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Ok how long of a piece of expanded metal would I need to go around the 13 inch charcoal grate. My calculations are 40 inches but at homedepot the expanded metal comes in 24 inch sections. Any ideas or advice would be helpful. I am planning my burnout next weekend and the rest of the build the weekend after.

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I CUT MINE OFF A ROLL AT WORK WE GET 4-8 SHEETS,BUT GETCHA A TAPE MEASURE AND MARK 13 INCHES AND MEASURE AREOUND IT,YOU CANT BEAT A UDS SMOKER,I HAVE BEEN USING ON FOR OVER 20 YRS AND IT JUST DONT GET ANY BETTER.... GOOD LUCK ON THE BUILD
I had to buy two pieces and bolt them together and tied the charcoal grate in the bottom with wire.
44" will give you just enough to overlap one row of "diamonds" to fit on top of a 13.5" diameter charcoal grate.

Dave
Any major difference between a round and square basket??
I don't think so other than a round one would be easier to put in your drum if you make the square one too big. Also it would be way easier for me to make a circle one than a square one but thats just me.
I think round is your best bet.

My first fire basket was too small in diameter, so there was a sort of a hot spot if the food was directly above the firebasket.

My new one has a basket that is almost as big in diameter as the drum. My goals are to spread the first chimney of hot coals over this evenly so the cooking surface is even across the 22.5" cooking grate
13 x 3.1416 = 40.84" add a little to work with.
I can only speak from my experience. I originally built a square basket following the idea of the 20/20 thread posted here. I did make a change in the dimension to create a larger volume (created taller sides). I did 2 test burns wanting to confirm I could get the 14+ hour performance repeatedly reported on here...did not come close, died after 6-7 hours with plenty of fuel left. I did my first smoke, removed meat and wanted to monitor the length of burn, same results, petered out after about 7 hours with plenty of fuel left. I noted and rotated the basket in accordance with the 3 air intakes after the first disappointment (one time corner lined up with ball valve intake, one time with the center of side lined up ball valve intake) thinking this may influence, it didn't.

I now have a round basket, the first two smokes I let the barrel run after removing the meat, both times it was running 235* after 12 hours before shutting it down with fuel still remaining. I used the same type of charcoal every time (including square burns). My UDS is built to the "common" specs found here using a weber grill lid.

I am sure a much more experienced member has had great success with a square design. I did not, I now have a smoker that is AWESOME.

*Badfrog fixed my smoking world by extending his talents on providing me the round basket.
Curcumference = pi x D
Pi = 3.14159265358979323846.... (typically rounded to 3.14)
So....
C=3.14 x 13
C=40.82

Just keep in mind that depending on how you plan to connect the edges you might need some overlap.
Check around for a metal fabrication shop or welding shop; you night get lucky and find a "scrap" piece. Most fabrication shops will buy expanded in 4x8 pieces.
My basket is 15" diameter 12" tall. I can go 15+ hours with no problem!
good luck with your UDS! you will love it!

Do you not add anything like say a pizza pan to the bottom of the legs to lift the ashes out when you pull the box out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cromag

Do you not add anything like say a pizza pan to the bottom of the legs to lift the ashes out when you pull the box out?

I drop a piece of aluminum foil to the bottom and then reach in too pull it out when cleaning up works fine for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECTO1

I drop a piece of aluminum foil to the bottom and then reach in too pull it out when cleaning up works fine for me.

Easy amd cheap... Don't know why I didn't think of that

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