• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Charcoal Basket Ideas?

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
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.
 

archeryrob

Smoking Fanatic
499
152
Joined Oct 26, 2015
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
 

Attachments

krj

Smoking Fanatic
327
181
Joined Mar 23, 2009
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.
 

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
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.

FBD3AAFC-9387-4671-8E14-7AEC5BDAB45F.jpeg

2FF74FA3-05E5-4770-8035-8997FC7D5D1C.jpeg
 

weev

Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
527
111
Joined Mar 10, 2014
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
 

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
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
I had for awhile planned to add some taller sides to this base but I think I want to try a different approach. I just bought a new Weber charcoal grate and found a bunch of scrap expanded metal at work. So I think I’m going to end up with a charcoal basket 18 inches diameter, and probably 12 inches deep, sitting on 3 or 4 inch legs. That’s what I’ve seen a lot of on here and YouTube. It will hold a lot of charcoal and has good airflow all around the basket. Thanks everyone for the input.
 

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
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
I had for awhile planned to add some taller sides to this base but I think I want to try a different approach. I just bought a new Weber charcoal grate and found a bunch of scrap expanded metal at work. So I think I’m going to end up with a charcoal basket 18 inches diameter, and probably 12 inches deep.
 

forktender

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
896
351
Joined Jun 10, 2008
I had for awhile planned to add some taller sides to this base but I think I want to try a different approach. I just bought a new Weber charcoal grate and found a bunch of scrap expanded metal at work. So I think I’m going to end up with a charcoal basket 18 inches diameter, and probably 12 inches deep, sitting on 3 or 4 inch legs. That’s what I’ve seen a lot of on here and YouTube. It will hold a lot of charcoal and has good airflow all around the basket. Thanks everyone for the input.
Dang, that will hold 12bs of charcoal and burn for 25+ hours or more at 225*. I ended up having my buddy weld me up a 15x15'' square 8" deep of expanded metal with 3'' tall legs. I don't know how long it will burn because I've never ran out during a smoke even up to 15 hours on a brisket I still had about 25 pieces of charcoal left the next morning after I shut it down.
Whatever you build make the legs about 4'' tall.
Mine are 3'' on a smaller basket and the ash starts to build up inside the basket. Post up and show us what you end up with.
Dan:emoji_thumbsup:
 

hardcookin

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,210
677
Joined Aug 13, 2015
image.jpg
This was my basket, milk cartoon I added 3/4" expanded metal to the inside.
 

Craig Ward

Fire Starter
68
26
Joined Mar 21, 2019
I used expanded metal and a charcoal grate from a 22 weber. I made the sides 16" high which I found out is way too high. My drum ran for 28 hours at 250 this weekend on a full load.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.