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Pig Cooker build, success !

Hobby Climber

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Mar 26, 2013
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Ontario Canada where the Detroit River meets Lake
Had an idea some time back when I came upon an old oil tank someone had dumped back in my folks wood lot, ...A pig Cooker !

Waited till winter time and with the help of a friend, we slid it out over the snow and loaded it into the pickup.

Not having any experience in how to design or build a pig cooker, I went over many an idea till this past spring.


Every pig roast I've attended in the past, the pig though good, came out chard and visually unappealing.

If your familiar with the concept of "Beer-Can-Chicken", where you place a can of beer in the cavity of a chicken and sit it upright in the BBQ with indirect heat till it comes out fully cooked and golden brown. ... that's kind of the thought behind the design of my cooker.

I split the tank in two. Using some angle iron, I made a rim on both halves to give it some strength & to hold it's shape.
Inside, I made an internal frame that also holds the 1/4" thick water/heat tray.
It was made out of a large I-beam that was turned into a channel iron shape and I capped the ends making a water tray.
After fabricating the grill, I made an exterior frame for added strength and one day I will simply add an axle to tow it but for now it sits in a small trailer.
There are two fire boxed and they are accessed from each ends of the cooker for simplicity of adding charcoal & regulating heat.

I've never worked with metal before but ended up doing all the fabricating, fitting and clamping. Had a friend do the welding for me since I didn't have that skill.

To date, I've only cooked two pigs on it. A 60 lbs & a 54 Lbs and both turned out better than I could ever hope for.

I was going for that golden brown exterior and with the large water/heat tray that's a bit wider that the grill, the steam vapour prevented the skin from getting chard.

In the attached pic, that pig was fully cooked and delicious !



ps -to the guy who dumped their trash oil tank in my folks wood lot...….. Thank You !!!
 

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BlackSmith

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It’s not proper (welded and buffed) until you can’t tell how it was coped. ;) Good job none the less.
 

Tree09

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:lol: i hardly ever flattop them, but then again i usually don't need to for what they are when I'm using them (hangers e.t.c). I do usually round the corners tho, and back bevel so the weld is on the inside, the outside welds just slick it up.
 

Hobby Climber

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Your guys may as well be talking Greek because I have no idea that your terminology means.

I made the cuts to fit the way I did because my logic was to create more area to be welded for increased strength.

Didn't think as short butt fit would hold up as well once welded.

I have no training or experience in metal work or fabrications, nor have ever did any metal cutting in the past.

A friend offered me open access to his shop, tools and equipment when I mentioned scratch building the roaster.

Was expecting him to do the cutting & welding but was shocked when said he wanted me to cut the pieces, fit them together and clamp it all in place for him to weld.

He said, "This is your idea. I can't see your vision that's in your head so if you want it welded, get the metal cut, fitted & clamped together the way you want it and I'll weld it" !

I had already purchased most the steel that was required for the build so it was to late to change my mind at this point !

Talk about motivating a guy...sheesh.

Big thanks to thank him for allowing me the opportunity to learn on my own and for the use of his shop ,tools and equipment !
 

Hobby Climber

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One thing I'd like to change on the roaster would be its fire basket.

Because all the wood charcoal ash tends to fall out the bottom of the basket, it makes a heck of a mess on the ground each time you open the charcoal doors.

So I'm thinking of redesigning the baskets to be the same length but have the mesh raised up a few inches from the bottom.

Below the basket mesh that's been raised, I want to fab some sort of a metal tray to try to catch the bulk of the ash that falls from the basket.


Kinda like having a long narrow cookie sheet below the fire basket to catch the fallen ash from making a mess on the ground.
 

flushcut

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Sounds like a perfect time to learn to weld.
The greek we are speaking is the corner where the two pieces of angle iron meet. That is called a coped joint and it is the proper way to make that joint. Ya done good laddie!

Most all welding projects the time it takes is all in the fitting and cutting. Kind of like tree work but the opposite it takes very little time to cut compared to the clean up.
 

Tree09

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Yup, I'm sure the horse is dead, but I'll keep beating it anyways: welding is a pretty simple skill that will change your life. If i can do it, so can anyone. Unlike woodworking or other similar hand skills, welding will allow you to build things that actually can make you money, far cheaper and better than you could ever afford. And once learned, it is not easily forgotten.
 

BlackSmith

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I highly suggest taking a class at a tech school or community college to start. You can only teach yourself or learn so much from someone else and most of that will be bad habits which are very hard to break by a skilled instructor. Before you invest in equipment is the time to determine if breathing toxic fumes and burning yourself up is your thing.
Sorry for the derail, fine job on the cooker.
 

Tree09

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Also agree that a community college is a great place to start, that's where i started
 

flushcut

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I got lucky and learned in high school for the basics. Then I got a few books, some web surfing and practice and more practice.
 

Hobby Climber

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Back then, I didn't have any interest in welding.

it wasn't till very recently that I had need of some welding and realized it was cost prohibitive to buy all the equipment, welder, and all the other cost just to make something.

Don't get me wrong, I would have been nice to have learned but in regards to my pocket book, it's a wiser choice (for me) to simply pay for another mans welding expertise.
 
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