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Build Your Own Upright Drum Smoker
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KSims1868
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Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 197
Location: League City, TX (south of Houston)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27 10 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exhaust Idea...

I learned last night that a 1-7/8" hole saw will cut just the right hole for a 1-3/4" threaded pipe to screw into if the hole is clean.

I installed 2 of them...looks awesome. Just wanted to share the idea.
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upinmaine
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Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Location: wells, maine

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02 10 8:37 am    Post subject: UDS charcoal basket tip Reply with quote

I came up with an idea for all of us non-welders out there for building the UDS charcoal basket. That was the part which seemed like the most difficult to me. For the most part, I just copied the other tried and true designs out there. I used a Weber charcoal grate for the bottom. Expanded metal for the sides cut into two 8x24 strips, and a walmart pizza pan on bolt legs for the ash pan.
Assembly seemed like the hardest part since I don't weld and baling wire seemed like a lot of work. I was cleaning out the shed at my inlaws and I came across some hog rings which are used for building lobster traps around here. They are like heavy duty staples or really light chain links and you crimp them with hog ring pliers, which are worth the $15 it saves you in time. Heavy wire stainless steel hog rings are cheap, tight, and will probably outlast the things you are attaching with them.
Here is a ring in the pliers


I just put the charcoal grate in my bench vise, attached one corner of the expanded metal and started working my way around.


Here is a close up of the connection


I did two baskets. I built the first for myself which was made of larger gap expanded, but I used 1/2" hog rings, which were easier to use, but harder to make tight.
The second basket was for a friend who bought the smaller expanded, which I didn't like as much, but used the 3/8" hog rings. Those were trickier to place, but were instantly tight.
When I do it again I'll use the larger expanded, and the 3/8" rings.
I hope this helps someone, as I'd love to know that I was able to contribute, since so many around here have provided the information I needed to build mine.
One other piece of advice. Heed the warnings of those who tell you not to burn a barrel with the dreaded red liner. It worked out to be 2 barrels, 2 tanks of propane (with my ring burner, and 2 days of my life which I will never get back. Buy a refurbished barrel instead.
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Tombigbeeriverdawg
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Joined: 07 Mar 2010
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Location: Columbus MS. (transplanted tobacco road boy)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03 10 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charcoal grate was for a 18.5" Weber right?
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upinmaine
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Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Location: wells, maine

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03 10 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, 18.5" grate. I think it was a 16" pizza pan.
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jman



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11 10 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is one intake pipe enough if made frome 2.5 exhaust pipe?
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Brian Briggs
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Joined: 25 Dec 2008
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Location: Port St Lucie, Fl.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04 10 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So do I understand this correctly? I can take half a chimney full of lit coals, dump it in my basket in the UDS and it will cook for 15-20 hours? I am confused Confused
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thevinoman
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Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05 10 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to say that is NOT correct. Here is what I do, and my result. I place a small empty coffee can with both ends cut out, in the middle of my basket. I then place a double layer of unlit charcoal around the can. I light half a chimney of coals, wait till they are about three quarters of the way burning, then dump them into the coffee can. Pull out the coffee can straight up to leave the burning coals in the middle of the basket. Depending on the wind and weather, I get anywhere between 7-12 hours from this setup. Hope this helps.
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06 10 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian Briggs wrote:
So do I understand this correctly? I can take half a chimney full of lit coals, dump it in my basket in the UDS and it will cook for 15-20 hours? I am confused Confused


Read up on the "minion method", fill the charcoal basket with unlit charcoal and wood chunks, then add a 1/2 chimney full of lit charcoal and spread it out.

Depending on the size of your basket, you may or may not get 18 + hours of burn time.
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BriGreentea
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Joined: 20 May 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

your really telling me that even doing that you'll never need to add fuel? Find this hard to believe.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BriGreentea wrote:
your really telling me that even doing that you'll never need to add fuel? Find this hard to believe.


I don't add fuel on my cooks with the WSM's or UDS's, and in the UDS's I can easily cook 16 or 18 hours without refueling, I don't often need to cook anything that long, most of the long cooks I do take a maximum of 14 o 15 hours.

