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Build Your Own Upright Drum Smoker
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Radical Rick
Newbie


Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 65
Location: Southside, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12 09 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is a picture of mine that I built last week next to my electric brinkman


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SWEET HOME ALABAMA! ROLL TIDE!
http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f52/RICK0365/grill/?albumview=slideshow
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Radical Rick
Newbie


Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 65
Location: Southside, Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21 09 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update! I have since removed the bottom of this bbq-pro from my uds and replaced it with the original lid. I was gonna have too much air intake even when fully closed! Sad
The good thing is I cut into my lid and installed the base of my brinkman electric smoker and now have the choice of electric or charcoal. having choices is nice. So far the electric has not gotten up to temp like I want! I will say that with the use of my charcoal basket it has worked like a dream! Cool
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http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f52/RICK0365/grill/?albumview=slideshow
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polock
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 1290
Location: Sparta MO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24 09 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was going to put the bottom of my uniflame on mine after i saw your first post, glad i didn't do that. man, it was going to be tall lol. i am 6'1 and it was going to be a big reach even for me. Smile
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bullpin double barrel smoker
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cabelas large gas smoker
weber genesis E-320
Weber Performer
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2 UDS's (love em)
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Spearhead



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28 09 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to give one of these a shot this spring, the construction can't get much easier. I have one question, the first post makes no mention of a "heat difuser/water tray like the pic shows? Is this step not necessary?
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28 09 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as you have about 23" between the top of your fire and the bottom grate, there is no real need for a diffuser or water pan as a heat sink.
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Spearhead



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28 09 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that all i needed
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SoEzzy
Site Admin


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07 09 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some temperatures and cook times for my UDS, 6 x 3/4" holes air intakes, and a 19" charcoal grate with 8" above the grate for charcoal, 2" below for air flow.

You will love them more and more as you use them, I've done everything from 240 - 375 F cooking in mine, all based on the amount of charcoal I start at the beginning.

I pour a two layer base of charcoal into my charcoal ring then add the following different amounts depending on what temperature cook I'm aiming for.

1/2 chimney of charcoal will produce 250 on the thermometer.
3/4 chimney of charcoal will produce 300 on the thermometer.
Full chimney of charcoal will produce 350 on the thermometer.

You can also weigh your charcoal for your cooks.

6 lbs of charcoal will cook for ribs or chicken, 12 lbs will be enough for a brisket or two or Boston Butts, 18 lbs will cook long enough for a competition with butts and briskets cooked first, then ribs and chicken to finish all on the same pit.

I often will do two or three cooks on a single load of charcoal, as it snuffs out so well between cooks.

I also use the weed burner to start it, if I'm going for a high temperature cook, I can start more charcoal that way, and so get a higher temperature rocking and rolling from the start.
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West Coast BBQ



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10 09 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am new to the forum and wanting to make my first drum smoker. Any recommendations on a door size and how is it cut? Jigsaw? Also, what does one do to keep the air from coming in around the door area? Thank you! Very Happy
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NVJAY775



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Gardnerville, NV

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16 09 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm new to the site too. And a rookie (3 weeks and addicted) BBQ'er. I have a couple drum smokers that are home built. I'll post up some pictures in a bit for your viewing pleasure and smack talk (AKA entertainment)

B back in a bit. Gotta work a few minutes.

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.
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NVJAY775



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Gardnerville, NV

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16 09 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK here's what we have concocted. Be prepared to laugh. The first UDS was a Sears air compressor. Relatively small unit. This thing was built 3 weeks ago just after tasting some of my buddies BBQ. He had an extra tank and we just cut and welded it up after many barley pops.

This first pic is with the lid on. Initially it (my daughter named it "Ping Pong in Ding Dang") had cuts around the top to hold 2 pieces of rebar to hold hooked meat from. So the meat hung instead of laying on a rack. But after a half @$$ed research found that that would flow too much air and cause all kinds of problems. So I'm filling in the cuts to seal it up. My buddies design is for a high heat quick cook. I wanted to go slow and low. So I am sealing it better. Enough babble, here's a comical pic. I'm not done with it yet. I want to keep it cuz it's the first born and it holds 220* for 4.5 hrs. after some lame sealing and has cooked some family pleasing chow.

[/img]
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NVJAY775



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Gardnerville, NV

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16 09 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a pic of the inside. Umm. The charcoal / wood rack is a brake drum off of god only knows what. we welded some bolts on the bottom to keep it off the ground and also welded a piece of steel across the center hole.

This is seriously embarrassing. But hey... It's all about the food and fun of it all, so what the heck.

Initially we hung the rebar across the top, but I cut, sized and welded them inside and am going to weld up the notches later, to seal the top. I would have already done that but ran out of wire.

We cut the top and bottom of the tank off with a torch, so the cut is gnarly to say the least. The top gap between the lid and body are lamely sealed with some adhesive tape from the local stove shop. It's food safe, or so I was told. But it seems to work really good.


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NVJAY775



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Gardnerville, NV

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16 09 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a side note. All the thinking, research and fabrication is SO much fun. And when everybody enjoys the chow you have offered them, it is all worth while. Puts a smile on my face every time.

