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want to build a uds

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by wesb, May 18, 2010.

  1. wesb

    wesb Fire Starter

    how long can you cook before adding more fuel? Is it a real pain to add more fuel ? caps or ball valves or both?? can i do three grates ? i plan on getting a cheap 22.5 kettle for some donor parts. how does the dome lid compare to the flat lid for temp management? i really dont like babysitting a smoker, cause when i'm smoking i've always got my two and three year old daughters, who do love to "help". I love the flavor charcoal gives, but dont want to spend 400 for a 22.5 wsm. my main concern would be adding more fuel, it seems like a major event to have to pull out a couple of briskets just to add some more coals. any help would be great
  2. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    01. Ten Hours (give or take depending on fire basket size, fuel choice, , open/closed valves, etc)

    02. It would sort of be awkward to add more, but I don't see the need you'd ever have to add more.

    03. Both

    04. I don't think 3 grates would work, unless cooking brisket flats only, spaced fairly close to eachother. Need atleast 24 inches from top of fire to first grate

    05. Not sure, but i would guess identical. I used domed for more space for chickens, butts, etc

    06. "Adding Fuel" isn't a concern whatsoever. Setting and Forgetting is what the UDS is all about. You're going to love it.
  3. dennisdocb

    dennisdocb Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I don't have a UDS but was thinking about building one.

    What about doing a Butt that takes me usually around 14hrs or so?
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Thunderdome on everything except I have been able to burn for around 18 hours but I did build a pretty big charcoal basket. One ball valve and two or three caps will be perfect. Some do 3/4" and some do 1". I would suggest 2 racks unless you know you are only doing ribs and you only need a few inches between the racks.
  5. wesb

    wesb Fire Starter

    i've had quite a few butts go way more than ten hours, and it's one of my favorites, but i guess one interuption would be ok after 10 or so hours. the only reason i'd want to do more than two grates was to do massive amounts of spares, cause more and more i'm being asked to cook for large gatherings, but i dont even know how many i could fit on one grate, so it may not be a problem anyways.
  6. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Make sure yer lid fits good, to much leakin an it will be hard ta control temps. Not hard ta fit up a domed lid.

    Use 3 3/4 inch nipples, two with caps one with a full flow ball valve.

    I get bout 12 hours on my basket, ain't needed ta reload yet. No biggie if yall do, just lift out the racks, pull out the basket, set the racks back in an put the lid on while yer reloadin the basket, er, better yet, have a charcoal lighter an get them briqs ready so all ya gotta do is pull the racks, add the already hot coals an get back to it. Fellers with real big baskets don't usually need ta re load.

    I got two grates an that works out perty well. If yer gonna do more en 1 great yer gonna wan't a domed lid fer the extra space.
  7. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ditto what they all said except I can routinely go 14+ hours with a 13.5" diameter by 8" high charcoal basket. I have never had to reload.[​IMG]

  8. wesb

    wesb Fire Starter

    what about adding wood? after a few hours will the wood be burned out?
  9. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am only on my second cook with my drum but I am right there with everyone else. I did end up with a large basket and with no food I ran 25 hours at 200 to 250. At that point I shut it down, the next day I had about 1/2 a chimney of coals left. I was using reg kingsford briquet's.

    My build has pics that show how I turned my drum upside down and made it so if for some strange reason I was to have to get at the basket I could lift the whole barrel food and all, off the base. I would probably need help so's not to spill the food tho.

    I have two shelves that sit on pins and another shelf that sits on legs on top of the lower shelf. For doing spares, I may even buy a 19" rack and make a 4th shelf 3" above the top grate.

    On mine I used the bottom from a kettle grill for my lid to gain a little more room for beer chickens on the top rack.

    Mine has 3/4 fittings with 2 steel caps and 1 steel elbow.
    Then I used pvc up to my pvc ball valve. (much cheaper then brass)

    FYI .... Noticed yesterday that Harbor Freight has ball valves for near the same price as home depot's pvc.

    The only thing I need now is an artist to paint my drum to look like R2D2 from starwars.

    After 25 hours I still had a piece of wood left. Burnt but left.
    First smoke I was told that I had it to smokey but I think that was from the briquets.
  10. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When loadin the basket with briqs, I layer the wood in an around the basket. In other words, lay down a layer a briqs a piece a wood er to, lay down some briqs, add a piece er two a wood at about 90° from the other and keep goin. I usually use bout 5 er 6 pieces a wood. This way it sorta burns a piece an gets another one goin bout the time the other is finishin up.
  11. dburgette

    dburgette Fire Starter

    Yeah, if you just layer the wood throughout the basket with coals, you will be fine for a long smoke. These things are gods gift to smoking!
  12. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    you should never have to reload it to smoke buts, just have to give the charcoal basket a shake every now and again.
  13. wesb

    wesb Fire Starter

    thanks for all the replies, i think its time to start gathering materials. might even post some pics of the build
  14. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    You "might even" post some pics of your build? Don't tease us like that! We thrive on qview!