixed carriage bolts which makes getting grates full of meat out of
the smoker a real PITA - BTDT.)

I measure up 1.5" from the bottom and cut a rectangular hole in the
side using a cut-off wheel or plasma cutter large enough to accept
wood.  I roll some 1" by 11 gauge steel to fit the contour and
spot-weld this to the removed piece of metal to make the flange on the
door.  A piano hinge and a latch completes that part.  I lay in 1" of
hard refractory cement in the bottom to hold the fire and reflect heat
back into it.

A 2" hole in the top provides just the right amount of draft.  A
couple of spiral spring antique stove-type handles on the lid for easy
lifting completes the package.

This design is practically self-regulating.  Just build the fire, give
it time to get good and established, put the meat on, put the lid on,
close the door and let it cook.  Add wood as necessary.

Two grates will hold 8-10 pork butts or 4-6 briskets or 6-8 whole pork
rib racks.  More than enough food to feed a crowd with some left for
breakfast :-)

This drum almost exactly emulates the cooking environment of a large
open pit.  It lets the fire burn with blue smoke to avoid bitterness
and that "liquid smoke" taste and yet it runs practically unattended.

If you want something pretty then you can buy a stainless steel drum
but that's not necessary for longevity.  I'm still using the first one
I built from back in the late 70s.  The smoke and vaporized meat fat
combine to make a shiny, tough black coating on the inside of the
thing that protects it from rust. (I really hate to call this stuff


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