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How to Build a BBQ Smoker, An Ugly Drum

October 20th, 2009

It’s a manly urge that none of us can control.  The urge to create, to build, to justify buying tools…it runs deep within our manly souls.  Pair that urge with our deeply rooted desire to play with fire and you’ve got enough motivation to build a cooking vessel such as a smoker.  As you can plainly see from our website, we are primarily grilling guys.  Don’t know if you know this or not, but there is a HUGE difference between grilling and smoking.  Sure, you can smoke on a gas grill, but true “slow and low” barbecue normally is done in a smoker where you can smoke something at a constant 200 – 250 degrees for a long period of time.  It’s hard to beat a dedicated smoker, especially one built with your own hands!

There are many brands of smokers on the market.  I am sure there are some great ones out there, but the truly great smokers, ones that hold temperatures well with little fuss, cost a lot of money.  There in lies one of the main reasons I have never really gotten into smoking (meat, that is).  You see, if I bought a $1000 smoker, it better work well as a stove and fireplace because my wife would make me sleep outside with it.  The other reason I never really got into smoking is because it was always too much work.  I tried cheap smokers in the past and I spent hours in the yard trying to maintain a temperature.  It was WAY too stressful.

Is That a Trash Can?

The turning point in my barbecue life thus far was a party we were invited to at my friend Trey’s house.  The smell of barbecue that hit us as we walked up to the house was enough to wash away all of the ill will I had toward smokers and make me want to create some true, slow and low barbeque.  As we got a little closer to the house, we realized our barbecue was being cooked in what looked like a trash can!  Trey informed me that what I was looking at was referred to as an Ugly Drum Smoker or a UDS (makes it sound less redneck).  Built from a well, ugly drum, these smokers actually turn out to be very effective at holding temps.  Once I sampled the BBQ and got a closer look, the ugly drum started to appear beautiful to me through my BBQ-loving, tool collecting eyes.  I left that party knowing I NEEDED to build one of these things.  Coincidentally, this photo was taken before Trey, being the true ‘Tide fan he is, painted his smoker Alabama colors.  It’s no longer this “ugly”….

DSC04160DSC04156

This brings me to last weekend, standing in the back yard watching a raging fire, clutching a garden hose and praying that the grass wasn’t too dry and the neighbors didn’t call the fire department.   Once Trey found out I wanted to build an UDS, he was nice enough to find me a barrel on Craigslist.  $8 cash and I had my cooking vessel.  The only thing left was to clean it by fire, hence the inferno in the backyard.  But wait, is it really worth the effort to build one of these things?

But Is It Really a Good Smoker?

Controlling air flow is of utmost importance when choosing or building a smoker.  If you do not have precise control of the air flowing into the smoker, you will be chasing temperatures around all day.  That’s what makes these ugly drum smokers so great.  Since it is such a closed system, you can control the air flowing into the smoker just by adjusting the bottom vent holes.  The more air allowed into the smoker, the hotter it will get.  300 – 325 degrees is about the max, anything above that and you are grilling anyway.

Playing With Fire

So yes, it is worth it, it’s an awesome smoker so let’s get back to the backyard inferno.  Even if you get a barrel that is “food grade”, it may have had a plastic lining and that is no good for cooking either.  Regardless of the barrel or drum’s origins, you really need a big fire to be sure it’s clean.  By a “big” fire, I mean a “big, flames shooting out of the top, paint melting off of the outside inferno” of a fire!  I drove to a place I knew sells firewood (we live in Florida, it’s rare to need firewood), but they were out.  On the way out of their property I saw a few old pallets stacked in the corner.  When I asked the guy about them he said, “that’s just trash”.  When I asked it I could take them he responded with “Five dollars?”… “But you said they were trash”.  I  loaded up my free wood and was on my way!  Turns out, old pallets are perfect and after burning 2 of them in my new barrel, I was sure nothing could have survived inside and the paint on the outside didn’t fare too well either.  See the paint melting off by the bottom hole?  That’s what we are after.  Nothing survived this fire…

