The dreaded leaky lid. The weather has started to turn colder up in my neck of the woods and for most that means it's time to pack up their grills and smokers until spring. Not me! I plan on continuing to do both through the whole winter but, it has gotten me to think about holding more heat in on my UDS. During the summer, having little smoke leak out around the lid hasn't phased me all that much but, now I am seeing that as potential heat loss as well. So, off I went to the hardware store!
Luckily I have gotten to the point with my local hardware stores that they no longer frown when I mention I am there to buy stuff for my smokers. (For some reason I think they are naturally convinced that everyone is out to blow themselves up or cause severe bodily harm to others.) So, when I walked in and said, "I need gasketing for my smoker!", They didn't even bat an eye, just showed me right over to the fireplace area. After a quick discussion regarding installation, I was left on my own. At this point one has to make a choice in gasketing, either rope style or flat style and then of course how wide. On closer inspection of the flat style, it appeared to have a groove running down the middle that I thought the rounded edge of my drum might fit nicely into so I went with that type. Figuring that the lip of my lid was roughly 1/2" wide I went with the 5/8" wide stuff. The stuff I found only came in six foot lengths, on the upside I found that if you work it correctly, 6' will work just fine for doing a 22.5 Weber style lid. Along with that you also have to pick up some gasketing cement to install the gasketing.
To start the project, I bent out the lip of my lid to the point where it was almost flat and then gave it a quick cleaning with a wire brush.
The lid was then placed upside down on my UDS for support and the gasketing was put inside to make it easier to work with.
A bead of the gasketing cement was then laid down in the groove of the lip of the lid. I would do this in 8" segments.
The gasket was then laid in place. A couple of tips with this, make sure you push down on the gasket when you lay it in or it could slip. If you pull the gasketing to tight, it will also slip out of place.
It might take some work but a 6' length should work. On one lid I actually had about 10" of excess that needed to be trimmed off.
Now, the directions on the cement say you need to then close the furnace door tightly for 2 hours to allow the cement to bind properly. In this case I quickly flipped over the lid and set it on top of the UDS. I very carefully adjusted it to where I thought it was the most even all the way around and then pushed down firmly on the lid for several seconds.
The gasketing was allowed to sit overnight to harden up. So, far it has bonded like it says it should. The lid feels like it fits more firmly on the UDS now and I'm hoping there will be zero air leaks around the lid from now on. Can't wait to finally test it out this weekend!
Thanks for looking!