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Hook_Line_and_Sinker 04-26-2008 06:17 AM

Ceramic Cooker Meets Ugly Drum Smoker - BUDCS - Concept Drum Discussion
Concept Drum -
Open for Discussion and consideration

Take one basic 55 Gal UDS and one 85 Gal over drum add Diatomaceous Earth and heat to form Big Ugly Drum Ceramic Smoker (Ceramic Drum)

Ceramic Issues, Concerns , and Thoughts
Why Diatomaceous Earth, widely available and cheap. long history of use in water and beer filtration. AND cooking ....


Originally Posted by [B
The SHICHIRIN is a traditional Japanese charcoal cooking-grill made of diatomaceous earth (also termed ‘diatomite’ and in Japanese known as KEISODO).

Proposed method to create ceramic, would be make a slurry, and introduce it between the outer 85 gal drum and the inner 55 gal drum.

Build Details - Proposed
Build basic UDS using 55 gall drum, no paint in or out. Intake to consist of one 3 inch pipe threaded both ends with enough length to exit the bottom of the inverted 85 gal drum. coat with oil and season like a cast iron frying pan inside and out. Line up any opening required for thermometers and accessories and drill through both drums so that they line up once assembled.

Create a 1/2" or 3/4" plywood donut that will fit inside the 85 gal drum opening and fit snugly around the 55 gal drum lip. With drums inverted (open end down) introduce Diatomaceous Earth slurry into cavity between the two drums via a large hole cut in the bottom of the 85 gal drum. Vibrate all air pockets out and let stand until firm ( a few days).

Once firmed up replace, the metal for the opening used and attach a 3 inch elbow to the pipe and small legs to the bottom. Extend the intake pipe to the perimeter of the barrel and attach ball valve ( elbow and up pipe optional, as are other intake configurations).

remove plywood dougnut from the unit and place unit upright. Create small charcoal fire in the charcoal basket maintain low temp fire for as long as possible, the point is the drive most of the moisture from the green ceramic. once moisture content has been removed build a larger and hotter fire and maintain to further set the ceramic, lump would be best. To "fire" the ceramic a large fire built in the charcoal basket with blown air introduced via the intake pipe to achieve as high a temp as possible looking to hit 1700 or higher if possible.

Dome can be made from weber dome and a larger dome with a slurry fill as used to make the drum caseing, as long as the exhaust if carried from within to the outside of the unit.

Dome should be attached with ring and hinge arrangement as this sucker is going to be heavy.
careful planing needed since very few mods can be made once completed.
Even if the DE doesn't form a complete ceramic, once most of the moisture is driven out it should have very simular properties as desired, ie maintain even temps throughout an extended temp range, and reduced fuel needs.

not to mention the self build satisfaction.

What say ye brethren?

Don Marco 04-26-2008 06:25 AM


Originally Posted by Hook_Line_and_Sinker (Post 622214)
What say ye brethren?

Nuts !

So go for it, crazy ideas are the best ones.


drbbq 04-26-2008 06:58 AM

How will the thin steel drums react at 1700f? My guess is the inside one will warp for sure.

You won't have the refractory properties of the exposed ceramic dome and side walls which I think are key to the cooking of an egg.
The dome shape is key but the hinge will be a big project. How about a side door instead of an opening dome?

Air flow around the charcoal and out the top center of the dome are key as well. You'll need both of these to get it grilling hot. The ash will need a big place to drop out and not effect airflow. The bottom grate in a BGE is cast iron to take the heat. I think expanded metal will have a short life.

Keep us informed.

thirdeye 04-26-2008 08:53 AM

The proposal sounds good. You need to work us up a preliminary sketch on a bar napkin. :mrgreen:

A couple of thoughts here.....the insulating properties of air trapped in a double wall situation is really good on it's own, I wonder if you only need to have the ceramic around the bottom? Would sand be easier to work with? Also wondering if something like Kaowool wool would work. It would sure be lighter.

smokinbadger 04-26-2008 09:02 AM

It sounds like a fun project, so go for it if you want to. Here are a few ideas:

1. What benefit do you think you are going to get out of this compared to a ceramic cooker, other than size? It seems to me that the drums and domes are only there to hold the DE in place, so you could take the next logical step and think about removing them once the "ceramic" is set.

2. I think the hinged lid is going to be a major challenge here, due to its weight and the fact that the DE may or may not be completely fixed after repeated openings and closings of the lid.

3. You will need an efficient way to remove ash. I wasn't clear on how many openings you were planning in the drum(s) for access to food, fire and ash, but as you say, this should all be planned up front.

4. Finally, I would recommend you consider the effects of differential thermal expansion of the steel and the DE, as well as the differential expansion of set, loose and wet DE, as these factors could have some significant impact on the structural integrity of your refractory layer.

If you so this, please post pictures! Good luck.

ipls3355 04-26-2008 09:29 AM

I think you will have a problem with expansion and contraction of the steel in the drum against the hard ceramic liner. As thirdeye mentioned, would sand be easier to use? It would allow some movement of the metal without breaking.

txschutte 04-26-2008 10:33 AM

My question is, with the UDS being such a fuelmiser as is, what are you trying to get out of it? The ceramic is a great insulator, but I dot think you will be able to get the DE hot enough for long enough to fire it properly. Just my dos centavos.

JD McGee 04-26-2008 10:53 AM

What say ye brethren?
No glory...go for it! :idea:

swamprb 04-26-2008 10:57 AM

Wow! I didn't think anyone would take the time to dive into the Imperial Kamado Shichirin link! But hey, Kudos to you! But I think the Shichirin is basically a Hibachi type grill for High and fast grilling. It sounds like what you are describing is more like the instructions I ran across for building jewellers furnace using refractory cement on a larger scale.
I'd like to see you do it if you have the capabilities, I just don't see myself getting rid of my Egg or Drum.

Knock yourself out and take lots of pictures!

Hook_Line_and_Sinker 04-26-2008 02:24 PM

The hinged top shouldn't be too hard if you consider the availability and relatively low cost of angle rings. the DE is actually rather light weight compared to other materials.
Angle rings or companion rings are just angle iron formed into a ring sometimes with holes to bolt them together

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