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-   -   Ugly Drum Smoker (https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436)

bmarley5780 04-20-2007 08:08 AM

Main question is: Does he have a 55 gal drum you can have? You know it works by the people on here that have posted the results...So what is the concern...

Ray Zorback 04-20-2007 08:32 AM

Quote:

So what is the concern...
About the walls being to thin to hold heat & lasting for any period of time. Anyone ever used this thermo sensor or turbine fine?
What about the wood burning at 500 degrees? That seems a little warm, but I also thought that we try to make sure the wood doesn't FLAME UP.. right?

bmarley5780 04-20-2007 08:56 AM

Yes, them are concerns.

But the people are this forum have built, fired up, and cooked briskets, butts, fatties, chuckies.....etc etc. All being successful...

One thing that I have been seeing with these drums is that the heat and burn time are GREAT.

bmarley5780 04-20-2007 09:00 AM

Quote:

Ribs are done. Man, the smell is amazing. Mista, I bet you drive your neighbors crazy when cooking on yours.

This thing holds temps like a dream. 220-240 all day so far on one load of charcoal, about 1/2 bag of royal oak with about 10 briquets of Kingsford to get things going.

The butts are at 150.
example

Bigmista 04-20-2007 09:12 AM

Ray,

The person who sent you that probably hasn't spent anytime learning to manage a fire. There are several reason the drums work well as a smoker.

1. The charcoal is suspended above the bottom so it doesn't get choked off by ash.

2. Airflow is restricted so burn times are extended. Some drums have held temp for 24 hours without reloading.

3. Meat is suspended at least 24" above the charcoal so the temps are lower at the grate than they are right over the fire.

4. Have the fan to help control the temp is a convenience but it isn't necessary. Once temp locks in, yo can generally count on it to stay there for at least 10 hours.

5. In a drum, the melting fat drips on the fire, evaporates and comes back up to add flavor to the meat. That's something you can't get in an offset.

6. Offsets are more work. Nothing wrong with that. Some people think of the fire managements as therapy and they like to do that. Just a different kind of cooking.

I hope this answers your questions. If you have more, we are all happy to answer them.

thirdeye 04-20-2007 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray Zorback (Post 382750)
Hey. I posted the need for a 55 Gal Steel Drum on CraigsList and here is a response I got: I'm looking for some replys to his concerns. What about the metal being too thin? & What about this "thermo sensor" & "turbine fan"?
Sounds like he knows alot about enginering & not much about smoking, but are his arguments valid?
I sent him to this site and BigMista's site to do more research.

Thanks! I'm new so I don't know much about all this stuff.

Hi Ray,

That guy is right about the material being thin, but since upright drum cookers are a vertical style, and because you are cooking direct instead of indirect, a different heat flow is present and they cook differently than an offset design. Listen, I've had my drum for one year and they are great cookers. BigMista's summary pretty much tells it all. There are plenty of posts here that praise this style of cooker and it's attributes. I have plenty of action photos of my cooks as well, but the nicest collection of drum cooking photo's (that I have seen) are on the BDS site. There are 60 in all, everything from A (as in ABT's) to T (turkeys). Make sure you check out the 4 or 5 pictures of whole shoulders. They put the B in barbecue and they come out perfect when cooked on a drum.

Click HERE to check them out.

Edit: I have a guru set-up for my Eggs and a adaptor for my BDS is only $10. I'm sure I will at some point in time, but so far I haven't seen the need to set it up yet.

swamprb 04-20-2007 10:53 AM

Is anyone interested in building an Ugly La Caja China? It's been on my mind since Clint's New Years Pig roast and Bobby Flays Throwdown! Just a thought.

It's nice outside, I think I'll start drilling into the drum now!

Brian

Napper 04-20-2007 03:56 PM

Ray,

Tell the guy to kiss your butt and go ahead and build your smoker!
I used one of mine last night to grill some steaks. It is one that I have the fan control installed. I set the fan to run continuously.

Thing was like a blacksmith's forge! Cooked the meat FAST and then I had to choke everything down before it got red hot. Temp gauge went to 500 !!!!

Worked good but it made my outside paint smell a little.

Drums Rule!

swamprb 04-20-2007 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Napper (Post 382913)
Ray,

Tell the guy to kiss your butt and go ahead and build your smoker!
I used one of mine last night to grill some steaks. It is one that I have the fan control installed. I set the fan to run continuously.

