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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
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,519

    Default Building a basic drum smoker (UDS)

    This is to build a no frills UDS....

    1-1" holesaw or stepbit
    1-3/4" nipple
    1-3/4" ballvalve
    2 fridge magnets for intakes
    3 handles w/ sheetmetal screws
    22" Weber grate
    17" charcoal grate
    3-2" x 1/4 bolts with double nuts for grate holder
    12" x 24" expando
    3-3 1/2" x 3/8 bolts with double nuts and fender washers for basket feet
    4-1/4" x 1" bolts with nuts and double washers for charcoal basket
    Bailing wire to tie expando to charcoal grate.
    Heavy gage wire for basket handle
    If your not using the 2" bung for an exhaust, you'll need a 1/2 drill bit or step bit to drill exhaust holes in lid.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illnois
    Posts
    239

    Default

    The PVC exhaust doesn't melt from all the heat??? I always thought you wanted multiple holes on the top to help regulate the temp too...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    The PVC works, but it tends to get a little soft at higher heats. I use a steel nipple and coupler on mine. My lid is heavy, but I know how to handle it. The holes in the top are for exhaust only, you adjust the temps with the intakes. Granted, the holes at the top will allow higher temps and smaller adjustments at the intakes.
    The holes are a pain to me because I leave mine outside and 1 hole is better than 8 when your trying to keep the elements out.
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    forks Washington
    Posts
    289

    Default

    Bubba

    Thanks for the tip on using the magnets i was thinking last weekend that the wet weather we have here in the northwest is gonna be a problem i think the magnets will help out a lot i have been using food grade grease on the nipples to try and keep the rust off but its a losing battle i like the magnet idea

    thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pattison, TX
    Posts
    6,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joneser View Post
    The PVC works, but it tends to get a little soft at higher heats. I use a steel nipple and coupler on mine. My lid is heavy, but I know how to handle it. The holes in the top are for exhaust only, you adjust the temps with the intakes. Granted, the holes at the top will allow higher temps and smaller adjustments at the intakes.
    The holes are a pain to me because I leave mine outside and 1 hole is better than 8 when your trying to keep the elements out.
    Quote Originally Posted by salmonclubber View Post
    Bubba

    Thanks for the tip on using the magnets i was thinking last weekend that the wet weather we have here in the northwest is gonna be a problem i think the magnets will help out a lot i have been using food grade grease on the nipples to try and keep the rust off but its a losing battle i like the magnet idea

    thanks again

    joneser, {steel nipple} yeah me too. Andd I use a 2 inch cap to shut 'er down and keep out the elements.

    salmon, I use Rustoleum paint on nipples and caps to fend off rust.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illnois
    Posts
    239

    Default

    So im thinking a ball valve for the intake, and just holes with magnets covering on the top..... would this setup work??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    2,661

    Default

    A ball valve and magnet would work. SmokyOkie used a large magnet for his lid, but the heat warped it over time. Just so you know.

    The lids for my drums have 2 large holes for exhaust. I just use 2 bricks to close them off after a smoke session.

    For the intakes, I used 3/4" pipe nipples with 1" round magnets. I have a ball valve, but wanted to see if something like that would work, and it does. But I have to bend down to adjust it. Oh, the thing I do for the 'cue.
    Rob - TX Sandman
    Plank Owner, TQJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pattison, TX
    Posts
    6,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky8926 View Post
    So im thinking a ball valve for the intake, and just holes with magnets covering on the top..... would this setup work??
    Holes w/ magnets would work. Or you could use some screw in plugs. I'm gonna build a few today, some w/ screw-in bungs and some I'll have to vent myself. I'm thinkin' I'll use a hole saw to cut a 2'" hole and screw in a 2" short pipe nipple w/ cap to shut 'er down. My .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,729

    Default

    I have six 1" holes for exhaust in my lid and use the same thing used on BDS smokers, snap-in caps available at your favorite "Big Box" home improvement store. Just snap them in the holes when ready to snuff the fire. I've built several this way, they all cook fine.
    I use a single 3/4" ball valve as the intake, it gives all the air you need.
    Last cook my drum ran 340-350F with no problem and I had the ball valve partially closed.
    I am not a fan of using the bung as the exhaust. Not enough area. These drums need to "draw" to get the temperatures you want.
    My
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

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