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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, 02:56 PM   #1
cmwr
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Default I am building a new UDS

I have been beating myself up internally for days about what kind of drum to use. I finally decided I am just gonna make another one out of a standard drum and be done with all the mental state I am in...

I found a source of a bunch of drums that are rust free and clean as can be for $5 a drum!! But the lids have already been removed professionally by some sort of industrial drum opener and are gone. Will the lid from my open drum "franken" UDS fit these or is a closed drum and an open drum different sizes? I prefer a flat lid but don't know what to do for a lid.

Few other questions.

1: for dual racks, how do you guys remove the bottom rack without interference with the top rack supporting bolts?

2: This UDS is gonna have a heat diffuser. Is it better to support the heat diffuser a few inches above the basket with supports or can you just lay the diffuser right on top of your charcoal basket?

3: Does a diffuser need to be thin gauge steel with holes all over it (cookie sheet) or would it be better to use thicker steel like an old disc blade with no holes in it? (wouldn't the thicker steel absorb the heat and radiate it upwards?)

4: Where are you all getting those BBQ thermometers that are permanently mounted in the sides of your drums (The analog style with the different colors and the big dial)? I wanna go with a style like that that I don't have to remove and bring in everytime I am done like my current digital one that just hangs in the side of the drum.

5: last question...Where is everyone finding all the cool high temp paint in all these cool colors? All I can find around here is flat black BBQ paint.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
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answers in red...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwr View Post
I have been beating myself up internally for days about what kind of drum to use. I finally decided I am just gonna make another one out of a standard drum and be done with all the mental state I am in...

I found a source of a bunch of drums that are rust free and clean as can be for $5 a drum!! But the lids have already been removed professionally by some sort of industrial drum opener and are gone. Will the lid from my open drum "franken" UDS fit these or is a closed drum and an open drum different sizes? I prefer a flat lid but don't know what to do for a lid.

I think they are different in diameter.....

Few other questions.

1: for dual racks, how do you guys remove the bottom rack without interference with the top rack supporting bolts?

I used threaded rod to make legs for the racks, so that the racks are stack-able...





2: This UDS is gonna have a heat diffuser. Is it better to support the heat diffuser a few inches above the basket with supports or can you just lay the diffuser right on top of your charcoal basket?

the few times I used a diffuser I had it suspended a few inches above,,

3: Does a diffuser need to be thin gauge steel with holes all over it (cookie sheet) or would it be better to use thicker steel like an old disc blade with no holes in it? (wouldn't the thicker steel absorb the heat and radiate it upwards?)

I used an old disc blade, be aware that your fuel use will increase

4: Where are you all getting those BBQ thermometers that are permanently mounted in the sides of your drums (The analog style with the different colors and the big dial)? I wanna go with a style like that that I don't have to remove and bring in everytime I am done like my current digital one that just hangs in the side of the drum.

I bought mine from fellow brethren Spicewine....



5: last question...Where is everyone finding all the cool high temp paint in all these cool colors? All I can find around here is flat black BBQ paint.

can't help you there, mine's flat black...
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwr View Post
I have been beating myself up internally for days about what kind of drum to use. I finally decided I am just gonna make another one out of a standard drum and be done with all the mental state I am in...

I found a source of a bunch of drums that are rust free and clean as can be for $5 a drum!! But the lids have already been removed professionally by some sort of industrial drum opener and are gone. Will the lid from my open drum "franken" UDS fit these or is a closed drum and an open drum different sizes? I prefer a flat lid but don't know what to do for a lid.

Few other questions.

1: for dual racks, how do you guys remove the bottom rack without interference with the top rack supporting bolts?

2: This UDS is gonna have a heat diffuser. Is it better to support the heat diffuser a few inches above the basket with supports or can you just lay the diffuser right on top of your charcoal basket?

3: Does a diffuser need to be thin gauge steel with holes all over it (cookie sheet) or would it be better to use thicker steel like an old disc blade with no holes in it? (wouldn't the thicker steel absorb the heat and radiate it upwards?)

4: Where are you all getting those BBQ thermometers that are permanently mounted in the sides of your drums (The analog style with the different colors and the big dial)? I wanna go with a style like that that I don't have to remove and bring in everytime I am done like my current digital one that just hangs in the side of the drum.

5: last question...Where is everyone finding all the cool high temp paint in all these cool colors? All I can find around here is flat black BBQ paint.
1) I rarely use a second level but when i do i don't pull the grate I just pull the food.

2) Put the duffuser maybe 5-10" above the basket so you have the ability to over stack your basket when you need to for long cooks. Also it's nice having it above your basket if you need to put a drip pan on it for au jus...it's good to have some distance between the basket and pan so liquids don't fry quickly.

3) I like a simple pizza pan with some good holes drilled into it... maybe 1/2 to 3/4 just so it diffuses some direct heat (blended heat) but still let all the drippings go down to the coals.

4) Can't go wrong with River Country, they are accurate, fairly inexpensive and can easily calibrate them.

