Getting started

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by john trotter, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. john trotter

    john trotter Fire Starter

    hi all just getting started on building my uds,i need to get hold of  a  few things (spend some money[​IMG])  i need to get two round grills and a thermostat any recommendations in the uk, also i have been looking at different ideas for holding the grills in, bolts at spaced intervals or a metal  shelving brackets for the adjustment,up and down.any ideas please. again trying to keep cost to a minimum [​IMG]  any help appreciated


  2. ewanm77

    ewanm77 Smoke Blower

    I got a thermostat on amazon for
  3. Hello John and Welcome.  As for the therm., unless you buy one that you can calibrate ( £ ) I wouldn't bother.  MaNy of them are WAY off temp.  I would spend the money on a Maverick 732 dual probe therm.  You can read the temp in the smoker and the IT of the meat from the same unit.  A little pricey but most members say they are the mutts nuts when it comes to therms.  It is on my list to buy.

    As for a grill, you can find them on E-Bay or you can use the site posted below.  These folks have discounted Weber stuff and we get a discount there.  The way it works is they work from RRP, if they have it discounted 20%, we then get an extra 7% off making a total of 27% discount.  The promotion code is SMOKINGMEAT27 .  If I can help with anything else please let me know.  Keep Smokin!

  4. adenjago

    adenjago Fire Starter

    Hi John

    Much in the same boat as yourself, i have just took delivery of a Oil Drum recently, just before I went Glamping so up to yet I have only Marked out and Dot Punched where my intended holes are going,  so Just looking at obtaining  all the bits and pieces, like the Grill and Fire basket bits as cheap as possible

    I will hopefully be posting pictures of my build once I start, but first I have to purchase some the power Tools (both my cordless drill and my Grinder both died a couple of days after ordering the Drum (it's like they knew some hard work is coming.

    All the guys one here a very helpful and full of knowledge (Im still New here) especially Danny and Wade who seem to have years of experience of smoking and all ready given myself a lot of Pointers.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  5. How about that.  The muppet forgot to say where to use the promption code.  It's called wowbbq.

  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Just a note about getting grill grates. I would highly recommend the hinged grates. Makes adding wood or coals a dream. I don't know, do you have home depot in the UK? Your coal basket grill is the bottom coal grate from a 22.5 inch kettle BBQ. I got mine from a trash heap. the rest of the basket can be acquired from a place that sells screen doors. They sell dog protectors for screen doors that are made from expanded metal and just the right size. For the grates I used stainless machine bolts but you could use regular steel. I would not use anything that is galvanized in there. That stuff is bad. Hope this helps. timber oh yeah, you will need a pan below your basket and space in between the pan and the grate. I used bolts, nuts and washers for the legs and a pizza pan for the ash pan. I find you really don't need a handle or hook on top of your basket, just some good welding gloves or pot holders will work fine.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  7. john trotter

    john trotter Fire Starter

    Hi all sourced a fire  basket today,fitted some bolts through for the feet, on a mission, drilled three holes for the air flow, me thinks a burn out tomorrow night, and maybe a coat of paint on Sunday.

    Danny wowbbq is not good for the wallet, [​IMG]   will give them a go Timberjet i think i will go for the hinge grate as you suggested. will post some pictures tomorrow.
  8. adenjago

    adenjago Fire Starter

    Hi Timber,
    I was thinking of this while marking My drum, but Im not sure if it worth the hassle to try and put a kind of door\hatch into the bottom for for adding Wood coal (a bit like Webber Smokers) but not sure at the moment.  seen plenty of UDS ones in the US with door\hatches, but i suppose it is another area that may release smoke 
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  9. Hello.  That hinged Weber grill is a nice add on to the UDS.  Keep Smokin!

  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello, Johncarter , from us in Ohio.  You have a good project there and will be happy with it in the long run.  I made mine with just bolts and 3/4" fittings and the Coal basket .

    You'll get to know my good friend Danny aka  KC5TPY . He's a Texas Boy and is well versed in Smokology [​IMG]  (new word).

    Have fun here and . . .
  11. john trotter

    john trotter Fire Starter

    Todays progress

    Well this site and uds making  should have a addiction warning,and i haven't got no where near cooking anything,today i have got a few thing done and 1 burn out under me belt,as per photos,do i need the diffuser with the holes in? and is there a max hight restriction  on the basket ?

  12. Hello John.  You have me worried here!  Those look like they may be galvanised.  If you are not 100% sure they are not DO NOT USE THEM!  Galvanise poisoning is not a good thing.  Please be 200% sure it is not galvanised.  I like that diffuser, you may have to drill larger holes in that pan but go for it and see how it works.  The coal basket doesn't have to be that tall but as you will have the room it shouldn't matter if you leave it.

    Galvanise is a BIG thing with me.  Being a welder, I have had MILD galvanise poisoning.  It is not nice.  Folks may tell you IF you do a burn and it gets to a certain temp the galvanise will burn off.  Why take the chance with folks you love??  If you are sure it is not galvanised but that basket has another unknown plating please don't use that either.  There are other coatings that can cause illness if used in a charcoal basket.  BE SAFE!  Keep Smokin!

  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have never really felt the need for a diffuser in my UDS. I have used it alot too. I might be a little worried about that basket. It does look to be galvanized in the photo. If it is stainless you might be ok but I wouldn't take the chance. See if you can find some expanded metal. Just plain steel won't hurt you. Maybe Danny could point you to some in your area since he is a welder. Just a thought.

    this is my basket. With built in ash pan. Works like a charm.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Might as well put that other basket back on the bike. haha...
    john trotter likes this.
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I would not as the beauty of the drum smoker is that after you are done smoking you can shut down the air valve and plug the holes in the lid and it will be cold to the touch in no time, saving the remaining charcoal for next time. I think unless you got it really air tight it would just cause inefficiency. I can load that basket full and smoke for 24 or more hours easy. The hinged grates just make it easier if you want to drop in a chunk of wood every once in a while. I use the minion method so normally never have to do that. But sometimes I like to add a little sometimes not. 
  16. john trotter

    john trotter Fire Starter

    Danny many thanks i will make a new one, i'm not sure what it is but likely its galv, if im making anew one do i need to make it wider spread, or any specific height, i've seen various sizes, any suggestions,just glad i joined this group ,

    thank you all  
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Mine is 24 inches high and I could have made it a bit shorter but that was the size of the expanded metal that I got. the circumference would be determined by whatever you use as an ash pan. You will want an ash pan as it just makes it so easy to clean up. I would make it as big as you can for long extended cooks on big chunks of meat. Just my two cents. Happy UDS building. Timber
    john trotter likes this.
  18. Hello John.  timberjet has you sorted.  An ash pan helps at clean up time.  You can find expanded metal like the stuff pictured above on E-Bay, cut to size.  Pizza pans will work for the ash pan and diffuser.  Keep Smokin!

  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good decision. Better to be absolutely sure than to take the risk.

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