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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 03-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #1
Zed
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Default Help! My first UDS attempt

Ok guys and girls I'm going to attempt a UDS. Today I got a larger than normal steel drum from a company next door to my shop. The i.d of the drum is 25 3/4 inches!!! and the height is 38.5 inches. Now I can get a normal size drum but that would cost me some cash and this was free. So my first question is where could a I get a cooking grate for this big boy? I believe Weber has a grate that measures 25 3/8 which would be perfect if I can find one on the cheap. Any idea's?

I think every thing else will be about the same for a normal size drum but if anyone knows different please speak up. I plan on doing this all from parts that are free or real close and or from the junk yard. The idea is to make my own UDS and not a kit smoker. Not that there is anything wrong with kits but for my first I want cheap and me all over it. I'm open to any and all advise you people are willing to give. Thanks in advance and I look forward to being part of this bbq crazy group. Cheers!
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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Good news! You got a high dollar drum for zero bucks.

Bad news- you might wind up needing a custom grate or go: https://www.amazon.com/Weber-Hinged-.../dp/B00BG9RRQY That seems pretty high but you will have some serious real estate and will likely never need another.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:58 PM   #3
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I was thinking this was a hard to come by drum. I called weber after your post and they sell it for 79.00 plus shipping. So if you where me you would spend the money on this drum and push forward? I
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:01 PM   #4
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hi, congrats on getting a big drum.

do you have a steel shop around you? a 4x8 sheet of expanded metal is like $70 and should give you enough for for two grates and a charcoal basket!

or, if you dont want to fab something like that and dont want to spend a lot of money you can put some long bolts in there and use the cheap $10 grates that fit the wsm . you'll lose real estate but you wont spend that much and wont have to cut expanded metal( which is really easy to do actually.)
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:45 PM   #5
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Seems like this free drum is going to cost you in the long run with the added expense of odd-sized grates. I'd see if you can't find somebody with a more standardized size drum to swap with.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:10 PM   #6
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I'd like to have 2 levels in the smoker and I was concerned about the size also. But if I can find some expanded steel with a thickness that will hold up would that not be about the same cost as 2 smaller grates?
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwas68 View Post
Seems like this free drum is going to cost you in the long run with the added expense of odd-sized grates. I'd see if you can't find somebody with a more standardized size drum to swap with.
Agreed, I just bought 4 drums with lids that were stored inside for $40. You will waste a lot of money trying to make this one work, IMO.

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Old 03-05-2018, 09:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. But so that I can say I thought this through, what other than the grates would be a bigger expense compared to ta normal sized drum?
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:40 PM   #9
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Grates and a cover are the 2 big things, everything else would be the same or similar. If it were me, I'd say: Love the one you're with.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:42 PM   #10
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The drum has a removable cover and a strap that locks it closed.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The drum has a removable cover and a strap that locks it closed.
Yeah I'd soldier on. May as well just do the big one first.

(My wife made me do that with my motorcycle - get the 1800 now so I don't have to hear you bitch while you're riding the 1300 that you need the bigger one. I love her. )
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:11 AM   #12
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Sounds like a recovery drum? I have one, made my own grates (3) out of expanded metal, made the same sized charcoal basket that i use in a 55 gallon drum, works great. Good Luck.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:21 AM   #13
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Sounds like a recovery drum? I have one, made my own grates (3) out of expanded metal, made the same sized charcoal basket that i use in a 55 gallon drum, works great. Good Luck.
That is exactly what it is, once you said it that rung a bell. I may have found a grate on Craigs list for 15 bucks. Waiting to hear back from the guy on the exact size. In his post it's described as 25 inches, which is perfect. If I could find or make another I'll be in good shape. Also good to know the basket would work in it thank you.

Any good ideas on a hinge for the lid or is that a stupid idea? Also, do you have any pics of your grates and the thickness and size of the expanded metal. It seems there are lots of choices out there.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:31 AM   #14
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I'd keep it, use it and love it. The grates (however/where ever) you get them are going to be more pricey than the 22.5 inchers- no getting around it. Buy one /have one made and get it built -fire it up. You can always add a second grate at a later time. (I find a 2nd grate on a UDS style cooker to be a huge PITA- but some folks love them)

good luck!
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuco59 View Post
I'd keep it, use it and love it. The grates (however/where ever) you get them are going to be more pricey than the 22.5 inchers- no getting around it. Buy one /have one made and get it built -fire it up. You can always add a second grate at a later time. (I find a 2nd grate on a UDS style cooker to be a huge PITA- but some folks love them)

good luck!
Do you know if a lower side door for getting to the charcoal would be practical?
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