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Charcoal Basket Ideas?

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by SmokinLogs, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:57 AM.

  1. I’ve been using my UDS for almost a year now. I’ve made a lot of changes to it since my first cook on it, and I feel very comfortable cooking anything on it. It’s been a good smoker, but I still feel like some of it’s quirks are from the charcoal basket. I’ve seen everything YouTube has to offer. I know a lot of guys use a Weber kettle charcoal grate with expanded metal on the sides, but I was hoping to get everyone’s opinion here at SMF that runs a UDS. I’d love to see pictures of everyone’s basket and hear your thoughts on them; likes, dislikes, fuel capacity, burn times... So, I’m all ears, and open to suggestions.
  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How about a WSM charcoal ring?

    SmokinLogs likes this.
  3. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here are a couple pics of baskets

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    SmokinLogs likes this.
  4. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    Expanded metal as shown above is probably what you want. It is hard to find in small pieces also. At least for me. It cost me more to have them cut it than buy a 4x8 sheet of it.

    This is a basket I made for holding rocks as a heat sync in my smokehouse and would hold charcoal fine. Man is it hard hand bending this stuff

    Attached Files:

    SmokinLogs likes this.
  5. krj

    krj Meat Mopper

    You can make a pretty easy one out of an extra grate, a piece of expanded metal, and either metal zip ties or bailing wire. For a 22" grate you'll need a piece of expanded metal 70" long and however tall you want it. For a 18" grate you'll need 57".

    Doing it this way you can just slowly bend the metal around the outside of the grate, fastening it along the way. To get some clearance under the grate for airflow/ash space you can either have a taller piece of expanded metal and let it set an inch or two below the bottom of the grate. Or you can use some bolts, nuts, and washers to pin to the grate giving it feet.
    fivetricks and SmokinLogs like this.
  6. Thanks for the responses. They are all good ideas. Keep them rolling in. I like seeing what works for other people too.

    Here is my current setup. It’s does a good job as it is. I’ve made some really good Q with it, but I built it as a temporary basket until I could build something bigger and nicer. I’m not totally convinced it’s got as much air flow as if I made one mostly out of expanded metal. Better airflow means better control over my combustion. So I figured if I could find enough scrap metal at work it would be worth building another one. For the most part I think I could build one without spending any money. I will let y’all know what I decide on and how it turns out in the near future. Thanks for the input.

  7. weev

    weev Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You could always use the base you have and roll the expanded metal 6 or 8 inches above it (or more if you want) and wire tie or weld it on