Ugly drum smoker burn

Let’s Get Down To It, How to Build An Upright Smoker

Ok, so I spent all of that intro time talking about fire because that is actually the hardest part to this whole project.  If you live in close proximity to your neighbors, you may want to warn them you are going to burn a big fire in the backyard so they don’t call the fire department!  So let’s break this down in order:

Tools and Materials:

  • 55 Gallon Drum with a removable lid and screw on cap (look on Craigslist, ask around at supermarkets, look in the yellow pages for “containers”, etc.)
  • 1 inch Step drill bit for drilling holes in metal.  This could be the most expensive part of the project, so check around and/or order online.  I was able to get one from Harbor Freight for $13, but Lowe’s had them for $30!
  • 22.5 inch Weber grill grate (Lowe’s has them, or online)
  • 4 – 1.5″ x 1/4″ bolts, 1/4″ nuts and 1/4″ lock washers (to mount your grate)
  • 3/4 inch brass ball valve, to control the air flow more precisely.  It’s optional when you are starting out, you can control air flow with as little as a refrigerator magnet partially covering the hole.
  • Fire basket (we’ll get to that later)
  • Pit (grill) thermometer
  • The FREE MeatTemps app for iPhone to make sure you are cooking your meat to the right doneness temperature (worked in a shameless plug!)

Ugly Drum Smoker Build Steps:

  1. Ok, let’s get to work.  First, we need to drill our 3/4 inch ventilation holes at the bottom of the drum.  To find the right spacing for the holes, wrap a string around the outside of the barrel to measure the circumference.  Now lay the string flat and measure to find the circumference.  For example, my 55 gallon drum has a circumference of about 69.5 inches.
  2. Divide your circumference by 3 and mark the string at each of those intervals (23.17″ in my case).  Drill each hole at that distance and 3″ above the base of the drum.
  3. If present, remove the seal around the inside lip of the lid.  It should be a rubber gasket and can be easily peeled off after starting it with a flat head screw driver.
  4. Now that your holes are drilled, burn that baby to clean it out!
  5. Now we want to mount our grate about 7 inches below the top of the drum to leave room for larger cuts of meat.  Using our same circumference string, divide it in 4 this time and drill holes for your 1/4 inch bolts at that interval (again, 17.38″ for my drum with a 69.5″ circumference).
  6. In each hole, install the bolt from the outside, place a lock washer on the inside of the bolt and tighten on a nut.  This will make a nice platform for your grate.

Smoking Whole Chickens

That’s about it for the drum!  That leaves the fire basket, the holder for your charcoal and wood that will go into the bottom of the drum.  The basket needs to provide a way for ash to fall through as the coal burns down, otherwise the ash will choke out the fire.  I was able to use the lid from an old 18″ smoker and drill holes for ventilation.  Most others build their own.  Here’s a pretty typical design using an old 18″ grill grate, some flexible metal from Lowe’s and a few bolts:

 

fire basket

Oh, one more thing. Don’t let the “ugly” in the ugly drum smoker stop you from getting creative!  I would say my ugly drum smoker isn’t that ugly these days.  Here she is representing the University of South Florida, GO BULLS!

Homemade Smoker

83 Responses

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Tbull

04-16-2010

ROLL FREAKIN TIDE MY BROTHER!! Love the UDS!!!

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roland c.

06-07-2010

How do u add more wood while smoking your meat? Do you have to pull all the meat out add wood the place it back?

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Steve

06-07-2010

Yes, you do have to remove the grates to add more wood/coals. I don’t normally need to though, I soak large chunks and place a few on the unlit coals to the side of the firebox. Remember, you don’t need a lot of smoke. Meat only absorbs the smoke for the first 2 hours (or so). Once the meat has sealed, there’s no more smoke absorption and you are wasting wood.

