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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 09-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
deezdrama
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Default First smoker / UDS build with pics

Well I found a nice barrel a couple weeks back and was at first just going to use it as a burn barrel.

Then I got a weber kettle grill given to me and noticed the lid fit perfect and thought it would be cool to make a smoker out of it.

Google it... Found this forum.... read like 100 pages of the UDS thread, and here I am after 3 days in the garage with a pretty cool UDS!

My barrel had the tan liner but was used for a foodgrade acid, So I drilled three 1" holes at the base, and stuffed it full of scrapwood I had in the garage, soon there was flames shooting 6 feet out this sucker and in a short while the drum was paintless inside- Had to use a wire wheel and grinder to get all the leftover outer paint off.

The next day I gave it a thick coat of black engine block paint and rubbed the inside down with vegetable oil.
Oh yeah- I had to cut the top tid out with a skillsaw but towards the end of the build I had an idea and reused it to double up the bottom of the barrel before drilling holes and installing 4 castor wheels from an old creeper I had in the garage. I only have one weber grate at the moment but had a small weber kettle I used fo the fire box. I had to drill a hundred holes in the thing- but still not sure if it will have proper airflow- If not- no big deal, im a welder and have plenty of material at work to make another one. I liked the idea of using the little weber kettle for the coals because it has a nice handle but not sure if it will hold enough coals?

Anyway- I destroyed a couple other grills I had for parts like the shelves and handles. ended up converting the bottom three 1" holes to 1/2" with the use of large washers and 1/2" fittings, my air shutoff valve is in the back - didnt want it in the front or I would of been tripping over it.

Well- it took me 2 full weekend days,and 2 evenings to build this thing and I went through about 3 cases of beer, now I have a nice mess in the garage to clean up.

The build cost was $10 for a brand new drum, everything else- I had, only other things I had to buy was some large washers for my nipple fittings, a shutoff valve, a small thermometer, and the digital which I route through a small hole in the drum next to the shelf it sits on.

Total cost, about $45.

Now- Ive been dreaming of smoked ribs and brisket but have never smoked anything before so I do have a few questions.

First- Do you think the small weber kettle with holes in it will work well for the fire box?

Second- I did add a second "4 holed" weber exhaust vent but didnt have a 1/2" holesaw bit so had to use a 1" bit- but, the weber vent damper covers the extra size of these holes. Do you think I will be OK running all 8 holes open or may I have to shut them all partially? I added the extra 4 holed vent because I read here a bunch of times that one needs a minimum of eight- 1/2" vent holes.

Last question- I will be googling how to smoke ribs,brisket, ect. Will those cooking guides adapt well to a UDS style smoker or will they all cook faster?

Any UDS cooking guides?

Thanks to all who read through my long drawn out post- but im just excited to have finished my first UDS! And the Ol' Lady and everyone else dont seem to enthused yet.... Hopefully I can smoke up some good eats to change there minds soon!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:05 PM   #2
N8man
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Excellent Paint Job you got going....Fire it up for a seasoning run and see how that charcoal basket works out, it maybe fine for shorter cooks like ribs and fatties and ABTs....Good Job!!!!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
Phesant
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Sweet looking UDS, like M8man says "Fire it up" get it dirty. Can't wait to see some of your results from cooking.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
Ksmoker1
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Nice job. Dig the paint!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #5
HumboldtSmokeBBQ
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Get started, make them enthused! nice work, looks cool.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
peaspurple
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good looken drum!!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
Mark Stanton
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Looks good! Test run time
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:30 PM   #8
BBQ Grail
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Nice. Test drive time?
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
landarc
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nice drum, feed em and they will understand
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
JD McGee
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Nice lookin' pit bro! My only concern would be the charcoal basket clogging up with ash. Might not be an issue using lump but briqs might pose a problem. Only one way to find out...fire it up!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:36 PM   #11
Bushwacker
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That's a real nice looking Drum. I think the fire box should work. Might be a good idea to put some kind of "Ash Pan" to collect the ashes. Otherwise you'll be having to dump the drum over to empty the ashes that fall thru the holes. Give it a go and see how it holds the temp.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:42 PM   #12
NorthwestBBQ
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I love that paint job!
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Unread 09-08-2009, 09:55 PM   #13
Meat Burner
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That is an excellent UDS! Fire that bad boy up and smoke on. Would agree with JD about the charcoal basket being a little iffy. Drill another hole between each on and you are golden. Keep us posted brother.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #14
Crazy Harry
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fire it up and find out.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #15
TexasAggie97
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I'm diggin' the new drum!
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