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Grill heights

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I have decided to take the plunge. I bought most of the parts and tools, but I was curious about grill height. I am not doing a dome lid and I was thinking two racks and a diffuser plate. My charcoal basket will be about 15" because they only have one length at Lowe's, but I don't think I will ever fill it all the way up. Also, will 1.5" screws be long enough for 21.5" grates (these are a lot cheaper than Weber's).

I have a 55 gallon steel drum. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 14

He MrLedderman

i put 5 sets of bolts for racks in my UDS i am using a dome lid. so far i have ony used 3 racks at a time. Bolts are cheap and that way you can adjust the racks as needed. maybe low in the drum to sear. if you are doing a lot of small parts you can even get up close to the lid.

 

FWI will be along to give you his

he has a nice UDS and lots of good ideas.

 

 

 

Happy smoken.

David

 

here is a link to my build

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/138685/mules-delux-uds-build-with-divorced-smoke-chamber-for-amnps-lots-of-pics

 

remember to post pics of the build.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

That is a good idea, multiple racks to adjust as needed. I am thinking of doing 3" and 9" from top and 5" up from basket as a diffuser (thanks to your advice).

post #4 of 14

if you will look at the builds in the UDS section. their are a lot of good ides there.

Happy smoken.

David

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Random question and will save me a trip to the store to measure shoulder (what a sight, huh?) - with a flat lid, is 7" from the top enough clearance for butt?

 

Thanks again, everyone. Sorry for all the questions, I just want to get this right. I think I have everything. I hope to measure, drill, burn and paint tomorrow, then assemble the day after. Maybe smoke this weekend?!

post #6 of 14

Hey led...typically you want a minimum 24" from the bottom of the charcoal basket to the cooking grate...and if folks want an additional grate they'll add a dome lid and put the 2nd grate maybe a couple inches from the top. 

 

 

Keep in mind that if you have a heat diffuser( pizza pan w/holes drilled in it) the 24" isn't really applicable.   I decided that when i want to add a 2nd level i'll wait until i get a dome lid. I prefer most of the time just to cook directly over the FB...love having all the drippings going into the fire.   Once in a while i'll use the diverter and it does allow some of the drippings to still go into the fire. 

 

David gave you a good tip on adjustable grates like if you want to be able to do things like reverse sear.... my set up doesn't require adjustable racks because my basket level adjusts. 

 

 

Also when i do a dome lid i'm going to get a spare drum lid and weld that to the dome lid.( see "chief's build"...that way i'll have the flexibility of using the original drum lid or the dome lid for doing beer but chickens, turkeys or just need more space. 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I think 24" from the charcoal grate puts me at around 6 or 7" from the top. That's why I was asking if 7" from the top of a flat lid is enough room for pork shoulder (my favorite to smoke).

I saw the build and like the adjustable rack, so I might go back and later install another rack with the left over hardware. My basket will also be kinda high, so I may lay a pizza pan over the top to help, but like you said I'd like the drippings to hit the flame. I'm anxious to be done at this point. I think I am over thinking it.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLederman View Post

Thanks for the advice. I think 24" from the charcoal grate puts me at around 6 or 7" from the top. That's why I was asking if 7" from the top of a flat lid is enough room for pork shoulder (my favorite to smoke).

I saw the build and like the adjustable rack, so I might go back and later install another rack with the left over hardware. My basket will also be kinda high, so I may lay a pizza pan over the top to help, but like you said I'd like the drippings to hit the flame. I'm anxious to be done at this point. I think I am over thinking it.

7" is plenty of room for a pork butt. I would set your top rack at 8" and get to smoking! Give it a few runs and see how you like it there. If you don't like it move it up or down. Nothing a few more nuts and bolts won't fix! I am finally getting ready to have my barrel blasted. I plan on making an adjustable rack system for mine.

post #9 of 14

I just measured mine for you...it's 8.5" from the top.   When i eventually add the second level it'll be 1.5 to 2" from the top....but that won't happen until i weld a dome lid to a spare flat lid.   

 

The reason i don't want 2 racks with flat lid is because you want the 24" from the bottom  of the basket, otherwise i'd need a water pan such as the WSM has and the drippings wouldn't hit the fire. 

post #10 of 14

Led i was wrong on the 24"...at least for me.  Mine is 20 inches and it works great. 

post #11 of 14

I'd be curious to see a temp chart starting at 18" above the basket and up in 1" increments. I know in the Mini, with the shield in my lower rack (4" below upper) is 10*-15* higher. I use that figure to adjust accordingly when I use both racks.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I'd be curious to see a temp chart starting at 18" above the basket and up in 1" increments. I know in the Mini, with the shield in my lower rack (4" below upper) is 10*-15* higher. I use that figure to adjust accordingly when I use both racks.

Yep my mini is 15 degrees hotter on the bottom rack vs the top and also have 4" in between. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FWIsmoker View Post

Yep my mini is 15 degrees hotter on the bottom rack vs the top and also have 4" in between. 

SO that would be 3.75* per inch (in a perfect world). I would think that in the UDS the temp difference at the 24"-20" range would only be a couple degrees difference per inch. The point I am getting at is that if you want a flat lid, lowering the rack a couple inches isn't going to kill it. I can't wait to get mine built so I can test it all out!

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I built mine and after weighing the options, I didn't really need two racks. If I install another, I will find a domed lid or go 3 and 9 inches.
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