Use Washing machine drum for coal basket?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bdgbbq, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie


    I'm planning my UDS. I have the parts. Just having a hard time getting the expanded steel for the basket. I thought to use a washing machine drum. I would have to drill a lot of holes in the bottom plate or remove it and add the coal grate from my Weber. Anyone done this? I'd also assume I will drill a lot more holes in the sides. I'll give it feet too or use the piece of metal on the bottom of it inverted for feet.

    Here are a few of the drum.

    Concerning the top. Should I cut under the rim and use the end as the top with the rim attached to the lid or leave the rim on the barrel and use the flat part as the top or use the Weber Kettle lid which fits pretty nicely on the rim?

    This had glycerin  in it. Seems that the consensus is not to worry too much about the liner. Agreed? I'll cut it open today and get ready for a burn out. Just not sure about where to cut the lid? I have 4 inch angle grinder, sawzall, metal cup brushes to  put on the 4 inch grinder. Drills and bits. Ready to go. Just need a bit more direction.

    For ventilation I was going to make those circle vent covers like the Weber has. Put two or three in the bottom. Is that overkill? The pipes, nipples and ball valve are crazy expensive here (Israel). Most plumbing is done here with plastic parts. 
  2. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Got the barrel cut and also vented the washing machine drum.

    4 pallets of wood for the burn out. Enough?

    Cut the lid under the rim

    Think this will breath enough? Going to add feet.

    fatboycoalition likes this.
  3. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Is this forum active? Did I say something wrong? Was hoping for some feedback.
  4. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Still active. Not built a UDS before, but the charcoal basket looks good, got enough holes in for good air flow. Are you going to burn the drum out and then re-paint?
  5. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Yes I got a few pallets yesterday. This is an extreme dry season and there have been lots of brush fires. Fire dept is on high alert. Trying to find a way to burn it out that won't get me in trouble. I've got the tan liner. Lots of opinions about that.
  6. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's a big basket. You're going to have a hard time keeping a tight fire in it. If you do use it you will also want to raise it off the bottom of the barrel 3"-4".

    This is mine. The basket is about 16" around the ash catcher below is a 18" pizza pan, the feet are 4" bolts.
  8. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Grinding and some steel wool.
  9. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

  10. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Fired it up using the minion method. Burned real hot for a while. Around 400 Fahrenheit. Closed off two holes which are about 1 1/4 inch with magnets.
    Closed of the third hole about half way. Closed the flu on the Weber lid. Came back an hour later and was down to 220. Opened the flu and peeled back two magnets. Temp jumped up, closed it up more and went to sleep.
  11. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    We fired this up last night at 8 p.m.. I'm writing this 13 hours later and she's still chugging along. I've opened and closed the air intakes with the magnets, seen how the temp can be well controlled.

    I've learned that the cut on the top of my barrel where the lid sits isn't level, smoke is coming out.

    Need to put this further from the house. Pretty smoky.

    Since I don't want to stay up watching the temps all night, think I'll try the maiden smoke starting in the morning...

    Just opened the lid for the first time looks like there's still coals!
    Covered it, temps already jumped to 350!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  12. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good, hope you are pleased with it.

    Use some Wod Burning Stove Door Gasket around the top
  13. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Checked the smoker at 11:00 AM, that's 13 hours into the burn and temp is holding at 275F!
  14. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's sweet . Now all you need is a #18 brisket and some friends.
  15. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Made one batch of chicken at 350-400 F. Nice taste. Bit a little bitter.

    Cooled it down, added some aged apple wood from my garden. Holding about 250. Whole birds. Rubbed with mustard. Then applied a brown sugar, salt, garlic, etc rub.
    Pix coming
  16. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    The chicken was awesome! cooked in about 6 hours. Rubbed it with mustard and then a rub. 

    I used an old apple tree for smoke. It died many years ago and I have aged it for a few years.

    The brisket I did last week was also great. 

    The smoker worked great but due to my crooked cut on the top of the barrel it left a spot for smoke to escape and I fought to keep the temps low enough. Most of the time it was running 300 F. 

    The finished product had excellent taste, a great ring and was a bit dry. 

    After the meat was off I took the lid of the barrel and used a hammer to flair the lid, got it real tight on the barrel and got the temps down. I did not use it on the smoke because I had only burned it but not wire brushed it. Needs a bit more hammer work so it goes on without such a battle. Can't wait for the next smoke.

    On question.... my washing machine drum is so big. I put in two sacks+ of chunk charcoals and fired it up the minion method. It burnt hot and for over twenty hours. Should I use less charcoal in the same area or should I try to make the diameter of my coal basket smaller to keep the lesser amount of coals all burning in the center of the basket?
  17. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Smaller basket. From one bag I can get over 30 hour burn time running my UDS at 225-250.
  18. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    Ok. Can you give me the dimensions of your basket? Link to pix?
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Post #7 in this thread...
  20. bdgbbq

    bdgbbq Newbie

    I plead the Fifth....

    When you said " 
    This is mine. The basket is about 16" around the ash catcher below is a 18" pizza pan, the feet are 4" bolts."

    16 inch around means diameter?  Is that the two 1 foot X two foot sheets that people buy at HD? If so, I'll be in TX soon and I'll get. 

    Thanks DirtSailor

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