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frugal coal basket ideas

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi guys have a few bits of solid round steel laying around could these be used as a coal basket if drilled enough? Firstly i have an old steel stock pot 11" wide 10"deep 33" round plus lid. I also have an old stainless house bin of the same dimensions but its 16"deep with a lid i could use as a ash pan?
Trying to make my uds on a budget an so far all I've had to purchase is the grills and thermometer
post #2 of 21

i dont know if it would work or not, but I saw a pic where a guy used an old canner that he drilled out with loads of hole as a charcoal basket.  I cant remember if I saw it on this forum or not.  Anyways, I think that thinking outside the box is a good thing and I love seeing old things have new life.  I'm sure there is a right way and a wrong way to do things but sometimes the right way is only the right way because "thats the way its always been done".  As long as you dont have any coatings or galvi or anything that would off-gas, you could always try it.  I will say that the reason why I think the guys here like to use the expanded metal is so you have a lot of air getting to your charcoal.  I actually bought my expanded at a steel yard that has a pretty cool salvage/scrap yard.  it was really cheap, $7.  As long as you are willing to roll with the punches so to speak, and to try again if it doesnt work, then I dont see why you couldnt at least try.  The big thing is making sure you have something that is sized appropriately and will allow ash to fall out so you dont choke out your fire.


I have maybe $50 in my UDS so far.  I got my barrel for free, bought a weber off of Craigslist for $25, and my hardware from Home Depot.  Still working on collecting the rest of my parts!

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't mind going the tried and tested route if it fails so no biggie. I was originally trying to make a mini wsm till i remembered i could get drums of my dad. .... they use the pots so thats where i got the idea from.
post #4 of 21

ya in that case, what have you got to lose?  or get some expanded and still make the Mini!  the guys around here love their minis!  Then you can have your big UDS for home and your Mini to take camping lol

post #5 of 21

The only thing to be careful with the drilling method is that you have to have enough holes and close enough together for ash to be able to fall out of the charcoal, otherwise you will smother the fire. If you do a search for "20 20 charcoal basket" you will see a great one you can make for super cheap that a lot of folks have used.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well i gave up on the mini as its impossible to find 11inch grills lol is a bit small. Still i hope to have it sorted tommorow. The barrels been burning away to purge any motor oil of and will hopefully keep goin till tomorrow when i can paint and season it. Im guessing i will have to get all the black carbon off the inside of the drum beforehand? Just need a ball valve and another handle (it melted).
post #7 of 21

oh ya i can see how that would be a pain to find....


After you burn you can pressure wash and scrub them out or Ive seen some on here get in there with some comet and a scrubbie.  But make sure you give it a good layer of grease on the inside like you would cast iron (pam, crisco, veg oil, whatever)  because it will rust like the dickens in no time.  Then light it up so the grease can bake on to the inside wall.  keep reading this uds forum, it has all the answers!!

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Right well it's done time to see how it holds up while i season my drum :)
post #9 of 21
Cool!! When you get a chance post some pics!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Working well enough got my uds up to 400f with 3 22mm holes havnt got my valve and nipples on yet. That was also with a leaky lid
post #11 of 21
You'll get it dialed in!
post #12 of 21

Well lets see that bad boy th_nopicsye3.gif

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Once my chicken is done ;)
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
post #15 of 21

to get better airflow i would put more holes in that charcoal basket BUT dont put so many that it compromises the metals structure 

other than that it looks good i cant see much though 

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Camara is playing up not dark enough for it to put the flash on lol ill try again
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
post #18 of 21
Way to go!!

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Smoking smoked bacon ahhh heaven
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Works a treat 2nd smoke done
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