Build Help

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by infantej, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. infantej

    infantej Newbie

    I have been lurking the last couple days trying to figure out my build and could use some help and deciding how/what to build.  I have been smoking on a very old weber kettle.  The problem is the legs rusted out and the bottom dampers are basically gone which makes controlling heat difficult.  My thinking has been to re-purpose the kettle by making a fire box below it and cutting hole in the bottle of the kettle.  Making a fire box out of a metal filing cabinet seems like a good idea because I can pull the drawer out to add coals/wood.  Is this something people have done or would work.  Am I better off building a mini-WSM and just reusing the lid and parts from my kettle?  With that build, how do you add more coals?  Thanks for any direction.  The weather is turning here in Michigan so I am looking forward to smoking some meat. 
  2. Hello and Welcome.  Michigan.  Well I now live in England.  Texas to England so I think I understand some of your smoking problems: rain and snow.  I can only give you my solution.  I plan a propane fuelled fridge build.  Reasons:

    Electric:  In a rainey/snowy climate?  MAY require a new breaker.  Requires an outside outlet unless you have indoor facilities.  Is NON portable unless the place you are going can provide the above.  Can't take that to the beach.

    Charcoal:  Heat control in wet weather.  You have to keep checking.  Where /how do you start a new chimney to add coals when it is raining/snowing outside?

    Propane:  Heat control is possible in a couple ways but oven controls are readily available and easy to use.  Set and forget like an oven.  Just need to understand the timing on you smoke generator.  You can start the generator in the dry of your garage.

    Fridge build:  A fridge is a sealed insulated unit.  If it's cold outside, if it's raining/snowing outside "in theory" the interior of the unit should not be affected.  Add a mailbox mod for cold smoking and you should be off and running.  Mount it on a trailer and off you go.  Beach; Here we come!

    Just my thoughts.  Keep Smokin!

  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    That Weber lid fits right on top of the drum with a little easy modification. You can use almost every part of the kettle in this. Super easy and they work super good. You already have a lot of the parts to make this UDS. Or ugly drum smoker. Rather than screwing around cobbling up something from a file cabinet. Just saying. Drums are free if you shop around. I live in a wet environment and this thing chugs along at 225 or so for 22 plus hours on 11 pounds of charcoal. No tending. No screwing around. Just good.
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    this is the fire basket and as you can see pretty darn easy to construct and no welding required. Used the coal grate from a weber grill and the bottom of a rusted out propane tank and some bolts, expanded metal. Load it up and go for 30 hours or more all the way full.
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have about 90 bucks in mine total. Still looking for a good weber lid for it for free or really really cheap and in good shape but it works just fine with the flat lid that came on the drum too. It has made a heck of a lot of good darn cooking in the over 3 years since I threw it together. I used new top notch Weber hinged grates in it and that is the only reason I have more than 49.99 in it. I would highly suggest you look at the UDS section of this website for some ideas. Like I said, I wish I had your lid and grate. I would build another one.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  6. infantej

    infantej Newbie

    Is there a reason you don't use the base of the webber kettle like you would with a mini-wsm?  I guess I don't understand how you would add coals/wood if necessary with a uds.  Do you just lift the drum off?
  7. infantej

    infantej Newbie

    I've decided to build a mini-wsm as I like the small size.  I ordered two IMUSA pots but unfortunately have to wait a week to get them.  Maybe someday I will build a UDS if I need for smoking space. 

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