UDS Weber Lid Mod

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by ddave, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After months of searching, I finally found a donor Weber kettle to use for the UDS lid mod.

    Here they are getting to know each other.

    It is an older kettle, not a One Touch. I may save the bottom to use for another lid mod. Use an existing drum lid and attach what is left of the bottom to it.

    But on this one, I wanted to use the bottom ring so I can just set the Weber lid on it. (Bubba mod [​IMG] )

    I cut the top couple of inches off of the kettle bottom -- or rather -- had a friend with the tools (and skills) do it for me.

    The ring is slightly smaller than the inside of the drum so getting it to fit and stay straight was somewhat tricky. Wanted to document more of this procedure but I kept getting interrupted. Good thing I didn't video tape it as there was a fair amount of cussing involved.

    Mounted the ring inside the drum and pushed in a length of wood stove rope gasket between the ring and the drum.

    Not as straight and pretty as I would have liked but I figure if I squirted enough wood stove gasket goop around it I should be able to seal it up.

    And here it is with the lid on.

    The real test will be when I fire it up and check for leaks. May have to make some fine tuning adjustments in order to seal it enough to keep the temps from creeping up.

    Now, I'll have to try and find a Weber rotisserie attachment.

  2. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I don't use an UDS. What makes a dome beneficial?
  3. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Extra capacity.

    With the Weber lid, you can add a second rack or cook taller items, (beer can chickens) than with just the single rack. I only have about 5" of clearance between the first cooking grate and the flat lid.

    Plenty of room for butts and briskets but not quite enough for taller things like my drumstick rack.

    On Edit: Oh, and sometimes when it is cold outside with a flat lid sometimes you get quite a bit of condensation that can drip onto the meat. Nasty tasting stuff. [​IMG] With the domed lid the condensation will run down the inside of the lid and away from the meat.

  4. bbq enthusiast

    bbq enthusiast Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Nice dave, haven't seen it done that way before. I learned somthing new today.[​IMG]
  5. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Excellent! [​IMG]
  6. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice job Dave. I too notice a lot of condensation at times leading to quite a bit of liquid on the bottom of the drum at the end of some smokes. After a session like this I started to let the coals get darn good and hot to help dry things out.
  7. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Beauty.My brother has plans to use the bottom and top of webber kettle on a UDS.I will show him your modification to top.I really like that drumstick holder as well.[​IMG]
  8. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't mind if it ends up on the bottom.[​IMG] First few smokes though which were in the winter there was some nasty tasting yuck on the outside of the meat. Sliced into it and it was fine but the outside tasted like crap. Could have been creosote. The lid was kind yucky feeling too.

    As the weather warmed up, that didn't seem to happen as much anymore.

    Or maybe I just finally learned how to cook with it.

  9. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    nice job Dave i have not built a uds yet but i got a 55 drum and maybe.[​IMG]
  10. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Well, looking at the size of the UDS in your pic, I never would have suspected you needed more room. See, I haven't outgrown my Brinkman yet. [​IMG]
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well . . . [​IMG] in talking to BIL #1 who got me the drum, he is interested in tasting some of the smoked goodies. He lives about 30 minutes away and there is a BBQ joint in the town where he lives so he is somewhat familiar with the their menu items. I told him when I get all of the modifications done, I will have his family, and the family of BIL #2, who gave me the kettle, over for a feed. I told him he could choose what he wanted to try -- brisket, ribs or pulled pork.

    His answer was, "How 'bout all three?" [​IMG] That's gonna take some room, but we can do it. [​IMG]

    Don't know if I'll try it all on the UDS due to shuffling and times. I'd have plenty of room with the two racks, though. I may have to fire up ye ole Smoke N Pit. But that's okay. I've had 'em both going before. It's kinda fun! [​IMG]

  12. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    LOL. I've only used the second rack on my Brinkman once so far. Of course, I haven't been at it very long either. Every time I fire it up, I think to myself I should cook more at one time and freeze some of it. Oh well, like Q'ing, I'm taking the low and slow learning curve.
  13. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Where does one get a drumstick rack? I am also looking for a good rib rack, I have one but the gaps are too big and they flop around and lay on each other.
  14. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think I got them at Home Depot or Lowes. Can't remember which. They were like $8 so I got two of them.