My offset with a full fuel load can cook about 4.5 - 5 hours, though that is with additional splits added every 45 minutes, once the initial fuel load has burned out I can add organic briquettes or lump charcoal that will carry another 3 -4 hours, and I can repeat that as often as I need.

An 18" WSM with a full fuel load will cook about 12 - 13 hours.

You can believe it or not, you can build or buy one yourself and test it if you want, but my charcoal baskets on my UDS's will take more than a full 22 lb bag of briquettes, and they generally burn about 1 lb of charcoal / hour @ 250* so that should give me a full 22 hours of cooking time, unfortunately I rarely have any joints of meat that need to cook that low that long, perhaps I need to construct a cooking chamber capable of a fore quarter of beef or maybe even half a cow, then I could give you a real answer to the question.
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
[You can believe it or not


It's true so beleive it Wink Any UDS user will attest to the efficency of the drum. Very Happy
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BriGreentea
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Joined: 20 May 2010
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Location: FORT WORTH, TX

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe but I've never used or seen a UDS in person. I have a Brinkman WSM and yes I have to add fuel every 2 hours or less to keep it over 200. I think this is because once it starts ashing there is no where for the ashes to go so just have to add more fuel on top of it since it's just a pan.

On a UDS...is it because of the basket with all the air going to it and letting the ashes fall down let's you able to keep heat for so long without adding any? This would also explain why you don't need too much oxygen at the bottom otherwise you would have to have holes all over the bottom of the drum I would assume.

Of course this is assuming you place unlit coals and or with wood at the bottom and dumping say a lit chimney on top of it? If this is true then it would change my thoughts on what I was going to do on a UDS.
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fyi searching everywhere any anything and found this youtube video. Besides accessibility to the intake to adjust he says "cold air drops and hot air rises". Perhaps makes no difference but looks like having one intake going up makes sense to me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejpbwAXdKf0&feature=related
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UXEAoIOPKE
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10 10 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, that was a good video.

This video explains it all... Laughing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wirerDctsyw&feature=related
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11 10 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More questions...

I just bought step drill bits..two of them from 1/4 to over an inch.

I'm assuming for the intakes to use a double male small pipe. Do I use a ring in the inside or out to hold it? Do I need epoxy inside to prevent any airleaks for anything I drill in it?

I have no access to a weld so was going to use bolts and drill on the outside to hold my grates.

I was planing on using the bottom grate to hold a big water pan instead of a diffuser for two reasons: I don't want to take a chance of drying out my meat and I would like to use the bottom grate taking out the water pan and using it for direct heat cooking such as steaks and burgers.

What you think?
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11 10 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a hole is a hole!

I use 6 equally spaced 3/4" holes for intake vents.

I go with drilled holes and fridge magnets to make them infinitely adjustable, some people use ball valves on one or more holes, but that is added expense I really don't need to put in to something so simple and cheap.

The ball valves also take up space when travelling and I don't need that either, I try and fit everything into the smallest space and the simple holes and magnets do the job nicely!

See disclaimer below. Wink Laughing Wink
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11 10 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read some use water pans and some don't. Is it necessary?
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11 10 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BriGreentea wrote:
I have read some use water pans and some don't. Is it necessary?


Some think it is... and some think it isn't! Wink Laughing Rolling Eyes

Me, I use one in my WSM, but not in my UDS's!

The WSM is shorter between the fire and the grates and I think this benefits from a water pan for that reason, on the UDS's the distance is greater and so it is not as important if you are controlling the fire all the time.
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11 10 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok thanks, that makes sense to me then. It would be one less then I would need to do for prep. I just don't want the smoked meats to get dried or burnt that's all. Is more mopping required with this setup then using a WSM?
I am planning on using the bottom rack not just for looks but for direct grilling. So is about 7 inches from the bottom rack to the charcoal basket ok? For my top basket smoked meats I was thinking placing it around 4 inches down from the top. That should be enough room for most any meats since I'm just using a regular lid.
The drum I bought online is a "locking lid" but I want to find a hinge assembly I could do.
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