How to Make Your Own Beer Keg BBQ Barrel (without Welding)





Introduction: How to Make Your Own Beer Keg BBQ Barrel (without Welding)

This is my first instructable. here's the story behind it..:)I was in Ireland for the summer and to be honest we don't get a lot of sun so when a heat wave hit and temperatures soared to 30 degrees we nearly died( along with burnt). During this two weeks of heaven I decided I wanted a barbecue so I set about making one. I was going to make one out of an old oil drum but thought it would be cool to make it out of a beer keg. not only would a beer keg barbecue look cool it would also be an awesome story to tell and worked pretty well  as a BBQ and since I haven't a clue how to weld I wanted something that was easily constructible and could be taken apart and put back together.. I named this barbeque the BEERBECUE just encase your wondering, I just thought it was a good name.:) After the materials had been gathered it took me the weekend to build the whole thing.:)

Step 1: Safety

So because you will more than likely be using saws and drills safety is a must. I used a balaclava(couldn't find my mask), gloves, and goggles to protect myself from the sparks and sharp edges of the metal after it was cut. I cannot stress this enough safety is important. also watch the sparks trousers can be surprisingly flammable.                                      

Step 2: Cutting the Beer Keg.

in my keg there was small valve that you pushed down to release the pressure be careful though there is a risk of being covered in the contents of the keg. If you cant do that drill a small hole to let all the pressure out. I used a small angle grinder to cut the beer keg. I used a skinny blade so there wouldn't be as much of the keg taken away. it took a couple of blades to get through stainless is a seriously hard metal. after that's done file off the sharp edges. make it nice and smooth so its not dangerous.

Step 3: Burn Off the Inside.

So just to be on the safe side I lit a fire inside both halves of the barrel to get rid of any nasty stuff that could be in there. its safer to do this because you don't want to poison all your guests at your first barbecue.(that wouldn't be a great party). I lit a few fires just to be extra safe and then finished with a charcoal fire that I let burn down and cool. Be careful after the fire has been lit the steel will get very hot, let it cool for a couple of hours.

Step 4: Attaching the Hinges

I used stainless hinges so they would last. make sure to mark the holes correctly so that the hinges line up with the holes drilled and each other. you'll probably need a second pair of hands to get the other side on, its a bit tricky holding, marking and drilling with one pair. again stainless is hard so get plenty of drill bits and maybe use oil when your drilling it might help.

Step 5: The BBQ Stand and Grate.

For the grate I used the sides of an old sink that was at a scrapyard. the man gave me a decent price for it to so I was happy. i measured the keg where the grate would sit and marked and cut the piece I had. Again file it down so there was no sharp edges. When I had it cut and sized how I wanted it I threw it on a nice hot fire to burn off anything nasty that could have been on it. I used the bottom of an old cooker for the bottom grate where the coals would sit so that it would not be against the bottom f the keg and the ashes would fall down.

Step 6: The Handle.

you cant use anything that's going to burn or get hot when the fires going on so i used the handle of an old shovel and just cut it to size. I bolted the handle on with a few extra nuts and the counter sunk the heads of the bolts so they were out of the way.

Step 7: Finished BBQ

This is the finished Beerbecue. it came out well and looks pretty cool. I put a chain on one side of the keg so the lid doesn't flip all the way down. id also like to put vents in it but cant figure out how and put a thermometer in the top of the keg.. id love some ideas if you guys have any..:)

Step 8: The BBQ Stand

again i used stainless steel for the stand but only because i had it at home and my grandfather let me use it (thanks granddad.:)) i think it was going to be used as a dog house or greenhouse but i persuaded him to let me build a BBQ stand. it was made out of 1inch By 1inch stainless steel square tubes which was very handy for me. I cut out the middle few bars leaving the frame so it was still useable. When your cutting everything out measure twice and cut once.!! also its handy to have a punch to mark the metal where you want to drill the hole so its accurate.

Step 9: Top of Stand

I made the top of the stand so that the keg would sit into it and I could bolt it on to keep it from rolling. I don't no kow to weld but if you do go for it the stand would probably look nicer. I cut the top so that the keg would sit in the middle and there was room either side for plates and cooking stuff.  I left room either side but make sure that your keg fits in nicely between the two cooking spaces and leave room for bolts and the likes.

Step 10: The Legs and Shelf

I made the legs so that they were bolted under the two sides of the stand and wouldn't be seen as much. I added supports about two thirds of the way down and made a shelf there which also helped to make the stand more sturdier. to make the shelf I had to unscrew everything and make it separately. I used the two supports and cut more tubing to the lengths I needed. I didn't like the dirty stainless so I got some bathroom lime scale remover and scrubbed it off. everything came off nice and clean. it looked brand new.:)

Step 11: Finished.