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Roland C

06-07-2010

Cool. Thanks for the info steve. I just started my own bbq team and have been in 2 local cookoffs, yes I did buy me one of them 2000.00 pits but I think it was worth it. I do need something like this which I would mainly use for chicken or sausage. Like I said I’ve been bar-b-q’n for bout a year and I caught the bbq bug right away. I think I’m doing well for a rookie cooker, ive placed. 1st place in ribs and 3rd in brisket, now hopefully by building one of these UDS I can place top 3 in chicken!!

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Steve

06-07-2010

Good luck in competition! If nothing else, it’s cool to cook on something you built with your own two hands.

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Greg

12-12-2010

I’m in NC and we build full sized pig cookers out of old 280 gallon sort of flat, long oil drums. Then once you’ve got the whole thing built, mount it on a trailer and you’ve got a cheap wood/charcoal cooker.

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Donald Jarman

12-29-2010

That is a nice looking smoker………….BUT It would look
GREAT IN CAROLINA BLUE…..GO TAR HEEL

Made one just like your…..it woks great…..Thanks

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Brandon Parker

02-02-2011

I have a weber top on my UDS, and wanted to know how far dow to place my grill mounts.

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Steve

02-02-2011

7 inches below the lip of the barrel seems to give the perfect distance from the fire box below. The Weber lid will allow you to cook taller stuff like whole turkeys. Fire it up!

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EmyLou

02-24-2011

Hey Steve, I’ve just bought my first Steel Drum and want to make a smoker for this summer, British weather permitting or not.
I wanted to ask about the comment Roland C made above regarding adding more wood etc during the smoking process? I was thinking what if i cut a small ‘door’ at the bottom of the drum and added hinges, then i could open and add more wood etc, would this work? Please help total smoker virgin!!!!!

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Steve

02-24-2011

Great question. I would recommend NOT cutting a door into the drum. I have tried that and found it very difficult to do so and still maintain the sealed environment that allows you to control temperature. You want the only air coming into the smoking chamber to be from the holes at the bottom and (of course) the exhaust at the top. Creating a door often lets too much air in and will drive you crazy trying to maintain a constant temperature.

Also, I haven’t had a need for a door. I can smoke in my current ugly drum at 225 for over 6 hours with one load of charcoal and wood. I do so by opening the exhaust hole on top and only one hole open on the bottom of the smoker. If the temp dips too low, I open a second hole in the bottom until I see the temp rise and then close the second hole immediately.

Hope this helps and let us know how it turns out!
Steve

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EmyLou

02-25-2011

Hey Steve thanks for the advice! I understand now, Well the Drum should be with me any day now I am so excited. No doubt i will be back to ask a few more questions as the building process continues I hope thats ok? Pulled Pork sandwiches this summer! I

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Vanessa

03-03-2011

can you post a picture of the lid?

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Steve

03-03-2011

Here, I just took a quick shot of it (click on the image for a larger view). The large hole stays open as the exhaust during smoking. I have never opened the smaller hole. The handle came from a crappy smoker’s lid that I stole from the neighbor’s garage sale :)
As requested, shot of the smoker lid. Large hole is exhaust, ... on Twitpic

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Nils

04-06-2011

What do you think about a new galvanized metal trash can being turned into a smoker?

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Don

04-10-2011

hi, just built one of these uds but i’m having a hard time getting the temp down to 225. how much fuel should i use to start and how much should be in the basket for a long cook time. any help would be great. thanks

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Steve

04-10-2011

Hi Don. After playing with these UDS’s for a while, I don’t think the amount of fuel effects the temperature as much as it does the length of time you can cook without having to add more fuel. I usually light and burn down a chimney full of coals until they show white ash on the top and then fill the rest of the basket with unlit coals.

