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My UDS build

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I built my UDS a month or so ago and am now finally putting up my build picts.

 

My initial smoker was an electric ECB.  It worked great, and I've put out a lot of good BBQ, but my main complaint was that at 18" in diameter it was a pain to cook a whole packer brisket as they are typically more than 18" long.  I was always having to curl it up to get it to fit.  Same thing went for ribs, I just didn't like it.

 

My goals were to have a bigger smoker and 22.5" diameter seemed really nice.  I liked the efficiency of the vertical smokers.  I thought it would be fun to make one, and my buddy wanted one as well so we decided to build two of them.  I wanted to be able to use the electric element from the ECB in the UDS as well as charcoal.  I figured the best of both worlds.

 

To support the electrical element I went with a single 1.25" air intake instead of the typcial 3x3/4".  I used three U-bolts to hold each of the racks in place, and put in three racks.  I bought a $30 22.5" kettle from Big Lots that provided the lid, one grate, and the charcoal basket and handle.

 

So now for the picts.

 

My schematic, dimensions are in inches:

UDS1.png

 

I live in Austin and the dry weather prohibited me from doing a burn out, so I used paint stripper on my barrel.  The barrel had anti-freeze in it initially, so I good soapy scrubbing and power washing cleaned it up.  I then used some paint stripper to remove the outside paint.  There was no inner liner.

IMG_3044.jpg

 

Suggestion for others.  Don't wear sandals when stripping paint, it really stings/burns when bits and pieces of the paint/stripper get on your feet!

 

IMG_3048.jpg

 

All stripped clean, with the help of a little wire brush.

 

IMG_3052.jpg

 

Now fitting the lid:

 

IMG_3057.jpg

 

We then cut the top 2" of so off the kettle bottom to allow it to fit in the smoker and make the charcoal basket.

 

IMG_3056.jpg

 

Looking inside the smoker you can see the charcoal basket and the 1.25" air intake

 

IMG_3060.jpg

 

One coat of high-temp primer followed by two coats high-temp flat black paint.  (still need to paint the lid)  You can also see that I have the electrical heater in it with my BBQ Guru hooked up.

 

IMG_4282.jpg

 

That's it!  It works great, is a little heavy to move around, but works awesome.  Smoked spare ribs, chicken quarters, bacon and cheese in it so far.

 

thanks,

dave

post #2 of 13

Looks-Great.gif

post #3 of 13

That's a great looking build!

 

Nice work!

post #4 of 13

Very nice Build.

 

Happy Smokin'

 

Mike

post #5 of 13

icon_cool.gif

Yep thats  U D S It now should give you many good years of pure smoking pleasure.

post #6 of 13

Nice, very well done!  Sounds like a good reason to mess up the garage.  Wonder if the wife will notice the mess? UH Oh!!!wife.gif

post #7 of 13

I noticed in your Schematic you had plans for a water pan. I was curious what you used for the water pan?

post #8 of 13

Looks-Great.gif That was a great idea to get a cheap kettle and fully use it. I'll bet you will be turning out some GREAT Q in no time. 

post #9 of 13

Looks-Great.gif

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Foreman View Post

I noticed in your Schematic you had plans for a water pan. I was curious what you used for the water pan?



I bought one of these:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quart-Stainless-Mixing-13-0777-Category/dp/B001E0JKKQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330521543&sr=8-1

 

It actually fits pretty good.  I have not tried it yet, but I don't see any issue why it won't work.

 

dave

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

I didn't realize it had been 4 months since I built my UDS, so here is a quick update.

 

I've done a lot of ribs, leg quarters, turkey, bacon, cheese, and sausage on it.  For the bacon, cheese and sausage I use the electrical element with my contoller.  I have a BBQ Guru with the PowerRaptor SSR, and a home made Link Meter/Heater Meter combo.  You can google it and you'll see info on the web about it.

 

I have not done a charcoal cook longer than 7 hours yet.  I really need to do an overnight butt cook, or brisket to see how that works.  For the 6 hours ribs (two racks of spare ribs) I use 2.5 chimneys of charcoal and it work great.

 

As far as changing anything, the only thing I would consider changing would be the intake.  With the 1.5" intake I have to close the ball valve almost completely to keep the temp low enough, with or without the controller.  As I think a 1" would be fine for anything I would ever need and I think a 1" would be large enough to pass the electric plug for through I would go with a 1" intake.  If I needed more to run without the controller I would just add another 3/4" and cap it.

 

I can't think of anything else I would change.  After 10 or so cooks, the cheap-o charcoal grill grate is wearing thin, so I'll need to upgrade it this summer, but I planned on doing this eventually anyway.  I'll probably just go buy a Weber grate from HD or Lowes.

 

dave

 

 

post #12 of 13

thank you

post #13 of 13

You just built the best smoker money can buy! Nice build.

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