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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 02-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #16
ebijack
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N8man knows his sniht! I went from bolts thru the sides to carriage bolt legs and I would NOT go back. I have 3 bolts thru the drum at 18 inches up from the bottom for the bottom rack (deflector when required) and 2 grates above that. Easy to lift straight out, no tilting! ( that can be really bad after the chief is really marinated trying to tilt a lot of weight and not drop or roll off the grate. besides the legs let you stand the grate on something while you swap levels.)
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Unread 02-11-2014, 10:12 PM   #17
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Can someone tell me if a closed head steel drum is lighter gauge material than an open head? These barrels I looked at today seemed pretty light when I picked one up. Maybe I am imagining things.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 10:27 PM   #18
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There are so many different manufacturers of drums.... no set answer on the gauge or exact diameter or lid sizes. Gotta check them out individually. I have made 6+ UDS and all the drums have been different.

The point of the diffuser is to:
1. Make sure the heat getting to you Q is all pretty much the same temp, i.e. get rid of the hot spots.
2. Make the heat indirect.
3. Depending on the thickness of your diffuser, it can also keep your temperature stable. Thicker equals more stability but takes just a little longer to heat up. Really doesn't impact fuel usage despite above posts indicating so. Maybe a 3-5 minute longer time to heat up.
I found the diffuser to help out quite a bit in keeping my meat from drying out on the bottom side.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 10:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyleach View Post
There are so many different manufacturers of drums.... no set answer on the gauge or exact diameter or lid sizes. Gotta check them out individually. I have made 6+ UDS and all the drums have been different.

The point of the diffuser is to:
1. Make sure the heat getting to you Q is all pretty much the same temp, i.e. get rid of the hot spots.
2. Make the heat indirect.
3. Depending on the thickness of your diffuser, it can also keep your temperature stable. Thicker equals more stability but takes just a little longer to heat up. Really doesn't impact fuel usage despite above posts indicating so. Maybe a 3-5 minute longer time to heat up.
I found the diffuser to help out quite a bit in keeping my meat from drying out on the bottom side.

I would like to use an old disc blade for a diffuser just cause I feel it would really hold heat compared to a sheetmetal one but I tried in the past to drill one and had no luck steel tempered too hard. Can a solid diffuser do the job or do you really need it to be swiss cheesed?
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Unread 02-11-2014, 10:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwr View Post
I would like to use an old disc blade for a diffuser just cause I feel it would really hold heat compared to a sheetmetal one but I tried in the past to drill one and had no luck steel tempered too hard. Can a solid diffuser do the job or do you really need it to be swiss cheesed?
UDS's are so air tight there is no need to have a thermal mass to hold heat....also will probably hurt your fuel efficiency. UDS hold heat like a rock. IMO using something to block all the drippings you might as well a WSM.
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Unread 02-12-2014, 01:06 AM   #21
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I understand your frustration in locating the proper drum and or lid. To answer your lid size question, based on my experience lids from open head drums won't fit closed head drums without modification. (Cutting and welding). Trust me, save yourself the headache and find a open head drum WITH its own lid rather than playing the mix and match game. I mean, its possible but why dick around with it when you can use a drum with a proper fitting lid? also, the rolled edge of an open head drum provides better sealing of lid due to more surface area of sealing edge. Re: a diffuser- you'll naturally use more fuel as you're blocking much of the direct radiant heat by using one. Personally I feel they're only useful for very large, multiple rack cooks and even then not a necessity. A diffuser Just helps food on bottom rack not take so much heat to make it cook faster than the upper food, but without one this small issue can be managed. I think I've used a diffuser once or twice, in many years of smokin.
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Unread 02-12-2014, 07:09 AM   #22
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N8man, do you have pictures of how you made your Weber Kettle dome lid? Also, I would imagine with that extension that the kettle sits on, you are using more than three racks at a time? Otherwise, why the drum extension? Also, love the dancing video and the pot of beans. Any idea what size of pot you are using or the overall height of the bean pot?

Thanks,

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Last edited by Robert; 02-12-2014 at 07:12 AM.. Reason: addional text
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Unread 02-12-2014, 09:24 AM   #23
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Here's the build threads....

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=130795

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=131871

as for the pot it's 5 quart.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
N8man, do you have pictures of how you made your Weber Kettle dome lid? Also, I would imagine with that extension that the kettle sits on, you are using more than three racks at a time? Otherwise, why the drum extension? Also, love the dancing video and the pot of beans. Any idea what size of pot you are using or the overall height of the bean pot?

Thanks,

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Unread 02-12-2014, 12:13 PM   #24
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I use a large terra cotta flower pot tray with about an inch of sand for my diffuser that is lined and wrapped with foil to catch the drippings and for easy clean up afterwards. I only use the diffuser for briskets and ribs to keep the hot direct heat from burning the outside of my meats. It uses a little more fuel, but has not been a problem. The heat is a lot more stable at the grill level once I get it settled in, which takes about 20 minutes once I get the meat on.