Thing was like a blacksmith's forge! Cooked the meat FAST and then I had to choke everything down before it got red hot. Temp gauge went to 500 !!!!

Worked good but it made my outside paint smell a little.

Drums Rule!

Bill- could you post some pics of the blowers you are using? I saw the digital controller you have set up, and noticed the wires to the pipe fitting but I'm not getting a clear picture of the fan setup. Just curious

Brian

Bigmista 04-20-2007 06:52 PM

I agree that it's a curiousity and not a necessity.

swamprb 04-20-2007 09:48 PM

I drilled into the other drum I had today and it went much smoother than the second one. I have been collecting parts and making the coal baskets, laid out the lid vents, made a kettle lid ring and put handles together. I used an Irwin step drill and some Harbor Freight bits.
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1632.jpg

Drilled 3 intake vents and 4 holes for the coal basket bolts
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1633.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1634.jpg

Laid the coal basket on the bolts and marked the upper and lower level grate bolts
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1636.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1637.jpg

I cut the kettle flange to fit on the drum to use the Weber lid securely
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1640.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1639.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1642.jpg

Drum lid with Weber handle and hanger underneath
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1638.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1644.jpg

Coal basket and small insert for short cooks
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1643.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1646.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...b/100_1645.jpg

All it needs now is a paint job and the drum dolly. As it stands I must admit it is one Ugly Drum Smoker!

Brian

Bigmista 04-20-2007 10:51 PM

Sweet! Great job!

biffleg 04-21-2007 07:45 AM

Great looking UDS Brian. How far up are you marking your lower and upper grates? And - are those your air intake nipples you inserted in the bottom of the drum on top of your Weber lid?

swamprb 04-21-2007 10:43 AM

These were 38" tall drums and there is about 5" between the racks.
No nipples on these, the things on the lid are the intake vent plugs, I put a bolt through them to make them easier to R&R.

Blutch 04-21-2007 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 382157)

I cut the holes to 13/16 and mine thread in pretty tightly. I still thread on conduit nuts and firm the up on the outside. If you need to you could put them on the inside as well.


I bought some 1/2 inch conduit nuts, but the threaded part of the pipe nipple is tapered and the conduit nut will only thread on so far.. it is very thin too and won't snug up to the side of the drum. Do I have the right piece of hardware?

Doing a THIRD burn in my drum today.. picking up a used weber kettle tomorrow for $30. I hope the lid fits on my drum..

I felt I should do a third burn because I still have paint and lettering on the side. I tried burning it off with my propane weed torch, but I think my torch is defective... While i was trying to burn it off, flames started coming out the side of the torch head as much as out the front and the 'blaster' thing doesn't do anything anymore. I had enough flame to light some charcoal, but it took a lot longer.. any ideas on how to fix this torch? I knew I shoulda bought the more expensive one with the igniter. *sigh*

B

Blutch 04-21-2007 11:08 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of the third burn. Do you think this setup will get the job done? I've added more wood since this photo and it is burning pretty good. It is very windy here today though.

B

swamprb 04-21-2007 11:44 AM

Most of the high temps are going to be in the lower 1/3 of the drum when you are cooking and thats were the paint is going to flake, I wouldn't worry about the rest. As far as the pipe nipples, you may have to put a backing nut on them, take all the nipples, nuts etc and make sure they are not crossthreaded and go on easy, if you are just screwing the conduit into the drum make sure the holes are smooth on both sides, if they go on loose, put a washer or a knockout plug reducer and put backing nuts on them. Some people say the Weber lid fits on their drums, I've tried it on prospective drums that I was going to use and it didn't so I cut the rolled flange off the bottom of the kettles and set it in the drums and the lids fits perfect. You don't really need a Weber lid on the drum, use the flat lid and bide your time until the free one appears!

Blutch 04-21-2007 12:09 PM

Thanks for the many tips you've given me swamp. I will try your sokution to the loose nipples. :)

I need the weber lid to use both grates as I put the top grate right below the rim of the drum.

I won't sacrifice this kettle by cutting off the rim, but might do it to the next one I find.

B

Blutch 04-22-2007 03:54 PM

My UDS is essentially done!

I did end up cutting the rim off the kettle because the used one I bought was really old and not worth cooking on. The lid fits perfectly on it, but there are some pretty big gaps between the rim of the kettle and the rim of the drum so I will seal those with high temp silicone.

