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UDS Smoker Questions

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a good link with info about them? Whats so great about them? Who do i only see one rack on them why not two? Are they just good because they can be done pretty cheap? or do they smoke better than other smokers?
Any help would be great, i am thinking about making one.
post #2 of 76
Mines got two racks usin the weber lid. Easy to build, can be fairly inexpensive to build an do one heckava job smokin!

I'll see if I can't find some info on buildin one. Not hard to do really, several folks on here got em.
post #3 of 76
Check out TheQjoint forums--has a small and tidy build thread instead of the 250+ page thread elsewhere.

Google "UDS smoker build" and take your pick from the results.
post #4 of 76
If you want to build a Uds then you need to get with le (Helljack6) he has recently built about 6-7 of them for our servicemen. He should know the in and outs of a build for you and help you out with yours.
post #5 of 76
Here is pretty good tutorial about making a uds.
post #6 of 76

Here are the plans I used to bulild my charcoal basket. I used the like RickW gave to build the smoker.
post #7 of 76
What he said. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

They are good because they are incredibly stable temp wise. They can go up to 16+ hours on a single load of fuel.

Mine also has double racks and a rotisserie kit.

post #8 of 76
I am still in the process of building mine but some of the reasons that I decided to go with a UDS is.
I wanted charcoal
Very efficient fuel consumptions (about 12lbs per cook)
12-18 hrs of cook time on 12lbs of charcoal
Largly unaffected by outside temperatures.
I have two racks and have a weber kettle style lid, pretty large capacity
No water so the drippings from the meat turn to smoke when hitting the charcoal below and further flavor the meat.
About as close as you can get to the old style pit Que w/o actuall having one.
They are totally cool looking and can be modified changed to suit my needs.
post #9 of 76
A 55 gallon drum is typically 34" tall. Ideally you need to maintain 24" from the bottom of your fire basket to your grill and 2-3" beneath you fire basket for airflow and a place for the ash to drop. That leaves 7-8" from your grate to the flat lid. In order to fit a second grate you'll need to use a Weber kettle type of dome lid which will require some modification to either the drum or the lid for it to fit properly..
post #10 of 76
Thread Starter 
well thanks for the answers like you can go 12 hrs on one fill of coals and easy controll off temps. seems like the water bowl would be a good thing to keep meat moist like in my brinkman, guess not, i will check the links as well thanks
post #11 of 76
No need for a water bowl in a UDS. They are very moist cooking environments. Water bowls only hurt their efficiency.

post #12 of 76
What he said, the water in a true water smoker has nothing to do with keeping teh meet moist, that is what the fat in the meat does. It only serves as a heat sinc, and a vehicle for the smoke particles.
post #13 of 76
This was built with no weldin an only basic hand tools other then a step drill bit which ya can get at most done it to yerself stores.

Was easy, a little time consumin but well worth the time an investment.

Hardest part is dividin the drum inta 1/3rds fer air intakes, rack brackets an such. I used a fabric tape measure (don't steal yer wifes, go buy one, cheaper then listenin to her) which lays on the drum nice.

Also, I used U bolts fer my shelf bracets, nice an stable.
post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 
nice i like the shelf you put on there , anymore pics of her?
post #15 of 76

Question for the UDS Professors

I am in the process of building a UDS. Today at work, I found a a piece of 2 inch 304 stainless steel tubing and a 2 inch 90 also 304 stainless. What would I have to do to make these parts my air intake or is that not recommended? I was thinking of using like 2 drain covers and bolting them together to act as my restriction once the UDS starting coming up to temperature to hold it.

post #16 of 76
Here's how mine is set up..

post #17 of 76
Thread Starter 
what is the 2 inch pipe on the side of yours do? is that your air intake?
post #18 of 76
Yep, 2" intake and 3" exhaust.. I do get a hot spot in the center that is anywhere between 50 and 70 degrees hotter than the pit thermo on the side, which I've accredited to the single exhaust.

I've wondered if the "standard" 8 - 1/2 inch holes around the flat lid will reduce the hot-spot in the center..

That said, it's not an issue as long as you realize how your drum is set up and take into account your hot and cold spots..
post #19 of 76
Most if not all drums run hotter center grate no matter the style of exhaust.
post #20 of 76
There's lots of ways to build these simple smokers, and none of them are wrong.

Here's how I did mine. Maybe you can gleam a couple of ideas that you want to use on your own build.


For low and slow smoking the UDS will become your "go to" smoker.

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