couple questions about building a UDS

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bigdale, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. bigdale

    bigdale Fire Starter

    I have decided I want to build one and I have most everything I need on the farm to do it. first question, do you simply cut a 2 inch hole that you can open and close in the top to vent and open it all the way up when smoking? I have a ball valve and such for the intake but the exhaust has me kind of baffled. also, I don't have a webber grill to steal the lid off of but seeing as I smoke alot of ribs could I get by putting 2 racks pretty close together to double the amount of ribs I can cook at once? If it won't work I guess I could go the rib rack route
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I put three 1" 1/4" vents on my lid in a triangle pattern open all the time. Let that blue smoke roll! [​IMG]
  3. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Top vents open all the time. Regulate with the intakes. Two racks work great.
    Build the thing and send us Qview. Good luck
  4. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    From memory, the original design (a link to another Q site can be provided if you don't have it) had you drill 8 - 1/2" holes in a circular pattern into your lid. As an alternative, a lot of folks (including me) put a piece of pipe into their 2" bung hole for the open top barrel and removable lids they use. One pipe.

    That is enough exhaust. Heat is regulated by the vents in the bottom. Too much exhaust space and the thing can start drawing from the top and run hot and stay hot. My lid has 2 of the 2" holes and if I leave them both open, one will draw, the other vent and I can get a hot fire going with all the vents on the bottom fully closed.

    You can put in two racks. Without a dome lid, I would not put the top rack much closer than 8 inches from the top of the drum. Second lid 8 inches or so below that if you ever want to do mass quantities of pork butts, etc. For ribs only, enough distance for clearance. Remember with two racks, you will have to dismantle the stacks of racks to foil, etc, and all that takes time. Time with the lid open, during which the fire below is going to take off from the breath of fresh air.

    If you go with more than one rack, do consider putting a baffle system above the charcoal basket to direct the heat away from the center of the drum. You will get a hot spot above the charcoal. A removable lid off a 30 gallon drum works for this or a plate of flat steel. Also consider a drip pan on top of the baffle to keep all that grease out of the fire.

    Lastly, a lot of us put a pan under the charcoal. Catches ash, but also grease that falls and creates a mess in the bottom of the drum. Again, a removable lid off a 30 gallon drum works well for this.

    The original design had the grease drip onto the charcoal to be burned. You can do that with only one butt, brisket, rack of ribs, etc. But fill a drum up with full and multiple racks and a lot of grease will get by and head to the bottom.
  5. bigdale

    bigdale Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone, I will probably start it in the next week or so and I will try to get some pics
  6. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    great info hog warden! i can't remember if i ever seen the link to that other q site could you post that so i can check it out? thanks!
  7. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

  8. forktender

    forktender Meat Mopper

    You might want to think about placing a old steel wheel in the bottom of the drum. place a 20 disc off of some old farm equipment for your burn platform.
    12-16" above that take a 16 -18 '' disc and mount it to the barrel with two steel rods . this will serve as your heat deflector,you can also place a foil pan of water on it ,if you feel the need.
  9. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thx Warden for the link!
  10. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All you need to know about building one is right there. [​IMG]


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