Can't wait to learn more.
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NVJAY775



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Gardnerville, NV

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16 09 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the next thing I have been working on. His name is "Bubba"

He started out as a well pressure tank. The ID is 28" and the height is 35" from base to the bottom of the lid. If you look around you can find these for nothing from your local well guy. I found 2 on a local property and grabbed them.

I cut a couple inches off the base stand, cut off the bottom of the tank and used that for the charcoal / wood grate and cut off the top for the lid. Then made some hanger brackets for rods to hang across to act as either hangers, or a shelf of expanded metal. That is the lower shelf. I am planning on doing the same for the top shelf. But am open for ideas. I have not done a drip, heat dispersion, water pan yet. Not sure I want to. I know that's a touchy subject, so feel free to give me opinions on that too. Also added two adjustable vents on both sides of the bottom and one on the lid. There's only one thermometer now. It's in the lid. I am thinking of putting another by the lower rack.

Lowered base



Nice bladder dude



Rookie fuel base venting



Adjustable side base vents, slides not installed.



Hanging rods and rack in. The upper marks are for another set of rods and rack. Maybe...


I ran out of welding wire and had to improvise the top vent.


Bubba's finished hat. (for now) The slide vent is stainless, but the reflection makes it look real dirty but it is tidy brushed stainless as are the bottom slide vents.



On it's trial run it held 200* for 5 hrs. with all vents closed. Reloaded it and ran it for 4 hrs at 220* with a couple of tri-tips and 2 halved chickens. I wanted to see how long it would hold temp, but everybody was hungry.

Criticize and comment away. Thanks much.
Jay
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sithlordsmoke
Newbie


Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 86
Location: Ramsey , MN

PostPosted: Mon May 04 09 2:55 am    Post subject: Lotsa bolts and lotsa grates Reply with quote

I'm finally building my UDS. I want to have two levels of cooking so I plan on putting in a heat/smoke diffuser. What I'm trying to figure out is how to put in and remove all the grates. I thought about it and it seems all the bolts for each level would make it difficult to do this. Do I need to unscrew the bolts for the upper grates to install and or remove the lower grates and vice versa??? I'm sort of trying to build a combination of the UDS mentioned in the first post and Alien BBQ's Diagram. The whole bolt and grate issue seems like it would be problematic.

Cory
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Char Grilla
BBQ Fan


Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Central Valley Cali

PostPosted: Mon May 25 09 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://modesto.craigslist.org/for/1179224136.html

I might start one of these. Will I be able to use the top?[/code]
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ShahBQ
Newbie


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 83
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05 09 4:35 am    Post subject: Re: Lotsa bolts and lotsa grates Reply with quote

sithlordsmoke wrote:
Do I need to unscrew the bolts for the upper grates to install and or remove the lower grates and vice versa??? I'm sort of trying to build a combination of the UDS mentioned in the first post and Alien BBQ's Diagram. The whole bolt and grate issue seems like it would be problematic.

Cory


From my understanding the grates just rest on the bolts, so you wouldn't need to unbolt anything to remove them they would just lift out.
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“All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say 'Yo Goober! Where's the meat?'. I'm trying to impress people here Lisa. You don't win friends with salad.” -Homer Simpson
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onexchef



Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Lafayette, LA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 6:10 pm    Post subject: Results of my 1st UDS build. Reply with quote

I asked around and found a used drum so I gave it a shot. It's not fancy but it works great. The hardest part was making sure it was free of any oil residue. I used some commercial degreaser, then the car wash, then burned it out, finally a wire brush on a drill. Maybe overkill but I wanted to be sure it was good to cook in. The rest was a breeze. The only must have for the build IMO is a step drill bit. I purchased a set of 2 @ harbor freight for ~ 15.00. The rest of the cost was ~ 120.00 but a some of that was for the cleaning part of the build.

So here she is.



I did 2 slabs of st. louis ribs as a test run. The came out pretty good.


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thevinoman
Newbie


Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18 09 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, the ribs look great! I am a real rookie here, so I would like to ask, how did you fit the two exhausts at the top on the lid, and what are the items toward the bottom? Handles, or? Thanks very much.
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ShahBQ
Newbie


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 83
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21 09 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thevinoman wrote:
Wow, the ribs look great! I am a real rookie here, so I would like to ask, how did you fit the two exhausts at the top on the lid, and what are the items toward the bottom? Handles, or? Thanks very much.


They are air intake valves to keep the fire going and control the heat. Smile
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“All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say 'Yo Goober! Where's the meat?'. I'm trying to impress people here Lisa. You don't win friends with salad.” -Homer Simpson
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gpdon



Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24 09 7:07 am    Post subject: Problems with an UDS draft Reply with quote

I have just built a UDS from a 55 gallon drum. I have 2 1 inch and 1 inch draft holes in the bottom. I have used a Weber lid for the top.
I am unable to keep the coals going and lose heat/temperature.
I think that I need a stack/chimney to keep a draft going thru.
My question is how big and how tall? Confused
If anyone can help I would appreciate it.
Thanks
Don
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