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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #271
Sly-one
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Great thread, Norco-Red,
With inspiration garnered from this thread and the "Mother of all UDS threads", on my day off I finally finished my first UDS on Monday and cooked a couple of sides of ribs to christen it. I haven't figured out how to post pron, sorry, you'll have to take me at my word.
An observation: I cut down the "3-2-1" cooking time to "2-1-1", and when I took the ribs out of the foil, one side literally fell apart when I was saucing it and putting it back onto the grill. Nice clean bones fell out all over the place, leaving large chunks of juicy rib meat splattered out all over the grill. I was using a digital thermometer and keeping the temp in the mid 220's. The ribs were on the lower shelf. From now on, unless the ribs are particularly tough and actually need time tightly wrapped in foil, I'm just going with a straight 3 to 3 1/2 hour cook time, with one flip about half way through. I'll gauge the tenderness with the pig-tail meat turner and eyeball the doneness.
I know that mileage will vary with different UDS set-ups, but it amazed me how quickly they cooked on my UDS.
On the top shelf my brother-in-law threw on a 3 pound chuckie that he had marinated in Italian dressing and then used some butt rub. I know that some have complained about getting dried-out chuck when cooked on an offset smoker, but after 2 hours and 25 minutes on Bugly (Butt Ugly DS), it was so juicy and perfect looking that we almost ate the whole thing right then and there. But, he did the right thing and waited for his wife to get home.
All of this goes to say that we all just need to learn the ins and outs of our own individual cookers, and instead of being so wrapped-up in asking everyone "how long do I leave it on the cooker", etc. The questions are only good for the first cook, and even then, it's just a general idea, and then you modify from there on subsequent cooks.
I use my brother-in-law's philosophy: just cook the meat until it's done. For ribs, it's when the meat starts climbing up the bone; with chicken, it's when the meat starts climbing up the leg-bone; for beef it's whatever degree of doneness you prefer (I like beef rare, but that's just me).
And, above all, everyone should build at least one UDS. It will change your cooking style forever. I had planned to buy or build an off-set smoker first, and then do a UDA. WRONG! I did the UDS first and discovered I just saved a bunch of money and will never need an off-set or any other kind of smoker! The UDS does it all just fine.
PS: It also uses less charcoal and wood than those other cookers.
Oh yeah, and remember to use the KISS method and don't get carried away. Simple is better!

Sly
OK so I hope I've figured out the picture thing. The tin-foil around the lip of the drum helps seal the Weber lid.

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Last edited by Sly-one; 10-04-2011 at 10:18 PM.. Reason: Add photo.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 06:51 PM   #272
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I can attest to what Sly says, he speaks the truth
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Unread 10-04-2011, 07:04 PM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyeagle View Post
I can attest to what Sly says, he speaks the truth
What did your wife think of that chuckie, Bro?
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Last edited by Sly-one; 10-04-2011 at 09:15 PM..
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Unread 10-04-2011, 08:29 PM   #274
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Great tutorial and build. But i thought being a redneck was a prerequisite to building a uds??
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Unread 10-04-2011, 09:11 PM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmehlhorn View Post
But i thought being a redneck was a prerequisite to building a uds??
Nah, we let city folk build em too.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 10:35 PM   #276
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Default Where did you get that ash pan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcoredneck View Post
Divide drum into 3 sections





Layout grill holes.
I chose 1 3/4"" and 8" from top. You should assess the drum you are using.



Layout Intake holes.
I chose 2" from bottom.



Layout Gauge hole.
I chose 9" (1" below lower rack)



Centerpunch marks.



Drill pilot holes.







Drill holes for Intake nipples
I use 1" which lets you thread 3/4" nipple (clean round hole)







Drill out holes for Grate supports
I am going to use 1/4" bolts. I use Unibit to get clean holes in thin metal.





Open up hole for gauge.
I use 3/4" hole which is a tight fit for a 1/2" pipe thread.





