I recently made a vertical UDS smoker out of a 55 gallon steel drum. As this is my first experience with smoking meat, being only 17, and also my first experience with making my own smoker, comments would be appreciated to mainly help improve the overall design of the smoker (I will attach photos and continue with a description of the smoker so you have grounds to make some constructive criticism) but also some nice advice on how to make some great ribs.
First off, there are four, 1 inch vent holes 3 inches from the bottom of the drum each spaced evenly apart. In each vent hole is a 3/4 inch nipple (tight by the way, no air getting through) with a matching plug to control air flow.
The first level for the grate is about 4 inches from the top of the drum, held by 4 bolts drilled into the drum, then another grate is 6 inches lower held by another 4 bolts.
The vent stack I simply made by cutting a 2 inch hole on the top of the drum and attaching a 2 inch by 6 inch steel pipe to it, not much to explain there
The charcoal basket was a little difficult, having no wielding equipment. I bought a 10 inch charcoal grate then some expanded steel along with some 100 lb steel hanging wire, I wrapped the expanded steel around the grate the tied it all together and tight with the wire. Then to elevate the basket I got 3 inch bolts and some nuts and bolts to create "legs" for the basket
As a sort of personal why not I attached a dolly to the back to have an easy way to wheel it around where I wanted it to be.
Oh and here is the link to the pictures of the actual product: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/gallery/album/view/id/96234/user_id/55519
Please Comment and give me as much design advice as possible, I'm also having a little trouble regulating the temperature on the lower 200-250 scale so any help on that would be appreciated as well.
Thanks Very Much