UDS Planning stage

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by earthquake5683, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Hey all,

    I picked up 3 55-gallon drums with brown lining a few months back but have been busy with work and home improvement projects.  Been reading a lot and trying to get some consolidated info.  Going to build my fire basket (actually doing 2 of everything to help a buddy that is deployed). 

    I see some people use around a 13.5" basket/8-9" high and some use 17-18"+.  Can you post:

    size of basket

    average burn times at a given temp

    size and number of intake/exhaust holes

    ?  I do a lot of pork butt in my MES and sometimes takes 24+ hours at 225deg.   

    How many pork butts do you think you could fit on a 2 rack UDS?

    I'm going to consolidate some info and start my post within a week or so.  The wife is getting me some pallets from her work for the burn out.  The other option would be some old wood I have in the garage (treated).  That brings up something interesting I read.  A lot of pallets use treated wood.  Not sure if external links are authorized here but....


    Thanks for the info and I look forward to sharing my build.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Depending on the size of the butts you can get 3-4 per rack.

    My basket is about 12"x10". I light one side (3-4) briquettes I can get 20+ hours at 225.
  3. mjeffcoat

    mjeffcoat Fire Starter

    Make sure all the brown lining is burned off before you cook with it. You could also blast it off but either way you need a clean metal surface to begin with.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Before doing your burn out drill all the holes you need for air intakes. This will help the fire burn hot.

    On a side note the last UDS I built I had sand blasted out and then I had the outside of the drum and lid powder coated. The powder coater did both. $25, to blast the drum, $50 to powder coat total $75.

    That liner may not come out with just burning so be prepared to do some grinding. The abrasive pads on an angle grinder work better than wire wheels.
  5. I took a little propane torch to the lining when i got them home and it burnt right off. Went and got the step drill bits yesterday to drill my intake holes.
  6. Sounds like your off to a good start. I am not sure of the size of my fire basket but I have done over 24 hours on a basket. You can't make the basket to large but you can make it to small. As Case said depends on size of butt 3 or 4 per rack.

    Happy smoken.

  7. David, what's the ammo can for?  Assuming a cold smoke generator?
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I made my basket extra large. I have done near 30 hours and there was still some fuel left over. that is at 225-250. If you get your expanded metal at one of the big box stores it comes 24 inches high if I remember right. Don't forget the ash pan. Have fun with the liner in there. not.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015

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