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UDS questions

Jokerswild!

Newbie
12
6
Joined Dec 4, 2020
Newby here, longtime smoker guy..

Confined to home while wife is Cov-poz . So- lot of time on my hands! Researching my next project- the UDS build! Couple Questions-

1. anyone using a metal milk carte as a coal basket? Does it hold up over time?
2. Lets say I have a food grade barrel...and have the liner blasted out. ....Is the original paint on the outside not gonna hold up to 300 degree heat?
3. I have a spare bbq grill dome lid. Is a flat top locking lid a better set up...or is the dome better if it fits right?

Thanks much..
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,578
1,658
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Newby here, longtime smoker guy..

Confined to home while wife is Cov-poz . So- lot of time on my hands! Researching my next project- the UDS build! Couple Questions-

1. anyone using a metal milk carte as a coal basket? Does it hold up over time?
2. Lets say I have a food grade barrel...and have the liner blasted out. ....Is the original paint on the outside not gonna hold up to 300 degree heat?
3. I have a spare bbq grill dome lid. Is a flat top locking lid a better set up...or is the dome better if it fits right?

Thanks much..
1. A milk crate might be galvanized, but I would think that could be burned off with a weed burner.

2. Probably not. Why not have the outside blasted when you get the inside blasted?

3. A lot of folks use a domed lid if it has a good fit. Otherwise get an 'open head' drum with the flat lid. They a have a lip for a good seal, you don't need the bolt-on ring except maybe when transporting.

Check out Big Poppa Smokers Drum Kit. Everything except the drum, and they have an excellent how-to video you can check out. I know several people with these kits.
 

hawtsauc3

Meat Mopper
240
108
Joined Jan 27, 2016
Not a UDS expert by any means but I've definitely looked into them and if my WSM ever kicks the bucket that's what I'll probably convert over to.
1) most ppl recommend getting expanded metal and turning that into your charcoal basket. If you use a metal milk crate, it's likely got zinc that you'd have to remove and its so cheap and easy to do expanded metal people go that route.
2) its recommended to get all paint off both inside and out. you can repaint the outside with something high heat but typically you don't want to be messing around with paint fumes from the original paint.
3) if the dome fits I say try it. I believe most ppl used to go dome route until weber put an end to easy access for their lids which is more of the reason you see flat lids now. but if you have a dome that's only going to give you the option for more space.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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1,658
Joined Dec 1, 2019
A friend that makes UDSs to sell drops off several barrels at a sandblasting contractor's facility, and the contractor does them on a day they have a regular job scheduled. He pays cash and I'm sure that goes into a donut fund or beer fund for the shop.
 

Jokerswild!

Newbie
12
6
Joined Dec 4, 2020
So I found a sandblast guy! Question- do the red liners come off just as easy as the tan with the sandblast.
 

hardcookin

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,266
693
Joined Aug 13, 2015
I don't have any pictures handy, but I have used milk crates. Welded 4" legs on it to get it off the ground. Also used expand metal on the inside of the crate.
Worked good ...12-14 hour burn
For chicken the flat lid worked ok. Pork butts I used a Weber lid. I used 2 racks in mine.

Never used a coated drum only bare metal ones on the inside.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,578
1,658
Joined Dec 1, 2019
So I found a sandblast guy! Question- do the red liners come off just as easy as the tan with the sandblast.
The blaster will have several types of blast media and typically on something as thin as a drum, they will use something as mild as they can to avoid damaging the metal. The exterior might be a little rougher (which is called 'profile') and this helps anchor the high temp primer. Primer is the key to any paint or coating system. The top coats are just for show.
 

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