How to Make a Barbecue Grill From a 250-Gallon Oil Tank

Barbeque grills have been ingeniously created from a variety of used items.

Any item that is capable of withstanding high heat and providing enough space can be made into a grill. A 250-gallon oil tank is a perfect item for the job. The size of the tank provides enough space to cook on, and can with stand the heat from the coals cooking inside. The process to make your own grill does not require any special knowledge or skill, and the entire process can be completed in one day.

Locate or purchase a 250-gallon oil tank. Ensure that the tank is not completely rusted. A small amount of rust is OK.

Clean the tank of any oil residue.

Draw a line on the tank for the door. The door needs to cover the entire front of the tank, and open enough of the inside for you to reach the back with out burning yourself when trying to flip the meat inside. The tank can also be cut in half and one half can be used as a lid instead of a door.

Cut along the line with an angle grinder to create the door. The entire door or lid needs to be removed from the tank. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from sparks when using the grinder.

Remove large rust flakes with the metal brush.

Paint the entire surface, inside and out, with high-temperature paint.

Attach the door back onto the tank using hinges. Because of the ripples in the metal of the tank you need to use more smaller hinges versus using one large hinge. Attach these using the provided screws.

Drill a hole through a 2-inch wooden dowel, 3 inches away from each end. Line the dowel up to the lid of the tank. Mark the location of the holes in the dowel on the tank lid.

Drill a hole in the tank at the marked location.

Screw a bolt through the dowel. Place two washers on the bolt. Insert the bolt into the holes on the tank. Attach a nut to the end of the bolt and tighten. This creates a handle that allows you to open and close the lid without burning yourself.

Drill two screws into each end of the tank at the location where the grills will be placed inside the tank. The screws act as a ledge to rest the grills on. Attach a nut to the end of each screw, and tighten. This holds each screw tightly in place.

Place charcoals or briquettes inside on the bottom of the tank.

Place the grill inside over the screws.

Remove the fabric straps on the metal serving trays.

Open the trays and stand lengthwise where the grill will be placed.

Center the tank on top of all three of the serving trays. This provides a sturdy stand at a comfortable height for the tank.

Burn the tank with coals or briquettes once without adding food. This will help remove any oil residue left inside.

Things You Will Need

  • 250-gallon oil tank
  • Marker
  • Angle grinder
  • Wire brush
  • High-temperature paint
  • 4 hinges with screws
  • Drill
  • 2-inch dowel
  • 2 bolts
  • 4 washers
  • 6 nuts
  • 4 screws
  • Grills
  • 3 metal serving trays
  • Scissors
  • Charcoals or briquettes

About the Author

Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.