Electric UDS Smoker Questions

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by efaden, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. efaden

    efaden Newbie


    My plan is to take the 55 Gallon Drum I scored today and convert it into an Electric UDS.  I want to mount the element at the bottom, mount a few racks, possibly a fan to convect if needed and then use a side smoke box so I can control the temperature and the smoke independently. On to the questions...
    1. How big of an element should I get (wattage/voltage)?  Anyone have a recommended source for heating elements?
    2. Do I need a fan?  Any sources fan that can deal with the heat?

  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Is there any reason why you want to make it into an electric unit?
  3. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    Ease... I really want a "set-it" and forget it smoker.  I just want to set the temperature and go.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's pretty close to what you would get  if you went with the regular lump burning  UDS but I can see the appeal of an electric set it and forget it rig as well. Do some searches for Electric UDS because I know there are a few out there already. I can't think of the user that has one but I know he had to build it because his apartment complex wouldn't allow him to use anything with a flame to cook.
  5. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    I am not opposed to lump coal, I just already have some of the electric parts from home brewing.  For example I have a PID, thermocouple, SSR, etc.  I really would just need to get the element.  I was just trying to figure out just how much "heat" I need.  I'll poke around some more.  I found a few Electric UDS threads, but didn't really see much talk about the elements themselves.  

    I assume to control the lump, you are talking about the PID controlled intake fan?
  6. jalan43

    jalan43 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

  7. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    1500 watt as Jalan said is th one to go with.. Thats the biggest you can run on a standard 120v outlet. It will pull about 12.5 amps on the circuit.

    Texas Master Electrician. TECL#18332
  8. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Hey EFaden,

    Here's a link to an electric UDS build by "meateater", a member I haven't seen around here in several months. This thread has some good info. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/99211/sparky-the-uds  He did his with a 30 gallon drum.

    These are links he sent me in case I wanted to build one. The bottom link is where he got is 30 gallon drum.


  9. jalan43

    jalan43 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I forgot, the maximum temp I can get my barrel up to is 235 degrees. We have had a few cold days here already this year and I just wrap the barrel up with two wool blankets.
  10. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    Sorry for the delay. Wound up getting a 3400 watt oven element. Got it mounted and should have the control panel v. 01 done soon. I'll post some pictures when I do.

    Running off of 240v. Comes in at about 17A so I should have plenty of power. Just need to figure out my smoker generator. Leaning towards a metal box on the element for now. Eventually id like a smoke generator on the side.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk
  11. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    3400w out to give you all the temp you need..maybe think about puting a line voltage thermostat on it for controlling the temp.
  12. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    One step ahead of you... It is going to be controlled by a PID w/ a 3-Wire PT100 Probe.  I have the element mounted and the 20A circuit wired in my garage.  I just have to mount the rack, temperature probe, and wire up the controller.  I'll take pictures once I get it wired.
  13. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I like that Electric UDS. I may  build one and use my AMAZPS for very nice smoke...
  14. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    Alright.  Update time:

    Built the prototype controller and got it all wired.  Did a trial run just to make sure the element heated up.  Looks good.  My plan is to mount 2 racks in there and the probe this week and then it should be good to go... oh... also have to clean out the drum (ash from burn out and metal shards from drilling the holes.   See the pictures.



    Element Connection on The Outside of the Drum:


    Element Inside the Drum:


  15. dpeart

    dpeart Smoke Blower

    I made my UDS with a1.5"air intake. That way I can go either electric or charcoal depending on what I want. Just run the electrical cord out through the air intake. I use a AMNPS with the electric to do bacon and such when I only want low temperatures. Works really well.

    Good luck.
  16. efaden

    efaden Newbie

    That's a good idea. My goal was to use the oven element to hit whatever temperature I need. Hopefully will run a test soon to see how hot she will get.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk

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