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Reverse Flow worth the extra money (vs UDS)?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Is the flavor and cooking quality much better than a UDS? I'm considering building one of these two. I have the tools (welder, saws, metal cutting, etc).

post #2 of 18

RF will give more room in most cases. UDS is quick and cheap...JJ

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks! But Is there a taste benefit? I don't mind less capacity. I'm going to put a door on the UDS so I can add burning coals or charcoal much like a Weber Smokey Mountain.

post #4 of 18

I've eaten meat off of both, and to me, the wood used to smoke makes more difference than the configuration of the smoker if the cooking temperatures/duration are both the same. If a UDS fits your quantity of meat to cook, it is a great and cost effective option, if you want to cook for a bigger crowd, it isn't a good fit, and an RF is best.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Great and thanks! If a UDS will taste just as good, I'd be thrilled. This'll be for just us (no competitions etc). Probably no more than 10-20 lbs of meat at a time.

post #6 of 18
UDS's should probably not have a door on them... they are very sensitive to air leakage and temperature control will be a problem... add more charcoal than you need and when done, shut off the air and starve the coal so they go out....
post #7 of 18
Here's the deal. If your just cooking one slab or chicken or whatever for dinner, you can pretty much cook it on a trash can if you know what your doing. The more expensive or elaborate cookers let you cook more and cook all day or all weekend, with less effort and better consistency.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Interesting and good to know. I know from the wood stove that coals burn at the rate of air supplied so opening the door too much really can change the temps. I'd guess when you're going for low and slow, this really makes a big difference.


Ok... no door for me! Just a big coals bin.


So for what I'm doing RibWizzard, it sounds like a UDS will be more than enough. Maybe I'll build 2 for when we have company.

Edited by 777funk - 10/27/15 at 5:06pm
post #9 of 18
Many competition cooks have been won using an UDS... they really cook great food....
post #10 of 18
I cook competition on a UDS and do really well with it.I have a big trailer smoker, but for the most part I cook on my UDS.
post #11 of 18

Make a UDS, forget about the door, not needed. 

I get about 20hrs with mine. Set it and forget it.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Doing just that as we speak. Just bought the 22.5 Weber grill grate (with flip up sides because that was all they had) at Lowes. Already burnt the paint off of the drum and drilled the 4 - 7/8" holes on the bottom. So far so good.


I think I'm going to attempt to use mine with wood. I think if I get a good fire going in it, I should be able to get a nice bed of coals and shut it down to a low heat. I have a good amount of Hickory and Oak firewood. When I'm done I can just turn it upside down and dump the ashes.

post #13 of 18

lowes also sales a charcoal grate for kettles that is about 16" of 17" in dia and would make a good base to a coal basket i am in the process of gathering all of the parts for my own UDS. my local lowes doesnt sell the expanded metal sheets i wanted to use for my coal basket so im having to look around because most places sell it in very large sheets. also make sure you use the right metal for bolts and such i plan on using SS

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

I was thinking of dimpling the barrel in 4 spots for the grate hold up instead of using bolts. If I do use bolts, I'll soak them in muriatic acid first to remove the zinc coating. But I'd like to do a no hole install if I can. Less rust and less leaks. Maybe less work too but we'll see about that. I haven't attempted it yet!

post #15 of 18

Denting the barrel or drilling holes that barrel is very likely to rust over time either way if you dont paint it. And unless you just happen to have the acid to soak those bolts it would most likely be a better idea to buy SS hardware from the start. 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

I bought the high heat rustoleum with the grate at Lowes. No doubt that paint isn't going to last a lifetime at $4 a can but hopefully it'll give 10 or so years out of the barrel before it rusts to pieces. We'll see!


And yes on the muriatic. Easier than stainless because I already have it (use it to etch plating on parts that I antique for my business) and don't have stainless hardware handy.

post #17 of 18

well i wish you luck with your build. the beauty with a drum is you can make it as complicated and flashy or as plain and simple as you want and alterations/modifications wont be like rocket science either. 

post #18 of 18

I have both, but for smaller gatherings, I use my UDS Alot. Two or three spatchcocked yardbirds, lots of ribs with rib racks, and wonderful prime rib roasts, (Oh yea, forgot about the ATM's, and brined turkeys.) I insulated my UDS and it uses very little charcoal, shut it down after 7 or 8 hours, and I still have coals left for the next meal.Of course you're not gonna get the piggy on your UDS!!

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