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Old 01-05-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
brushtrooper
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Default BBQ/Smoker...UDS

This has to be the best way to smoke a brisket or pork when at the hunting camp/lease. I found out about the UDS on the net last year and have been cooking with since then. Cheapest easiest smoker I have ever used. Its a 55 gallon drum with a charcoal basket in the bottom and cooking grate up top. Do a google search for UDS or ugly drum smoker.
Its a set it and forget it type smoker, 13 lb briskets done in 8 hours.
I have always been a real wood smoker type, till the UDS.
New years weekend, we hunted Friday AM, then went got a brisket. I had the rub on and in the pit by 12:30 pm, by 8 pm brisket was at 175 degrees, we ate on it all weekend.
Once we got back from the store I seasoned the brisket and started the fire in the charcoal basket, set the basket in the drum, set the brisket in, waited for the smoker to hit 250 degrees, capped off some of the intake holes to hold around 250 temp and went hunting till dark. Its that easy.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
lovetohunt
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Do you have any pics?
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #3
Playa
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all you could ever wanna know. http://www.bbqbug.com/forums/general...-part-1-a.html

Looks like I have 'nother project to add to the list. Very cool concept, and extremely reasonable.

I'd probably add some sort of an access door to get into the fire baske and for adding wood extra smoke.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:28 AM   #4
cw3jperry5
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I see a new project in the near Future. One for the casa and one for the hunting cabin. Anyone know were to score some 55 gallon drums in the Georgetown area?
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
Grndchecker
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My dad has been cooking on these for as long as I can remember. His has always been a cheaper way of building. I have built and sold quite a few. I don't use a basket in the bottom. I just cut a door on bottom and put on a hinge and handle, making the door wide enough for a shovel to fit thru. I build a fire next to the barrel and shovel coals in as needed for heat. I can build one for $20.
I can't leave it a long time and go hunt, but I do get to drink a few cold ones while watching the smoker turn out some good food. It's a win / win.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:53 AM   #6
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internal temp not hi enouf needs to be 190 at 175 you are still in plato
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #7
Legdog
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that blows the doors off the price of a Komodo

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cool stuff

thanks for posting it up
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:28 AM   #8
daveally
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Sure sounds a lot cheaper than my Egg but I doubt it would cook as well. I'd sure like to try one out.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
Barney
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Brushtrooper, I use a Weber Smokey Mountain and that is very close to the UDS design. I have been wanting to build an UDS. Where did you find your barrel and lid? I have been looking for quite a while. Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:49 AM   #10
myway
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Dang I wish I would have seen this early in the season it would have been fun to play with. Grndcheckr I am not a smoker at all but whats the reason you can not leave it for long and if you were just doing some chicken or ribs could you make it work while on stand for a evening hunt?
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #11
Legdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myway View Post
Dang I wish I would have seen this early in the season it would have been fun to play with. Grndcheckr I am not a smoker at all but whats the reason you can not leave it for long and if you were just doing some chicken or ribs could you make it work while on stand for a evening hunt?
I have never used one, but I imagine the 55 gal barrel does not retain heat like a big green egg or Komodo.

However, that makes is the perfect "stand around and drink beer" smoker. Which is 99.9% of the fun.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:02 AM   #12
myway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legdog View Post
I have never used one, but I imagine the 55 gal barrel does not retain heat like a big green egg or Komodo.

However, that makes is the perfect "stand around and drink beer" smoker. Which is 99.9% of the fun.
Thats the best part! I am always a little reluctant to leave anything to valuable at the lease and that would be perfect. I think I will make one and play with it in the off season for next year.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:06 AM   #13
freak-nasty
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Dude that is just sweeet!! I'm gonna build several!!!!
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #14
Grndchecker
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Legdog is correct on both statements. By only adding coals and some wood chunks for smoke, the barrel doesn't retain heat. The metal is just too thin. Lifespan of the ones I have been using is about 5 years. Once the bottom corrodes to the point of not being able to open the door for coals I have to build new ones.
I always get to lease a day earlier than most everyone else for opening of gun season when the most people are there. I cook all the meats for meals for the whole weekend so we don't have to skip hunts to cook. Plus, I get to drink my fill Friday and concentrate on hunting.
My dad has a salvage drum, which is 85 gallons instead of 55. He can cook 4 briskets at a time on it. I use 2-55 gallon ones at my lease.

