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Arristillius 07-21-2013 12:44 AM

3 Rack UDS
a few months ago I built a UDS using the big poppa smoker kit, and my only complaint was that I didn't do two racks, I generally have been using it with a 8 quart stainless steel bowl as a water pan / drip pan depending on what im cooking and the results have been awesome but I want more space.

so looking at the other designs I saw in the many threads, I noticed most builds have more than one rack, so I decided to build another, I am going to use the big poppa smoker kit again, but this time I am going to put a metal ring at the top as I have seen others do so I can use the weber kettle lid, and I was planning on putting in 3 racks, with the highest being 1 inch from the top, and then 3 inches and 6 inches from the top rack.

but the thing I keep wondering is, lets say I wanted to do 3 racks of chicken thighs, I know the bottom will most likely run hotter than the top, and I will want to rotate the racks.. and this brings me to my question.

how exactly do you guys pick up the grill grates when they are hot and loaded with food? is there a trick or something? I have read all the uds threads I can find and have yet to see anyone ask this question, am I missing something obvious?

Bludawg 07-21-2013 04:26 AM

gloved hands

Garrett 07-21-2013 06:44 AM

^^^^what he said. Welding gloves.

Sean "Puffy" Coals 07-21-2013 07:24 AM

I took pieces of 3/16" steel rod and bent them into "C" shaped handles. The ends wrap around the far sides of the grates. You still need gloves or something to grab onto them, but they are a lot more stable than using pliers, which is what I was doing before.

You can see them pretty good here:

ButtBurner 07-21-2013 07:27 AM

I dont have a UDS, but I made grate handles for my verticals out of big U bolts.

aawa 07-21-2013 11:05 AM

This is what i use to pick up the top grate out of the UDS when i am using both grates to cook on.

cheapbeer 07-21-2013 12:17 PM

On my first uds I put in four racks for doing ribs. I used 1 inch bolts as I was worried about getting in and out with the other racks. with such short bolts you have to be very careful to center the rack on the bolts so it doesn't tip. On the next 2 I used 1/1/4 inch bolts. when taking a rack up or down levels you may have to tip it slightly to bypass the bolts. use caution because if you tip it with the grate bars instead of against them the meat can slide and you could potentially drop it off the grates. trust me about this one, once you have a butt up against the wall of the drum with the weight to the edge it is difficult to recover. As stated by others get good gloves and dedicate them to smoking. have a place to set your racks and pull the whole rack instead of individual meats and get the lid back on as soon as possible.

Arristillius 07-21-2013 12:58 PM

okay that's what I was wondering, I had some old bbq mits my wife got me, but it was nearly impossible for me to pick up the grate because all the fingers are joined and they are super thick, I had a pork shoulder cook a month or so ago where the rain was hitting my barrel and cooling it so I used way more charcoal than I thought I would. I had to take apart my barrel and re-load it. and it was a pain in the ass to get the grat off, I ended up using some vice grips and pliers.

I will pick up some gloves today.

SmokerKing 07-21-2013 01:20 PM

I use adjustable closet racks in my BUFORDS. Whenver I rotate racks, I use welders gloves, the handles on the racks, lift and remove the brackets, rotate re-install brackets and grates.

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