I have one ball valve intake (1/2 inch) and three 1/2 pipe nipple intakes with caps. I have the OldBob style charcoal basket and ash pan. Two cooking grates and a weber lid.

I haven't painted the drum and probably won't... It still has "Line-X" on it and looks quite hillbilly, so I doubt anyone will steal it off my deck. :-)

The maiden voyage will be next Saturday - 3 picnics and 2 racks of spares. Can't wait.

Are you guys SURE that 3-4 chucks of hickory will be enough smoke over the whole cook to get a great smoke ring?

Thanks for all the help.. going to take some pics now.

B


B

Blutch 04-22-2007 04:11 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are three pics of my masterpiece. Full view, shot of the weber rim (thanks Swamp!) and a shot of the inside with charcoal basket and ash pan.

My only worry is that the charcoal basket might be too big. what do the experts think?

All comments welcome.

B

Blutch 04-22-2007 04:13 PM

I was bummed to find out that my local Harbour Freight doesn't stock drum dollies. Anyone know what other kind of business does? I'd really like to get one.

B

Smokin Gator 04-22-2007 04:43 PM

Blutch... first of all congrats on your persistence and your drum. You seem to have run into every possible problem on your first drum. You must know your second one will be easier.

As for your fire ring.. it will be fine for your longer burns. It is about the same size as mine.

Can't wait to hear about your first cook.

Brent

swamprb 04-22-2007 05:51 PM

Way to go Blutch! Now that you finished this UDS, the next one will be a cinch! Lets move on to the GOSM and mod that badboy! Char-Griller Side Fire Box? Wheels?

Brian

Oldbob 04-22-2007 08:03 PM

Good Lookin Drum Buddy !! I really like the firebasket and ash pan design !!:biggrin: :biggrin: Good Job !!

Norcoredneck 04-23-2007 01:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blutch (Post 383149)
I tried burning it off with my propane weed torch, but I think my torch is defective... While i was trying to burn it off, flames started coming out the side of the torch head as much as out the front and the 'blaster' thing doesn't do anything anymore. I had enough flame to light some charcoal, but it took a lot longer.. any ideas on how to fix this torch? I knew I shoulda bought the more expensive one with the igniter.B


If you had the torch down in the drum when this was happening it may have been starving for fresh oxygen. I ran into this on my drum. Lots of time the blaster just blows itself out when in drum. I bought the igniter one from Harbor Freight and was burning leaves in a drum (dual use) and the wire to the igniter melted and is no good now. Something to think about. Also I only use @ 3 medium chunks of hickory on mine and it is plenty (Wal-Mart bag size).

Ray Zorback 04-23-2007 07:42 AM

Drum Smoker Designs
 
I know the BDS/UDS upright barrel design seems the most popular and the easiest, but has anyone else found some other drum smoker designs?

I found these (some where already posted by yall):
http://www.mikesell.net/smoker/
http://www.thesmokering.com/pits/metalpit/bigbaby/
http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invb...?showtopic=615
http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/s_design/s_d_smokers.htm

I like the combination of the pit idea with the Drum attached. Does anyone know how well these designs would work?
http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/s_desig.../angin74-3.jpg

thirdeye 04-23-2007 08:40 AM

That set-up with the pit style smoke generator is a classic cold smoker design that has been in use for hundreds of years. In the old days, every farm had a smoke house and that is the basic design. The elevation of the chamber is the key to get the draw just right. The distance from the generator is what allows the smoke to cool down. Earth is a great insulator so I bet there is little adjustment from summer to winter. I wish I had the room for something like that. I would love to be able to do my own bacon, hams and smoked sausages. It looks like that drum is galvanized. I guess since temperatures will be below 85 it is not an issue like we worry about in a drum used for barbecuing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...3/d0693ccc.jpg

This is one of Warren Anderson's homemade smokers with a separate smoke generator. It is a knock-down model. He has plans for several cold smokers he designed in his book Mastering the Craft of Smoking Food. He also discusses hot smoking, cures, supplies and sausages.

brdbbq 04-23-2007 10:12 AM

I saw some drums in Arkansas this weekend with resealable lid and reusable clamp $12. Held Rasberry juice guy was selling them for burn barrels.

Blutch 04-23-2007 10:14 AM

Where in Ark?

B

Smokin Gator 04-23-2007 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brdbbq (Post 383868)
I saw some drums in Arkansas this weekend with resealable lid and reusable clamp $12. Held Rasberry juice guy was selling them for burn barrels.

