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Thread: Project #4 from DVA, Smoker (UDS) for my dad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Litchfield Park, AZ
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    Default Project #4 from DVA, Smoker (UDS) for my dad

    I was wondering what to get for my dad for a present so I ended up making him a smoker.

    This type of smoker, commonly known as the Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) is constructed out of the following materials:

    1- 55 gallon food grade drum $10-20 (Warning: because a BBQ is used for cooking food, obtain a food grade unlined drum. This drum shown originally had Tabasco sauce and was purchased for $20.00. )
    1- 22.5” Cooking grate $10-15
    1- 2.5” thermometer $15
    2- Ornamental steel handle $1
    3- Side Handles $10
    1- ¾” or 1” ball valve $15 (also need a small threaded pipe end that can be welded to the drum or fastened using threaded fasteners)
    1 – 2” pipe (for smoke stack) $5 at scrap yard
    1- Threaded 2” pipe (for smoke stack) $3
    4- ¼”X1.25” carriage bolts $1.50
    4- ¼” nuts $1
    6’- ½” Tubing
    Expanded metal
    2 cans BBQ paint $15

    Total cost can be between $75+ depending on how much of this stuff you have laying around

    Tools used: Angle Grinder, Dry cut saw, drill (uni-bit), and Miller 252.

    Enough expanded metal is required to make a 14” ring 6” tall ring and enough expanded metal to cover the bottom of the ring. It is best to have an ash pan underneath the fire box/expanded metal to catch the ashes. I constructed the ash pan out of a 16” circle of 16 gauge carbon steel and welded a ½” strip around the edge to make a lip on the ash pan. It is also best to provide about a 1-2 inch gap between the bottom of the ash pan and the fire box so the ashes can drop and the coals are not smothered out.

    The smoker works by placing the fire box in the bottom of the smoker. This is filled with charcoal and a few chunks of wood for flavor. Air enters a valve at the bottom of the smoker to feed the fire. The heat raises and a 22.5 inch cooking grate is attached to the side of the 55 gallon drum via the ¼” carriage bolts placed between 6-8 inches below the lid. This provides enough space between the cooking grate and the lid to cook a full size briskest and multiple pork shoulders and any other tasty delights.

    The thermometer is placed about 1-3 inches below the cooking grate, placing this too close to the food can cause a false reading on the thermometer due to the cooler temperature of the meat.

    The smoke stack on the top of the smoker was attached to the 2” NPT bung fitting using a 2” schedule 10 pipes with a short end of a threaded 2” schedule 40 pipe welded to the bottom of the smoke stack. Weld was sanded smooth so it cannot be seen from the outside of the smoke stack. The top of the smoke stack was fabricated out of scrap 1/8” metal found in the shop and welded to allow the top to rotate with some resistance to assist with setting the exhaust flow.

    The top handle on the lid was picked up at the local metal supply store in their pile of ornamental iron. The ornamental iron peace was welded to the center of the lid to form the handle. A tab was added to the inside of the lid to allow the lid to hang off the side of the smoker. The side handles were picked up at Home Depot for about $10

    The distance from the coals from the food keeps the meat from getting burnt and a steady temperature can be controlled (225-275°F for BBQ). The constant temperature is maintained by setting the air inlet valve at the bottom of the drum and the exhaust on the lid. The temperature can go out of control if the lid is left open for too long as the low temperatures of the BBQ is maintained by limiting the amount of oxygen inside the cooker.

    This type of smoker can be fabricated with not too much effort and without breaking the bank.
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    Last edited by DVA; 10-22-2011 at 05:39 AM.
    Miller 252
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  2. #2

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    I case you or your dad need it here is a place with all kinds of smoking info. http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/index.php
    and http://www.primalgrill.org/recipes.asp
    looking good I bet you can smoke a bunch of things in there.

    have fun
    Tom

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    I case you or your dad need it here is a place with all kinds of smoking info. http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/index.php
    and http://www.primalgrill.org/recipes.asp
    looking good I bet you can smoke a bunch of things in there.

    have fun
    Tom
    I lurk around a few BBQ forums to learn the tricks of the trade. The smoke ring is good place to check out and I have learned a lot there. I will check out the primalgril.

    The UDS smokers work good, this was my third UDS to make and all have worked well as the design allows for the temperature to be controlled easily.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  4. #4

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    HI DVA
    I have a question have you had a problem with the plastic in the ball valve getting to much heat.
    I saw another post where the guy put an elbow where your valve was and put a long nipple and the valve up near the top.
    One thing that will help is no more bending to make adjustments to the air intake valve.
    Anyway neat design I bet you smoke lots of meat in there.

    have fun
    Tom

    Everlast PM256
    Millermatic 180
    Hypertherm PowerMax 65 with machine torch
    Longevity Force Cut 80I
    DIY CNC table for plasma/routing
    13" metal lathe
    Small Mill
    ect, ect.

  5. #5

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    here is what I was talking about from another welding site
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    Everlast PM256
    Millermatic 180
    Hypertherm PowerMax 65 with machine torch
    Longevity Force Cut 80I
    DIY CNC table for plasma/routing
    13" metal lathe
    Small Mill
    ect, ect.

  6. #6

    Default

    I keep saying that I'm going to build one. I'm only going to use a food grade barrel, and just have not ran across one yet. I want to build one and insulate it with my left over insulation.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    HI DVA
    I have a question have you had a problem with the plastic in the ball valve getting to much heat.
    I saw another post where the guy put an elbow where your valve was and put a long nipple and the valve up near the top.
    One thing that will help is no more bending to make adjustments to the air intake valve.
    Anyway neat design I bet you smoke lots of meat in there.

    have fun
    Tom
    I have not had any problems with the Teflon in the ball valves on these type smokers. The fire is in the center of the drum and the edge does not get hot enough to melt the Teflon, it is typically good for ~500°F and the ball valve probably only gets around 140-160°F.

    It would be nice to have the handle as you describe but I have typically justed moved the valve with my foot on my dads smoker. My UDS has a valve at about 2' off the ground with a 1" tube to the bottom of the drum. Anyway, once the smoker is up to temperature the valve does not need to be adjusted and it will go 12 hr. plus at 225-250°F.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    I keep saying that I'm going to build one. I'm only going to use a food grade barrel, and just have not ran across one yet. I want to build one and insulate it with my left over insulation.
    In Arizona there are a few people who sale drums on Craig's list. It took me a while to find a good one. The person selling them had some line on a food processing plant and sales them on the side for extra cash.

    As for insulating a UDS, that would be awesome and probably cut down on the amount of carcoal used during a cook.
    Miller 252
    PowerTig 250 EXT
    Evolution Rage 2
    48X6 inch Belt Sander w/ 9 inch Disk Sander
    ...

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