A steel drum and a few plumbing parts make up this no-weld smoker you can build with just a few hours of work. Add meat and smoldering wood—and get ready to feast. BBQ isn’t really cooking—it’s a DIY project that ends with eating meat. After a few years of cooking with smoke, I got good at it. Then, after a few more years, I fancied myself a magician, shrouding my cheap cuts of meat in the mystery of secret-recipe dry rubs, brines, sauces, and blends of flavoring woods. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to own every step of the process. My landlord said no to raising livestock in the apartment, so that left building the smoker itself to express my rugged individualism. Online research led me to the ugly drum smoker, which rightfully enjoys a cult following. Using a 55-gallon steel drum and parts found in any decent hardware store, the design produces an exceptional smoker. Building it is like barbecue itself, turning modest ingredients into something truly satisfying. Using ¾-inch threaded pipe and fittings (see Parts List), connect the close nipple to the 90-degree elbow and the elbow to the 24-inch-long pipe. Slip a U-bolt and mounting plate over the pipe, then ...