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Kenny 13 03-31-2008 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by michiana mark (Post 602567)
Man, I can't believe I read the whole thread. (not in one sitting) Have acquired 2 drums, with lids, and have started acquiring parts and pieces. Will start build soon.

I know what you mean, that's a lot of reading :lol:

Good luck on the build. This thread certainly has a lot of info to get you through it. It's helped me a lot - finally think I got mine working how I want it.

elyhill 04-01-2008 06:21 PM

Has anyone tried useing a 30 gallon drum, I don't really need the capacity of a full size drum. just wondering still looking for anysize anyway.

Dr_KY 04-01-2008 07:01 PM

Smaller drums work just as well and I started out telling myself I didn't need the capacity but all that changed. lol

Mokin Bandit 04-01-2008 08:54 PM

I want lots of capacity. Main reason I am building my UDS. I am running into the problem of 2 grates. I have read that from the fire grate to the first cooking grate should be 24" correct? If i go up 7" that puts me at the top. I have a weber kettle lid so that gives me another 6" for food. Is this enough do you think? I have never considered the size of a large butt... As in thickness.

I am considering throwing something in to control the direct heat a little. How do you guys feel about doing this?

SmokeWatcher 04-01-2008 10:47 PM

I use a Weber lid too. The first grate is 1" below the lip, and the other is 6" below that. That places it at less than 24" from the 21" or so....but it still works well. I normally don't use the lower grate unless I need extra space or head-room.

Barbarian 04-02-2008 01:34 AM

My top grate is 1" below the lip and my lower grate is 6" below the top grate which puts it 23" above the charcoal grate. I built two different lids from donor drums. One for my UDS which is 10" tall and the other for my UDG which is 6" like the weber lids are. I don't know what you could cook that is taller then the 10" lid. The most I have tried is 4 butts and there was plenty of room for one more on each grate and maybe two more.

Hook_Line_and_Sinker 04-03-2008 01:36 AM

Another Addicted Brother Gives in to Start His First Build

For days now I have coveted they neighbors grill, as I have read this thread. Lusting over the gleaming chrome and stainless steel, I read and reread making note of measurements and ideas. Like some future olympian I learned from the best as saw them compete in the pursuit of the best smoked foods and smoker to cook it upon. The UDS gods seem to call to me, make me and I will deliver the best foods you ever made, give me your beef , pork and poultry and I will deliver you a wealth of goodness.

Smoking stars like , Norcoredneck, Big Mista , Thom Emery, JW, thirdeye,N8man, Bottles 'n Bones, Thawley, Meat Burner, Brian in So Cal, ipls3355, Scudrunr, Dr_KY, and many many others, have giving so much help in information to the masses so that even the most project challenged of us can be assured success in building our very own UDS The pictures, suggestions and advice are tremendous.

I of course have been bitten by the bug to build one, slowing gathering the parts and locating the drum are in the works. I will have to find a place for the burn out, since Iím in the same predicament as Big Mista was originally. I have a few questions that I didnít find answers to;

How much is the volume of ash left over from burning 10 to 13 lbs of kingfords?

I have seen many burn out pictures and descriptions, but no mention if the lid, how are you burning off the lid , or do you burn it?

Last question, Beer can chicken, how tall is it ( my store bought holder and a 5lb bird is nearly 11 inches) is that average? And besides a turkey what else is the tallest meat I need to consider for grill spacing .

Thanks again for such an informative thread and my new addiction.

Hook Line and Sinker

Barbarian 04-03-2008 02:01 AM


Originally Posted by Hook_Line_and_Sinker (Post 604867)
Last question, Beer can chicken, how tall is it ( my store bought holder and a 5lb bird is nearly 11 inches) is that average? And besides a turkey what else is the tallest meat I need to consider for grill spacing .

Hook Line and Sinker

Not sure what is the tallest but my UDS in the photo has a 10" lid and the lower grate is 7" below the top of the drum so I got 17" which should be plenty. Even with my UDG 6" lid I would have 13" to the bottom grate.

