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KansasCityBBQHound 01-31-2014 11:00 AM

Finally getting around to building my UDSs. I've been going through the pages of this thread, and finally after about 200 pages, I just jumped to the end. There is just so much information here, and I'm feeling very confident that I shouldn't have any insurmountable issues arise. I'll try to take pics and post as it progresses... Got two food grade drums (they're a bit tough to come by for reasonable prices up here in NoVA), unfortunately lined, but I don't think that will stop me. Will keep you guys updated!

Ramiro0727 01-31-2014 11:39 AM


Originally Posted by BC2_BBQ (Post 2786966)
I have built two new UDS's for this year’s competition season. I have looked for a supply of domed lids that will fit a 55 gallon drum. To date have been stymied thus far. I know that one can purchase used 22 ˝ inch smoker or grill and modify the lid to fit. In my search I found a great company "Toledo Metal Spinning" that could make them. They are wondering if there is an interest in the BBQ community to make these and have them as a standard item. These would fit a standard 55 gallon drum with no additional modifications. If you are interested in them doing this PLEASE email Jeff Earley at [email protected] He is going to keep track of how much interest there is. This would give the BBQ community a source for UDS lids. Please spread the word on other BBQ Forums. Thank you for your help.

This sounds interesting. How would the lids look like? Are they gonna look similar to the Weber lid?

pitbossJB 01-31-2014 12:21 PM

If they were rounder like a WSM you could have your first shelf up higher and still fit a turkey on the top.

BC2_BBQ 01-31-2014 02:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
So here is an example of a lid that they currently make. They would have to create a tool to make the lids for the UDS. They are very interested in finding out if there is enough interest for them to make the tool and have these available as a standard item. This would save the BBQ community Money. If it is a special item then there is a tooling cost and a setup fee and all that sort of stuff. If you send an email it doesn't mean that you want one or that you are committing to purchasing one. All it shows is that there is interest. I hope everyone will flood them with emails and they start making them.

shovelrobert 01-31-2014 04:13 PM

barrel to fit a lid
If you start with a Weber lid, you can look for a barrel it will fit, the newer weber lids will fit right on a lot of closed top drums.

knitmar 02-01-2014 12:29 AM

To BC2_BBQ - Are you in a place that you can keep us updated?

BC2_BBQ 02-01-2014 01:29 AM

To Knitmar: yes I can. I do not work for Toledo Metal Spinning. I was just looking for a lids. I will up date when I speak with Jeff.

UDS Rookie 02-01-2014 02:55 PM

Very happy with my UDS cooks thus far. Let me share some photos with you. Thanks again to all the seasoned vets for the tips and advice. Check out my blog where I tried to compile a lot of the frequently asked questions I've seen.

Ribs on the UDS were easy and turned out very nice.

My 2nd brisket turned out great!

erbeman 02-04-2014 08:18 AM

Finished building out my first UDS last night. I'm pretty happy with it :)

RT 02-04-2014 10:37 AM

^^^^ Very nice ^^^^

nubrook18 02-04-2014 02:52 PM

I cannot find any "food grade" barrels around. Is there any other grade of barrels I could use? Can you burn out a barrel that had motor oil enough or am I resigned to waiting for a food grade one? Thanks for your help!

pitbossJB 02-04-2014 04:00 PM

A motor oil drum is fine, just wash it well. First with solvent and then soap and water or car wash, and then burn it out. I made my mini out of an oil drum.

nubrook18 02-04-2014 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by pitbossJB (Post 2792697)
A motor oil drum is fine, just wash it well. First with solvent and then soap and water or car wash, and then burn it out. I made my mini out of an oil drum.

Thanks for the info pitboss!

knitmar 02-04-2014 09:42 PM

No one warned me how heavy a UDS can get after you start hanging a few extras, intake pipes and ball valves, grill plate rack, fire box, casters, etc. gettin' difficult for an old 68+ year old. But I can only guess the smell and tastes of the end product. Almost ready for the first firing.

bbq1980 02-06-2014 11:15 PM

What gaskets, besides fiberglass, have people used on their drums for a better seal? I'm considering either Nomex or the high temp silica or ceramic rope from McMaster Carr.

I'm assembling my UDS prior to getting it sandblasted and as I've got a 2.5" Weber lid and I'm not a welder, I've taken the advice of others and fitted a 2" wide x 1/8" thick aluminum bar around the top of the lid, leaving 1/2" above the lip of the drum for the lid to rest on. Just sizing things up and getting the fitting down before I drilled more holes in the drum. Also, I'll eventually seal the perimeter with black Permatex.

But when I went to go fit the lid, the fit wasn't as tight as what I wanted, even though others claim that a loose lid is relatively minor, given how air tight the unit is in general. Still, the lid could move around easily enough that I'd like to make the seal tighter and was weighing either the 1/2" x 1/8" thick Nomex or perhaps the 3/8" rope to attach to the aluminum.

I also saw the UDS gasket sold by If you've perfected the fit with the UDS lid, which gasket have you used? Thanks in advance.

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