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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-16-2018, 04:45 PM   #1
Firerunner
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Join Date: 08-25-12
Location: Central California
Default Massive Ugly Drum

I've been cooking on a UDS for years, and I don't get many complaints, so either people are scared of me or the food is passable.

I've been planning on building a reverse flow offset pit out of a large propane tank for a while, and as an experiment, borrowed a friend's for a large cook I did a couple weeks ago.

Now, I'm sure if I used it enough, I'd get used to the thing... But after using my drum, the offset just doesn't sing to me the same.

I was talking through some design considerations while we were eating, and one of my friends said something that made more sense than anything I was saying (if you knew him, you would know how much of a compliment that is. He's a Dodgers fan...)

He told me I could waste a lot of time redesigning something I didn't like, or I could just keep doing what I did well.

But I already had a 300 gallon "pig" propane tank.

The drum has never failed me, but I do need more capacity, and I wanted a tow-behind setup.

My plan now is to turn the pig tank into what is basically a UDS that is about six times bigger, with a removable drawer-style basket and a side door instead of a removable lid.

I've searched. Oh, how I've searched. I've found a few smaller vertical direct smokers, but not many made out of cylinders or tanks, and not any that are six+ feet tall.

The tank will be here next week.

If any of you know of similar builds, let me know. I'd prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.

Last edited by Firerunner; 06-16-2018 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: Fat fingers
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:56 PM   #2
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It'll EAT THE Chit out of charcoal. It'll Work but get expensive to feed......if you're cool with using 2-3-4 bags of charcoal a cook - Go For It.

BoomShuckaLucka will run 3.5 hours at 275-300* on an 18 lb Bag of KBB. I'll start her on Charcoal so I can do other things then feed her splits rest of the Cook.

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Old 06-16-2018, 05:02 PM   #3
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https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=223615

Somehow Round is more effecient than a Square cabinet but it will still Eat Up Charcoal. Probally be Better off running 2 UDS than a Biggun.......
2 - 85 gallon 2 grate UDS(s) would have some Capacity.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:05 PM   #4
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There was an episode of Man, Fire, Food that had huge custom pit barrels. Restaurant was Chicken in a Barrel. They had a pretty unique design and definitely not portable.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #5
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Best Bet is to Buy or Build an Insulated Cabinet Smoker........

https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=186946
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:41 PM   #6
Firerunner
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It's almost six times the volume of am ugly drum. If it takes six times the energy to heat it, that wouldn't surprise me.

It does have a couple things going for it, however.

It will be 1/4" wall, so it should be more thermally stable than a drum.
It won't have a removable top, which should equate to less heat loss when it is opened,

I'll settle for it using 5 times the energy to heat six times the volume.

That part doesn't really worry me. I have a small orchard, so fuel isn't really the biggest concern.

I searched about and stalked BoomShackaLacka as best I could.

How big is the fuel box on that?

I recall there being a "magic" ratio for fuel basket size in the UDS thread. I wonder if applying that ratio might not cut down on consumption.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:42 PM   #7
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Like this?

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Old 06-16-2018, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firerunner View Post
It's almost six times the volume of am ugly drum. If it takes six times the energy to heat it, that wouldn't surprise me.

It does have a couple things going for it, however.

It will be 1/4" wall, so it should be more thermally stable than a drum.
It won't have a removable top, which should equate to less heat loss when it is opened,

I'll settle for it using 5 times the energy to heat six times the volume.

That part doesn't really worry me. I have a small orchard, so fuel isn't really the biggest concern.

I searched about and stalked BoomShackaLacka as best I could.

How big is the fuel box on that?

I recall there being a "magic" ratio for fuel basket size in the UDS thread. I wonder if applying that ratio might not cut down on consumption.
Here's the Build thread....I've never measured the Firebox or Cook Chamber or Overall Size.....

https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=162551
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:07 PM   #9
Firerunner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
Here's the Build thread....I've never measured the Firebox or Cook Chamber or Overall Size.....

https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=162551
.
I actually found that thread even before I started this one. It's the closest thing to what I have been planning.

I appreciate your feedback. The three main differences that I'm thinking of are the wall thickness, limiting the stack length, and trying to mimic the fuel basket ratio (13" D x 13" H) of my UDS.

The wall thickness is unavoidable. The tank I'm using is 1/4".

The stack length is due to trying to mimic the UDS efficiency somewhat. The tank already has about five feet of rise above the fuel. My drum (with a Weber lid) drafts just fine with the stock exhaust vent running 30" or so from fuel to exhaust point. I wonder if some of the efficiency issues you mention are due to losing too much heat up that tall stack? I'm just spitballing, having never actually seen BSL running.

Some UDS experts have proffered that the ratio of the firebasket contributes to efficiency by effectively limiting available fuel surface area. Rough calculations would indicate that I need about a 15-17" diameter basket. Since I'll be building a drawer-style basket very similar to yours, I'll probably just make a pull out drawer with a couple of internal mesh walls. This should allow a stack of fuel with the option of filling the whole drawer.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, as well as anything else you would change about BSL.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtexas1 View Post
Like this?

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Very much. Build thread?
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:25 PM   #11
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I have a 110 gallon UDS, which is 42" tall. It is air tight since I welded everything and I believe that helped with the flow. I can burn 20 pounds of charcoal for a little over 24 hours with my Hunsaker Vortex basket. It's nothing more than a charcoal basket with a built in deflector.

I have been thinking of building a taller version of my UDS to utilize my extra 30" grates I have lying around. The design I would do is make the charcoal pit drop in rather than slide out. You will want to keep that section airtight as possible with the exception of your intake (through the bottom). Then have doors above to access the multilevel grate.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:39 PM   #12
Firerunner
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That's good information. Thanks.

I agree that airflow is key. I think I can seal up the fuel door by welding strap around the perimeter, and using a wood stove gasket. With a beast of this size, lifting a basket up and out a door could be problematic.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:44 PM   #13
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I've seen a massive one at the Mowata Store. They use it to smoke boudin and tasso. I googled these pics. I can't find one of the finished product, but this sucker is massive.





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Old 06-16-2018, 10:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firerunner View Post
Very much. Build thread?
https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/s...d.php?t=173248

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Old 06-16-2018, 10:53 PM   #15
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Meat Monsters work but they are insulated......

http://www.peoriacookers.com/custom-...t-monster.html
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300 gallon, BAUDS, build, Direct vertical, pig tank, propane tank, uds, vertical smoker

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