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Just the UDS idea

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So I am considering building my own UDS.  I am quite handy with tools and think it would work out.  With that said, the cost would be about the same as the Lowes Master Forge charcoal smoker, about $60.  I do think that the quality and size difference would be greater with the UDS though.  Any thoughts?


Also, what are the 4 fitted pipes at the bottom for?  One has a valve.  Would those be for air intake and the valve being for cleaning?



post #2 of 11

The cost will depend on how much you have to pay for the barrel, I think you should figure on $100 total cost. Depending on paint and the top. 

Yes the valves at the bottom are intakes.

post #3 of 11

The are several different ways of doing the intake.  The three or four 3/4" vents you see at the bottoms of UDS's are the most popular set up and least expensive to do.  You can also simply drill 3/4" holes and use magnets to control air intake if you want to go real cheap, no valve, no pipes.  

Some people use a single large intake, either a 1.5" or 2" diameter vent with a flap or ball valve.  It doesn't long as you're able to meter air to the charcoal basket.


You will find that the hardest part of the build is finding that right drum.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am definately having a tough time finding a drum.

post #5 of 11

There's some help in my signature for charcoal and watt burners  both, good luck. 

post #6 of 11

You can find a drum you just need to look.  Once you join club ugly Friends you forgot you had will start showing up for dinner.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for all your help.  I can't wait to start.

post #8 of 11

Have you checked Craigslist for a drum? I found a great local source for drums that contained honey that were a little taller than the standard oil drum for $10/each. Since the end of summer is almost upon us you can usually find a great deal on new kettle grills like Weber which will have the lid, charcoal grate, and cooking grate you may want. You can probably scrounge some other parts off of it too.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have checked craigslist.  There wasn't much in my area.  I did find stainless steel for $100 but I can afford that at the moment.

post #10 of 11



I have nothing to go by but my experence. I just did my first smoke today on my uds. It's in the cooler 'resting". All I can say is if it tastes 1/2 as good as it smells, I am in for a treat.


Patience, find a barrel, it will happen. Then go for it.  I think you will be more then happy you did.


Anything I can offer, even though I am a newbie as well. Ask.

post #11 of 11

Were are you located it not listed.I have a few barrels in my yard.I'll give you one for a six pack of beer.cheers.gifBeat that.

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