Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by lugnutz, May 21, 2010.

  1. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Ok I got a barrel and before I start cutting on it I wanted to ask why I keep reading all these claims that the lid fits better on the bottom of the barrel. I keep looking at this thing and it seems to be the same on both ends. Far as I can tell it even measures the same. So what is the difference in the two ends?
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The top of the drum usually has the bung in it. Unless you plan on using the hole where the bung is located for an exhuast of some kind, the bottom of the drum is the better end for properly spacing the (usually) 8 exhaust holes and attaching the handle.
  3. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Most drums are slightly larger on the top than the bottom. with mine that was the case, so therefore a 22.5" weber kettle lid will fit better on the bottom with little modification to the lid. The other advantage is you have a double open ended drum if you ever need to clean it out.
  4. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Thanx Junkie! I couldn't find any measureable difference but I coulda goofed just as well.

    Been trying to figure out if I want to go with the original flat top or go domed..OR..go with something completely different than the norm. Money is tight so I'll probably go with something really different and xtra cheapo.
  5. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    In my experience it's the difference in fold-over, or roundness of the top vs the bottom. The bottom has less curve which may look the same, but is actually more difficult to get a 22.5 lid to fit over snuggly
  6. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My experience was that using a open top drum the top measured like 22 7/8 while the bottom measured well now I'm not sure dang-it, My cheep kettle fit exactly over the lip on the bottom very snug. I did grind the outside edge to remove the drum end, so I probably lost 1/16 to 1/8" overall from the factory measurement.

    I can say that it is very nice to be able to lift the drum from the bottom for clean out and reload.

    Seems like when I lift my over-sized basket out the top I always bump the side somehow and get ash all over.

    If for some reason I was to loose the fire or need to reload I can lift the whole drum while loaded with food, if I have a helper.

    Mine is on a wheeled cart that I made the old lid fit snug into so when I set the drum on I have 2 bungee cords that secure it to the cart so I don't have any air leakage.

    Good Luck on the build.
  7. forktender

    forktender Meat Mopper

    Heck Lugnut, we used a piece of plywood for a lid and just popped a few holes into the bottom with a pick ax for vent holes then poured the coals into the bottom of barrels for years before they burnt out. We also just notched the top of the drum and spanned the drum with a single piece of re-bar and used meat hooks to hang our meat in the drums.

    That's what is so awesome about these things, they all cook pretty close to the same. It's just a matter of how simple or fancy you want to make them.
    my next usd will have a coal door, I'm not worried about it being air tight at all. I can hold 285* for close to 30 hours with one basket of coal with 3 of my lower vents open . Hell it will keep hot coals for 3 days if I shut down the vents.
    Yeah I know then why do I need a coal door ? because I have a really bad back and don't like hoisting the basket over the top of the drum.

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