Planning the build

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 25, 2009
Cross Plains, WI
I have 1 55 gallon drum and access to 4 more right now, as many as I want as long as I wait for them to empty.  I have been looking at a few of the builds on here and I have a question before I really start the plans.  The answer will decide which I make, horizontal or vertical. 

How many racks fit in a vertical UDS?  Everything I am looking at seems like they only have 1.  I like to do large smokes, so.......
I got 3 in mine. If you can get more Drums you can make a stack UDS. just cut one off below the first rib on the drum and stack it on another drum. I started one. been waiting for a good weekend to burn it out and paint it but old man winter just won't leave this year ( we got snow coming in on sunday) here the link to the one I started Stack UDS
How much space do you get between each rack and how much space above the coals? Do you use a diffuser above your coals?
How much space do you get between each rack and how much space above the coals? Do you use a diffuser above your coals?
I have 2 racks in mine,with Weber lid.First one is about a inch down from top and the second is about 5 inches below that.I do use a diffuser,that is nothing more than a piece of foil with holes poked in it on another grate that is about 6 inches above the the fire basket.
I have 2 racks in mine with a pizza pan buffer that holds a water pan.  I don't use the water pan every time.  My buffer is a perforated 18" pizza pan.  For my lid I used the bottom of a 22.5 Weber it gives me more room on the top rack.  My top rack is about 2" down from the top and gives me room to do 4 beer can chickens.  I'm still learning how to use the "top" vents since the ones on the bottom of the kettle are much larger than the 4 holes on the lid. 

If you can find a Weber 22.5" on craigslist that has both grates you are way ahead of the game.

My first rack is 5" and the second is 6". I can get a big fat turkey in the smoker with no problem. I can also pack my UDS with plenty of pork butts. I think if you are using a Weber lid you can can place your rack closed to the top. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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