I started my UDS build the end of September. Barrel cookers have been around in this county for as long as I can remember. But to compare my old chicken barrel to the UDS, is like comparing a fireplace to an airtight stove.
I made one change to my UDS, and that was to place my vent holes in the rim of the barrel, so I can still hang my chicken or tri tips when cooking. I wound up drilling a couple of extra vent holes, which I cover with flexible magnetic strips when not needed. So far, everything works great. It will run low, 250-275, and run hot 400-450. Could not be happier.
Old School barrel. Cooked a lot of meat in it over the last decade or so.
Even used a weber kettle lid on it when I did turkeys
Holes for vent/3/8" rebar rods