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What is the Ideal Height?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My UDS is almost finished with the exception of inserting the cooking grate. My charcoal basket is 13 1/2" in diameter with 8" walls and sits up 3" from the bottom of the barrel. 3-3/4" air intakes (2 capped and one with a ball valve) 2" from the bottom. I will also be using a Weber Kettle Grill Lid on the top of my Barrel.

My question is: What is the ideal height from the bottom of the charcoal grate to place the primary cooking grate?

Thanks, John
post #2 of 12
24 inches...
post #3 of 12
What I've heard is what RickW stated. But I don't think you could go to high. Especially with the Weber lid mod. You'll have a bunch of room.
post #4 of 12
Put your first grate 24" from the charcoal grate. If you are using a Weber lid you can add a second grate above the first and do one heck of a lot of meat at once. biggrin.gif

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help.........24" it shall be and then I am going to add another level probably 2" down from the rim of the barrel..........And away I go!

post #6 of 12
What would happen if you put a metal plate on top of the charcoal basket that was just a little larger that the diamitier of the charcoal basket? I don't think it would interfere with the air flow but reduce the radiant heat from the charcoal and create some turbulence making the heat more even

Just a thought.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had a similar thought of installing a solid metal plate midway (12") to the cooking grate to try to achieve the same thing.................Great minds must think alike.

I was going to propose the idea to the experts via a New Thread after my first smoke but didn't know if a baffle would be necessary when the meat is 24" away from the heat.

Thanks, John
post #8 of 12
The grate is even closer than 24 inches to the coal, especially at the start of the smoke.

I tried a water pan and found it robbed the uds of being fuel efficient which is one of the qualities it really like. When it comes to these drums I think keeping it simple is best.
post #9 of 12
I put another set of bolts in about halfway up . . .

and had a piece of expanded metal cut to fit.

Took the idea from one of Bubba's posts.

I have never put anything on it during a smoke but I thought about sitting the charcoal basket on it in case I wanted to grill something. I suppose you could set a steel plate on it or a smaller grill wrapped in foil to act as a baffle, but I don't think it is needed to protect the meat from the heat as long as the temps are kept low.

I have heard that from other UDS users as well.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

You're the man!...............Thanks.
post #11 of 12
I think the expanded metal with a plate would be the ticket if you convert to a grill at times. As to the plate it is the same idea as the baffle I installed on my SNP so the radiant heat didn't to the food closest to the fire. I got this idea because a video mentioned the fat cap down on a brisket to protect the meat.The plate will do that plus cause some turbulence and make the heat more evenly distributed.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Pete...............You're the man too.................Thanks!

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