Thread in 3/4" close nipples
I use cap to protect threads and screw in as far as possible.
This link will show alternative to welding nipples.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...2&postcount=40



Weld in Nipples





Install 3/4" ball valve.


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Install grate supports.
I use this set up. I go hex head in. It seems to keep grate from slipping off when setting in. Also nice when you spin grate.
I use 1 3/4" for top and 2" for bottom.





Install gauge.
Again use conduit nut that comes with gauge to lock in.






Add Handles (optional)
I got these at Home Depot in the Hardware isle by garage door section. Little tip pre-bend ears with pliers past radius of drum so they will bend and hug drum when tightened.



Making Charcoal basket
This is the toughest part. I start with a replacement charcoal grate from a 18.5" weber kettle. I purchased at Home Depot



This is a view of legs. I chose 1/2" bolts 3 1/2" long. I use 2 washers and 2 nuts to capture grate.


I use a piece of 3/4 #9 expanded metal 8" wide X 44" long.



I pre bend it.








Attach it to weber grate. I welded but you can use wire and twist and bolt where overlaps.


Here is it complete


Reworking Lid
The last part would be to drill 8ea. 1/2" holes equally spaced in flat lid. I am using Weber Kettle lids so I am providing pic. of first UDS I built. Some lids have a 2" threaded bung opening that people have threaded pipe intoto make a smoke stack. Here is a link to examples.



Now only thing missing is a couple of 22" Weber grills and you are ready to cook.

Where did you get that ash pan?
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Unread 10-23-2011, 10:50 PM   #277
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That ashpan is just a ten dollar table top grill that you can pick up at a lot of different places , ACE Hardware , Big Lots , and Dollar General come to mind.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #278
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Smoke, if I remember correctly, Norco's ash pan was the base of one of those cheep single use BBQs that come with the charcoal, a grill and some cheap clip-on legs. The kind you might find at the grocery store or a 99 cent store.
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Unread 10-24-2011, 11:38 AM   #279
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I see a lot of UDS posts and most of them have 4 holes drilled for ventilation but have 3 of them capped and one with a valve of some sort to control airflow. Why not just make one hole with a valve or do you take the caps off at first to help it get up to temps?
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Unread 10-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider22 View Post
I see a lot of UDS posts and most of them have 4 holes drilled for ventilation but have 3 of them capped and one with a valve of some sort to control airflow. Why not just make one hole with a valve or do you take the caps off at first to help it get up to temps?
I have all intakes (2 capped intakes & 1 w/ball valve) open when starting up. If I want higher heat, I'll leave the cap off of one of them and I can still adjust with the ball valve. If I want a lot higher heat I'll have both caps off, and, obviously, both caps on for lower & slower.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 01:13 PM   #281
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Does the ash tray sit there with the charcoal basket on top or is it attached?
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Unread 10-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #282
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Is 1 3/4 inches enough clearance from the top to cook slabs of ribs, wings, etc?
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Unread 10-27-2011, 01:41 PM   #283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillywannaQ View Post
Is 1 3/4 inches enough clearance from the top to cook slabs of ribs, wings, etc?
I would say 95% of the time it is.Unless you have a really thick slab of ribs you will not have a problem.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 03:29 PM   #284
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I need some clarification please regarding the distance from the fire to the cooking grate. I understand that I need a distance of 24" from the fire to the cooking rack.

Assuming that........

1. The charcoal basket that I plan to make is 9" tall raised 3" off the floor of the drum = 12" in height from the bottom.

2. The average barrel is 33.5" tall

If we subtract the height of the barrel from the top of the charcoal 33.5" - 12" we only have 21.5" inches to work and that's to the top of the barrel, which leaves no room for the food and a flat lid.

I'm certain that I'm missing something here. Please clarify.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 07:08 PM   #285
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So you are using a 1/2" nipple to thread into the 3/4 inch hole. How long does the nipple need to be? Also what kind of hardware is to be used? Stainless steel? What about the nipples? Galvanized steel?
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