As for temperature, it can be a pain to maintain a low temp if there is too much oxygen entering the chamber. For 225, I usually only need to have one of the breathing holes on the bottom open, along with the exhaust hole on the lid. Make sure everything else is air tight, most importantly the additional holes on the bottom. Also, don’t open the lid unless absolutely necessary. That rush of air will make the temps spike and take a while to level out again.

Keep playing with it and you’ll find what works for your UDS. Most of the time, the culprit is the additional holes. Even a small gap around the hole and screw, cap or whatever you are using to plug the holes will let in too much air.

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Steve

04-10-2011

I don’t know. I suspect they aren’t thick enough, so wouldn’t hold up that well or be as insulated. Try it and let us know!

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Mark

04-19-2011

@Nils – my understanding is – no galvanized near heat/food. The off-gassing it goes through under high temps (i.e., around the fire-box) is rather toxic. I have read some how-to’s that say just torch it to release any gasses ahead of time (usually for minimal-exposure galvanized pieces, like a nut or bolt in a larger steel construction) – but in general, everything I’ve read says it’s a no-no.

Hope that helps!

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Julian Burnell

05-11-2011

Firstly, Awesome looking smoker, congratulations!!!

Secondly, Sorry to sound really thick here, im from the UK (we dont have great grill out weather, especially in the summer these days ;-)and would love to build a BBQ smoker, unfortunately im not quite understanding how/where the grill pit thermometer should be fixed/located and if there are any special concerns that should be addressed with its installation/’housing’. One last thing with the painting of it, should a specific type of paint be used ?

Cheers!!!
ps any chance of ‘us’ slipping over the ocean to enjoy one of your lush looking BBQ’s, we’ve got a tent and we’ll bring some beer!!!

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Steve

05-11-2011

Hi Julian. Thanks for the compliments. We would love to have you out to one of our tailgates for college football! Let us know if you are ever over it in the Summer during the season.

I put the pit thermometer as close as possible to the cooking surface so I can monitor the heat right at the meat (or the meat heat?). Mine is meant to be mounted to the lid of a grill or smoker, so only the probe end goes into the pit and exposed to heat, so no real special consideration there.

As for paint, I would use a high temp paint if you can find it. I have not used high temp yet because I can’t find it in the colors I want to paint the smoker. As a result, I have to repaint about twice a year to keep it looking good. Regular spray paint fades quite a bit it seems.

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Julian Burnell

05-11-2011

Hey Steve, honestly, it’s my complete pleasure, your smoker is truly a work of art .. and thank you so much for the ‘open invite’ sounds fabulous, that’s definitely going on my ‘bucket list’, a college football tailgate in Florida in the summer time, with expert BBQ’ers, sounds like paradise to me :-).

Thanks so much for your help and advice on the thermometer and paint job, it is really appreciated…

You’ve also given me some great colour ideas, my daughter studied at ISU Ames for 3 semesters, 2009-2010 and loved every minute of it, she has some great photos of tailgate grill-outs at Jack Trice Stadium … So if i ever get this project completed mine is going to be Cardinal & Gold … GO CYCLONE’S…

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Brenda

06-06-2011

Hey guys great looking smoker! I know Im a girl but I love to bbq, I am the queen of the bbq in fact. LOL!! We are making a bbq/smoker out of 2 barrels and we want to turn them on their sides, any advise you can offer us?

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Craig

07-05-2011

Ok, you talk about the pit temp., but how do you keep track of the meat temp. without opening the lid?

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Anthony

07-09-2011

In the picture of the chickens smoking whats the bolts above them?

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Russ

07-13-2011

I was wondering how long you had to let the drum burn clean? I am building mine as a separate attached unit to a 26 x 25 x 32 steel stud framed, hardwood sheeted concoction i call the frankensmoker. my drum had 75w motor oil in it. I washed it out with gasoline then burnt it twice for about 3 hrs each time…..still a little apprehensive though.

