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UDS Planning stage

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I picked up 3 55-gallon drums with brown lining a few months back but have been busy with work and home improvement projects.  Been reading a lot and trying to get some consolidated info.  Going to build my fire basket (actually doing 2 of everything to help a buddy that is deployed). 


I see some people use around a 13.5" basket/8-9" high and some use 17-18"+.  Can you post:

size of basket

average burn times at a given temp

size and number of intake/exhaust holes


?  I do a lot of pork butt in my MES and sometimes takes 24+ hours at 225deg.   


How many pork butts do you think you could fit on a 2 rack UDS?


I'm going to consolidate some info and start my post within a week or so.  The wife is getting me some pallets from her work for the burn out.  The other option would be some old wood I have in the garage (treated).  That brings up something interesting I read.  A lot of pallets use treated wood.  Not sure if external links are authorized here but....


Thanks for the info and I look forward to sharing my build.




post #2 of 8
Depending on the size of the butts you can get 3-4 per rack.

My basket is about 12"x10". I light one side (3-4) briquettes I can get 20+ hours at 225.
post #3 of 8

Make sure all the brown lining is burned off before you cook with it. You could also blast it off but either way you need a clean metal surface to begin with.

post #4 of 8
Before doing your burn out drill all the holes you need for air intakes. This will help the fire burn hot.

On a side note the last UDS I built I had sand blasted out and then I had the outside of the drum and lid powder coated. The powder coater did both. $25, to blast the drum, $50 to powder coat total $75.

That liner may not come out with just burning so be prepared to do some grinding. The abrasive pads on an angle grinder work better than wire wheels.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I took a little propane torch to the lining when i got them home and it burnt right off. Went and got the step drill bits yesterday to drill my intake holes.
post #6 of 8

Sounds like your off to a good start. I am not sure of the size of my fire basket but I have done over 24 hours on a basket. You can't make the basket to large but you can make it to small. As Case said depends on size of butt 3 or 4 per rack.



Happy smoken.


post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by themule69 View Post

Happy smoken.


David, what's the ammo can for?  Assuming a cold smoke generator?

post #8 of 8


I made my basket extra large. I have done near 30 hours and there was still some fuel left over. that is at 225-250. If you get your expanded metal at one of the big box stores it comes 24 inches high if I remember right. Don't forget the ash pan. Have fun with the liner in there. not.

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