Originally Posted by gkyork
OK J-Rod, what are your thoughts on cooking with a UDS for a large family? There are 8 of us, all healthy eaters(grin). Can you double the cook space by stacking grids? To be sure I get it- Heat source bottom(charcoal, I guess) Chips for smoke(next) the cook grids(finally)?
How about temp control? dampers? Things to steer away from(as far as grids), can I use expanded metal?
Far as what I'm cooking, beef or pork roast, Bird(Chicken), and MAYBE ribs Thanks!!
Hell yeah you can stack grates! I've got two levels in mine and can fit a lot of food in there. Just make your first level 7-8" below the top and then add a second level 5-6" below that. If you're worried about the stuff on the bottom cooking faster just add a diffuser just above your coal basket. I've never seen the need for one though. As for dampers, use the tried and true ball valve setup, though I recommend one 1-1/4" valve on a tall pipe as opposed to one 3/4" valve and a bunch of capped off 3/4" nipples at the bottom(this setup means bending over!!) Refer to the UDS thread here and you'll get the idea.
As for the grates, use Weber's 22.5" grates with the flip up sides. They fit a 55gal. drum perfectly and allow you to drop in wood chunks/coal as needed. I don't use chips as they go away quickly but instead use chunks, not soaked in water, and dropped right in the coals. Let it go to thin blue smoke and you're ready to rock. Good luck man.