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Steve

07-13-2011

Tough question. Even for drums that carried food products, I fill mine to the top with broken up wood and then light the thing and let it burn down. This gets it hot enough that I can just spray the outside with water and strip the paint right off. I can’t imagine anything would have survived in that thing once it is red hot for an hour or so.

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Steve

07-14-2011

With a probe thermometer like the Maverick smoker thermometer.

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Steve

07-14-2011

There aren’t any above them. There are bolts right below them to hold the grate.

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Eli

07-27-2011

it that lid a lever locking lid or does it just pop on and off?

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Steve

07-27-2011

It does not lock.

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Eli

07-27-2011

Well i am getting a barrel that does lock but there are no holes in the lid so do you have and tips on how to make vents in the lid?

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Steve

07-28-2011

Sure. All you need is a single hole in the top for exhaust. Drill a 2.5″ diameter hole in the top and that should be enough to vent the smoke out the top. You’ll want to fine something to plug the hole as well, so that you can snuff out the remaining coals when you are done cooking. Hope this help!

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Eli

07-28-2011

thank you when i am done building i will probably ask more questions thanks again

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Steve

07-28-2011

No problem, ask away! Good luck.

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Doug

08-08-2011

Steve, thanks for sharing this idea! Even after a year, you’re still answering questions. Kudos to you!
Anyway, I finished mine today and I tally the price around $80 in all. That metal for the side of the fire basket was spendy… Still, the cheapest smoker at Lowes was $140, but as you said, it would not do well.
To my question, you answered Don’s question about fuel on 4/10/11 above, talking about lighting part of the coals, then filling up the basket with unlit coals. How much wood was to be added to that for the smoking portion?

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Steve

08-08-2011

Congratulations on finishing the project! Now it is time to make some BBQ. I start with 4 chunks of wood, about 3″ long. If you have chips, about 2 cups or so. Good luck!

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Chris

09-07-2011

Hey Steve,
My friends and I are college football players in Ohio and we are lookin to build an ugly drum for our party house, and also because I’m a big grill enthusiast even though I’m only 21 haha. Anyways, I got the concept of the drum but what thermometer did you use? and did it have a wing nut mount on the back of it? Whats the price range for it? Thanks man!

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Steve

09-07-2011

Hey Chris. Search for a BBQ pit thermometer on the Internet. I actually found my current thermometer at Walmart, around where they carry the grills. I think mine was around $20. Yes, they have a nut on the back to secure it to the drum. Good luck on your project and let me know if you come up with other questions!
Steve

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Chris

09-07-2011

Ok cool, thanks. Now as far as the brass ball valve system, would you mind explaining how that goes in? Or if magnets are fine to use then are there any type of special magnets to use because of the heat? Thanks again!

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Bob

09-07-2011

I have a UDS in my backyard that was built very similar to yours. Just a couple thoughts. When building use Stainless Steel bolts, washers, and nuts. This prevents the possibility of anything comming from the zinc coating on the cheap stuff. If you cant use SS then I believe Muratic Acid will remove the zinc from the steel.
For an extra couple bucks theres no need to chance anything. Also dont use galvanized anything near heat and food. As one person said it will outgas toxins. Those toxins are from the lead coating they use to galvanize the metal with.
For mine I found an old Weber kettle grill at an estate sale that I was able to use the lid and grates.

Enjoy the Smoke!!

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Steve

09-07-2011

I really don’t think the ball valve is that useful. I need to update the article, but lately I have been using screw-in plugs from Lowes (near the PVC and plumbing stuff). To maintain 225, I just plug all of the holes but one. If the temp starts to drop, I remove another plug until the temp starts to rise and immediately close down to one open hole again. I guess I am just cheap, but those ball valves are expensive and I prefer to keep mine simple these days.

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Bobby

10-13-2011

Steve,
I have enjoyed reading all the posts and advice. Do you add a water basin to the UDS? It seems like most other vertical smokers have a water basin. Is the water basin not important?

