Question for BBQ Bubba and other Drum Smoker Guru's

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by chris b, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. chris b

    chris b Newbie

    It seems that everyone has different ideas as to how to put this thing together. After building so many drum smokers, what advice can you give me on the design. What design features have worked best for you? I picked up two drums yesterday, and I'm ready to get started, i just want to make sure I get it right. I want to do two cooking grates if possible. Do you know of any "how-to's" on building one.

    Thank you
  2. lagogarda

    lagogarda Fire Starter

    no guru here but have built a couple...I went with 3 grids in case I wanted more space for smaller schtuff and have a door at the bottom of mine to slide a fire box in and out of. 1/2" and 3"4" vents with ball valves for vent control, handle on the top..still working on a stack and odds and ends..that's about it...the gurus will be awake shortly! [​IMG]
  3. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    On a standard 55 gal. drum one grate is max. and it should be 7 1/2" below the barrel rim, ala BDS. Remember, you are cooking directly over the fire, there is nothing to buffer between it and the food. ONE air inlet, using a 3/4" ball valve to control air flow is all you need, it will rarely be open more than 1/2". The first one I built had more inlets, I found they were not needed. I personally use the "faux BDS" lid configuration. My choice is six 1" holes evenly spaced around the perimeter that are all open cooking and using the 1" metal plugs to close them after cooking.
    Make sure your fire basket is raised above the bottom of the drum for air flow under it. I use carriage bolts 2 1/2" long through a piece of HEAVY expanded metal cut to fit inside the drum and build a separate fire basket with bottom.
    Metal handles tend to get hot, but I use them because they are cheap and readily available. I just keep a pair of leather work gloves handy.
    I use all stainless hardware.
    What you do, or anyone else does, is strictly personal choice.
    I'm telling you what I do and what works for me.
    I LIKE my drums. And I HATE the "UDS" title. They are not ugly. [​IMG]
  4. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

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