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UDS / Homemade Barrel Cookers

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Post Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:46 pm
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Jamesstew, when you're cooking in your UDS, do you turn your food? If so, how often?
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:55 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
Every two to three hours seems to work fine for me. When cooking at a higher temp I'll turn a little more often. I've also done cooks where I'll only turn once halfway through the cooking process and this has worked fine also.

Post Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:50 pm
Attrill well done
well done

Posts: 663
Location: Chicago

This is about a month late - but with a new job and a one year old at home I'm not checking in as much as I should! Especially on the stickies, I always forget about 'em.

To me a vertical makes more sense for straight up smoking, but horizontal gives you more flexibility if you're grilling for large crowds (which is actually the primary purpose of the one I built). I built this at a friend's farm where I'm sort of the designated grill cook, and cook for crowds on holiday weekends. I'm hoping to build a brick smoker for low slow at farm sometime soon.

I can try to dig up some photos, but here's a description of what I did that might be helpful if you're going to go horizontal:

I used a tape measure, 8' long drywall t-square, and sharpie to mark the lines to cut it in half. Then I used a sabre saw with a new metal blade to cut it in half (I just leaned it in at a 45 degree angle on the top to start out - you could drill a hole too). Once it was cut in half we burned out the insides really well (enough to burn off all paint on it) and let it cool. Then we spray painted the outside with high temp spray paint.

The insides of the top and bottom half are both reinforced with an angle iron frame. The hinges attached to the back attached through the drum to the angle iron frame. The frame on the bottom half creates a lip that allows the grill (a 1" thick iron grate) to drop in and be flush with the top edge of the barrel. I used 3 old brass door hinges that were lying around for hinges . Drum walls are way too weak to support the weight of the top, so even if you don't frame out the entire insides, you'll need to put one piece across the top and bottom of the back where the hinges attach. I also bolted a chain to the top and bottom to keep the lid from falling all the way back when it was open.

For a damper I cut out a trapezoid around the large bung hole, leaving about 3" from the top of the cut to the top edge of the barrel half. I cut a piece of 16 gauge sheet metal large enough to cover the hole and used a bolt to attach it to the barrel, leaving it loose enough that you can slide it back and forth. I put expanded metal in the bottom for a coal grate.

That's pretty much it. My friend Jim built the carriage out of old aluminum pipe and we just attached the two together with bolts.

I really like it a lot. Only about a third of it is usable for true low and slow, but the full length can be used for direct or indirect grilling. I cut the grill so there is a gap at the front to drop wood into, so you can build a smaller fire and just add small pieces of wood as needed.

That's about it!

Post Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:22 pm
mbshop well done
well done

Posts: 863
Location: visalia ca
i'm having no luck finding a barrel. any ideas on what kind of business i could call? seems like an easy thing to do but i've struck out. thanks,
george
spam, can't live without it.

Post Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:04 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2617
Location: Valley Springs, CA
try your local feed store

Post Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:23 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
Bakeries may be a good bet also.

Post Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:44 pm
baker well done
well done

Posts: 486
Location: NorthEast
If there are micro breweries around you try them, or a brew your own shop (they get adjunct in them). Wineries could be a good source. Bakeries are a good bet.

And here's a guy in your area thinking along the same lines. Maybe he has had more replies than he needs?

http://visalia.craigslist.org/wan/462567007.html

Last bet contact a bulk motor oil distributor, or have your local mechanic do it for you. They should have new unused barrels in stock, available for resale.

EDIT::::

Just found these, they look to be local to you.

http://brewbakersbrewingco.com/

Bencomo's Homebrew Supply
234 West Olive
Fresno, CA 93728
(no real web site...)
I've got a mess of U15s and I'm not afraid to bring them into the conversation!

Post Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:13 pm
Def_Munky well done
well done

Posts: 566
Location: Benton, La.
My neighbor has a smoker that I love the looks of. It's similar to this:

http://www.mikesell.net/smoker/

The difference is my neighbor's looks like it is made with about 20" pipe, and has a stack on either side connecting the top and bottom. It looks like it has room for one turkey, or a few slabs of ribs, or a butt or two, etc, as it's not very big. One of his friends made it for him as a birthday present.

If I made one, I'd probably do one like this. You don't see it too often (his is the first one like it I've ever seen) and it seems like it would do pretty well in eliminating the hot spots.

All I know is I saw it and fell in love with the design. Someday I will own one! :D :lol:
Image
CG Super Pro w/o SFB

Post Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:21 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
Def, I agree with you about eliminating the hotspots. IMO offsets are really inefficient unless you are using a top-notch one made from 1/4" steel. Smoke wants to go up, not sideways. Check out 'Diamond Plate Smokers', they have the firebox behind and under the cooking chamber somewhat similar to that design you are thinking about.

Post Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:49 pm
Def_Munky well done
well done

Posts: 566
Location: Benton, La.
Yeah, I was thinking when I got the SFB for my Super Pro, I might try to make a deflector baffle of some sort for the inside to direct the heat and smoke straight to the main chamber instead of letting it hit the top and just roll into the main chamber. Just something to help the efficiency a bit more.

I don't know how cost effective it would be, but you could do something similar with a side fire box mounted under the main chamber with a couple of vents going up to connect it to the mc. You'd have to plug the big gaping hole on the side of course, but it could work. I don't know how big the vent pipes would need to be, and you would have to have a way to latch the SFB door open, which I would probably face towards the back of the unit.
Image
CG Super Pro w/o SFB

Post Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:27 pm
Bswilly65 rare
rare

Posts: 31
Location: Indianapolis,Indiana

Ok after reading these posts I started doing some digging and found new 55 gallon steel barrels in my area for 10.00! so I bought 3 of them.I will be starting my custom smoker right after Christmas.

Post Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:54 am
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Bswilly65 wrote:
Ok after reading these posts I started doing some digging and found new 55 gallon steel barrels in my area for 10.00! so I bought 3 of them.I will be starting my custom smoker right after Christmas.


That's a great find!
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:24 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
You could make three UDS's. Even with one rack each that would be a lot of cooking space.

Post Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:55 pm
Bswilly65 rare
rare

Posts: 31
Location: Indianapolis,Indiana

http://bbq.netrelief.com/pits/metalpit/ ... _pit.shtml

this is basically what I'm gonna build. I'm getting 3 barrels in case I mess one up

Post Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:23 pm
bstein well done
well done

Posts: 435
Location: San Diego CA
Bswilly65 wrote:
http://bbq.netrelief.com/pits/metalpit/bigbaby/build_big_baby_metal_bbq_pit.shtml

this is basically what I'm gonna build. I'm getting 3 barrels in case I mess one up


She's a real beauty! Good luck I hope it goes well for you.

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