How to Build a Grill Out of an Oil Tank

Danny Donahue

You have an old oil tank that is no longer being used. Disposal of such a large container would be a waste of materials when you could spend an afternoon with a few tools and turn it into a huge BBQ grill. This grill would be large enough to cater a gathering with room to spare.

Here you will learn the backyard cook's method of recycling an oil tank.


Having help for this project is recommended, especially for the heavy lifting.


Power tools can be dangerous. Please read and follow all manufacturer's recommendations.

How to Build a Grill Out of an Oil Tank

  1. Open all the fixtures on your tank using your pipe wrench. Duct tape the hose from your compressor into one of the openings. Use as much tape as possible to ensure a good hold. Turn on your compressor and let air blow into the tank for at least 1 hour to purge all fumes from the tank.

  2. Disconnect the hose from the tank. Put the tank on its side. Use your reciprocating saw to remove the legs from the tank and cut the tank in half. Flip the new top off the bottom, leaving both laying with the inside facing up.

  3. Use your wire brush, soap, lots of water, and bleach to clean the tank halves inside and out thoroughly. Be sure to empty all waste into your disposal container for proper disposal later.

  4. Use your drill with 3/8-inch bit to drill holes for your hinges on half of your grill. Place the hinges approximately 1/3 of the tank length from either end. Use your 3/8-inch bolts, nuts and washers to attach your hinges. Line this half up with the other side, mark hinge holes, drill and attach hinges to this half.

  5. Use your drill and 3/8-inch bit to drill holes on the top section of the front of your grill for your handles. Place handles only on the top section and directly across from the hinges. Attach the handles with 3/8-inch bolts, nuts and washers.

  6. Use your drill and 5/8-inch bit to drill two holes into the top of each piece of angle iron. Mark and drill holes in the sides of the bottom section of your grill to attach these legs. Use your wrenches to install 5/8-inch hardware on each leg.

  7. Dig out a hole 1 foot deep and 1 foot across where you wish to place each leg. Gently lower your grill legs into these holes. Pour 1/2 bag of concrete into each hole. Add recommended water to each hole. Stir the mix with shovel head and let sit at least 24 hours.

  8. Fill your holes with the dirt that came out of them. Use your drill with 3/8-inch bit to make 10 holes evenly spaced into the bottom of your grill. Add charcoal or wood and light it. Lay your grill rack into the grill. Let the flames die down, add food, cook and enjoy.