Fourteen Uses for a 55-Gallon Barrel

55-gallon barrel

A grill

I like things that can be used for multiply purposes and a 55-gallon barrel is a good example.  Both plastic and metal ones have their uses, some of which overlap.  Now these are by no means all the possible uses, I am sure everyone of you can think up at least one more.

      • Gasoline Storage,  55 gallon barrels make great storage containers for gasoline, but you do need to rotate the gas regularly  Bulk Storage of Gasoline and Diesel  The downside to them is the weight, they are hard to move in an emergency.
      • Water Storage I have used the plastic ones for water storage for many years with no problem.
      • Cache, they can make good caches in which to bury or hide food and other preps.
      • Food, I have used 55 gallon barrels both metal and plastic to store various grains.
      • Faraday Cage, metal 55-gallon barrels can make an excellent Faraday cage, as long as you make sure you have good metal to metal contact at the lid.

        55-gallon barrel

        A wood stove

      • Cold Storage here is a link to a post showing a technique that was used in older times.  KEEP FOOD COOL IN SUMMER
      • Smoker you can make all different types of smokers out of 55 gallon barrels.  Here is a link to a simple one. Building a simple barrel smoker
      • Rain Collector See yesterdays post
      • Grill cut in half they can make nice barbeque grills
      • Stove you can use them to make an inexpensive wood store.
      • Compost Tumbler they can make a nice tumbler to turn your compost.

        55-gallon barrel

        Compost tumbler

      • Water Troughs cut in half they can make good watering or feed troughs for feeding animals.
      • Barricades filled with sand or rocks they can be used to block access to an area.
      • Charcoal Retort, a simple retort system for making charcoal can be made from a couple of barrels.
55-gallon barrel

Charcoal retort

As you can see, there are many uses for 55-gallon barrels.  Anytime you get a chance to pick one up cheap I recommend you do it. Howard

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4 Responses to Fourteen Uses for a 55-Gallon Barrel

  1. Cookix says:

    15th use is a septic system. Joel over at “The Ultimate Answer to Kings” put one in a year or two ago and it still is working great.

  2. James Burnette says:

    I’ve seen one buried and made into a root cellar

  3. Don says:

    Any info out there on using dirt filled 55 gallon drums to
    build 4 walls for a bullet proof home?

    • Anon says:

      I would seek a builder to do something custom. Brick facade on the outside, normal interior, and have concrete and rebar nearly half a foot thick. Anyone driving past, wouldnt even notice anything, and someone visiting, would just think its a quirky house design.

      Your wall thickness will be manageable, the strength will be all the way around, (barrels might offer less protection where they stand next to each other). The concrete strength means you could aslo have a heavy, reinforced door, (maybe bulletproof).

      Windows could be a weakness, but there are options to get bullet resistant windows that will let light in, and or options for ventilation.

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