New at smoking things. UDS build

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Original poster
Feb 28, 2014
Hi all. New to the forum and new to the art of smoking. Ive been grilling all my life and decided to give the smoker a shot.
Not wanting to shell out $300+ for a decent size smoker just for experimenting I decided to build it myself.
I got me a 55 gal food grade drum, drilled some 3/4in intake holes, 1/4 inch grate holder holes and a 3/8in hole for the temp gauge. Brought it home along with some scrap wood I found around the shop and I burnt it for about 4 hours. I had a tough time getting air to the enclosed drum even with the holes drilled so out came my wifes hair drier. Put it on one of the holes and it burnt the paint right off.
I brought it back to the shop the next morning and assembled the grate holders, just 1/4 x 2 bolts and nuts. Next came the intakes, 90○ fittings with 8" black pipe and a ball valve at the end.
For a lid I found a weber grill in the back of my house when I first moved in and I never took it to the dump. Lucky me because the lid fits perfectly on the drum.
I painted everything semi gloss black and it came out great.
The firebox was built using an old propane heater that had a stainless steel mesh around the outside. Cut here, bend there, weld a bit and I had a pretty awesome firebox. Dont have a picture of it. Sorry.
I gave it a test run that same night and it ran ( to my very limited knowledge ) extremely well. It held at 225-250 for about three hours until I shut everything off and it went out.
I was hoping to smoke some steaks this weekend but my wife went into labor so no chance.
Anyway, let me know what you guys think of it. Any and all opinions or criticism is welcome since I have no idea of what im doing.
Looks great. You will love it. Congrats on the new addition. Wish you and your wife well.
It looks fantastic, and good luck with the new baby.

Some would say to swap out the galvanized elbows with black pipe instead.

Good luck smoking!
Thanks guys. We are really excited.
I did a little bit of research on the galvanized fittings and they are not gonna get hot enough to worry about it.
I will let you guys know after my first run is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.