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grindstaff3 02-12-2009 06:29 PM

UDS charcoal basket
i saw a pic of bbq bubba basket and it was built with an 8 x 48 piece of expanded metal. i could only find 16 x 32. Should i split that in half to get my 8 inches and piece it together or will i be find with a 16" tall basket that isn't as big in diameter?

Bbq Bubba 02-12-2009 06:43 PM

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I personally like the larger Dia. with short sides to keep my distance from my cooking grate.

That size basket full will go 16 hrs easy. :cool:

sfbbqguy 02-12-2009 08:01 PM

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My basket is tall too and I've had no troubles. It's the standard 18" Weber Charcoal grate but the way I cut the expando made it turn out pretty tall.
Last cook I had it about 1/2 full, did a 3.5lb. Butt and then a batch of 30 lollies and still ran for a couple hours. About 13 hour total when it was all said and done. I had a couple hours in the middle when I was eating instead of cooking :biggrin:!

grindstaff3 02-12-2009 08:18 PM

So height doesn't really matter. I'm just afraid of mine being way too narrow. It's only 32" long. I just don't know and for a $22 piece of metal I don't want o make it scrap. I'm no mathmatician but if it's 32" long does that mean it will be 16" in diameter or am I just wanting it to be that easy..:-)

Meat Burner 02-12-2009 08:33 PM

Grind, not sure but I think a 32 inch will only get you about a 10-11 inch diameter basket. Shoot me a PM for places to get heavier expanded metal at a much better price.

The Pickled Pig 02-12-2009 09:33 PM

I'm no mathematician but I do recall a little geometry.

The circumference of a circle = 3.14*the diameter.

If the circumference = 32" then the diameter must be 10.19".

grindstaff3 02-12-2009 10:54 PM

Damn good memory Pig. That's an awful tall skinny coal basket.

Meat Burner: You'll have to let me know about that metal if we get a chance to meet. I'm sure I'll have a ton more questions for ya...I'm still in that very new learning phase

SmokeWatcher 02-14-2009 07:48 AM


Originally Posted by grindstaff3 (Post 850186)
Should i split that in half to get my 8 inches and piece it together or ...

If you do that (and you're not welding) remember to use stainless steel hardware, not galvanized.

thirdeye 02-14-2009 08:58 AM

There is something to be said about small diameter and more height. I went that direction when I built my mini basket. The diameter keeps the fire small, but the capacity allows it to burn at that low temp for quite a while......

swamprb 02-14-2009 09:47 AM

If you think size matters, visit Dr. Stein and get some Extendze! But if you are worried about the charcoal basket for a UDS-size dosen't matter! For me its all about the duration of the cook.

Use what you got! 18" - 22" charcoal grates, or an 18" cook grate or a combination, I've tried them all with success! I'm cheap too!

My preferred baskets are ones that use a 22" cook grate and an 18" charcoal grate wired together in a cross (#) pattern, this allows me to use lump without the duff falling through the grate ( I use 2 # grates in my kettles also)

This size easily holds more than the 12 lbs I will use for long cooks, and most times the meats are done long before the coals are out!
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For those short cooks @ 4-6 hours, I made some rings out of expando that are about the same size as a Weber chimney, and they hold @5-6lbs of briq
and just set them inside the baskets-these are the ones I use the most when I cook using the drums.

The thing about the drums is they aren't fuel hogs, and when I shut mine down after cooking I can usually reuse some of the charcoal the next time I cook.

Barbarian 02-14-2009 11:48 AM

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Or make cleanup real easy like this basket does.
I might try one out of all expanded metal to cut the weight down but it is not at all to heave to lift out.

seattlepitboss 02-14-2009 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by grindstaff3 (Post 850186)
i saw a pic of bbq bubba basket and it was built with an 8 x 48 piece of expanded metal. i could only find 16 x 32. Should i split that in half to get my 8 inches and piece it together or will i be find with a 16" tall basket that isn't as big in diameter?

You can buy expanded metal in any size sheet you want, just not at Home Depot. Here in the Seattle area it is available at all the usual steel vendors like Everett Steel (which has no minimum) but if you want it sheared to size I'd use Grating Pacific, - great people. Try searching your local Yellow Pages for grating vendors or if that fails, for steel vendors. If you don't have access to a large shear, the stuff cuts like butter with a plasma cutter. You can also cut it with an angle grinder with a cutoff blade. Try to cut it so the remnants will be usable to you, perhaps for drum smokers large enough so you
can make 22-1/2" circles.

It's easy to roll expanded steel into a drum shape using an inexpensive 12" slip roll from Grizzly or Harbor Freight. It's best welded with a small MIG welder using gas shielding.


BobBrisket 02-14-2009 12:19 PM

Kept mine simple. Expando welded to some angle iron with more expando as the base. Worked well so far.

grindstaff3 02-14-2009 12:37 PM

Great info. I went with meat burner to a fab shop around here and got a piece cut for very cheap. I'm just going to bend it around a propane take and shape with my rubber mallet. Not to change the subject here, but where do you guys find cheap 22.5 grates? HD sells weber for $20 and that seems outragous. I need 2 for my uds.

Barbarian 02-14-2009 12:45 PM

You gotta remember cheap grates are cheap, not only in price.

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