Dr_KY 04-03-2008 04:51 AM

It's going to depend on what you are using for fuel but I never get more than a manageable amount of ash but I usually only burn about five pounds or so.

As for the lid I remove the bung holes ( they have a rubber gasket on them) and add it to the blazing fire propped up with some of the burning timber. Others use chemical strippers, weed burners etc.

A few pictures..

Notice I have holes in the ash pan so that it helps to breath and has a complete burn...

In the drum...

Dr_KY 04-03-2008 05:22 AM

Although I get a nice cook out of this setup I will soon be building a wider fire ring ( aprx 18 '')so that I have less cleanup from the juices dripping on to the bottom of the drum. I do not weld so everything is a 'bolt together' unless I have someone at work do it for me.

I like the smaller one because if it's too hot in one section of the grill I can just stick a wire into an open hole and move it over, that's why you see two rings of ash in the above pictures.

Hook_Line_and_Sinker 04-03-2008 06:10 AM

I anticipate using a charcoal grate from a Weber 22.5" charcoal grill which measures 16-1/2 inches in diameter as the backbone to a charcoal basket with the grill part hog ringed to expanded metal "ring" . A convenient height for the expanded metal ring would be 12 inches high and if the expected volume of ash from burning charcoal briquets would easily fit under 2 inches I would suspend the grate at 2 inches. That would also facilitate me using a 17 in diameter by 1.5 inch ash pan below it all. I figure that if I use 4 or more bolts from below the ash catching pan then jam nut and washer the charcoal holding grate at 2 inches above the ash holding pan for added support to the expanded metal ring, that I would have a over all height of 2 1/4 inches as the starting point to measure up for the first cooking grate. So that the cooking grate would sith at 26 1/4 inches from the bottom of the drum. With the general concusses being that the inlet holes are made at 1.5 to 2 inches from the bottom of the drum my proposed ash pan would below the air inlets and give good airflow directly to the bottom of charcoal basket. But I would like to skip the research and development part of trying it first to see if it would catch most if not all the ash from a large load / long smoke
so will 340 cubic inches hold the ash ? That’s if I did the math right V = 1.5 x 3.14159 x (8.5 x 8.5)

Dr_KY 04-03-2008 06:34 AM
...I like Jello.

Hook_Line_and_Sinker 04-03-2008 07:52 AM

volume of ash produced by Kingsford
OK I think with the help of google I found the volume of ash produced by Kingsford - I figure if it can hold that any lump or better fuel would be a snap


Originally Posted by

What About Ash Production?
The Test: Kingsford doesn't make any claims about the volume of ash produced by these two types of briquettes that we can see, but part of our regular testing of lump charcoal is to measure the volume of ash produced. This can be important in some types of cookers because the ash can block air vents and affect the fire. Basically, after the burntime time test is finished, we open the lid of the cooker and let all the charcoal burn to ash. Once it is cooled, we measure the volume of ash in a graduated vessel.
The Results: 3 pounds of the old briquettes produced 850 ml of ash, while the new briquettes produced 875 ml of ash.
Conclusion: This test only reaffirms that both the old and new briquettes produce an appalling quantity of ash.

So 12 Lbs would produce 3500 milliliter = 213.59 cubic inches of ash

Barbarian 04-03-2008 11:43 AM

I would give a bit more room for the ash to help with airflow to the fire. My basket is 10" tall with the 16" charcoal grate and it can hold 15 lbs of charcoal easily. The pic of the ash is the leftover from a 10 hour brisket two days ago. I had about 10 lbs of charcoal and it did not burn 40% of that.

For the ash pan I took the bottom of the drum I cut out and made it 18" in diameter. Welded a band around it for the sides of the ash pan. So it catches almost all of the dripping and is real easy to clean out.

jeffjenkins1 04-03-2008 12:08 PM

OK, how come no one told me that if your fat, when you lay the drum on it's side and reach inside the drum to put the nuts on the firebox support bolts at the bottom, you will block all the light?!!?

That said, I will have pics this weekend.

Only thing left is the holes for the lid and the cooking grill. Then put in the support bolts for the cooking grill and I'm smokin'.


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