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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 08-15-2012, 04:28 PM   #9856
sfbbqguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky66 View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I'm going to do a test run today. A Fattie?

Sparky

Fattie...usually the first item to be cooked on a drum. Many, many variations...thousands posted here. It's a chub of sausage smoke cooked. It can be plain or have any number/kind of ingredients stuffed inside and some wrap in bacon.
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Unread 08-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #9857
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Well I thought id post mine here now.



My ash pan is a brinkman smoker lid modified. Free off curb trash day:D
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Unread 08-16-2012, 02:56 AM   #9858
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Default Shopping basket

Has anyone used a shopping basket for a firebox? In the UK, these are pretty easy to 'acquire' and they seem to be up to the job.

Please forgive me, I have read through 169 pages of this thread so far and plan to read the whole lot. However, I haven't seen anyone use one of these. Maybe it's because in the US you don't have these?

Anyway, great forum! Lots of useful tips!
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Unread 08-16-2012, 06:00 AM   #9859
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In the US, all the shopping baskets I've ever seen are plastic. Obviously limiting their usefulness in a UDS.

My drum burns roughly a pound of charcoal an hour when smoking. I think you could put some 2-3" bolts through the bottom of that basket to use as legs and capture a pizza pan below it to catch ash.

If you use a heat diffuser, the rectangular shape of the basket wouldn't create hot spots in the smoker.

But before you go too far, make sure it will easily slide into your drum, with the bolts in it to hold the cooking grates. This thing will be getting hot in a hurry and wouldn't want to struggle to get it in.

My basket as an example is 17" in diameter and 8" high. I used 3.5" bolts and drilled holes through a pizza pan to pass the bolts through. After this shot was taken, I've had to slide little pieces of copper pipe onto a couple of the bolts to push the pizza pan down and ensure the gap between the pan and the bottom of the basket grate.

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Unread 08-16-2012, 06:25 AM   #9860
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Thanks for the advice. Most baskets in the UK are metal. Tesco have a 'free' supply! I think I'm going to give it a go. I have a pizza pan for an ash tray. The feet setup was exactly what I was going to go for.

I was hoping that the rectangular shape wouldn't have much of an effect, considering the food will be 24" away from the base of the fire.

Anyone else have an opinion on this point?
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Unread 08-16-2012, 06:58 AM   #9861
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There have been plenty of folks on this forum that used square fire baskets. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 09:08 AM   #9862
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Thanks a million for the reply coewar. Great stuff.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #9863
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The water pan IMHO is a heat sink, but some people use sand in them instead of water. Just from first hand impressions I am thinking the diffuser or moderator in a UDS may be worthy of more thought when you use a temperature controller like the auber...you have more quick little blasts of heat going on and maybe more radiant heat because of that ?


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Unread 08-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #9864
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Default Charcoal Basket

Here is a pic of my basket setup. It is 10"x15" expanded. The grill grate is 3" from the bottom making my actual basket size 7"x15". I have a cheap Wal Mart pizza pan welded to the bottom of the expanded and it is elevated from the bottom of the drum by approx 1.5" byt the 3 bolts.
Hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peddler View Post
Why elevate the ash pan ... The coal basket is really (if i understand correctly) the only thing that needs to be elevated.

Scroll down the page and you'll see what I mean.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...t=43943&page=6

Last edited by coachmccoy543; 07-29-2013 at 11:37 AM..
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Unread 08-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #9865
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Coach, what is cutout section for in the expanded metal?
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Unread 08-16-2012, 10:05 AM   #9866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielfethers View Post
Thanks for the advice. Most baskets in the UK are metal. Tesco have a 'free' supply! I think I'm going to give it a go. I have a pizza pan for an ash tray. The feet setup was exactly what I was going to go for.

I was hoping that the rectangular shape wouldn't have much of an effect, considering the food will be 24" away from the base of the fire.

Anyone else have an opinion on this point?
I have a square basket 15"x15"x15" high and it works great.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #9867
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Default Cut out

I just did that to help get the ash and scraps out of the basket/pan easier. I am using the expanded as the legs for the basket to the pan and i just thought it might make it tougher to clean if it was completely enclosed. No other reason than that lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulse View Post
Coach, what is cutout section for in the expanded metal?
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Unread 08-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #9868
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky66 View Post
You want the ash pan to sit off the floor of the drum so more heat radiates up instead of into the base of the drum. What I've read and if you think about it, it does makes sense. It's already built like that anyway. I'm going to do a test burn in a few minutes. I may or may not cut an inch off the feet depending on how things go. I'm also waiting on my dome thermometer but will just be using a candy thermometer today.

So as I understand it, you are creating an air gap under the ash tray thus decreasing the distance between the coal basket and ash tray if you are trying to maintain the 23 to 24 in distance to the grill (which should be 7 to 8 in below the lip) . Are you also raising the grill? I would think that when the ashes build up in the tray that would be sufficient insulation.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #9869
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I have 2 grates. Both work & that 24 is from bottom of basket (char) plus you have to alow space for meat on second . Think mine is down 9in from top of barrel maybe more like 10.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #9870
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Little by little my UDS is coming together (pics will follow ). Have the intake holes drilled and 3/4 pipe nipples inserted. Charcoal basket is built. Used #9 X 3/4 EM and even for the bottom...This is a no weld build so the basket bottom was attached with SS hose clamps and SS zip ties. Feet for basket are 3 1/2 in 7/16th bolts (not SS) but i hit them with my rosebud... so much for the coating. 18" EC table top grill for ash pan.

Just chugging along like I knew what I was doing.

Later
Jim
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