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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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Old 09-08-2012, 11:38 AM   #16
J-Rod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
I'd make a midi UDS out of that 30 gallon drum if you haven't cut out the bottom already. Look for a donor 18" weber kettle on craigslist etc. The lid from the kettle will fit on top of that perfectly. Then you can use the cooking grate and charcoal grate for the project too.

For less than $100, you'll have an awesome cooker that will work just as well as a WSM.

Oh, and never paint the inside of any cooker.
+++++1!

If you're kinda new to smoking you can't go wrong with a UDS. They're much more user-friendly and efficient than an offset of any kind. JMO.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:57 AM   #17
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So I was finally able to make some progress the other day, been working too much, haha. I was able to cut the air compressor and sand it, then drill the holes to vent so it mimics the basket that other people use. Should I drill more hole? I know that the baskets people use are almost a mesh fence material, so I figured I probably couldn't make enough holes. Also, since the gauge of the steel is so thick, do you think that the air compressor will retain some of the heat within itself? Hopefully I'll have some luck tomorrow finding the Weber parts. I should also be buying the paint and gasket silicone this weekend. Here are some pics so you can check it out and get an idea of the size relationship between basket and barrel. Thanks again gentleman.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:32 AM   #18
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I say you want it to be ALL holes :-). So yes more holes :-). I'm just now trying briq instead of lump (Kingsford sale hehe) and if you use briq you will want to be able to shake the ash out for longer cooks. I actually went 20 hours on a full load but I had to shake the ash out a couple times. With lump would guess maybe would have had to shake ash ONCE.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #19
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Well, I picked up some more stuff for the smoker today; hinges, latches, paint, gasket silicon etc. I have changed my mind from the three racks to two. Now that I'm actually measuring for stuff I realized that 3 really is a bit much for this size barrel, so I think it's 2-0 you guys, haha. I'm gonna take another look at the scrap yard tomorrow for Weber parts, but I do have a couple more questions.

First, I noticed that the charcoal grate for a 22.5" Weber is about 17", which would fit the smoker. Would that also be able to function as a food rack, or will it rust out quick, or do anything else bad for that matter?

Lastly, there is still some red paint that remains on the fire box, basket, whatever you want to call it. You can see it in the more recent pictures. Should I really get crazy with the sander, or is that stuff that will burn off with a burn-in or two. I have no quams with doing more work, and I certainly don't want any paint/chemicals in my food.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #20
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You're making this far too hard. The drum you have is the same diameter as a 18.5" weber kettle.

Find an old 18 kettle on craigslist or a yardsale. Part it out. The lid will fit perfectly on top of your drum. The charcoal grate is the perfect size to make your charcoal basket. Wrap the outer edge of charcoal grate with a 6" high strip of expanded metal available at lowe's. Connect a pizza pan on bottom of charcoal basket so when you lift the whole unit out of the drum, all the ashes come out with the basket, like this





That's for a 22.5" UDS, but the principle is the same. The cooking grate from your donor kettle is perfect size for your 30 gallon drum. Buy one more "cooking grate" for a 18" weber kettle", and you'll be set. No silicon, , hinges, latches, access door, no one off coal basket that doesn't even fit into the drum.

You don't need a farking access door to add fuel or wood. Leave the drum whole, the fire basket is loaded with unlit charcoal and wood, dropped into the UDS, then either lit with a torch, or a dozenish briquettes are lit in a chimney, then poured onto the top of the full basket. That right there will get you 14+ hours of cooking. No reason to have latches hinges, etc.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:59 PM   #21
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El Ropo, Howdy;

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
You're making this far too hard. The drum you have is the same diameter as a 18.5" weber kettle.

Find an old 18 kettle on craigslist or a yardsale. Part it out. The lid will fit perfectly on top of your drum. The charcoal grate is the perfect size to make your charcoal basket. Wrap the outer edge of charcoal grate with a 6" high strip of expanded metal available at lowe's. Connect a pizza pan on bottom of charcoal basket so when you lift the whole unit out of the drum, all the ashes come out with the basket, like this





That's for a 22.5" UDS, but the principle is the same. The cooking grate from your donor kettle is perfect size for your 30 gallon drum. Buy one more "cooking grate" for a 18" weber kettle", and you'll be set. No silicon, , hinges, latches, access door, no one off coal basket that doesn't even fit into the drum.

