View Full Version : Fire Basket Shape + Lid Design

Hugh Jorgan
07-23-2009, 02:27 AM
Does anyone else use a round and a square basket?

For butts, ribs, brisket I use a round basket made from the top 1/3 of a 15 gallon drum with holes around it and expanded metal for a bottom. It covers a good bit of the bottom of the barrel when centered. I am making one now from a 30 gallon drum but I think it is going to be awfully tight getting it past the grate pegs, and I'll have to make my thermometer a slide in. With this basket I use a flat lid with the 1/2" holes. Seems to work good and is consistent. I've used this setup 3 times with no problem.

For fatties, chicken I used an old milk crate, lined with expanded metal and pushed all the way to one side of the drum with the meat opposite so it does not drip on the coals. With this basket I use a flat lid with one 2 1/4" chimney. I push the basket to the side away from the thermometer and put the meat directly over the thermometer. I used the lid with the exhaust turned to the meat side once, but not directly over the meat, and over the exhaust once but not directly over.

What do you guys think? Any comments or suggestions? I welcome any constructive critique. Everything seems to be working out with either way. I can tell my wife now that I need one UDS for brisket and butts, one for chicken and fatties, and the UDG for burgers and dogs. :lol:

Smoke & Beers
07-23-2009, 08:29 AM
I've built 7 drums so far and was using the charcoal grate for the 22 1/2" Weber as the base and expanded metal for the sides. The only thing I didn't like was that I always had A LOT of charcoal left over...Yeah, I reuse it, but still, I didn't like having that many coals left over. I started putting an expanded metal divider in, holding it in place with a brick, but it was a PITA... So this last one I built, I used the charcoal grate from the 18 1/2" Weber. Much slimmer, fits in and out of my drums better, and after two 12+ hour cooks, operates justs as well as the larger baskets without a chitload of left over coals. I'm sold on using these instead of the grates for the 22 1/2" Weber.
Building #'s 8 & 9 starting this weekend!

Hugh Jorgan
07-23-2009, 05:00 PM
I thought about using the charcoal grate as a bottom. Only problem is that before I thought of that, I bought a half a sheet of expanded metal for $80. I had to use it. I have made 2 round bottoms, a square basket and have enough left to make 3 more round bottoms. Overall not a bad investment until my dads friend comes in and says "I got a pile of that stuff rusting behind the house, it's heavier stuff too."

07-23-2009, 05:05 PM
Mine looks like this:

Hugh Jorgan
07-23-2009, 05:10 PM
Mine looks like this:
That is a shape I hadn't considered. Might have to try one of those instead of what I was planning. I've still got a big enough sheet to do that. I could weld the cuts together for a basket bottom.