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Is a combo hot/cold UDS possible?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to build a UDS, or some other type of smoker. I can do just about anything I want given the time. But I don't know what I want or what would work best, and the less time required the better because I don't have a whole lot of time to work on this so I think a UDS would be best.

Materials aren't a problem, I can get just about any metal I want for free or cheap.

My question is, can a combo cold/hot smoker be made out of a drum? I live in a subdivision and I don't have room for more than 1 smoker, so I need to keep it to one, but I can't pick between hot or cold because they both serve different purposes.

So my thoughts are, make a regular UDS smoker as seen here on the builds, with the charcoal basket in the bottom. Then, on the side attach a smoke generator like I've also see here.

I'm thinking about a generator that has the tall tube, with a grate in the bottom, and a tube that connects it to the smoker. I know I've seen pictures but I can't find any now. Does this generate cool enough smoke for cold smoking?
post #2 of 10
I don't see why that wouldn't work. The smoke generator you'r talking about would use 2 to 4 briquets, that's not much heat at all. You could even extend your generator using flex hose or pipe and cool it even more before it reachs your barrel.
post #3 of 10
As with most things, form follows function. What are you planning to smoke?

I have a charcoal UDS, which works fine for larger hunks of meat like butts and ribs, etc.

Smoking sausages, etc. is more of a problem. You need hours of consistently low temps in the range of 120* to 180*. Like 12 hours. That is tough to do with charcoal/wood unless you are going to constantly tend it. That is tough to do for 12 hours. Most of these use a LP gas or electric burner for the heat and a variety of sources for the smoke generator.
post #4 of 10
when my buddy gets his drum done I am gonna try the 60 watt soldering iron and coffee can method to cold smoke
post #5 of 10
Yea you should be able to do both hot and cold smoke as long as you have two types of smoke generation. Charcoal for hot and maybe a hot plate, smoke generator, soldering iron for the cold smoke.
post #6 of 10
I forgot about cold smoking. That makes 3 potential temp ranges for smoking.

Cold: Smoke only at whatever temps
Warm: Sausages, etc. at range of 120* to 180*
Hot: Butts, ribs, etc. 225* to 250* and up

Doing all three with charcoal/wood is tough in a standard UDS.

I built a propane version that will do all three:


If you could find a way to control the temps with a thermostat, this concept will work better. There are lots of burner and design options, including electric for this.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, now we're getting somewhere. To show the newb that I am to smoking (I love to cook, just a newb at smoking), I didn't realize there was a "warm" smoke. I was actually thinking of true cold smoking, and hot smoking, but warm could be possible too.

For heat source, I would like to stay away from propane. I don't have anything against it, I just don't think it'd be ideal in my situation (and I'd have to come up with a burner and regulator). I have some electric burners and controls off of an electric range that I got for free. I can probably use the burners for electric heat inside for warm smoking, charcoal for hot-smoking. But to get the wood chips hot enough to smoke, wouldn't the burners produce too much heat for cold smoking?

I'm not very experienced at smoking, mostly because I never had a true smoker until last summer. I built a large "pig-sized" smoker on a trailer that just isn't practical for me to keep at my house. So I don't really ever use it.
post #8 of 10
If you are going to skip the middle temp range for sausage, the standard UDS will be fine. I've used mine for both hot and cold smoking.

For cold? Just set a shallow pan of chips in the bottom and light one side. It will smolder across the middle and give you about 4 hours of smoke with no temp spike.
post #9 of 10
I would also mention don't be afraid to play around with a a pan filled with sawdust to get a nice slow burning low heat fire
post #10 of 10
BTW, forgot to mention.....if you are going to use a UDS for med or low heat smoking......stuff you would hang......the mod I made to support the grill might be something to consider. It's just two strips of 1/8" by 1 1/4" flat metal, with 1 inch tabs bent on each end. This will support the grill or hanging sticks. Bolts should be stainless, but metal doesn't have to be. Regular carbon steel works fine.
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