Bobby

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Steve

10-13-2011

Thanks Bobby! If you notice from the photos, mine has two sets of bolts to hold two grates about 6 – 7 inches apart, starting about the same distance down from the top. I put a water tray on the second one, but off to the side so that the fat can drip down to the fire (for flavor!). You don’t have to use water, but it is probably a good idea to keep moisture in the smoking chamber.

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Patrick

10-14-2011

Steve, Is it possible to have 3 racks? If so would I need a diffuser with either 2 or 3 racks? And lastly will the juices dripping into the diffuser still have the same effect as onto the coals?

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Steve

10-14-2011

I have never tried it, but if you did do 3, one would be getting pretty close to the fire so yes you would probably need a diffuser. Not sure what the diffuser would do to the capabilities of the smoker though.

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Duane

12-31-2011

Hi Steve. Great article. How do you recommend getting the ash out of the bottom of the smoker?

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Steve

01-01-2012

Hi Duane. Thanks. I don’t have any secret to getting the ash our of the bottom. Once the smoker cools, I hose out the barrel and let it sit upside down to dry. I do not use soap on the inside, just a stream of water from the hose.

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Charlie

01-16-2012

Great article and very impressive that you still check it and answer replies after all this time. I live in a place where a “flames shooting out of the top inferno” would not go over very well and might even be illegal (Southern CA). Can the drum be prepared/cleaned using a propane torch?

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Steve

01-16-2012

Hi Charlie. Yes, as long as you get it hot enough that should be fine. My rule is to get it hot enough on the inside to melt the paint off on the outside when you spray it with water on the outside. The goal is to burn anything off that remains inside.

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Ray

01-25-2012

Thanks for sharing your experience with the UDS. I too built one about two years ago and it works great. Duane asked how to get the ash out of the barrel after smoking. I once tried using my shop vac to suck it out, but this is not recommended since the fine ash quickly stops up the filter. The solution I found that works great is to build an ash pan that sits under your fire basket. I welded two pieces of re-bar, opposite of each other on the fire pan just long enough so you can reach in and pull the ash pan out quite easily but not so long that they would hit the bottom of the grill. I would include pictures but I am not sure how to do this on this site.

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Steve

01-25-2012

Nice modification! Email us the photos and I will share them here.

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Steve

01-25-2012

My fire box is actually the lid from one of the cheap water smokers (got it at a garage sale and drill holes). I think it is 18″ in diameter and about the same tall.

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Steve

01-27-2012

Here photos of Ray’s smoker and custom ash pan. I love the wheels. Mine is on a dolly, but I’m going to build the wheels in next time.
ugly drum smoker
smoker photos

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Paul B

03-21-2012

I built a smoker in metal shop many years ago when I was in high school, and it had a side box for the wood. I cut the piece for the door out, then mild steel welded small flanges on the outside to seal the door back up, and it worked great. You could add more fuel and smoking packets without loosing too much heat. I used a 55 gallon drum for the body, and laid it on it’s side and cut it length ways. The heat box was added to one side of the bottom, and had a shelf to put the wood on, and allow the ashes to fall. I used a brass water faucet for the air intake, so I could open/close it to get the right amount of air flow (use an oven mitt to touch it, as it will get warm). And I added a small exhaust 2″ hole if I remember correctly, with a cone rain cover over it.

My dad had that old smoker until the EF-5 destroyed my hometown 5 years ago. If I had access to metal working tools and a welder, I would make myself one again.

