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Not real sure which way to go now

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

A buddy and I recently came into ownership of 6 55 gal drums that need to be burned out still. I originally was going to build an offset horiz, but after all the reading I am wondering if vertical is better. We have access to a stick welder but neither one of us are pros by any means, just rough amateurs. We have the bases figured out already if we go horiz. Your thoughts if you were in my shoes??  I am looking for biggest bang on a cheap budget and minimal fabrication skills. I am currently using a small horiz off set wally world special with decent success but I have only been smoking for a couple months. I was going to just buy a WSM or a GOSM but I like the thought of building my own.

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Now I really am thinking Horiz again just for ease of build, any help on "tuner" plates big enough for a 55 gal drum?

post #3 of 13

Do a search and look at the UDS . Very little fab work  Cooks like a champ.

 you can build multiple uds fairly cheap .

post #4 of 13

I would have 6 UDS's built on a day or two.

Horizontals are by no means easy to build with drums. Welding a drim with a stick welder is gonna be tough at best. I would think you're gonna need some 3/32 rods and some very clean cuts to weld. You can build UDS's without welding at all if ya get handy with some hardware...

Use carriage bolts for the rack supports.

Use conduit w/ washers for the intakes.

Make your basket with expanded metal, a weber charcoal grate, some bailing wire to tie, and some strap metal with nuts and bolts to hold it together..


post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

huh, time to do some more searching. I see you guys with the uds smokers alot, just have no clue about them or any custom smoker for that matter

post #6 of 13

UDS cheap easy and awesome

post #7 of 13

+1 On the UDS. Very effecient smoker.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I talked with my buddy just now and we are now going UDS!!  Time for both of us to do a ton of research, the plan is to build them weds, burn them out and then maiden voyage on Saturday! Thanks guys for showing us the light.

post #9 of 13

Taking pics of the whole process is the best thing to do, you know, incase you need help and stuff :)

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

oh there will be play by play pics involved, we are spending tomorrow night to plan it all out and get supplies, then weds will be D day to get ready for Saturday's Maiden smoke. Believe me there will be tons of questions I am sure

post #11 of 13

you will be happy with them!!

post #12 of 13

Burn first, then build..

post #13 of 13

You won't regret the UDS. They are simply great.


One day I will have a 4'wide x 4'tall x 2'deep charcoal chute smoker. When money is less of a problem.


In the mean time I am selling my trailer rig and a couple smokers to fund an enclosed trailer and at least 4 drums. My reason for 4 drums is that I want one for each meat. Then one for backup. I know its not necessary to use separate grates for separate meats but I prefer to keep chicken to its self. Overkill I know.


This last weekend I was able to cook 3 whole packers cut into point and flat on 2 drums using only one shelf for the meat. I put a large aluminum pan on the lower shelf. I can put three racks in one of my drums but after using it I would rather use only the top shelf. I hate rotating the meat.


Last thing is, I haven't seen it mentioned yet and I know its in the other threads but thought I should mention.

The red liner in some of the drums is tough to get out and census is that sandblasting is the route to go for removal, for the least amount of work.


Good luck.

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