Last edited by Grndchecker; 01-06-2011 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #15
Legdog
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Grndchecker

You should bring one to bownanza in March. It would be prefect for that event and I'm sure many would like to see how you rig 'em (including me).
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:26 AM   #16
tkuehn5410
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I've built several UDS's and agree they are about as good of a cooker as anything I've got. I also have a WSM and a stick burner, but really only use the WSM and drum smoker.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:29 AM   #17
Bonesplitter
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I like!!
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:31 AM   #18
cw3jperry5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legdog View Post
Grndchecker

You should bring one to bownanza in March. It would be prefect for that event and I'm sure many would like to see how you rig 'em (including me).
Yup, I'd like to check it out as well. Got some feelers out now to locate some drums.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #19
lbbf
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Any one know where I could get a drum around the Houston area?
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:28 AM   #20
pallen
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Seems like carefully wrapping it in some heat resistant insulation would help with maintaining heat.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:09 AM   #21
tkuehn5410
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I've never had any problems with maintaining heat on my UDS. It's a pretty easy setup process and easy cooking process as well. Here's another UDS thread. Some people have taken them to epic levels, and some just prefer the ugly drums. There are 489 pages in the thread and it takes several pages to reach the pictures of smokers. The thread was started 3 or 4 years ago and has grown from there.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ly+drum+smoker

Last edited by tkuehn5410; 01-06-2011 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #22
cw3jperry5
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I just scored some barrels, so the wheels are now turning. Looks like I’ll have a few left for feeders as well. When I get started I'll throw something in the DIY section.

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:50 PM   #23
Chief
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i made one of these the other day........have not cooked anything on it yet....


if anybody needs or is looking for a barrel i have a few still in my backyard that originally had apple juice concentrate / pinapple juice concentrate in them.

Tomball area
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:56 PM   #24
Jethro
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After having spent the better part of the morning following the links, I decided I neede to build one. Got a barrel out of the barn at lunch and am now well on my way. I am really anxious to try it out. I have the 3/4 nipples welded on, now got to do a good hot burn on it to get the junk out before I run the sandblaster inside it. After that I should be good to go, got to do some scrounging for the rest of my parts.

Thanks for the heads up on this design.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:52 PM   #25
ytsejam
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I built one of these about 2 years ago. It is the most efficeint cooking machine i have ever used. Set the airholes to get the temp where you want it, and it will sit there for 24 plus hours if you wanted it to. Pretty awesome seeing this thread. Cost me less than $100 to build.
After seeing mine in action 2 of my bros and one buddy have now built them.
You can't go wrong with the UDS, if built right
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:53 AM   #26
brushtrooper
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you can also get drums from a rigging shop if there is one near you. I use chain drums. The charcaol basket is the best way to go I think. I put in 18lbs of mesquite(HEB) charcaol in the basket and then pull out 1 briquet for each pound, so I have 18 briquets pulled out of the center of basket.I light them, get them going, then dump them back into the center of 18lbs in the basket, set the basket back in drum and start bringing it up to temp for smoking. I have had that 18lbs last over 20hrs. I have never needed to go back and add charcoal to complete a brisquet smoke yet.

When you get your new drum setup, just make sure you "burn" it in to get all the paint etc burned off, I built mine off the BBQ Brethern websitem easiest smoker I have ever used...I even got rid of my side fire box pit, the drum is alot better for me.
I dont have any pics, my smoker is at the lease right now.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:10 AM   #27
brushtrooper
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As far as the drum not holding heat, I can tell you for example New Years cook that I did, that was 18 lbs of charcoal started at approx 12:30, brizquet was dne by 8 pm. The next morning(daylight) drum was still around 190-200 degrees, I warmed up some brisquet and sausage on it for breakfast...granted the charcoal was about done.
The charcoal basket, with the intake holes is the way to go....I never would have believed how it works until I used one.The intake holes allow you to fine tune the temps.
Using the mesquite charcoal I have never needed to add wood for smoke, meat comes off with excellent bark and smoke ring so far on each one I have done.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:32 AM   #28
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I guess the purpose of the ball valve on the bottom is for air, what is the purpose of capping the other holes drilled on the bottom?
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:03 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southtexasff View Post
I guess the purpose of the ball valve on the bottom is for air, what is the purpose of capping the other holes drilled on the bottom?

i went even more redneck and cheap on mine, and instead of using a ball valve and caps, i use refridgerator magnets. One is a pizza hut, one is a realtor, and one is Pei wei.
I can adjust the air holes to get any temp i want. If i want 250, i keep two holes completely shut down, and one hole open about half. 300 degrees one is full open, the other 2 closed. Open all 3 air holes on the bottom full bore, can get me about 400 degrees, which is perfect for cooking hole chickens.
If I crack the lid a little with all 3 open, i can get good burger cooking temps, and flare ups that can singe arm hair if not careful.

