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UDS tips and unique ideas

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by duncan mcmanus, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Hello everyone,
    I've been reading these forums and contemplating a UDS build of my own for a few years now. I have finally decided to go ahead with it and acquired a drum. I have a couple buddies that have done UDS builds already and like I said I have been reading these forums for a long time, so i am pretty comfortable with the basics of the build (and know where to go when i run into an issue.)

    The reason for this post was to pick your brains and and see if there were some unique or interesting things any of you had done with a UDS that you would recommend. I am especially interested to hear what those of you who have built more than one UDS have changed from first to second builds.

    I've seen all sorts of amazing creations on here and other parts of the internet, so i am confident that there will be some interesting suggestions. I don't have anything specific in mind but I am interested in any thing from the funny and mostly aesthetic things, to little things you have done for ease of use, or enhanced performance.

    Thanks for your help!
    SonnyE likes this.
  2. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I made a UDS once.
    It didn't work for me though....

    Guess I should not have used a plastic drum.... :emoji_rolling_eyes:


    (They worked good for my dust collection system's though... ):emoji_ok_hand:
    SunnyDC likes this.
  3. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've never built a UDS, but good luck. I'll bump this thread in case someone who has built one missed it. I'm pretty @SmokinLogs just finished one, and is happy with the results.

    SmokinLogs likes this.
  4. SmokinLogs

    SmokinLogs Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the mention @gmc2003. I’ve only built one, but I have redone a lot on it modifying it to my liking from trial and error.

    It’s important to have good airflow around your charcoal basket, and have it elevated so ash will drop and help keep airflow to the coals. Most people use expanded metal and that’s probably your smartest move. I tend to make things more difficult for myself. I didn’t spend much money on mine. I had some perforated stainless steel I found a way to use with some other scrap metal from work. A catch pan under the basket makes cleanup a lot easier.

    I prefer having eight 3/4 inch holes spaced around the lid for the exhaust. It’s helps the heat and smoke to draft all around the smoker instead of just one opening.

    And one small mistake I made was mounting the thermometer with the probe right over the grating. My thoughts were that’s the most accurate spot because that’s where the food will be. Don’t do that lol it just gets in the way. It makes it hard to take the grating in and out and you have to watch where you set the food. Mount it a little under the grating. I use the hole from my original mounting point for running my digital probe wires so it worked out.

    I recommend everyone to build one. You can build it however you like it and they don’t have to be expensive. They are super reliable and not difficult to operate. Good luck.
  5. 710A270F-9498-49EC-BEC4-949879676649.jpeg 0271C2BE-F26F-4E1D-890C-9ECF3B3863D6.jpeg I built mine kinda like SmokinLogs except my firebasket is 12”X12”12” welded exp metal.
    Just started Working on another one.
    SunnyDC and SmokinLogs like this.
  6. SmokinLogs

    SmokinLogs Smoking Fanatic

    That’s a nice looking UDS @Ricardo Galindo. I need to make a few more changes to mine before I give it a nice paint job.
  7. thanks for all the responses so far. We are planning to do the burn out this weekend so that the building can begin when the weather warms up a bit. The best news for me so far from this thread is that there is heat resistant orange paint on the market (i'm a Bengals fan, so there is a good chance mine ends up with a few coat of orange paint as well.)
    SmokinLogs likes this.