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Build Your Own Upright Drum Smoker
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Lewis & Herschel
BBQ Pro


Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 757
Location: Smyrna, TN

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20 07 5:51 am    Post subject: Build Your Own Upright Drum Smoker Reply with quote

Here is my version of the Upright Drum Smoker. Cost is about $85 bucks if you can get a good Drum:

Drum Smoker


With a clean, food grade, open top drum, drill 4 equidistant 3/4" holes at 1.5"s above the base. You will need to purchase caps from your local Lowes or other hardware store to go in at least 3 of the 4 holes.

Next, at 3"s above the base drill four holes(I put them in between where the air holes are) and insert 3 inch long non-galvanized carriage bolts in with washers and nuts to hold the charcoal grate. Then install a 22.5 inch Webber Kettle grate on the carriage bolts.

You will then need to find a piece of expanded steel of a grade you can bend yourself and make an 11" wide by 9" tall charcoal ring by bolting one side to the other. This part goes on top of the Weber grate.

Next, go up the drum as far as you can leaving yourself room for a Boston Butt or Beer can chicken between the next grate and the top of the drum. Then drill four more holes and install carriage bolts to install another 22.5" Weber Grate.

I drill another hole just below the grate to install a thermometer.

Finally, drill 4, 3/4" holes in the lid in a diamond shape and fill any other holes on the top. Also install a screen door handle on the lid so you can remove it. You can also install a closet hook to hold the lid in the side of the drum when you are working on your meat.


Fill charcoal ring with unlit charcoal and pour one lit chimney of charcoal over it. You can also add wood chunks through out the charcoal to provide smoke flavor. Add or remove the caps across the bottom to achieve preferred cooking temp.

And Walla, you have the best cheap smoker money can buy. Mine goes way past 12 hours at temp unattended. I can't imagine people would be happier with any other design.
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JamesB
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Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2406
Location: Irving, Tx

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20 07 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the BDS work as described on the BDS website? From what I hear, it does everything it is advertised to do. It's also used by some very respected folks in the BBQ community.

As mentioned above, the upright barrel cooker has been around a lot longer than any of us... I just completed the construction of my own barrel cooker, more commonly referred to as a UDS around here... If interested, you can view the pics here. http://bennett-family.com/pics/pits/james/uds/

The whole project was built from all new components. New unlined open headed steel drum, stainless nuts/bolts, ball valve etc. Cost, I think was right at $88 or so. Could be built much cheaper... Total build time once I had all of the parts collected was right about an hour.

so if you can operate a hand drill and a wrench, save your self some $$ and build it yourself!

James.
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tntitan
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Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 46
Location: Bethlehem Georgia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 07 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have made two so far i love mine we use them in the comp also .10 lbs of charcoil and let it burn for 12 hours or more. the temp hardly move within 10 deg. i would for the money make one they are great
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smooookin
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Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21 07 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two now and have made probably a dozen. I dont know anyone who doesn't love 'em.
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yukoff
BBQ Fan


Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 370
Location: Newcastle, WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30 07 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice tutorial, would you happen to have pics you can add to your steps above? Sometimes visualization help a lot.
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BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15439
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07 08 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for getting this posted as a sticky L&H! Very Happy

One recommendation that I have as a former machine builder- invest in a uni-bit (sometimes called a step-drill bit) for cutting the holes. It will make drilling into the sheet metal easier, the holes will be cleaner, and it will save your fingers!

They are expensive, but worth the money. Use a lower speed and some cutting oil if possible. Once you burn the edge off of them from abuse, they don't sharpen again like a standard drill bit. Your $30.00 investment is then junk. Properly used, you can get hundreds of holes from one of these jewels

Happy building! Very Happy
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 5410
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09 08 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might help you out a bit...............