Those would be perfect!!!

brdbbq 04-23-2007 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blutch (Post 383874)
Where in Ark?

B

Berryville

Ray Zorback 04-23-2007 11:20 AM

Arkansas Smokers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blutch (Post 383874)
Where in Ark?

B

I found a place in Hogeye, AR. Here is their ad:
METAL AND plastic 55 gallon drums for sale. Food grade. Great for food, feed or water storage. Call Hogeye 479-846-3664.
She said most of them held juices.
She also said that there were some others that I might be interested in. People use them to make wood burning heaters for shops and things. They are a little "heavier duty" but they held factory lubracants of some sort.
Does anyone know if these lubes will burn off?
I'm guessing that heavier duty would hold temps better?

PS Sounds like some of us are closer than we thought to each other!

brdbbq 04-23-2007 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray Zorback (Post 383910)
I found a place in Hogeye, AR. Here is their ad:
METAL AND plastic 55 gallon drums for sale. Food grade. Great for food, feed or water storage. Call Hogeye 479-846-3664.
She said most of them held juices.
She also said that there were some others that I might be interested in. People use them to make wood burning heaters for shops and things. They are a little "heavier duty" but they held factory lubracants of some sort.
Does anyone know if these lubes will burn off?
I'm guessing that heavier duty would hold temps better?

PS Sounds like some of us are closer than we thought to each other!

Heavy duty good lubricant barrel not worth the risk. IMO Was down in Rogers few weeks ago for a interview with consumer labs nice town.

Ray Zorback 04-25-2007 12:08 PM

On the "Fun Side":
Do you think those lubes are flammable? That would be neat to see anyway.

Smokin Gator 04-25-2007 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray Zorback (Post 385167)
On the "Fun Side":
Do you think those lubes are flammable? That would be neat to see anyway.

The first drum I did I picked up from a local industrial machine repair shop. The drums had mineral oil in them. They said lots of machines use mineral oil as the lubricants!! News to me... anyway... when I did the first burn there was some of the mineral oil in the bottom of the drum. It made the fire very easy to light if you know what I mean:wink:

Flames shooting way about the top of the drum mod!!!

Ray Zorback 04-27-2007 08:52 AM

THAT sounds "worth it" to me!!! HAHA!

biffleg 06-01-2007 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 373224)
If you cut the holes with a step bit to 13/16 and clean up the cut with a rat tail file the 1/2 inch pipe nipples should thread right in.

Got my new drum yesterday ... so I'm going to begin assembling my UDS this weekend - and will admit - I'm a little confused on the whole pipe nipple thing for the air intakes! Why do you drill a 13/16 hole for a 1/2 inch pipe nipple? What am I missing and do you have any close up pics?

Thanks for the help!

Smokin Gator 06-01-2007 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biffleg (Post 404131)
Got my new drum yesterday ... so I'm going to begin assembling my UDS this weekend - and will admit - I'm a little confused on the whole pipe nipple thing for the air intakes! Why do you drill a 13/16 hole for a 1/2 inch pipe nipple? What am I missing and do you have any close up pics?

Thanks for the help!

That confused me at first too... The inside diameter of the pipe nipple is 1/2 inch. The outside diameter is about 13/16. As you drill the holes make sure to check as you go up in hole size. Some pipe nipples seem to thread in at 3/4. Both of mine have required 13/16.

Sorry, but I don't have any pics of that specifically.

biffleg 06-01-2007 10:02 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. Which leads to another question - I assume there is some type of cap that screws to the pipe nipple to close off the pipe? And - can you get 1/2 inch pipe nipples at Lowes or Home Depot?

Brent - did you get my PM I sent you?

Thanks again!

Smokin Gator 06-01-2007 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biffleg (Post 404144)
Thanks for the quick reply. Which leads to another question - I assume there is some type of cap that screws to the pipe nipple to close off the pipe? And - can you get 1/2 inch pipe nipples at Lowes or Home Depot?

Brent - did you get my PM I sent you?

Thanks again!

Yes, the pipe nipples are available at both HD and Lowes. Make sure to get the black ones and not the galvanized ones. The caps are right next to the nipples. All of it should be in the same section with all the other pipe stuff. If you choose to do a ball valve they should be right around the same area.

While you are there, make sure to check the electrician's nuts (now that could make a heck of an out of context) to see if they will go onto the pipe nipples.

I did get the PM and sent you the doc via email. I sent it at 8:24 AM. Let me know if you don't get it and I will send it again.

