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Concrete Block Smoker with UDS Dimensions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I set out to build a smoker using 4x8x16 concrete blocks because they are more readily available to me, and also because I feel they'll insulate better. I'm stuck on what to use as the lid, however. Right now I have three 2x6s (spruce) that I'm using as a lid, but I'm afraid that won't last long. The inside dimensions are very similar to a UDS, and the lid sits around 36" above the charcoal basket.


Does anyone have any suggestions for a cheap, seal-able lid? Thanks.


 The layout.




Steel supports with cast-iron grates.



"Finished" product floated with masonry cement and 2x6 lid.

post #2 of 10

DJ :welcome1:

I see this is your first post. When you get a chance will you drop by roll call so we can all give you a proper SMF welcome?


What temps are you hoping to get out of your pit? How are you going to control the air?

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 10
Looks good. Same questions on air flow control. You'll need an exhaust vent in that lid. I'd recommend at least a 2"-3" hole. You'll need a way to close off your air intake. My UDS has (3) 1" intake vents that are valved. At start up all are open, but when at temp two are closed and depending on temp the other is just cracked. That's all that's needed. Looking at yours you may have problems getting lower temps.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I should have been a little more clear.


The max temps I am going for are about 275 F. Everything is sealed up pretty tight around the block; I've tested it with some smoke and the only place it exits is through the lid. I have some 2 1/2 inch pipe I can use for an exhaust.


The intake is controlled by the 8x8x16 block turned on its side. I slide another block in front of it, covering however much I need, and I can basically cut the airflow to zero. I have some experience cooking with a cheap horizontal grill/smoker, but this is my first time using an actual smoke pit that is pretty well insulated and leak-free.

post #5 of 10

Consider filling the voids in the bricks with Perlite.  It is cheap, survives high temperatures and is great insulation.  You could cast your lid out of 1 inch refractory cement with a steel under-plate which has an eye-hook in it, but you will then need a mechanism to hoist it up. 

post #6 of 10
You seem to be pretty handy so... Why not get some sheet metal and wrap the underside and sides of the lid your currently using. You're not planning on getting to to high of temps and your not right on top of the fire so you should be good. Coat the top half with some outdoor varnish to keep the wood from rotting and I think you have a nice cover. Use a two inch home saw fit your exhaust and a piece of the sheet metal to make a cover for the hole.
post #7 of 10

I know this is an old post but I just joined and am interested in building a smoker like this. I have a couple of questions.

The second picture shows a rack. Is that for the meat or the charcoal?

Are the two bars that I see a permanent fixture or are they removable?

How do you get the charcoal in there and how do you add if need be?

It has been a while since you posted this, how has it been working? Any changes from this design that you might suggest?

I like the simpleness of your inlet air control.

That all I can think of for now but I know that I will have more questions in the future.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

The meat goes on the rack; the charcoal goes underneath. The two bars are pieces of steel that I placed in the blocks; they aren't moveable. You place a pile of unlit charcoal at the bottom and add lit coals to it. It would probably be a bit difficult to add more coals later, however, I've cooked for 10 hours before on one decent sized pile of unlit charcoal so I've never had to add any to an existing fire. The smoker itself works really well; since it's made of concrete block it is super insulated. Like I said, one good amount of charcoal will last 8-10 hours at 250 degrees or so. The only thing I would suggest would be making the smoker a little bigger. In addition to not being able to put a lot of food in it, it's difficult to keep the temperatures low enough for a long cook with it being so well insulated.

post #9 of 10

Thanks for your input.

Ya I was thinking of going a little higher with 2 or 3 racks.

Its just me that I am cooking for most times,but with company and there not being any BBQ here at all then perhaps there might be a market or at least a lot of people wanting to come over for supper. lol

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yeah I this going one or so higher and two or three wider would be best. It gets pretty hot otherwise (275-325)

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