View Single Post
Old 08-16-2012, 06:58 AM   #9861
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 11-26-10
Location: Somewhere, CT

There have been plenty of folks on this forum that used square fire baskets. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Originally Posted by rufio View Post
Greetings Bretheren,
Don't really have a smoking culture over in Europe (I'm living in UK but originally from Ireland), definitely want to make a UDS.
There are quite a few folks on this site from the UK as the one above this reply.
Originally Posted by rufio View Post
A few q's.
1) Would having an access door for the fire basket take away from the consistency of the smoker? Without an access door, do you have to remove the food in order to refill the fire basket (assuming you had to adjust temperature etc.) Any links to tutorials which include an access door would be great.
I was also thinking about a pull out drawer at the bottom of the Drum for ease of cleaning. Maybe I'm over thinking this.
Don't do it. :) The greatest feature of a UDS is the excellent air control. If you put a big pile of coals in the fire basket, you can run it for some 20+ hours. I've done some into 24 hours. Yes, when you need to refill it, you just lift all the grates out, add more coals, wait a bit for the ash to settle, and put it all back. So if you didn't add enough or you're going for on-going smokes, that's what you do. I would think that would be a rare event. To clean, flip the drum upside down and dump the stuff out. Using some ash pan will reduce how often you have to do that.
Because of the great air control, you can put a big pile of coals and only a handful of already lit coals on top, and then allow the coals to slowly start burning the unlit coals for the rest of the cook. Some times high winds or other conditions may cause it to burn faster than expected. But as I mentioned, I deal with taking everything out and adding more if necessary.

That is why, by the way, I actually make "feet" on my grill grates to essentially turn them all into little tables. They stack on top of each other in the smoker, and when removing they can just sit on the ground without having the food touch the ground. This makes it very quick and easy to lift and re-arrange the food in and out of the smoker.
Originally Posted by rufio View Post
2) I work for a Food ingredients company, so i'm sure I can come across a few 55gallon drums, are there any of these that wouldn't need to be burned out etc. I'd imagine the drums I could get a hold of would of contained various oils (veg/pam etc) - it just seems like it would be a lot less hassle not to have to burn off the inside of the drum, sand it etc.
If at all possible, get a drum without the liner. It is a lot of work to remove it. But if that's all you got, that's what you do. Other stuff is much easier to burn out. Clean with some dish soap before the burn. After the high heat burn, let it cool and spray or rub cooking oil all over inside and then do another burn but not crazy hot, just to get the smoker hot to the touch for some hour or so.
Originally Posted by rufio View Post

3) Could somebody explain to me what exactly the water pan some people have been talking about, where does it go? What does it do?
The water pan would go between the heat source and the food. The purpose is to evaporate it and add moisture to the food. In a vertical style smoker that is small (like the Weber Smokey models) it's more necessary. The typical 55 gallon UDS drum doesn't need it for moisture reasons. If you smoke in a humid climate you probably won't need it. I never use it. However, I do often (not always) use something to diffuse some of that direct heat. Though using something that will allow the meat juices and fat to drip into the fire are key when using a UDS. That's another special bonus where the drippings add moisture and aroma to the food.
coewar is offline   Reply With Quote