  15. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Being new to UDS operations (I've used it for smoking summer sausage and a slab of bacon), but have "dry fired" it a few times. I'm noticing a wet sludge on the lid. Even had a drip off the lip of the lid, so we know it's there and nasty. Normally, I'd think I need more ways for the hot, moist air to escape (more vents on top).

    So I've been wondering about how these might operate vs. a Weber, and I
    notice on the Weber 3 vents on the bottom and only one on top. I've been thinking I needed to use both vents on top (my lid has two of the large bung holes). The other thing I've noticed is that with only one of my bottom valve vents open, I slowly lose temp until the lump charcoal simply goes out. That sounds like not enough combustion air.

    So to mimic the Weber, I'm now wondering of I need to provide more air below and possible slow down the draft above? That, and working on some different fuel stack options vs. filling the basket.
  16. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More on the vents later but I've noticed this in cold weather but not so much after the weather warmed up. Also what helps I think is building a small hot fire and letting the drum warm up fully before putting meat on. You hear the small hot fire talked about a lot with stick burners in order to get them to burn clean (thin blue smoke vs thick white smoke) but I think it applies to the UDS as well. But in the case of a UDS, a small hot fire is the equivalent of about 1/4 of a chimney starter of lump (or in my case about 10 briquettes) FULLY ASHED over before dumping them in the charcoal basket and loading the drum.

    What is the smoker temp when your running with one valve open? Perhaps you need to open another intake (assuming you have more than one intake) as well. Do you have unburnt lump remaining when the fire goes out? What does your basket look like when you load it? What size is the basket? My basket is 13.5" in diameter by 8" tall and I always load it at least half full. I have never had the fire die out as you describe

    Well the Weber is a bit different in that the lid doesn't typically fit as well as a drum lid does so it really has more exhaust capacity than the vent holes would suggest.. Usually with a UDS, you will have more exhaust area than intake area. Taking the BDS (Big Drum Smoker which was the inspiration for the UDS, I think) intake/exhaust design which is kind of standard of 3 - 3/4" intakes and 8 - 1/2" exhaust holes, there is 1.32 square inches of intake capacity and 1.57 square inches of exhaust capacity. If you are using a 2" bung hole, that increases to 3.14 square inches of exhaust capacity. Since no one ever runs a UDS at smoking temps with the intakes wide open (assuming good fuel etc) you can see that generally there is MUCH more exhaust capacity than intake typically.

    I think that if this were reversed, it would really be difficult to keep the drum lit since there would not be sufficient draft from hot air exiting the exhaust to pull in combustion air at the bottom. I think this would make the problem of "yuck" on the lid even worse because of the stale smoke build up and creosote.

    Sorry for the rambling answer. [​IMG] Hope this helped some.[​IMG]

  17. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    $4.oo at Lowes in Maryland
    I got two of them also. They work great.
  18. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Nice job DDave. I found I needed to tweak the ring to eliminate air leaks. I loosened all the bolts holding the ring. Placed the lid on and then tightened one at a tome and slowly. I was pulling the ring out of round by tightening the bolts. A little trial and error. but I think sealed it. What gasket dope are you using? I was going to use "red RTV" but it looks stupid. I haven't found any Hi-Temp black.
    Again mod looks good you'll love it. 6 beer butt chicks with no problem.
  19. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmm . . . perhaps I should have tried it before I "gooped" the gap up. [​IMG]

    I'm using Rutland Stove Gasket Cement. Comes in black. Here's a link.


    Got it molded in pretty good. Hoping to heat cure it tomorrow.

    Ran a bead around the intakes just for good measure as well.[​IMG]


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