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Built my UDS

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
First I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped me out and answered all of my questions before my build. Thanks especially to “bbq bubba” and “BBQ Enthusiast”.

I put my UDS together last week and have been meaning to post a picture. I'm VERY happy with it. I did ribs last Sunday and they came out great using Billy Bones original rub and cheery wood. I had no problems at all maintaining 240 for 5 hours with very, very little babysitting. I only had to check/adjust the main intake (ball valve) every hour or so. I checked it again two hours after I pulled the ribs and it was still at 200, and I only used one chimney of charcoal with about 12 unlit pieces added in. I totally love it and plan on mounting a handle on the top and a tray on the side.

Parts list:

(1) 55 gallon steel drum
(3) 4" pieces of 3/4" black pipe threaded 2.5" on one end. You can find this in the plumbing section of Home Depot. They will cut it and thread it for $1 per cut. Total price was $5.11.
(6) 3/4" locking nuts to secure the intake pipes. You can find these in the electrical section of Home Depot.
(2) 3/4" caps for two of the intakes.
(1) 3/4" ball valve for the main intake.
(4) Stainless steel bolts, nuts, and washers to hold the food grate. The bolts are 2.5".
(1) 22.5" Weber grate that I already had.
(1) 2" black nipple screwed right into the bung hole in the lid for exhaust.
(1) Thermometer.


My charcoal "basket" is made from the bottom of an old Brinkman smoker. I just drilled 1" holes all in the bottom and sides. This already had 2" legs on it. I plan on having a 13"X6" basket with 3" legs made from expanded metal soon.

My food grate is mounted 27" from the bottom and gives me 6.5" of room to the lid. If I need more room I can use the lid from my 22.5" Weber kettle.

My intakes are mounted 2" from the bottom.

I seasoned it by spraying it down with Pam and getting it good and hot for a few hours before my first cook.

If you have a Unibit it really makes drilling the holes for the intakes very easy. I have no leaks anywhere. Can't belive how this thing holds temperature.

post #2 of 16
Looks great!!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #3 of 16
good job, would love to make one.... just dont have any room for more toys right now.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #4 of 16
very nice dudePDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #5 of 16
Looks very nice. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #6 of 16
Looks good.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

You will like that.
post #7 of 16
Congrats it looks great PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #8 of 16
looks good
post #9 of 16
Nice...yeah BBQ has been singing the praises of these puppies. I'm convinced. Next drum I come across... done deal.
post #10 of 16
Nice job!
Other than my gas grill that I use for weinees and steaks, I got rid of all my other pits except my UDS. That is about all I bbq on now. Can't say enough good things about it.

Here's some pics of my charcoal basket. Dimensions are 17" x 7" high.
Clickable thumbs

P.S., Since these pictures were taken I have replaced the feet shown in picture with 1/2" round rod (3" long) welded to basket)

post #11 of 16
This is a helpful thread you started by posting the necessary items for a UDS build. Thanks for taking the time to put the list together! biggrin.gif
post #12 of 16
Any pics of the inside F.S. ? Looks sweet ! I want.
post #13 of 16
I would LOVE to make one of these, but with me being in rural SE Montana, I can not find a steel drum that would be suitable for food. I have found a few but I would end up paying with body parts to get it here. Geat job on the build! Let us know how it works and make us drewl with some Q-view.
post #14 of 16
Welcome to the Drumhead Nation!! wink.gif
post #15 of 16
Oh ya!!PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif Your hooked now. I also liked the write up. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #16 of 16
very nice job, I like to make one sometime soon.
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