My briskets have been much better since I installed the diffuser. My drum came with a removable lid with the ring strap included. Bought it from a place that re-conditions drums, and paid an extra $10 for the lid and ring. I used three U bolts for mounting my lower grate about 6 inches above my fire basket, which allows me to cook steaks etc over direct heat when needed, therefore extending the use of my drum. My main grate is mounted the same way for easy removal.

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Unread 02-12-2014, 02:35 PM   #25
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I see your in iowa as well. this is where I got my drum because I couldn't find an open head one locally either. You may want to ask him if he has any without the dreaded red liner. mine had the red liner and it was just as miserable as everyone said getting it out. On a good note it was in my driveway in less than 24 hours from the time i bought it. http://www.ebay.com/itm/55-gallon-ba...item43a9fe094e
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Unread 02-12-2014, 03:45 PM   #26
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N8Man,

Thanks for the response. Another question after looking at the additional pics that were in the links you posted. I assume the ash catcher that you mounted to the inside of the kettle bottom serves as a rain deflector not as a vent shut off correct? in the latest links, I don't see the rain cap that was shown in the previous links. Do you just have the vent sitting on top of the kettle bottom?

Thanks,
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Unread 02-12-2014, 04:32 PM   #27
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actually I'm using the old weber ash catcher on the inside to keep the heat from shooting straight out the top vents, I've got it adjusted so that there's a 1/4" gap around the circumference, don't know if it makes a difference or not but it gives me good feelie feelies....
this is how I currently have the outer chimney and rain guard....I used a 1/4" all thread rod to bolt it all together as one unit...
works well....


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Originally Posted by Robert View Post
N8Man,

Thanks for the response. Another question after looking at the additional pics that were in the links you posted. I assume the ash catcher that you mounted to the inside of the kettle bottom serves as a rain deflector not as a vent shut off correct? in the latest links, I don't see the rain cap that was shown in the previous links. Do you just have the vent sitting on top of the kettle bottom?

Thanks,
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Unread 02-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Rod View Post
I understand your frustration in locating the proper drum and or lid. To answer your lid size question, based on my experience lids from open head drums won't fit closed head drums without modification. (Cutting and welding). Trust me, save yourself the headache and find a open head drum WITH its own lid rather than playing the mix and match game. I mean, its possible but why dick around with it when you can use a drum with a proper fitting lid? also, the rolled edge of an open head drum provides better sealing of lid due to more surface area of sealing edge. Re: a diffuser- you'll naturally use more fuel as you're blocking much of the direct radiant heat by using one. Personally I feel they're only useful for very large, multiple rack cooks and even then not a necessity. A diffuser Just helps food on bottom rack not take so much heat to make it cook faster than the upper food, but without one this small issue can be managed. I think I've used a diffuser once or twice, in many years of smokin.

My current UDS is an open head drum and yes the lid is super tight fit. I have 2 handles on the lid and I have to normally stand on a vent and yank upward to remove it. I got my 2 new closed head drums today with the tops already cut out. These drums have no liners and are rust free. They had some sort of "light" oil in them and with no liner I know they will clean up and burn out well. I test fitted my Weber lid from my performer grill and would you believe it almost fits perfect? All I need to do is go around the bead with a grinder and just "knock" the edge off and a 22.5" Weber lid will sit right down on with a perfect fit. I am pumped although I cannot seem to find a used Weber now for a lid. I may have to fabricate some sort of flat lid. Another thing about my current UDS is it DID have a red liner in it and when I built it I burnt it out for several hours with a leaf blower pumping air in and the liner remained 80% intact. Then I ground it with a wire wheel and ruined 2 wheels and I said screw it and gave up. Someone told me that the fire I had was way hotter than any smoker fire I will have so I would be safe. I have used it a lot and no ones been sick yet lol. The main issue with my current UDS is my OCD behavior. It works really good but since it was my first I have more holes and plugged holes in it than it needs plus a patch welded on where a fork lift had put a gash in it. I want to build a new one that just looks like it was built professionally is all.

Can you tell me with a good fitting Weber lid will it still be a good seal to be as efficient as my tight fitting open drum is now?
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Unread 02-12-2014, 05:19 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissaannjon View Post
I see your in iowa as well. this is where I got my drum because I couldn't find an open head one locally either. You may want to ask him if he has any without the dreaded red liner. mine had the red liner and it was just as miserable as everyone said getting it out. On a good note it was in my driveway in less than 24 hours from the time i bought it. http://www.ebay.com/itm/55-gallon-ba...item43a9fe094e

Hey neighbor! Where at in Iowa? Read the post before this one. I got 2 brand new condition unrusted drums today (closed head) but the heads had already been cut out with an industrial drum opener so all I got to do now is find a used Weber for a lid.
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Unread 02-12-2014, 06:38 PM   #30
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N8Man I know I'm wearing you slick on this but I really like your application. How were you able to plug your vent holes so well and keep them flush with the kettle surface. It appears to be a airtight fit.
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