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Old 11-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
bbqgeekess
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Default 30 gallon UDS

I am interested in making a UDS and was wondering how well a 30 gallon drum functions as one. I can buy an unlined new 30 gallon drum for $65 locally; they cost a bit more because they aren't as common.

I don't quite need the volume of a 55 gallon drum and I could save a lot of money in lump charcoal consumption (I'm a thrifty kinda gal.)

I am assuming the inner diameter would accommodate the 18.5" Weber grills, and that it would basically be the size (height) of a 18.5 WSM?

I just need one big enough to do a spatchcock 12 lb turkey for example.. or full rack of ribs (like up to 4 racks).

If it will save me a lot of charcoal, it'd be worth it I think.

Advice will be very much appreciated--thanks.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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BobBrisket made on for his son a few years ago. The thread is a hoot.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...highlight=muds

I think the drum might be a size down from 30, not sure.

Oh, and the 30 gallon ones rock.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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You can can get a unlined delivered from Zorotools for $ 50

It'll do great as a UDS...just like a 18" WSM. Very simple build and will be a great smoker. You can use a 18 inch Weber Kettle charcoal great for your basket and wrap/tie with expanded steel. Install your intake nipples/ball valves, therm, and grates. Good luck on the build i'm sure it'll be great.

I was going to build one until i decided on a Jumbo Mini. Here's a link to the build, there might be some ideas you can use. The only thing different you'd have to do to the basket is put legs on it. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=173767
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
BobBrisket made on for his son a few years ago. The thread is a hoot.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...highlight=muds

I think the drum might be a size down from 30, not sure.

Oh, and the 30 gallon ones rock.
The MUDS looks like a 15 gallon drum!
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
The MUDS looks like a 15 gallon drum!
I know. It's tiny! About the same size as the 14.5 WSM.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default 30 gallon UDS vs 18" WSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
I am interested in making a UDS and was wondering how well a 30 gallon drum functions as one. I can buy an unlined new 30 gallon drum for $65 locally; they cost a bit more because they aren't as common.

I don't quite need the volume of a 55 gallon drum and I could save a lot of money in lump charcoal consumption (I'm a thrifty kinda gal.)

I am assuming the inner diameter would accommodate the 18.5" Weber grills, and that it would basically be the size (height) of a 18.5 WSM?

I just need one big enough to do a spatchcock 12 lb turkey for example.. or full rack of ribs (like up to 4 racks).

If it will save me a lot of charcoal, it'd be worth it I think.

Advice will be very much appreciated--thanks.
I have WSM's and UDS's and I cook direct with the Drums. They are both about the same size and both have 2 cook grates.

You say you want to do a spatched 12lb turkey - here is what a 5lb chicken looks like on a WSM



You can do 4 racks of ribs easily cooking 2 on each grate grate. More if you roll them or use racks and shingle them.







Now, Its just me, but I don't like jockeying meats around on cookers and even though the drums and bullets all have 2 grates I prefer to cook on the top grate. YMMV.

Here is my 30 gallon drum with a Weber lid, which I use direct. You could do all that you want on it but you will have to rotate the top and lower grates, which if you are not careful can cause flare ups and runaway temps.





You could always use a deflector or waterpan, but doing so you will use more fuel than cooking direct- big deal!

Where you are caught up in thinking about saving charcoal is all these bigass charcoal baskets that folks are building and they are totally fuel hogs. I have never added charcoal to any of my cooks and only use 10-12 lbs. of briqs for heavy cooks and the meats are done way before the charcoal is out, and I am able to snuff it out and reuse it!

I use smaller rings of expando that fit inside my rings that are built on an 18" kettle charcoal grate. This one pictured holds more than enough for a rib cook.









Personally I think that the 55 gallon drums perform better and are easier to control. And this is coming from someone thats built 15, 30, 55's and 85 gallon drums.

If you've just got to have a 30 gallon drum, I'm sure it will fit your needs.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
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I agree completely, I don't find my 55 gal drum burns any more than my bullet, and much easier to cook on and clean. The having to rotating racks is what got me to build my UDS's. Once in awhile I have to rotate on the 55 gal, but I have legs on my racks which make it alot easier. I never had flare ups as any time any lids open on my smokers I close the intakes first.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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People love the Pit Barrel Cookers and they are 30 gallon and basically the same as UDS.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebijack View Post
I agree completely, I don't find my 55 gal drum burns any more than my bullet, and much easier to cook on and clean. The having to rotating racks is what got me to build my UDS's. Once in awhile I have to rotate on the 55 gal, but I have legs on my racks which make it alot easier. I never had flare ups as any time any lids open on my smokers I close the intakes first.
What size bullet smoker are you talking about?
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:40 AM   #10
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I built one a while ago and love it. I ended up using it more than the bigger UDS because I could wheel it onto the patio easily.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=133467

One more mod I added later was to add a 1.25" intake at the bottom for high heat cooks. I wasn't getting enough airflow with the 3 intakes that I had, probably because of the riser pipes. Smoked a 12lb turkey on it last Thanksgiving and it worked like a champ.

+1 for sourcing your drum from Zoro Tools. Delivered to my door for $50 (shipping included).
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekwalker View Post
What size bullet smoker are you talking about?
I modified it to work better for me. They go on sale for $60 at Lowes. I put in my own rack bolts, cut out the bottom coal tray they had, made a coal basket. If you need more photos or details just let me know, I used it for 2 yrs, loaned to a friend who used it for 1 1/2 yrs now another friend is using it. It would smoke grill dead steady even in 30 MPH winds all year round. It was just a bit too small for my needs. I also made a grill rack for it.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebijack View Post
I modified it to work better for me. They go on sale for $60 at Lowes. I put in my own rack bolts, cut out the bottom coal tray they had, made a coal basket. If you need more photos or details just let me know, I used it for 2 yrs, loaned to a friend who used it for 1 1/2 yrs now another friend is using it. It would smoke grill dead steady even in 30 MPH winds all year round. It was just a bit too small for my needs. I also made a grill rack for it.
That's the same model I modified! It's just a tad smaller because I added an extra smoker body part to mine to make the grill higher for direct heat smoking. (Lowes sent me a couple of parts that were out of round, so I ended up with extra to play with.)

It's good to hear that the 55 gal drums are so efficient they burn about the same amount of fuel as a much smaller cooker. Not in any hurry, but if I stumble over an unlined big drum at a low price I think I'll pick it up.
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