Brent

Oldbob 06-01-2007 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biffleg (Post 404144)
Thanks for the quick reply. Which leads to another question - I assume there is some type of cap that screws to the pipe nipple to close off the pipe? And - can you get 1/2 inch pipe nipples at Lowes or Home Depot?

Either place will have the Pipe Nipples,and pipe caps....just be sure to get Black Nipples...Not the Galvanized ones!!...and I would get a few 1/2" conduit lock Nuts also...they will thread right on the nipples ...you could put on on the inside and one on the outside just in case the nipples were fitting to loose,when you tighten the locknuts they will hold the nipple tightly against the barrel.

biffleg 06-01-2007 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 404152)
I did get the PM and sent you the doc via email. I sent it at 8:24 AM. Let me know if you don't get it and I will send it again.

Brent

Just checked and it came through - thanks for that! Think I'll have to go do a little shopping today on my lunch break :wink:

biffleg 06-01-2007 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 404152)
While you are there, make sure to check the electrician's nuts (now that could make a heck of an out of context) to see if they will go onto the pipe nipples.

Brent

I can see the wife's face now when I tell her this weekend I'm going out in the garage to play with my nuts and nipples :lol:

biffleg 06-01-2007 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldbob (Post 404153)
Either place will have the Pipe Nipples,and pipe caps....just be sure to get Black Nipples...Not the Galvanized ones!!...and I would get a few 1/2" conduit lock Nuts also...they will thread right on the nipples ...you could put on on the inside and one on the outside just in case the nipples were fitting to loose,when you tighten the locknuts they will hold the nipple tightly against the barrel.

That helps ... thanks Bob!

Bigmista 06-01-2007 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 404152)

While you are there, make sure to check the electrician's nuts

If only this were woodpile...

Oldbob 06-01-2007 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smokin Gator (Post 404152)

While you are there, make sure to check the electrician's nuts

Brent

Quote:

Originally Posted by biffleg (Post 404156)
I can see the wife's face now when I tell her this weekend I'm going out in the garage to play with my nuts and nipples :lol:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigmista (Post 404202)
If only this were woodpile...

LMAO:biggrin: :biggrin:

biffleg 06-01-2007 02:05 PM

Went by Lowes at lunch and picked up everything that was on the shopping list (derived from Smokin Gator's document he sent). To ensure airflow won't be a problem though ... I went with 3/4" pipe nipples and accessories. My thought was I would rather have 2 or 3 3/4" pipes capped and available instead of all (3) 1/2" wide open.

Given that ... does anyone have a rough idea of the size hole that needs to be drilled for a 3/4" pipe nipple?

Smokin Gator 06-01-2007 02:29 PM

I originally bought 3/4 inch nipples but couldn't find a step bit that would go that large. Somewhere back in this thread other's have suggested other tools that would cut nice clean round holes, but I don't remember what they were.... sorry!

You will be able to get close to the outside diameter of the pipe nipple by just putting in one a tape measure or ruler.

If you can't figure out a tool for the job, don't hesitate to go with the 1/2 nipples. I usually have 1 open and the one with the ball valve about half open to keep 220-230. If I want to do some chickens a bit higher I open a third. Rarely have I had to open all 4. I have done it a couple of times just to see what kind of temps I could get and 300-325 was a piece of cake.

keale 06-01-2007 02:33 PM

for a 3/4 inch nipple, ......ummmm 3/4 inch drill bit?? :-D You gotta understand whos talking here, I'm "mechanically" disabled"!
I actually had all 4 1/2 inchers, but now I have one 3/4 inch nipple, why? cause the hole I drilled became too big after I filed it down!!:eek: I tell all my buddies its all in the design plan, and its critical to have that one 3/4 inch nipple!:-D

Smokin Gator 06-01-2007 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by keale (Post 404262)
for a 3/4 inch nipple, ......ummmm 3/4 inch drill bit?? :-D You gotta understand whos talking here, I'm "mechanically" disabled"!
I actually had all 4 1/2 inchers, but now I have one 3/4 inch nipple, why? cause the hole I drilled became too big after I filed it down!!:eek: I tell all my buddies its all in the design plan, and its critical to have that one 3/4 inch nipple!:-D

LOL... that is one big arse drill bit!!!!

And Keale... doesn't it feel good to fess up and get it off your chest that your drum is designed to have uneven airflow...


You know I am j/k bro....


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