Introduction: Keg BBQ

Picture of Keg BBQ

This is a different take on the popular KEG-gone-Barbie (BBQ) trick.

First of all kudos to the original makers:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-your-o...

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-the-K...

What's so good about a Stainless Steel BBQ made out of a keg?

It doesn't rust. That's the main reason for me at least.
Kegs can be bought second hand for cheap. They make a good size BBQ.

Why a different take ?

I didn't like the flat cut in the middle.
I wanted to try some stainless steel welding.
I wanted to make the final BBQ portable.

So what's the challenge ?

There are many;
- Cutting the keg following a different line. Stainless is a tough material
- Welding. Welding stainless is tricky. It gets very hot very quick. And you need a good welder (I used stick, crazy me)
- Finishing. What do you want your to feel like ? I wanted mine with a nice handle, a reasonable grill and a mesh to keep the coals away from the keg wall. You can polish to infinity.

What else ?

- All stainless construction (aside from the mesh and the grill)

IT'S AWESOME.


Step 1: Get a Keg, Trace a Line and Cut.

Picture of Get a Keg, Trace a Line and Cut.

Note: Stainless steel kegs are private property of their manufacturers until they have been written off. You can buy them off certain companies that sell them refurbished or as is. You can not just go and grab one at the pub like that. It's obvious to me but certain people felt it was needed to be clarified, so there you have it. Try http://www.kegking.com.au/Kegs.html

First off, removing the valve. Mine was a tap coupler, of type A. There are tutorials out there but the gist of it was:
- push the centre down to release pressure (careful there)
- turn the center clockwise for a quarter turn, it should drop
- unscrew the valve normally. I used vice pliers with a big tube, didn't need a massive plumber vice grip

About the cut, my plan was to not have a flat line at the front but have a sort of recess that would allow the lid to close without moving sideways.

I also wanted to have some back wall and make the lid lighter and the base heavier for stability. That resulted in a 30-ish angle at the back. Bonus side effect: the lid doesn't open too far naturally.

My big issue was that the keg warped heavily during the cut. It had a nice round shape when I got it, but after cutting it it really went out of shape. Nothing I couldn't fix, but a bit annoying. Be careful when you cut yours.

I also decided to cut around, and not through, the round extremities, especially the valve. A bit of drilling and filing finished it.

Cleaned up the inside, went on step 2; hinges.

Step 2: Add Some Hinges

Picture of Add Some Hinges

I got some stainless steel hinges and screws etc. Could have also riveted the lot but I didn't.

Thicker hinges might be in order if your keg has warped like mine. My hinges were a little bit too thin but still did the trick.

Step 3: Add a Handle and Some Bling

Picture of Add a Handle and Some Bling

Make a handle out of whatever you wish. I made mine out of hardwood that I cut, planned, sanded and varnished a bit.

Also made some recessed hex holes to have a better finish than just screws and bolts. Again, you can finish and polish as much as you want.

Because I wanted this bbq to be portable, I added a latch to keep it closed. Also a temp gauge salvaged from another BBQ.

Step 4: Start Welding Some Legs

Picture of Start Welding Some Legs

I made mine out of scrap stainless RHS. Was a bit thin, but it worked. My weleds were ugly. Seriously, if you can, tig weld !

After the legs (small form factor for portability) I marked the grill lines and welded some angle brackets there.

Step 5: Get a Grill, a Mesh and Put It Together

Picture of Get a Grill, a Mesh and Put It Together

I got a an old and very bad looking set of grill and plate. A lot of wire brushing later, it looked much more usable.

You can cut yours to side if it's too big or add more angle brackets to support a smaller grill/plate.

Next I added some mesh at the bottom to prevent coals from being directly on the keg wall. The stainless gets hot very quickly, remember ?

It also allows for ash to drop below.

Step 6: Enjoy !

Picture of Enjoy !

I polished a bit the lid. Sand paper of various grits and called it a day.

Gave it its first burn then proceeded to try it out with good coals and Brazilian style meat. Total success.

Next things I will do;

- Adjust the mesh under a bit
- Adapt a rotisserie (bought cheap at Aldi)
- Make a timber stand with wheels and side table
- Use this BBQ until I die and pass it on to my children

Comments

maluco (author)2015-08-04

Here's a follow up: I made a cart for the BBQ. All recycled stuff; A metal table base, welded some wheel supports and added wheels and a mesh salvaged from a discarded barbie from the kerb, along with handle, side tray and other bits.

Threaded holes for the side tray (foldable) and painted the whole thing silver.
Works a treat. Wife loves it. Can still take the BBQ top away when we need.

I might add side panels one day to close it off. For now I chucked a cheap protecting tarp on it.