I use lump charcoal, because not as much ash is produced. With briquets after a few hours you have to kick it a few times to get the ashes to settle. With the lump, I don' t have to do it untill 6 or so hours.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:24 AM   #30
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Have you seen these as well?

http://bbq.netrelief.com/pits/metalp..._bbq_pit.shtml

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27797

I have my parts for one of these already bought, just have not put it together yet. It's my Spring project (well, one of them at least).

Bought the parts at Tractor Supply.

The UDS design is much simpler, but I chose this one in order to be able to smoke a whole pig.

J.P.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:53 AM   #31
Jethro
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Mine is coming along great, gonna burn it out tonight. Got my charcoal basket done, just need an ash pan and a grate. I'm looking for an old throw away Weber for the meat grate, but may have to break down and buy one at Home Depot. I would say that it will be cooking next week, but with Johnny's post on the weather, well, maybe not. I'm dying to run some pulled pork in it.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:28 AM   #32
Playa
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any concern with what contents the drum held previously, or is a good hot fire enough to make it food safe?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #33
southtexasff
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How do you burn it out and is there another way instead of sandblasting it to clean out the inside to make it safe to smoke meat in there?
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:15 PM   #34
Grndchecker
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I was fortunate enough to get new drums to make mine out of. There was only surface rust on the inside. I would still spray the inside and grill heavily with Pam and burn it out for a while. Any food grade, unlined drum would work.
My drums are simple. I don't use a charcoal basket, I just put my coals on the bottom. As for the ball valves, I just crack the door I use to put coals in to adjust the heat.
I would love to be at Bownanza this year and show off some of my drums. I am new to the greenscreen and am addicted. Unfortunately, I have to work and have to save vacation for hunting.

Last edited by Grndchecker; 01-08-2011 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #35
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I don't have any personal experience with these, but asked around after seeing this thread. A guy I work with occasionally uses one and prefers it over any other cooker he's got... and he's a competition Qer.

I'll be building one directly.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:26 PM   #36
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=23436

All you ever wanted to know about this type of smoker.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:46 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
Mine is coming along great, gonna burn it out tonight. Got my charcoal basket done, just need an ash pan and a grate. I'm looking for an old throw away Weber for the meat grate, but may have to break down and buy one at Home Depot. I would say that it will be cooking next week, but with Johnny's post on the weather, well, maybe not. I'm dying to run some pulled pork in it.
If you need someone to sample, you know where to find me.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:24 AM   #38
brushtrooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playa View Post
any concern with what contents the drum held previously, or is a good hot fire enough to make it food safe?
Id stay with a food grade drum, definetly dont want something that was hazardous, The drums I use held chain and had plastic liner.

To burn it out I have jyst bult a big fire using mesquite or a propane torch similar to a pear burner....just get it hot enough to burn all the paint off on the inside, scrape/wire brush it clean when it cools down
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:37 AM   #39
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Where do you get barrels from???? I've been trying to contact a couple of places around Clute and Freeport but can't seem to get anyone to answer a phone.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:09 PM   #40
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I need to try and build one also,,,,
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:20 PM   #41
tkuehn5410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southtexasff View Post
I guess the purpose of the ball valve on the bottom is for air, what is the purpose of capping the other holes drilled on the bottom?
The purpose of the capped holes is that you want to limit the oxygen the smoker takes in so that you can regulate the temp more efficiently. Otherwise, the temp will just keep rising and rising.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #42
Stan R
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I think I have located 4 55 gal open top barrels... I am going to at least make 2....
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:29 PM   #43
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Really like the pic with 3 drums smoking away with 2 "Eggs" sitting idle, LOL.

Somewhere in there is a message!

Thanks for the post up BrushTrooper.
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