Originally Posted by Gary_D
My barrel got here today, my kit from Big Poppa showed up last week, so this weekend is build time. I have a couple of questions.
If any of you have built from Big Poppa's kit, did you make any changes?
I am thinking about skipping the top set of U-bolts that are meant to use for raising the fire basket up for grilling. I have a few other grills that I will be using for grilling.
The height of the lower U-bolts for the fire basket seem rather high at 5.75" above the bottom of the drum, is there a reason to have them that high?
I have a large deep dish pizza pan to use for my ash catcher. I am thinking I need to put a handle on it to make it easier to get out of the drum? Old guys don't bend and stretch so well as we get older. :-)
Poppa includes two sets of bottom vents with 4 - 3/4" holes in each one. Does it really need that much venting?
Thanks for any feedback.
Apart from grilling, the upper U-bolts also make a very handy height for a deflector or water bowl rack. Even though you may opt to grill on a kettle or something similar, a drum is so much more versatile than just as a vertical smoker. You may want to reconsider skipping that part of the install. It'll only take about 10 minutes and does no harm if you never use them. And helps you avoid firing up a second cooker if you want to reverse-sear something. (GrillGrates also greatly help amplify searing heat in any smoker). Bit you know how you cook so go accordingly!
A coat hanger makes a handy catch wire on an ash pan you can hook with the charcoal basket tool. You may also want to pick up a cheap pooper-scooper from the pet department at your local discount store... great for cleaning out the bottom of drums.
You won't regret the vents. The drum goes into turbo heat when the lid is off and vents are wide open for searing. Plus, more holes = more control. Bigger pain to do them later if you decide you want more venting.
My two cents!