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She's Finished (almost)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Finished up the UDS this weekend, except the final painting with high temp paint. I have to coordinate that for when I will be home for a couple days during the week so I can have it sandblasted and put a coat of high temp primer on it right away. 


I seasoned the inside since it was starting to flash rust due to touching it from the build and assembly. 


She has 3 cooking levels, with one of the levels doubling as a hanging rack, and a level just above the coal basket for a deflector or water pan. The lower cooking level also doubles as a sear position for the coal basket so I can grill too. 



New, unused, unlined drum:




Big Poppa Kit



$48 kettle knockoff from Sam Walton's place






Weber hanging rack



Spacers added to the hinge mechanism allowed me to use the hinges on the dome lid:



Upper coal basket position for searing:



Having rack:



Optons, options, options. 






2 holes drilled for probes. Magnet coving when not being used. These are just below the shelf on the backside and I have a small hook that I hang the transmitter from on the back of the shelf so it is out of the way and not using shelf space.



Just wanted something in there to add some flavor. 

post #2 of 11

Very nice! 


One of the best I've seen.


Gonna have to call it a PDS (Pretty drum smoker)



post #3 of 11

SWEET !!!:Looks-Great:

post #4 of 11
Wow turned out Great
post #5 of 11
That's a great looking cooker.

Nice job.
post #6 of 11

A nice looking UDS, how much was your barrel?


post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Garvinque View Post

A nice looking UDS, how much was your barrel?


I paid $80. FWIW-I have used it about 5 times and there is no sign the original paint is peeling. It was nice to have a new barrel and not have do anything to is but season it. 


I eventually plan to paint it but I'm gonna see how long the paint on it holds up. 

post #8 of 11


post #9 of 11
Looks really nice
post #10 of 11
Looks nice how much you got into it?
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by b-one View Post

Looks nice how much you got into it?

Hey b-one,

Sorry for the late response. Just got back from a week at the beach for vacation. A much needed respite from work and the world.

I have a good bit into the UDS. I wanted to get as close to a be all, end all charcoal smoker as possible. Here is the basic breakdown for cost:

New Unlined Food Grade Drum picked up locally-$80
Big Poppa All-In Kit with 2 extra grill grates- $230 delivered
Dome Lid from Walmart Backyard Grill brand-$48
Deflector/water pan-$10
Casters and Bolts for stabilizing and aluminum strip for fitting dome lid ~$25
Weber WSM 22 Hanging rack-$30


Additional accoutrement: Auber PID temp controller-$169 delivered (I highly recommend; I love this device)

I have to say, all those UDS guys that swear by them are right. If you want a good charcoal smoker that could be your only and last smoker ever needed, a custom built UDS is the way to go. As I mentioned in the original post, it has 3 cooking levels so it holds a truckload of meat, I have a lower level above the coal basket that can employ a diffuser or water pan/bowl, I have it rigged for holding the coal basked higher up for searing and grilling. The PID allows me to cook overnight while I get my beauty sleep, a must for me since I travel for my job and my free time at home is limited.

I have a dozen or so cooks on it doing ribs, brisket, chicken, butts, burgers, steaks, ABTs etc. I have used lump, briquettes and a combination. I have done a couple smokes without the diffuser for that "grease fog" flavor. I have done low and slow (a butt at 210* overnight then kicked up the temp to 240* and wrapped) and I have done hot and fast (chicken, ribs and even brisket at 325* +). I have hung ribs and chicken. For me so far, it really does do it all. If I was forced to keep only one smoker this would easily be the one.

b-one, I know you didn't ask for a dissertation or essay, but it seemed like a good time for me to give an update on my experience with it so far.
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