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UDS / Homemade Barrel Cookers

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Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:25 pm
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
Thanks for the tip Kenny.

Whats the longest burn you ever got? I hear some of up to 14 hours. Like you mentioned I will be using the UDS for larger cuts of meat and longer cooks and reverting back to my offset for shorter cooks.
Al

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:18 pm
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
My last cook on it was the longest - a brisket that took a little over 12 hours. I still actually had some charcoal & wood chunks leftover and I used a 9# bag of briquettes and 4 pecan chunks. The UDS does seem to cook a little faster than any offset I've used, even at the same cooking temperature.

I've heard of some getting over 20 hours, and I imagine it could be done if necessary. I have yet to come close to maxing out the capacity of my charcoal basket. In fact, I've recently been thinking about building a smaller charcoal basket for shorter cooks like ribs and chicken, etc.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:56 pm
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
I have a rusted out old ECB that I have been meaning to set to the curb. Do you think the charcoal bucket on that, with a grate oon top for the ashes to fall through, and expanded metal as sides would be large enough or do i need something larger?
Al

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:11 pm
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
I'm not familiar with the ECB so I don't know how big that is. To give you an idea, for my charcoal basket I started with a 12" x 24" piece of expanded metal. I cut it straight down the middle with my grinder, leaving 2 pieces 6" x 24" then bolted the ends together forming a ring 6" deep and approximately 17-18" in diameter. I just sit that on top of one of those $4.99 cooking grates and that's my charcoal basket.

Basically, I'd shoot for something close to that 16-18" diameter and 4-6" deep size to make sure you have a good enough charcoal capacity for long cooks. When you build that UDS, just set the height of your cooking grate that's closest to the heat at least 24" above your charcoal grate (not the top of the basket).

One thing I was thinking about as far as a smaller basket for shorter cooks, I may just take my charcoal basket from my CG and sit it on the charcoal grate rather than building something new. Probably still a little bigger than I need though.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:43 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
The ECB basket should be fine
Image

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:27 pm
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
Thanks Kenny and Eric...I shall give it a shot. Deep enough should not be a problem...
Al

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:38 pm
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Cool. Just be sure to post some pictures.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:42 am
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
OK...this is the BIG weekend. I am going to start my UDS project and fully document with pictures.

I got a 55 gallon open head drum w/ lid
I am going to use ball valve for air control
I got a 3" temp gauge to add at cooking grate level
I am using the water pan from a rusted out ECB and expanded metal to create the coal basket/ash tray.

Tonight, weather permitting, I am sanding the paint off the beast.


In addition, I also got, for free, a closed head 55 gallon drum that I was thinking about turning into a charcoal maker....as a future project.

I am going to cut open the lid.
Make a wide grate using Stainless Steel rods that will hold the logs as they brun. As the log falls aparts, it will fall through the rodded grate onto the bottom of the drum. Then, with a shovel, I can scoop the coals out of the opening at the bottom of the drum and into the smoker.

Here is a poorly drawn design.

Image

I know it might be a bit redneck, but the drum was free and all I have to purchase is the SS rods.

Wish me luck and let me know what you think about project #2...
Al

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:52 am
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Sounds like an interesting project. Let us know how that works out for you.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:27 pm
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
Here is a pic of what I am trying to accomplish, if I decide to proceed...

Image

It is supposed to be true wood smoking at it's best. The downside is tht you have to have a good supply of free wood to make this worth while.

We have some land in Northern Michigan and I am going to start looking for fallen hardwood trees that I can use.
Al

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:52 pm
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
That really does look like a great idea. I can get a drum for something like that anytime I want. Just running out of space to put something like that and store wood.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:00 pm
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
I agree Kenny, my backyard it starting to get cluttered with smokers/grills. I got aplace for the wood, but adding 2 55 gallen drums to the patio is going to be a hard sell with the wife.

After looking at the picture and my drawing...I do have to say, my pic drawing was pretty good.
Al

Post Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:19 pm
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

Michigan Fats wrote:
It is supposed to be true wood smoking at it's best. The downside is tht you have to have a good supply of free wood to make this worth while.

We have some land in Northern Michigan and I am going to start looking for fallen hardwood trees that I can use.


Hey Fats, I'm very interested in the results of your design for a wood-only fueled vertical drum smoker. No doubt that having a hefty supply of wood for fuel is a must. My concern is with the drum temp control. Since wood burns hotter and is more difficult to control burning temps than lump or briqs and with the food directly over the wood that is burning, low and slow may be harder to do. But your ingenuity and creativity may defeat any problems with the too high temps issue.
I have a BDS and use lump and/or briqs or a mixture of both for fuel and add large sized wood chunks for smoke flavor. With 8-10lbs of lump and/or briqs I can get 12+ hours of steady 225-250* temps in the drum without needing to add anymore to the charcoal basket during a smoking session.
I'm very interested in knowing how your "wood only" drum design goes, as far as length of burns and stability of temps. As you are probably aware, most UDS users will use primarily lump/briqs for fuel with wood chunks added for flavor.
What I do know is that most UDS users are very satisfied with their drum smokers.
All the best in your build of the wood-only vertical drum smoker!! Keep us updated as you progress with your build and testing!!
ImageImage

Post Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:28 am
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
Hi Jazz,

The drum is just a wood burner. Basically, I would add logs to this drum, and as they burn and fall apart, I will shovel the coals from the bottom and add them to the SFB of my offset.

This past fall I came across a load of apple wood and with the cherry, apple and oak wood from our land up north,

When I got my open head drum, I was able to get a closed head too for free. Since I have no need for 2 UDS, I thought I might expierement with the closed head and try making this wood burner.

The UDS will burn briquettes or lump with wood chunks only.
Al

Post Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:20 am
Michigan Fats well done
well done

Posts: 723
The drum has been sanded and paint removed. One quick question...should I do a burn before I build or after?

THanks
Al

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