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Last edited by Alien BBQ on Thu Mar 06 08 2:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Browser



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Crowland, Lincs, UK.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23 08 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's mine, still under construction but will be finished soon. I've gone a little more complicates by adding an ash pan and bespoke trolley but I like a challenge Very Happy Q will taste just as good on one built in a day, as many are. Wink


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Weber One Touch Silver 57cm.
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QObsession
BBQ Fan


Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24 08 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Browser WOW
I live for the difference. That is great How much are you going to sell the lids for? When can we see more pics?
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Tom C
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 1851
Location: N. California

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24 08 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love the ingenuity you can see from the members of this site. The ideas and approach that come out of here amaze me! Cool
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QObsession
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Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25 08 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Browser What kind of Mig wleder is that in the right side of the picture?
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Sarrel
Newbie


Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 27
Location: Riviera Beach,Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04 08 3:03 am    Post subject: Un-Bits ie Step Drill Bits Reply with quote

BBQMAN wrote:
Thanks for getting this posted as a sticky L&H! Very Happy

One recommendation that I have as a former machine builder- invest in a uni-bit (sometimes called a step-drill bit) for cutting the holes. It will make drilling into the sheet metal easier, the holes will be cleaner, and it will save your fingers!

They are expensive, but worth the money. Use a lower speed and some cutting oil if possible. Once you burn the edge off of them from abuse, they don't sharpen again like a standard drill bit. Your $30.00 investment is then junk. Properly used, you can get hundreds of holes from one of these jewels

Happy building! Very Happy



If you don't think you need to spend a lot nor do you intend to use them much put up a set at Hardor Freight
http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=step+drill+bits&Submit=Go
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Tatersalad



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04 08 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is one we just threw together. Uses very little charcoal / wood, and cooks fairly quickly...



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Browser



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Crowland, Lincs, UK.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06 08 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops! Who's a naughty boy? Me, for not posting for ages.
Right! My drum is finished and although I've yet to upload my absolutey latest finished finished picture, here are the latest ones I have. The only addition I've made is to add a Union Flag to the front of the drum Very Happy





And the essential addition......





The lid was a chinaman's hat-type rain cowl which was made in error for a project at work. I asked if it was wanted and they said I could have it Laughing
The MIG welder is a snap on 130 Turbo, a fan cooled model which will take up to 0.8mm wire and do most of the stuf fI want. It was struggling a bit with the longer runs as it doesn't have a 100% duty cycle but I just had to give it a rest every so often. I've got a large cylinder of Argoshield gas which will do for stainless as well as mild, as the small disposable bottles are a pain.
I promise I'll upload my latest pics to photobucket a.s.a.p. Embarassed Very Happy [/i]
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Good barbecue can't be that hard, can it?

Weber One Touch Silver 57cm.
Weber Go Anywhere.
Inter-stellar UDS.
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Browser



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Crowland, Lincs, UK.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06 08 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three more piccies of my drum.

The bottom of the drum showing the ash catcher, made from a cut-up propane cylinder and some sheet metal.



The charcoal ring and grid. Mine is an extra-wide model to make sure any dripping grease gets vapourised for more flavour Wink



And finally, the British Space program takes a huge leap forward!!


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Good barbecue can't be that hard, can it?

Weber One Touch Silver 57cm.
Weber Go Anywhere.
Inter-stellar UDS.
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Mokin Bandit
Newbie


Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07 08 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is a good place to buy a drum? Home depot, maybe?
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Browser



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Crowland, Lincs, UK.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07 08 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you any friends who work in industry? If so, ask them Very Happy Commercial bakeries sometimes get large quantities of ingredients delivered in drums. I understand that Craigslist is a good source of drums as well.
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Good barbecue can't be that hard, can it?

Weber One Touch Silver 57cm.
Weber Go Anywhere.
Inter-stellar UDS.
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Rojo Grande
Newbie


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Silicon Valley

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12 08 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!!!!! When will we see the Browser UDS for sale in Lowe's? Smile Seriously... can't wait for a review of the first Q that comes off that baby. WTG.
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Mokin Bandit
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Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14 08 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can someone explain the purpose of the long tube from the buttom up on the outside?
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Rojo Grande
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Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Silicon Valley

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14 08 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the source for air inlet. The covers on the tubes act as dampers. Less O2=lower temp, more O2= higher temp. That is how the temp is regulated.
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