I have about 3/4 of a cord of mixed woods and that's what I use in my SFB's. If I build a UDS how will my stick wood burn? I have a feeling that the drum is a natural for charcoal or lump. BUTT, I guess I'm just a stick man at heart.
You can certainly give it a try with all wood. The consensus will most likely be that the airflow in a drum is too low for good combustion of wood, but what the hell do we know? My guess is that charcoal works well in a drum because a lot of the volatile compounds have been burnt off in the manufacturing process, raw wood will not have this advantage and will produce a LOT of white smoke as it smolders.
I had several partly burned pieces of hickory that started out as 14-16" split logs left over from a cook in the pitmaster. I loaded 3 of them right on top of my charcoal load for the UDS...they were gone after the cook!!! It seemed to work good. The other thing I did was to cut up several 2" hickory "sticks" into 3-4" chunks and mixed that in with the charcoal; they burned up with the charcoal as well. I plan to keep experimenting to see what the maximum ration of stick to charcoal is that will still burn efficiently.
I do have to say that the mix of 10lbs of Kingsford with maybe 10 pieces of the 2" hickory worked pefectly...ran for 12 hrs, nice hickory flavor, and the temp locked on and never varied more than a few degrees... as Ron Popiel would say, "set it and forget it"!!!!
I've used wood in mine too for shorter cooks. I can't get an 8 or 10 hr burn, but for shorter smokes wood works fine.
I have a hot coal rack in the bottom of my drum and just set the wood right on the rack, light it and let it burn down to hot coals before putting my flavor woods on top and the food in.
Do you all put your wood at the top of the coals only? I have mixed mine in the past and wasn't sure on the overall census.
Also, has anyone tried, or maybe already do, using a large split piece of wood rather than smaller quarter size pieces of wood? Just wondering which would be the best way to get the longest smoke with the wood.