How to Make a Burn Barrel (Step by Step)

Burn barrels are usually used to dispose of unwanted trash and waste, but they’re also useful for saving your garden from pesky mosquitoes. You can use a burn barrel in any size or type depending on the amount of space you have available. The first step is finding an area where there’s enough room for it outdoors (your yard needs at least three feet between each side) with no overhead branches that could catch fire. If those conditions aren’t met, consider building one indoors instead- just be sure to keep it away from anything flammable such as curtains, clothing piles or furniture items.

A burn barrel is a metal container used to hold logs and other combustible materials. It’s traditionally made of galvanized steel or cast iron, but can also be made from concrete. The process of making a burn barrel is easy as long as you follow the steps in this article.

Related Post: Best Table Saws

Do you want to turn a 55 gallon drum into a burn barrel?

You can burn unwanted wood and lawn trash in your back yard securely using burn barrels.

This eliminates the need to carry items to your local trash management facility and eliminates the need to move all of the material from your backyard to the front yard for collection.


Burn barrels are also quite effective at burning garbage when used correctly, thus there is very little smoke.

We’ll teach you how to create a burn barrel out of a 55 gallon barrel step by step in this post. A barrel, a drill, drill bits, and two concrete blocks are all you’ll need.

Here are various barrels you can purchase if you don’t want to create your own.



  • Select a Barrel Location

    You’ll want to put this up in a decent spot in your backyard. This should be at least 25 feet away from your home or the home of your neighbor. Make sure it’s not beneath a tree’s canopy and that the space surrounding the burn barrel is clear of grass and shrubbery. 1647338016_836_How-to-Burn-Yard-Waste-In-Your-Backyard

  • On the bottom, place cinder blocks.

    Your burn barrel should be placed on top of cinder blocks. This improves air flow, resulting in a more efficient burn. The burn barrel will also have holes in the bottom, so putting it on cinder blocks helps with rainwater drainage.1647339336_188_How-to-Make-a-Burn-Barrel-Step-by-Step

  • Fill Your Barrel with Holes

    This is the most of the work you’ll need to do. You can use a hammer and a metal punch, but we find that a drill and drill bit are much more efficient. Cobalt or titanium drill bits are the finest I’ve found for drilling metal. Even though cobalt is more costly, it will last longer. You may need to start with a smaller diameter and work your way up to the 3/8 bit depending on the thickness of the metal. You’ll want to make sure there are enough holes to allow for proper air movement. We drilled 18 holes throughout the 55 gallon and 11 holes on the bottom. Several people claim that you just need four at the bottom, but the last one we had with four simply wasn’t enough for us. A 3/8-inch drill bit was utilized. If your holes are at least 1/2 inch in diameter, four should suffice.1647339336_636_How-to-Make-a-Burn-Barrel-Step-by-Step

  • Keep the Grate Cover as a Screen

    A little grate on top serves as an added precaution to prevent sparks or fire debris from leaving the barrel. This one was located in Lowe’s sheet metal section. 1647339338_941_How-to-Make-a-Burn-Barrel-Step-by-Step

    Right now, the most popular stories are

    How to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees: 7 Methods

    Is a Hot Tub Safe to Use on Gravel? (And Why You Should Use It)

    Squirrels in the Backyard: What to Feed Them


Those are the fundamentals of building a burn barrel. You have complete freedom to go as technical as you desire. Take a peek at this “vortex burn barrel” for example.


Some people swear by them, but we’ve seen excellent results and a clean burning brush with just these easy methods.

We hope this post was useful in teaching you how to create a burn barrel. You may also be interested in our article on the best materials to burn in a fire pit.

If you want to see more backyard crafts, subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on Pinterest.


Burn barrels are used to dispose of items that you don’t want anymore. Learning how to make a burn barrel lid is important, because it will keep rain and animals out.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a burn barrel?

A: A burn barrel is made from a metal garbage can lid that has been welded shut and then filled with lit charcoal.

Where do you cut holes in a burn barrel?

A: The holes are cut at the bottom of the barrel, near where it is standing.

How do you make a burn barrel out of a 50 gallon drum?

A: There are many different ways a person can make a burn barrel out of 50 gallon drums. A common way to do it is by cutting the top off and then inserting some kind of fire pit or grate that will allow air in, but not let anything else out.

  • how to make a burn cage
  • how to light a burn barrel
  • how to vent a burn barrel
  • why are burn barrels illegal
  • tractor supply burn barrel
You May Also Like