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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 05-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
DC-Q
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Default UDS charcoal basket?

How big should I make my charcoal basket. I'm thinking 18"Ø X12" high. I'm using ¾" 13Ga expanded metal. Am I doing in the right direction?
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Unread 05-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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That size would probably run 2 full days!

Shorten the sides or make a smaller ring for shorter cooks that can be dropped in!
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Unread 05-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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i have a big basket in mine and i would not have it any other way. for short cooks just dont put so much in. i always fill mine up then when done i shut it down and hve plenty left in there for my next cook. lie she said bigger is always better. (thats how i build things anyways )
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Unread 05-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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The baskets they had this weekend for the drums were about 12" round and maybe 12" tall and 4-5" off the bottom of the drum.

18" dia. seems a little big.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
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My basket is 16" in diameter and 8" high while my ash pan is 18" in diameter. My ash pan sits on the bottom of the drum and I have 3.5" risers that attach the basket to the ashpan. See the UDS main thread for pics of mine.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Mine is 17" x 8". I use a 17" Weber OTS charcoal grate for the bottom, and the ring is wired to it.



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Unread 05-19-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
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DC-Q, I'm with Bubba on the basket. I cannot imagine ever needing close to that much fuel in a drum. All of mine are about 14-15 X 7 and never need more volume of fuel for anything I have smoked. Our area is prone to a lot of humidity at times and can mess with unburned fuel sitting outside. Not a big problem as I try to fire the bad boy up often but have noticed the fuel doesn't burn as consistant sometimes if left in the drum too long. Good luck brother.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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im going 17 x 5 short and fat is how i roll.
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Unread 05-19-2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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Mine is 17" (weber charcoal grate) X 8" with the grate wired in 3" above the bottom. Holds more then enough.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 04:12 AM   #10
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Thanx for the input guys I have a charcoal grate from the uni-flame cheapo weber knock-off I picked up at walmart for the lid, so that will be perfect. Why the ash pan? Can't you just vacuum the ashes out of the bottom of the drum afterwards?
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Unread 05-20-2009, 04:45 AM   #11
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If you had one that is wide and short would it not spread the heat out farther than a smaller and taller.I would think that the wide one would catch more dippings and make less mess.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 05:17 AM   #12
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Yes...you can just use a shop vac tro get the ashes out but this way allows you to pull it out and dump the ashes...6 one way half dozen another
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Unread 05-20-2009, 07:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StayDown View Post
Yes...you can just use a shop vac to get the ashes out but this way allows you to pull it out and dump the ashes...6 one way half dozen another
Here is mine before it's first use. Shiny. Weber grate 13 1/3" dia., 12" tall expando, cover to a 30 gal. barrel as an ash catcher and a handle to pull it all out. When full this will hold 20 lbs. of briquettes so it is never full, but the extra height gives an ability to put a grate on top and sear whatever you may want to sear without firing up an extra grill. As to a shop vac for ash removal. These barrels do produce a certain amount of condensation, especially on long cooks, which flows to the bottom. Any ash down there will get wet and turn into a clump o' goo. The tray catches all of the ash and makes for a very easy cleanup.



Here is a shot after a cook, ash in catcher and none in the drum.





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Unread 05-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #14
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I've been meaning to build a larger basket. Mine is 14 x 6, but when I put the clay pot base in as a diffuser, my cook times are greatly reduced. I can get 4 - 5 hours out of lump and 6 - 7 hours out of briq.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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OK cool. Thanx for all the help. 1 more thing, exactly how do you go about lighting it? Just load the basket then dump in a chimney of burning charcaol into it? Or is there a better way?
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