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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,519

    Default Building a basic drum smoker (UDS)

    Seems the need for a basic build tutorial.
    Let me say, i am not the inventer of the UDS. I learned from many masters before me, but have built and cooked enough on them to know how they work!


    Here's your basic build for a UDS.

    Start by dividing your drum into 3 segments and draw a level line from top to bottom.




    Now mark and drill 1" holes, 2" from the bottom for your intakes. The step bits are nice but expensive. I prefer a good 1" holesaw. I can get about 3 barrels cut before the bit fails.




    Mark 7" from the top and drill 1/4" holes for the cooking grate bolts




    I use 1/4" x 2" bolts for my grate support




    Install 3-3/4" close nipples (thread right into a nicely cut hole) with caps and a 3/4" ball valve for your intakes.
    I have actually switched over to magnets for this.
    Cheaper and no rust/ knock-off problems.




    By imn88fan

    Firebasket consists of a 12" x 24" piece of expando that was cut in half, rolled and fastened in a circle and attached to a grate with 3-3 1/2x3/8 bolts installed as feet to keep the basket off the bottom of the barrel for better circulation. I find the 17" Weber charcoal grates work the best for this!



    A Weber 22 1/2" replacement grate works best but the $9.00 knock-offs work fine.


    By imn88fan

    Exhaust can be either the 2" bung in the lid or drill 8 1/2" holes evenly spaced around the lid.


    By imn88fan

    Shelf mod...a couple of 4" shelf brackets work great!




    Handles and an 8" piece of PVC for an exhaust...(check the dollar store for these handles!)



    Weber Kettle lid and fat mans intake extension handle mod...







    Don't let the simplcity fool ya, drums do VERY well at comps.!


    By imn88fan

    I will attempt to add a full parts list soon but as you can see, especially if you go the magnet route, you can build a nice smoker for under a hundred bucks!

    __________________
    Rubbed, Smoked and Sauced BBQ Team sponsored by Barsleaks/Rislone
    Authorized Backwoods dealer.
    B.O.D. GLBBQA
    Pitmaster - Lockharts BBQ of Royal Oak
    Owner-Great Lakes BBQ Supply Co.

    I don't know what the actual temp is, but it cooks the way I want it to, so I don't guess it really matters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Billings, MT
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Great tutorial Bubba. Your information and input from many others certainly helped me with my build!

    What have you found to be the best material to use for a side shelf?

    http://facebook.com/yvBBQa

    85 Gallon Black UDS - "Dokie"
    55 Gallon Black UDS - "Meat Dawg"
    30" Black MES
    Weber Gensis E-320
    Weber Smokey Joe

    I like pig butts and I cannot lie . . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    3,034

    Default

    Excellent tutorial Bubba!!!!

    KISS approach, keep it simple stupid
    MEMBER: BERGIE BBQ team 2011, 2012.




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Benbrook, TX
    Posts
    684

    Default

    Grate, errrr, great post!

    Since you are using it this is a silly question, but the PVC exhaust works ok for ya? Never thought about using it.

    I will be building two more drums sometime soon.
    Chuck

    http://cookinwithchuck.blogspot.com Updated 01/10/10

    Midnight Blue Smokers - Ft. Worth, Texas

    Q Joint Plank Owner.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nascarchuck View Post
    Grate, errrr, great post!

    Since you are using it this is a silly question, but the PVC exhaust works ok for ya? Never thought about using it.

    I will be building two more drums sometime soon.
    Works great!
    A couple guys have had to replace theres after some high heat cooks but works great for low and slow.
    Much lighter than a steel nipple!
    Rubbed, Smoked and Sauced BBQ Team sponsored by Barsleaks/Rislone
    Authorized Backwoods dealer.
    B.O.D. GLBBQA
    Pitmaster - Lockharts BBQ of Royal Oak
    Owner-Great Lakes BBQ Supply Co.

    I don't know what the actual temp is, but it cooks the way I want it to, so I don't guess it really matters.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Texas Panhandle
    Posts
    15

    Default

    I was told that the gray pvc that is used for underground conduit has a higher temp rating than white pvc used for water lines. Anybody know if that is true, or if the gray is more toxic? Any electricians out there?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyRich View Post
    I was told that the gray pvc that is used for underground conduit has a higher temp rating than white pvc used for water lines. Anybody know if that is true, or if the gray is more toxic? Any electricians out there?
    CPVC is for higher temps, but also higher priced. The Schedule 40 is cheap and works as long as you don't let it get much over 400
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyRich View Post
    I was told that the gray pvc that is used for underground conduit has a higher temp rating than white pvc used for water lines. Anybody know if that is true, or if the gray is more toxic? Any electricians out there?
    Whats giving off toxins? The exhaust temp is probably less than 200* exiting the pipe.
    Rubbed, Smoked and Sauced BBQ Team sponsored by Barsleaks/Rislone
    Authorized Backwoods dealer.
    B.O.D. GLBBQA
    Pitmaster - Lockharts BBQ of Royal Oak
    Owner-Great Lakes BBQ Supply Co.

    I don't know what the actual temp is, but it cooks the way I want it to, so I don't guess it really matters.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Dunlap, IL
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chargrilled View Post
    Excellent tutorial Bubba!!!!

    KISS approach, keep it simple stupid
    Are you kidding me! Why has it taken me so long to start a build.

    Tell me more about barrell linings.....are there some drums I want to avoid?
    "Maybe just one more last one."

    Chargriller w/SFB
    GE "over the range" microwave oven
    Billy Mays "set it and forget it, as seen on TV" rotersirre oven
    Ugly Drum by Jonser

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    Tommy, more than likely, you'll encounter a barrel with an orange spray in liner. This only serves to protect the steel from corrosion. If a barrel hels something oil based, you'll probably find bare steel. My first drum held lube grease and had a thick plastic bag liner in it. When I pulled it out, I had a clean bare steel drum. Good Luck on your hunt for a drum!
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

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