I am interested in building a smoker and am wondering what the ball valve at the bottom is for? Is this the connection for gas or some kind of vent? Sorry for the rookie question.
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A little more information would help us determine how best to help you. Are you building a Barrel smoker? Better known as the UDS or Ugly Drum Smoker? If so yes, those ball valves control the air to the coals which in turn controls the temperature you are cooking at. You actually only need one ball valve and two threaded nipples with caps. The two nipples are for when you initially start the fire to help it get going a little faster.
Here is a link to one member's build. Very simple and few tools needed plus no welding. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/76132/uds-build
Edited by timberjet - 8/10/14 at 11:52am