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-   -   Ugly Drum Smoker (

micnic 01-12-2012 10:45 AM

...Hey guys, just saying hi from CANADA. Awesome info will definitely build one - it just to hard to do any work outside when is -29 here in Winnipeg. :doh:

whitelightnin92 01-12-2012 04:15 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I hope I am posting the pics correctly. I miss typed the sizes of my valves. I have two that are 3/4 inch, and the big one is 1 inch. My fire basket was made following a lot of suggestions found here, but I didn't get any pictures of it. It is 18 inches around and 8 inches highs. The bottom of the basket is 2 inches from the ground. I had it fully loaded with 15lbs of charcoal. The edges are made of expanded metal. I tried to do most of my temperature setting with the smaller ball valve and I'm sure that more experience will help me dial it in. I'm still quite worried about how soggy my barks turns out on my pork. Is this normal for an UDS?

Pappy 01-12-2012 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by whitelightnin92 (Post 1912604)
I'm still quite worried about how soggy my barks turns out on my pork. Is this normal for an UDS?

My UDS had a lot of moisture when it was new. Maybe that has something to do with it. It's never wet now. Maybe being new without a coating of good smoke & grease on the sides causes it to sweat more.

wheelterrapin 01-12-2012 07:48 PM

How did you get your lid to fit so well?


Originally Posted by Pappy (Post 1912713)
My UDS had a lot of moisture when it was new. Maybe that has something to do with it. It's never wet now. Maybe being new without a coating of good smoke & grease on the sides causes it to sweat more.

whitelightnin92 01-12-2012 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by wheelterrapin (Post 1912799)
How did you get your lid to fit so well?

I cut off the top 1.5 inches of the bottom part of the kettle. I used some sheet metal cutters and made 1/2 inch cuts every 1/2 inch around the ring I had cut. I bent them all out just a little bit to where the ring was very snug in my drum and then I tack welded them to the drum. The tension from the ring on the barrel was enough for me to position it exactly where I wanted it before I started welding. I probably went overboard, but I put a weld overlapping each cut I made.

NU2QN 01-12-2012 08:17 PM

As far as temp control is concerned, if you are using the smaller valve, you shouldn't have any trouble. If I keep my valve half open, my temps maintain 225-240 without fail. The trick is to not let the fire flare up and out of control. When mine flares up i close the valve almost all the way and the temps drop down pretty quick. It takes time and practice. Keep at it. youll get it.

spareheat 01-13-2012 01:06 PM

I too had terrible cooks at first, but I did not follow KISS or the three 3/4" nipples. I used a 3/4" nipple with valve plus a 1 1/2" valve from the center bottom, thinking the 1 1/2" would be used for water drain and air control. Doesn't work very well. Ended up installing a sliding door for air control, works for me. I also had lots of water from the first two cooks, since then it's been dry. I found the can in the middle of the fire basket with the divider wall works perfect to control the amount of coals burning, smoother temps and longer burn time.
I've had mine for a couple months now, I've went thru four bags of lump and three bags of brickettes. After ruining several pieces of meat, I started doing dry runs. Finally found what works for me. Brickettes only,No lump coals, circular basket burn, added two 1 inch holes in lid besides the 2" hole ( would not draft correctly, now it does), only 6 hot brickettes to start, not 10 or 12. Produced some good ribs last Sunday. First edible meat to come out of it.
So my advice is, don't waste money on meat until you figure out the drum. Eventually you'll find it. Don't give up, I was ready to sell mine twice, but I kept trying.
If your cook turns out bad and there is water still in drum and it starts to smell bad a couple days later< re sanitize it> 400 plus degrees cook will kill it. Oh yeah, keep the lid cracked open during heat up, gets the drum up temp temp faster, and releases the startup smoke and nasty tasting gasses and no I don't use fluid. I just don't like the smell or taste at first.
Hope this helps someone. Don;t follow what I did, follow KISS plans.

carpediem 01-14-2012 12:19 PM

Picked this up today. My weber lid fits perfectly snug on top... I need to figure out what is going on inside this barrel. It was used to hold juice but it doesn't have a painted coating like I've seen on other barrels.

handsareme 01-14-2012 12:48 PM

Threw a pork loin and some hot links on the UDS 20 minutes ago!

whitelightnin92 01-14-2012 08:59 PM

Spent some time this morning playing with my UDS, and I am starting to feel a little more confident with the temps. I decided to throw on a package of hot dogs for the kids while I was playing and they turned out well. The kids loved them and ate them before I even got one. I'm still noticing the moisture that I am hoping will go away in time.