The barbecue came out well and looked cool which is awesome at parties. when you fit the keg into the stand make sure it fits in level. You don't want all your sausages rolling to one side. You could also bolt it to the stand to be extra safe I didn't need to because it was pretty wedged in but I would recommend it so that a hot keg doesn't fall out and start rolling around the floor. And when I sat back and started to admire my work it just so happened the heat wave ended..:( and it started raining. typical.!!

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A man in Ireland wearing a balaclava. I like your style.


TY for sharing.

IDEA: You speak constantly of filing down rough edges because of sharpness & how it can & will, cut you if not careful....

My idea is this...

Yes you should remove the sharp edges...If you have a drill & a wire brush attachment, maybe that would be easier to use(and maybe faster/more efficient) to remove the burs/sharp

And for the discoloration, they have these "flapper" sanding things that go on a drill...would that not remove the discoloration?? or at the very least, make it blend in better?

if you're still looking for Stainless Steel, try dumpster'd be surprised what you can find in a dumpster. 8=P

TY Again for the awesome instructable.

Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the weekend projects contest!

Great details for a no welding project. I built the other style of beer keg grill and used a meat thermometer that has a stem about 4 inches long and the dial face is about 2 inches in diameter. It registers to 400 deg. I just drilled a small hole in the top for the stem to sit in. I made my vent by cutting a 3" x 3" square hole and using the cutout part as a door I hinged it and made a handle from a eyebolt using a tab of metal and two jam nuts to hold the tab for closing and securing the vent door.

Really great job!!! Well done and thanks for thinking to share ;)

Great idea. I live in New Zealand and the Maori have been using these for decades to cook their traditional "Hangi". Once old now new again.

It's beggin' for grocery cart wheels, 2 or 4. Kudos on the build.

Look at any Weber kettle grill's adjustable upper vent. With some scrap sheet metal and a "step" drill that goes up to 5/8" or 3/4", it shouldn't be too hard to make something like the Weber's on the flat ends of your keg. I would place one low (below the level of your charcoal grate) and one about as high as possible on each end of the keg. I'm very happy with a 3 inch "River Country" brand thermometer I bought from Amazon and installed on my basic Weber kettle that didn't come with a thermometer. This thermometer mounts in a single 3/8" hole through the top of the kettle.

This is a great instructable and a cool project. It looks great! It definitely needs adjustable vents, but I'm not sure how I'd do it. Maybe a group of holes drilled in the bottom that could be either partially or fully covered by a small lid that conforms to the shape of the keg. The lid could be held in place by 3 or 4 magnets or maybe with a small hinge and some kind of screw or crank mechanism that adjusts how close the lid is to the vent holes. Top vent would be nice too, and the thermometer is a nice feature.

2 replies

Thanks a million. The magnets sound like a good idea and ive been looking at a few options for the vents. I will post pictures as soon as I figure something out.:)

If the vent goes on the bottom, or somewhere else where it won't catch the full brunt of the surplus heat, magnets may be the ideal solution, but heat does kill magnets. (Neo.s, for ex., get about 50% weak above around 100C (215F). They can recover from that, once cooled, but are permanently trashed by temp.s beyond about 174C (345F).)

The only way to REALLY tell how they'd hold up, of course, is to try 'em out but, as a starting point for guess'timations, here's WAY too much info on the subject:

"Taste"-fully done, and a GREAT name!

However, we've now seen so many ways to convert a beer keg or fifty-five-gallon drum into a grill that, to REALLY impress us, SOMEbody, SOMEday, is gonna hafta go the OTHER way.

...jus' sayin'....

Also, don't the beautifully-reinforced-looking remains of that tap-hole practically cry-out for some sort of rotisserie attachment?

Very cool!

Shouldn't have copped to running out of Stainless Steel though. Just say the part to the left of the grill is for hanging deep pans! You know, like the SS pans that have like 3" sides? One should hang in there just fine. Maybe put in another support for it to hang on to make the hole smaller?

For a way to mount a temp gauge is drill a hole. I don't know the name but there is a tube thing-a-ma-jig you can bolt in and it's a tube and you stick a metal thermometer thru it and you can get an air temp reading. Good luck. I have a very patient hardware guy who asks when I walk thru the door "now what do I have to find?". And yes a vent works to control heat. drill holes and make a rotating cover that hooks onto a bolt sticking out to adjust heat. I don't know it magnets hold up to heat well

Nice job, to "fix" the discoloration you can pick up some of the rattlecan grill paint

Good job, I like the stainless steel construction without welding. I think many people don't use stainless because the feel they need welding tools and skills.

Keg BBQ – celebrated in rainy Dublin since 2006 –

Your keg looks fabulous.

1 reply

Thanks a million.