I think you could modify the bottom of your UDS to allow for the adding of more fuel easily enough (even make a fire basket that you could sit the smoker body down over if you wanted too, handles on the side would be required though). A simple fireplace handle could be used as the lever to open/close the door. You could drill a small hole through the side of the door opposite of the hinge, and put the handle through there. You can make the handle/lever either a c shape or a z either one will work. I used an old fireplace poker I picked up at a garage sale to make my handle, so get creative about it. :)

At the moment I have a frankengrill made from 2 brinkmen smoke n grills. http://www.barbecue-smoker-grill.com/vechsmgr.html the 2nd and 3rd ones really erm… Frankensteined together. I put the legs of the cheaper one on the fire pan of the more expensive one, and double stacked the bodies together. I have a bad back, so bending over very far is not an option for me, and it leaves the top at a comfortable height for me. There is a newsgroup on grilling/smoking (or used to be, I haven’t checked it for years), that also talked about adding a metal pipe to the water pan so you could add water to the smoker without loosing heat.

On using a galvanized can for a smoker, yes, that is a very bad idea. My father does metal salvage, and we hated working with tin because of the fumes it puts off when you get it hot, and studies have shown that exposure to those fumes can cause Parkinson’s disease, so we only cut tin outside, and stood upwind of it while cutting.

Sorry for rambling on so much, it’s smoking/grilling weather here if it ever stops raining, and I’m ready to go.

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Paul B

03-21-2012

Oh, by the way, speaking of diffusers. I used the bottom rack of the second smoke n grill to hold lava rocks to help even the heat out, and help maintain the heat when I add more charcoal. I’ve smoked large roasts in this contraption, and it works fine. I’ve always enjoyed pecan wood more than other options myself, but that’s a personal choice for every smoker.

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DON

03-22-2012

HEY STEVE HOW TALL SHOULD THE FIRE BASKET.

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Steve

03-22-2012

Hi Don. Mine is about 16 – 18 inches deep.

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Steve

03-22-2012

Good idea, thanks!

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Yan

03-31-2012

Hi there. I’m totally new at this smoking thing and was wondering if you guys can help me.
Question, once the charcoal is lighted and burning down to an ember, do we then put the wood chips directly on top in order to flavour the meat? Or is it on a separate rack entirely? Or do we burn the wood along with the charcoal? Need the wood chips be soaked in water before use then? Thanks guys. Any help is much appreciated.

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Steve

04-02-2012

Hi Yan. I put the wood right on top of the coals, just before I put the meat on to smoke. Some say soaking the wood chips doesn’t make a difference, but I always try to soak them for 30 minutes or so before smoking. Good luck!
Steve

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Yan

04-09-2012

Thanks. :-)

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MikeBennett

10-01-2012

Hi guys,Greetings from Darkest Cornwall Uk,While in the Royal Navy I visited the USA and had a whale of a time,wish I could go back to visit Great Land with Great People.Anyway I want to make a Hot Smoker BBQ using a 45 gallon Drum,burning out is no problem here just get and do it,is there any how can I say paper plans to build a Hot Smoker BBQ,and it has to be simple and easy,not so good with tools,old ager creeping closer by the day,next month is another one of those milestones we get every year.
I tried a upright Tube type cold smoker and what a waste of time,all the fish I caught were dumped and the smoker returned to the owner,I want something that will do the smoking bit as well as cooking the items be it meat fish or whatever so any help would be great,anyway Guys Happy Smokin,and may your fire never go out,ONEN HAG OL, ONE AND ALL, Cornish Motto.

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Roger

11-19-2012

Steve! Based almost solely on your design, my 12-year-old and I built us a UDS last Saturday. I competed in my neighborhood competition this Saturday. Without any cooking or testing I jumped right in. I entered three out of four categories and I won 1st place in two (chicken and pork shoulder). It was amazing! My fave was my Eastern NC style BBQ (I have never even cooked a shoulder). Judges said it was “by far the best.” And to top it all off, everyone went nuts over my UDS. Did I mention that I beat out a guy that competes on the southern BBQ circuit and was smoking in a $3000 smoker? Thanks!!!

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Steve

12-01-2012

Yeah! Awesome.

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scott

12-07-2012

What are the exact dimensions of the fire basket?

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Steve

12-07-2012

Mine is 18 inches.

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