I will add that it is disappointing to have the smell of apple wood stuck in my nose all night here at work without ribs or pulled pork to cure my cravings.

kevine 01-14-2012 10:31 PM

I'm using zinc coated bolts to hold my racks. I got a weed burner, and burned the bolts/nuts until they were red hot. In fact it appeared as is a "coating" was burning off. Just wondering if any of the smarter guys/gals on here can tell me if heating them up would have removed the coating??

kevine 01-14-2012 10:31 PM

Any by the way, I LOVE MY WEED BURNER. Wow, coals were lit in about 30-45 seconds!

kevine 01-15-2012 11:25 PM

Okay, my drum has been sitting in my garage for a month after a friend sand blasted it for me. I went ahead and hit it with an angle grinder in some spots where there was still some liner/paint. I used some 1 ft steel conduit tubes that I flattened the ends then bent them to attach as handles. I happened to have a lot of it laying around, so it saved me a few bucks.

As I stated in my previous post, I used some zinc coated bolts/nuts that gave me an excuse to get a weed burner. I burned them red hot and now they look like they're ashen. Got some 2" casters from HF and bolted them to the bottom. Four 1" intakes, three with caps and one with the ball valve on a 2 foot pipe (painted red with USMC). I have a 2" pipe on top for the exhaust.

Oiled her up today and filled about a third of the charcoal basket unlit, with about 15-20 lit briqs. I have an old therm from a gasser that I threw on there. When it wouldn't go past 200, I grabbed my remote temp and put the probe thru a potato and on the top grate...425! I capped off the three intakes and closed the ball valve half way. After putting the kids down, I came out and it's cruising at 240....nice :thumb:. Only thing I need to pick up is a new therm and it's ready for some meat!

dealm9 01-15-2012 11:55 PM


BigDaddyJT 01-16-2012 01:52 PM

Uds assistance
Hi All,

OK, I admit I have read 90-95% of this entire thread and have the basics down. BUT still have a few questions. I intend to use a forced air system on my drum for the most part (Stoker w/ 5cfm fan). I already own multiple vertical smokers and BGEs and intend on using this as a "project/beach & park smoker" aka "beater". I have a good line on the drum (brand new top on). I just need to see if my Weber lid will fit. If not, I will have a flat lid fabricated. So In doing the research I came across some questions and ideas I would like to ask the experts:

1. I would like to use a BGE door insted of 3-4 holes on the bottom. For those that currently use this method, did you add the extra holes in your drum or did you only use the BGE for air flow? Did you notice any issues such as uneven charcoal burn.

2. My current plan is to use 2 cooking grates and a heat diffuser as well. I have a sketch drawn up already. Or should I just keep it at 1 grate to avoid the temp spikes I'm reading so much about?

3. If I have to fabricate a lid, I would like to use an exhaust stack instead of the holes drilled around the lid. How big (diameter) and how tall 4-6" do I need to make it? Is there an optimum place to locate the exhaust holes/stack (middle of lid or what distance from the outer edge)? I've seen both.

4. Add a heat diffuser/baffle or not. I plan is to install a 16" pizza stone or pizza pan w/ holes drilled out. It'll be 4" above the top edge of the charcoal basket 5" below the lower cooking grate (if added). Will this work? Do many use a diffuser or

4. My Charcoal grate will be 14" diameter (Weber grate), 8" tall (3/4" exp metal), w/ a 3" gap between the bottom of the grate to top lip of the ash pan. My ash pan will be 1" off the bottom of the smoker and 1" deep. From what I've read and seen, this seems to be the going size. Will this work? Too big, too small?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

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