You don't need a farking access door to add fuel or wood. Leave the drum whole, the fire basket is loaded with unlit charcoal and wood, dropped into the UDS, then either lit with a torch, or a dozenish briquettes are lit in a chimney, then poured onto the top of the full basket. That right there will get you 14+ hours of cooking. No reason to have latches hinges, etc.
AMEN !

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Old 09-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #22
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And I'll add, if you try your drum unmolested with any funky access doors or other doo-dads, and you do not like it that way, you can always ADD the funky stuff, but you can never take it away :-).

You may want to get some gasket material for the Weber kettle lid, if it does not seal perfectly your temps will run away.

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #23
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If you can't find a cheap or free 18 weber, I saw one today on red tag clearance at target for $38.00 and the extra 18 grate was 5.00.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #24
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Definitely good to know about the Target sale, I'll go by there today to see if the grates are on sale at my location.

I understand everyone wanting me to start simple, but some of you guys build multiple drums to cook different things, I'll only be able to build one since I live in an apartment in a two family house. My landlords are nice, but I can't fill that back yard with UDS's, as much as I'd like to. This is why I want what I want, a smaller drum that can still cook for a decent amount of people. If I have two racks of food, how am I suppose to spray/glaze/turn/add/take off meat on the second rack without having to take the top rack off, which seems pretty dumb. On top of that, it really isn't rocket science sealing a door, and I'm still keeping all of the core prinicpals of a UDS intact.

Does anyone have some ideas on my previous questions, regarding the Weber coal grate and the minimal paint leftover on the basket? Thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:26 AM   #25
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Here's my 2c.- Take that air tank coal basket, fill it with dirt, and plant herbs in it. You can drill holes in that thing all day long and you still won't have as much "open" area as a basket made of expanded metal. Furthermore, the fact that the tank is round means that most likely the ash will work it's way down to the bottom and clog up the air holes. Fire needs oxygen! A basket of expanded metal, with a FLAT bottom, means ash will fall away best it can on it's own thus giving you a good efficient burn. Don't re-invent the wheel here. There's a reason everyone makes their baskets like the ones posted above. They work.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #26
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Well, I got tons of work done on the smoker this weekend. Today my buddy is gonna weld on a coupld tiny supports to hold the grates and difuser up. After that I'll be doing the burn in tonight, gotta cure the paint and season the inside. Everything has come out really great so far. Thanks to all those who gave me great info, and suck eggs to all those who just wanted me to do what they would've done. I'll follow up with some action shots and the resulting food later in the week, maybe some pictures of the completed smoker tonight.

The only thing I will probably add on will be a stack to the lid. The lid I found wasn't a Weber, but it still fits pretty well after a little manipulating, and the handle of it turns to open a vent as well, so I don't think a stack is necesarry, but I want one anyway, haha. I got the lid and a nice temperature gauge for $1 at a scrap yard.

Oh, and big ups to javahog! The Target near me had the grates on clearance for $5 as well, thanks man.

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:23 PM   #27
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PM sent.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:50 PM   #28
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Keep the build pix coming! Can't wait to see how this thing turns out!
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:48 AM   #29
CustomBBQ
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Here are some pictures of the smoker finished. I put a clear coat of high heat. I couldn't get my hands on the Rustoleum, so I used VTH instead. I cooked some chicken thighs the other night that came out great, should've cooked them slower, but I was short on time. If anyone wants different pictures or has a question, or criticism, feel free. Thanks to all those who helped, it was much appreciated!
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:08 AM   #30
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ok i know im late to the party but heres my .02,
i can see the air leaking through those door cuts like a hurricane from the pics, go to lowes and get 1" wide flat steel stock weld it to doors half overlapping barrel, them get flat 1/8" thick x 3/4 wide wood stove rope gaskets and permatex them to the flat stock and seal up the gaps, with all the air flow at the basket your temps are going to ramp up and you will definitely have a shorter burn, also the door at the top grate is going to leak so much heat you'll have to burn hotter to maintain temps. also similar situation with lid. not to be completely rude but all the guys tried to help and make this an easy and enjoyable first build but you clearly have your own mind set in your ways. the uds thread here is a great read although it is 600+ pages long use this mini a few times and then build one that has been proven time and time again and then give me a report on ease of use and how much extra sleep you get. the whole idea of a sealed up unit and longer burns is consistent heat and a more "set it and forget it" mentality. once you learn any cooker your food will only get better, and a consistent cooker makes for great bbq and a less sleep deprived operator. sorry if i was a little harsh, rough night with the baby, i didnt get much sleep. remember if it aint fun then why do it? oh yeah abandon that coal basket also just like they said
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