We needed a burn barrel at Dave’s Homestead, and while I hated to bust holes in my new steel drum in the end it was the best idea.
Building a burn barrel is pretty simple, but you do have a couple of choices.
You can put air holes in the side of your barrel or on the bottom. When I built my barrel I went with the bottom because I felt it would keep water from sitting in the ash and turning into lye. In my opinion this will make it last longer.
Since I had never built a burn barrel, I wasn’t sure of the best way to makes the holes. I started with a drill, but that was SLOW… I joked about just shooting holes in the barrel – but that would be a waste as well as having to worry about where the bullet will go after busting through the barrel.
What worked best was smacking holes in the barrel with a pickaxe – don’t go that fast or hit too hard because you don’t need huge holes.
After you get the holes you need airflow – so if you put the holes on the bottom of the burn barrel you will need to set it up on bricks.
All that is left is to fill the barrel and light it.
We also have a tip to help use a burn barrel safer.