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Unread 02-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Charcoal basket for UDS / 22" WSM

I have a 22" weber smoker and am looking to build a new charcoal ring for it. I know there are several threads on UDS building and I'm wondering if there is a consensus on the best diameter / height for a charcoal basket / ring for the drums. I believe the drums and 22" weber are similar in size.

I plan to use expanded metal and wire that to the charcoal grate.

Thanks
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Unread 02-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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Low to the bottom and as wide as you can get it. Add some height if you can spare it for longer cooks.

I'm sitting sat 5" off the bottom and have about 3" clearance from the sides.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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I guess what I'm getting as is whether two cylinders of equal volume would burn differently based on the diameter and height.

For example, an 18" diameter, 4" tall basket would have roughly the same volume as one that is 13" in diameter and 7.5" tall.

My gut tells me the smallder diameter chamber would burn longer, but I have no real data to support it.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
I guess what I'm getting as is whether two cylinders of equal volume would burn differently based on the diameter and height.

For example, an 18" diameter, 4" tall basket would have roughly the same volume as one that is 13" in diameter and 7.5" tall.

My gut tells me the smallder diameter chamber would burn longer, but I have no real data to support it.
erm... uhhhaaa ....


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Honestly someone will chime in that can deal out the brain energy but my $2 says it doesn't really matter if you are using the minion method and controlling the air volume. The overall volume of the cylinder would only matter in this case if you were burning the entire thing/flat out and that's not something you would want while smoking as temps would be too high. Now I could be as wrong as two left shoes so hang on for a better reply. :)


What you are shooting for is a slow wide burn for several reasons though. One bad thing about a tall narrow basket is that if the food drips a lot it will put out your coals. Another thing is you can spread out your smoke wood so it starts at different times during the cook giving layers rather than one solid hit.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
I guess what I'm getting as is whether two cylinders of equal volume would burn differently based on the diameter and height.

For example, an 18" diameter, 4" tall basket would have roughly the same volume as one that is 13" in diameter and 7.5" tall.

My gut tells me the smallder diameter chamber would burn longer, but I have no real data to support it.
Yeah, more surface area will ignite and burn faster. Oh, I have no real data to support that either.

As a new WSM22 owner, I ask, why do you want to use a different charcoal ring?
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
I guess what I'm getting as is whether two cylinders of equal volume would burn differently based on the diameter and height.

For example, an 18" diameter, 4" tall basket would have roughly the same volume as one that is 13" in diameter and 7.5" tall.

My gut tells me the smallder diameter chamber would burn longer, but I have no real data to support it.
IMO.

I like wide and short. It doesn't burn any faster as YOU are controlling the burn. The other reason is it keeps the heat source lower in the drum as compared to a taller ring.

I also gotta ask, why would you mod the Weber ring?
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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Well I'm not sure that I will. I'm just thinking for shorter cooks, it may save fuel if I had a smaller ring.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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Just drop a smaller ring inside the original one. There are several in the UDS thread.

Hey if the Double Deuce is a bit large I can get someone to trade you for a smaller one. lol
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
I guess what I'm getting as is whether two cylinders of equal volume would burn differently based on the diameter and height.

For example, an 18" diameter, 4" tall basket would have roughly the same volume as one that is 13" in diameter and 7.5" tall.

My gut tells me the smallder diameter chamber would burn longer, but I have no real data to support it.
My head hurts!
I just made mine 15" wide, 12" high... I can get an easy 15 hr. burn with about 10lbs of charcoal,(a guess, I have a little more than 1/2 a bag remaining)
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Unread 02-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_KY View Post
Just drop a smaller ring inside the original one. There are several in the UDS thread.

Hey if the Double Deuce is a bit large I can get someone to trade you for a smaller one. lol

No thanks on the trade. I have an 18" as well and will probably just use that ring for shorter cooks that I want to do on the 22".

Sometimes I overthink things a bit. You should see my competition timeline...
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Unread 02-24-2009, 04:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
No thanks on the trade. I have an 18" as well and will probably just use that ring for shorter cooks that I want to do on the 22".

Sometimes I overthink things a bit. You should see my competition timeline...
hahahha, Brew, you are definitely over thinking this one.

You have a 'small' WSM already, so definitely use that ring on a shorter cook. But not only that .... just put less coal in the bigger one.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 04:17 PM   #12
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I surrounded a Weber Kettle charcoal grate with 10" high #9 expanded metal, the grate is suspended 2 1/2" above the bottom, therefore there is about 7 1/2 inches of ring x 18 1/2" diameter, the 2 1/2" provides the leg part of the charcoal grate and allows for good air flow underneath the fire.

This gives me about 2 - 2 1/2" all the way round for clearance between fire ring and the side walls of the drum. I've cooked some long 18 hour + cooks and the charcoal did not fill the ring past the half way or two thirds mark, on the next on I'm going to build it with an 8" piece of #9 expanded metal, and I think it will burn at least as long as the 10" filled the way I normally do.

YMMV!
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Unread 02-24-2009, 10:39 PM   #13
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I'm using expando charcoal ring inserts for my drum smokers. They hold a little more than a Weber chimney and are sufficient for chicken and ribs on the drums.





The UDS charcoal basket is formed around the charcoal grate of a 22" kettle, the small ring sits inside it.
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Unread 02-24-2009, 10:50 PM   #14
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What SoEzzy is saying is that he built his just like mine.......Or I built mine just like his, but I got PICS. HA!!!!!







I used the charcoal grate out of my wsm so it measures 15 1/2" across and 10 1/2" high. I also gave myself about 3" of clearance.

Here it is with a full 12 lb bag of KF Comp.

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Unread 02-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #15
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Thanks for the pics. I really like the ideas here. How do you cut expanded metal? Any inexpensive tools that can do it?
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