5) Auto parts stores...high heat engine paints
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:20 PM   #4
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Hey,
Not really sure about the lid
1.as for pulling the second rack I just tilt it a bit so that it clears the bolts but not enough so that my meet falls off
2.-3. diffuser sets on my charcoal basket. I use a pizza pan with holes in it, not sure if the thickness of the metal used will make a difference.
4.I got my therm from Amazon but you can find good deals everywhere online
5. Paint I got from my auto parts store is called engine enamel. I figured if it was good enough for an engine its good enough for my drum.
Hope that helps bud
Good luck and have fun building that UDS
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8man View Post
answers in red...
Does the fuel increase with a thicker diffuser or ANY diffuser and why?

I like that rack setup although I got to admit it looks like it may be kinda awkward removing big chunks of meat from the lower racks as you have to slide it out instead of lift it straight up. So I take it you have one set of bolts down lower that holds the entire stack? Is it solid or kinda wobbly?
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
1) I rarely use a second level but when i do i don't pull the grate I just pull the food.

2) Put the duffuser maybe 5-10" above the basket so you have the ability to over stack your basket when you need to for long cooks. Also it's nice having it above your basket if you need to put a drip pan on it for au jus...it's good to have some distance between the basket and pan so liquids don't fry quickly.

3) I like a simple pizza pan with some good holes drilled into it... maybe 1/2 to 3/4 just so it diffuses some direct heat (blended heat) but still let all the drippings go down to the coals.

4) Can't go wrong with River Country, they are accurate, fairly inexpensive and can easily calibrate them.

5) Auto parts stores...high heat engine paints

I agree with you on not removing the entire grate. I was wondering on extended smokes and adding fresh meat often and having to add more wood chunks. But I suppose even doing that a diffuser would be in the way as well.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Don't worry with adding smoking wood on long smokes. If you know you're gonna have a long smoke then just overload the basket with charcoal and smoking chunks. The times you don't see TBS are the times you have the best smoke.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:45 PM   #8
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I'd keep the UDS black.. stuff runs down the sides and will show up more on other colors I presume.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
The times you don't see TBS are the times you have the best smoke.
Can you explain this, I always thought I wanted thin blue smoke.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:50 PM   #10
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I've only used the plow blade a few times, no point of reference regarding
thinner metal....I soon discarded the diffuser altogether....saw no need for it...

each rack is separate and stands upon the one below...pull one rack up and off to access the lower, etc....

for the very bottom rack there are three horizontal eye bolts
to sit upon attached to the side of the drum, and yes the entire rack system is very sturdy, I've had eighty pounds total of shoulders cooking, forty pounds per, on the two upper racks...

click these for further info....

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=109339

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=167299


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwr View Post
Does the fuel increase with a thicker diffuser or ANY diffuser and why?

I like that rack setup although I got to admit it looks like it may be kinda awkward removing big chunks of meat from the lower racks as you have to slide it out instead of lift it straight up. So I take it you have one set of bolts down lower that holds the entire stack? Is it solid or kinda wobbly?
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwr View Post
1: for dual racks, how do you guys remove the bottom rack without interference with the top rack supporting bolts?

2: This UDS is gonna have a heat diffuser. Is it better to support the heat diffuser a few inches above the basket with supports or can you just lay the diffuser right on top of your charcoal basket?
When I made my UDS, I put the lower cooking grate low enough for the fire basket to sit on it, so I could also use my UDS as a grill. However the fire basket I made is only 6 inches tall. I also use this lower cooking grate to sit the diffuser on when smoking stuff on the upper grate.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
Can you explain this, I always thought I wanted thin blue smoke.
Yep sure can.

Basically TBS are small smoke particles and the times you barely see anything doesn't mean you're not smoking it just means you have a great clean fire going.

People that smoke with offsets will tell you that smoke that's barely visible is the best and tastiest smoke.


TBS is all good but the thinner the better and the real thin stuff you can barely see.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Yep sure can.

Basically TBS are small smoke particles and the times you barely see anything doesn't mean you're not smoking it just means you have a great clean fire going.

People that smoke with offsets will tell you that smoke that's barely visible is the best and tastiest smoke.


TBS is all good but the thinner the better and the real thin stuff you can barely see.
interesting I always thought when the smoke wasn't rolling out very much anymore that meant you about used up your wood chunks although there's always a piece of wood charcoal left in the basket it seems. And as far as my fire basket goes I have one built a little different than what most of you all have. Mine is made out of old hog panels floor grading and it's folded into a square box that's over 12 inches high on the sides. I can get 1 1/2 big bags of kingsford in it without it overflowing.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 04:28 PM   #14
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Looks like most of your questions have been answered... Here's a couple new answers -

I did 3 racks. The bottom one is held in by 3 2" SS bolts with lock washers.

For the upper 2, I used 2 - 2" bolts, and 1 1" bolt with a wing nut. With the smaller bolts, you can carefully remove each of the top racks without taking off any bolts. Just be aware of where you put your thermometer, it may hamper grate removal.

I made a low diffuser that is attached to the FB, so I could use all 3 grates when warm smoking bacon and sausage. It works very well and stabilizes temp excellently. I added a few 3/4 holes, and it seems to hold steady temps throughout. I only use the diffuser when the drum is really loaded though. If I'm just doing a but or brisket I take it out.

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Unread 02-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #15
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pic with the two loaded racks....

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