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Old 06-03-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 03-29-11
Location: Monroe, NC
Default My UDS-K is born!!! (smoker-kettle)

So I joined this forum cause you guys make some fine looking que. I was happy using my brand new Weber E-310 gasser (and still am), but once I saw the UDS I Knew it was for me! So I set out collecting parts for my build. I had absolutely nothing for parts!

I scored the drum from my brother. He works for an automotive maintenance company and got me a drum that held anti-freeze. His supplier even popped the top for me!

Next up I scored the lid from a friend on my softball team. It was sitting under his deck along with the bottom of the kettle. It has some dings and a little rust, but it was free!!!

Almost all the rest of the parts I purchased locally at HD or Lowes. I did score the ball valve for free as well from another guy on the softball team!

After reading as much as I could (except all of the UDS thread) I found Norco's Redneck build. No need to really alter that plan! It worked perfectly for my needs. I slightly raised the inlets due to the height of my ash pan, but otherwise it is identical. So what does it look like? Fine! I'll show you!

I wasn't going to paint it, but after one rain the whole thing turned orange with rust. It got sanded and painted the next afternoon!

So as you can see nothing fancy here. I have 3 2" nylon casters to help move it around. The iron pipe makes a great pull handle!

But during the build I came up with a cool idea for turning this UDS into a UDS-K! Here's how!

When assembling the charcoal basket I bought a 24"x24" piece of expanded metal. It isn't too difficult to cut, but I only wanted to make one cut, to turn it into 2-12"x24" pieces. These two pieces were formed around the 13.5" charcoal grate from Weber. I used rebar tie wire to hold it all together and made this.

So as you can see rather than having bolts hold it up from the ash pan I used the expanded metal. There is 3" below the grate and 9" above it. When set in my ash pan there is still an inch of space between the grate and the top of the ash pan. But flip it over and you now have 3" of charcoal basket!!!

But how do you get that basket closer to the grate. Easy! Chain and hooks!!! here are the pieces you'll need.

10' of stainless steel chain (I used plumber's chain)
6-9 stainless steel S-hooks

I had trouble finding stainless steel chain that didn't cost a fortune or was so big you could hang a car with it. Someone told me about McMaster-Carr. They had everything I needed and then some with excellent prices! Had my stuff in 2 days after the holiday too! (I have no affiliation with them)

Cut the chain into 3 equal length pieces. Add an S-hook to each end. The chain I bought was rather small. It is very strong though! Problem is the s-hooks I bought didn't go through the chain well. I had to open up the link a little to get it in. This means that I would have a tough time moving the upper s-hook to a different position so I used 9 hooks (you will see later).

Next, drill a hole at 3 equal length locations around the ash pan. You may have to open the s-hook slightly to attach it to the pan depending on the lip of your pan. Here it is hanging.

One chain is a little longer than the other two. No worries as this only rests on one of the bolts so it is easy to remove the whole assembly when in the drum. As you can see here, the chain sits around the outside of the pan/basket when in "smoke" position:

Next we need to add hooks at the right height from the pan to suspend the pan/basket at the right height. I used this diagram to get a rough estimate on how high I wanted the basket.

As you can see the top grate of my UDS-K is used for the "Kettle" operation. I wanted the top of the charcoal basket to sit about 5" below the grate. So I set my last 3 s-hooks at the appropriate height, 5" above the basket.

With all 3 hooks in place:

And in the drum the hooks rest on the top bolts:

So how does she cook? She smokes great! Haven't tried the kettle part yet!. Need to dial in my thermos a little too. My first cook was a butt and here is the pron!

Bone out butt from Costco.

Rubbed down!

Ready to pull!

Time to eat!
Mike - UDS (born 5/22/2011) and a Weber E310 gasser
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