How to Make an Oil Drum Pig Roaster

Pig roasts are a popular pastime in many cultures and countries. You can make your own pig roaster out of an old oil drum with the proper tools and equipment. Oil drums make perfect pig roasters because you can lay them on their side and make a lid to cover the pig while it is cooking. Roasting a pig can take an entire day, so make sure to invite the whole neighbourhood over to enjoy the festivities.

Acquire a 55-gallon oil drum from a junkyard or a manufacturing plant that uses drums to ship or store liquids. Make sure that your drum was not used to store toxins before turning it into a pig roaster.

Draw a line with permanent marker down the sides of the drum as a guideline for cutting it in half. Cut the oil drum in half lengthwise (from top to bottom) using an angle grinder. Be careful of flying sparks igniting if the drum was used to store flammable liquids. Cut the line very straight so both drum pieces fit properly when you attach your hinges.

Attach hinges to one side of the barrel so you can open and close it. With a welder, weld the hinge brackets on the top half of the drum and the bottom half, so it can open like a clamshell.

Drill approximately 20 ventilation holes along the bottom half of the oil drum. Ventilation holes allow for oxygen to circulate among the coals to keep the fire hot.

Build a frame for the oil drum to sit on so it is off the ground. The frame should be made from 2-inch angle iron welded together. Make a 20-by-35-inch metal rectangle that the 55-gallon drum can nestle into. Weld on four legs, one at each corner. The legs should bring the barrel to about tabletop height. Put crossbars along the side legs to support the frame and keep it from wobbling.

Make the spit with a 1-inch-diameter all-steel bar. The bar should be 5 to 6 feet long. Cut a round notch or groove into either end of the bottom half of the oil barrel for the spit to rest on. Weld a hand crank or mechanised crank to the steel bar to turn the spit.

Clean your oil drum roaster by burning a couple of hot wood or charcoal fires in it before roasting your first pig.

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