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AJP 04-18-2010 11:03 PM


Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1254886)
what's with the valves on the bottom? I have 4 1"holes with the caps on them. It's either open or closed is this valve a new way of making them?

also is the 8 holes in the top still the way to make the lid?

If you just have holes with caps you don't have much control of your temp. With the valve you can dial in the exact temp you want to smoke at.

McGurk 04-19-2010 08:19 AM

High temp engine block paint at auto parts stores (napa and the like)

Valves on the bottom? It's far from new and probably the most popular method (but not necessarily the best by any means) unless I am missing something.

h20loo 04-19-2010 08:22 AM

One two inch exhaust or the equivalent area in smaller holes works well. One hole is easier to manage for choking up the barrel when you are finished smoking.

Most people are going to a single large intake controled or covered with either a sheet magnet, BGE stainless intake or a metal flap. This works better than multiple holes, easier to control and allows easier cleaning of the ashes. I use a 2" intake as this allows me to smoke at 180 or bake pizza at 550. An intake hole can be too small but not too large(within reason). It is the amount of opening that matters and there is no benefit to having the intakes spread around the barrel. Even at wide open my fire does not burn towards the intake hole but burns toward the available lump. Its the hottest lump that is going to catch- not the lump nearest the door!

Chavo27 04-19-2010 10:51 AM

looks like I better do some more reading before I go drilling into this barrel.. I'm going to burn it now though :clap2:

McGurk 04-19-2010 11:06 AM

Got a good part of my build done yesterday, and haven't had either the FD or the cops show up from the fire or the noise, so I've got that going for me! I have all of the hardware and the racks, I just need to drill holes and assemble to put them in. Still have paint and little thaings after that! Ignore any pathetic welding you may see as this is my forst stab at it with a borrowed welder. :redface:

You all know the drill; Here's my build, about half done.
Fresh Drum
After burn, with donor Weber kettle
Inside after burn, before grinding
Unpainted, no racks, on seasoning run. Got to almost 400 with about 40 briquettes of KF. Used butter flavored Crisco.
Inside after seasoning, Big basket that needs a smaller ring inside for smoking. I built it big to raise it up high to double as a grill ala MushCreek's build.

Things I learned:
-Welding takes training and experience, of which I have neither.
-Outer paint washes off with a rag and water after a burn.
-Personal protective equipment is very nice to have around for the grinding! (earplugs, ear muffs, safety glasses, and a GOOD filter mask)
-My wife is very patient, with the noise and mess assiciated with this.

NASCARican 04-19-2010 11:19 AM

Hey Hyper, I would get rid of the tabs on the tool hanger and bolt/crew it to the side if you want it. It is gonna cause an air gap that is going to screw with your temp control.

Just trying to help Swamprb out! :-P[/QUOTE]

This is what I did...just flatten the tabs out and bolt in on...I need a table now!

McGurk 04-19-2010 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by Hyper (Post 1253351)

Looks to me like he's got 8 tool hangers already on there! They just have acorn nuts on the ends of them instead of hooks!

McGurk 04-19-2010 11:30 AM


Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1255379)
looks like I better do some more reading before I go drilling into this barrel.. I'm going to burn it now though :clap2:

Tough to screw up a burn, so have at it! While your doing that, read away. You might have 2 or 3 burns ahead of you with that red liner that your barrel has. You gotta start somewhere! The simple build is showcased a few times in there, and was created by Norco(?).

NASCARican 04-19-2010 01:18 PM


Originally Posted by McGurk (Post 1255457)
Looks to me like he's got 8 tool hangers already on there! They just have acorn nuts on the ends of them instead of hooks!

That's true...Good eye McGurk!!

Sean "Puffy" Coals 04-19-2010 03:54 PM

Second build
Hello all. Just Picked up 2 more drums the other day from a guy who said they had soy bean oil in them. This will be my second build (I won't bother posting pics of the first- it was kind of a disaster, but I leared a lot and it makes "OK" BBQ). Probably do a build blog this time around. I'll put up a link when I get it goin.

I really learned a lot from this massive thread. Hoping to put some good ideas to use.

Hyper 04-19-2010 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by McGurk (Post 1255457)
Looks to me like he's got 8 tool hangers already on there! They just have acorn nuts on the ends of them instead of hooks!

You nailed it. I bought all the stuff at the same time however once I put it all together, it became apparent that the tool hooks weren't really necessary. I toyed with the idea of shortening the screws and then capping them with the acorn nuts however I kind of like it the way it is. :thumb:

woodbutcher1 04-19-2010 06:43 PM

maiden run
Finally finished my first UDS and took him out for a trial run. I thought this was going to be an easy Cheap build after getting 2 free open lid drums. Wrong, got just about $150.0 into that free drum. $10 for a donor kettle (not a weber) from craigs list.Cooking and coal grates,new. Four thermometers,2 of which are electronic,programable,,3" dial with a about a 3" stem and the otherone was a cheap 12" fryer thermo.

I did run into a slight problem using the 3-2-1 method for a slab of ribs. Slightly burned. I used the large dial Thermometer to set the cooking temperature of 225* to 250*. Dialing that in was sweet, and it held.

The 12" fryer gage (center of drum)gave me up to 120* higher readings than the large one with the 3" probe., Lesson learned. Plug the hole for the large gage and put in the center of the lid,or just work with the fryer gage and the electronic ones for the internal meat temperatures.

My Fatty went from 60* to 165* internal temp in just about 1 hour, paying more attention to the large gage which hung at about 230* for the most part,and not paying that much attention to the small gage.

Made my drum with 2 lids, flat one when only useing the bottom grate, and dome lid when i'm useing 2 grates. got a little prOn to go with post.

All in all, had great time building it, and THANKS to all of folks that contributed to this thread and made it all possible. Thanks again. leonard

McGurk 04-19-2010 09:20 PM

Sooooo, what are you saying? The "large" guage had a short probe, and the "small" guage had a long probe? As in, using the long probe at the rack level is the better option for getting a good cook temp. The other option is to use a digtal with a probe lead on the grill, suspended in something to keep it off the rack (block of wood w/ a hole). Right?

woodbutcher1 04-19-2010 10:30 PM

That is what i am saying McGurk. Yes to all of your questions. My slab of ribs should not have been burned using the 3-2-1 method. Smoking for 3 hrs. at 225* to 250*looking at the short stemed thermometer. The actual temps were in the neighborhood of 350* to 380* on the long stemed gage. The temp is much hotter in the center of the drum than on the outer sides.

I will use my second digital probe next to the meat in a block of wood the next time i am smoking. I will also relocate the short probed gage as close to the center of the lid as i can.

Does all this make any sense to you folks ????? Or am just messd up from reading 386 pages ,over 5787 posts.?

h20loo 04-20-2010 07:44 AM

I don't think you should have 100 degree difference between the two. I usually find 40 and then that goes down to about 20 on a long 225 cook. I would pull the 12" guage out 9" and see if it reads the same as your 3". 3-2-1 is long for ribs on a UDS. The UDS are like their owners- quicker than most!! At 250 I do 2 1/2 hrs and start checking. I seldom foil and when I have nice pull back and flex- then I'll sauce some of the ribs to taste and mop mine with a scotch/cider a few times.
UDS are easy cookers but liek anything good, they still do have individual quirks. Experience on them usually solves that.

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