ScottS340 (author)2017-05-04

I use to cutting 10 ton a day average downsizing machinery and demo work on old brewerys for salvage companies with a custom gas axe or lancing rods but the guys who would take samples for content values used still saws with torque and diamond tip blades use a 9" grinder a and work in the floor and use the disc Garde it's not just to pevent grab/recoil it gives the cutting edge buy stainless MIG wire or rods are best.. also the method of how you join each seem stich welding is enough look how home and garden furniture is assembled just remember the gage difference and high melting point so butt the joints together not an edge on top of the other or spot welding through hols like rivets would help if lack of fusion I'm sure beer barrels are 316 and can't see any one paying for one

asamby (author)2015-07-29

I love it, did you use an Angle grinder to cut it in half?

maluco (author)asamby2015-08-17

Yep, with cut-off disc. Careful use, and plenty of time allocated to the task.

mitchell eade (author)2015-08-04

cool as bro

totszwai (author)2015-07-28

Does it warp quickly? Given that the metal sheet (or is it aluminum?) is so thin?

maluco (author)totszwai2015-07-28

It's stainless steel. The drum warped out of shape when I cut it. Not because of the cut or the heat, but because it was kept in shape with the manufacturing welds. The warp wasn't detrimental, but still very noticeable. It's not precision engineering when you attack recycled metal with an angle grinder and fix with a hammer anyways.

rbormann (author)2015-07-28

Aí, Maluco, mandou bem!

slo5oh (author)2015-07-27

Very cool design. Great tabletop size. Have you used it yet? I'm wondering how well it works with no vent in the lower half. I'm VERY far from an expert, but I think 2 things might help your design. 1) Vent the lower half on both sides, one will be intake the other exhaust, this will give you some temperature control if you use adjustable vents. 2) season both the inside of your new BBQ and the grate. You can season the grate inside your home in a regular oven, coat it with oil and bake it at ~350* for an hour. Be sure to turn on your oven fan, it can make the whole house smell. Once seasoned they are 99% more rust resistant.

CarmelitoAndrade (author)2015-07-27

awesome !! will have to find a keg to make one..

moonshine88 (author)2015-07-26

I built one few years back and all I can remember was cutting it in half was the longest and hardest Part of the project haha. cooks great and holds heat eealy well though

derek white (author)2015-07-26

Nice one mate

Made a few, but used 12 burner from gas bbq, set into the lower half keg. Off set to one side, plugged off one side of the burner nozzles. Encased the burner in three inch stainless tube laying length ways along keg. Slotted three inch tube and keg to suit burner, tig weld together. Easy. Only about 1/2 inch off burner protudes into keg, i have rack to accept a baking tray for veg in bottom and spit roast gear on top for chicken, pork, beef what ever. made a double sided wire rack to "capture" sauages, fish and other foods that wont make it onto spit bar, but doubled sided rack adapts to spit bar. Have to remove baking tray as this rack interferes with it. Maybe some ideas there that can help you mate. Sry, photo does not show a lot of detail, next time i use it i'll send a few more..

maluco (author)derek white2015-07-26

Beauty. Makes me want to put that rotisserie on ! We much prefer coals to gas but aside from that, it's bbq alright. Cheers for the tips! Got a few improvements in already, I need to post a photo of the trolley I put under.

Beergnome (author)2015-01-23

Please note to make sure that the keg you use has been sourced leagally. Kegs are owned by the respective brewery whom's name is impressed into the chime. When you purchase a beer keg for your gathering, you are purchasing the beer in the keg, not the keg itself. the Deposit is in place to insure that the brewery gets it back and does not infer ownership to the Depositer. chopping up a keg like this that you, yourself, do not own, is destruction of private property.
Please contact your local brewery or beer distributorship about purchasing a used and damaged keg that can no longer be put into service. Often times they can be purchased rather cheaply, most times for the deposit, or scrap metal value.

with that said, this is a great instructable!

maluco (author)Beergnome2015-01-26

Have added some links and a disclaimer to reflect this.

Beergnome (author)maluco2015-01-27

Thank you very much and once again, a great instructable and end product!

Mindmapper1 (author)2015-01-23

nice! I have made many of these over the years from drums. if you make some holes in the base about 2" diameter spaced between the ribs and fairly near the lowest point these will help in a number of ways, first with lighting as you can fill below the grate with crushed news paper and then cover with the coals, light and wait to heat up. Secondly it allows some air flow for better burning, third easier to clean out and finally if any water gets in (because it always rains if you plan a BBQ) it will drain away!

maluco (author)Mindmapper12015-01-26

Yep, there are a number of way to improve on this ! Thanks.

austin (author)2015-01-23

What did you use to cut this keg?

maluco (author)austin2015-01-26

Angle grinder with cut-off disc.

seamster (author)2015-01-23

This is so awesome. I want one.

I guess I'll have to make one, huh? :)

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