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UDS advice please

PostPosted: 18 Sep 2015, 19:10
by krf1963
I have been using a Weber 57cm kettle for a few years now and have graduated to "lid down" slow cooking for some time now.

I have decided to make a UDS and managed to source open topped unlined drums nearby for a very reasonable price. I also managed to get a washing machine drum for nowt off of Freecycle.

Marvelous I thought! Then when I tried the washing machine drum in the UDS donor drum it slid in snugly with no gaps around the sides!

I thought I must have acquired an overly large washing machine drum but then realised I had bought a 110 litre, 50cm drum rather than the normal, 45 gallon jobbie!

Question is do I keep the small drum and make a smaller fire basket or source a larger drum and use the existing washing machine drum as the fire basket.

I have a smallish back yard and quite like the smaller drum size but don't know if it will make a good smoker. Part of me thinks it will be like a 47cm WSM but I am not sure.

If i use the flat lid that came with the drum will the grill be too close to the coals (would a diffuser help?) or would it work if I got a domed lid?

Any advice gratefully received.


Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 12:49
by TheRub
Hi Krf,
Building the UDS may be easier if you can get hold of a 55 (or 45 imperial) gallon drum. These drums are conveniently just the right diameter to fit a 57cm kettle lid and grill racks.
I don't know how easy it would be to get hold of 50cm grill racks.

Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 13:03
by krf1963
Thanks for the reply but in some ways I am being pushed down the line of keeping the slightly smaller drum (my wife says "that is big enough, we don't have the room").

I did a search on gumtree and found a virtually brand new weber 47cm for £15 and the grill fits perfectly and the charcoal tray may well do for the base of the fire basket (35cm in diameter - is this big enough?).

The lid is somewhat smaller than I would like but I gather the same applies to the 57cm lid and the larger drum. Any further comments/suggestions would be gratefully received.

Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 02 Oct 2015, 17:45
by krf1963
I am looking at getting sheet of 1 inch square mesh 3mm welded stainless mesh and wondered if the holes would be too large to make a fire basket from?

Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 04 Oct 2015, 09:38
by essexsmoker
Seems like a waste of stainless. Use that for a grate or fish tray.

Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 04 Oct 2015, 12:24
by krf1963
I can get it cheap (£30 for an 8x4 sheet) so will have loads left for racks etc.

I was more wondering if the 1 inch mesh size was ok.

Re: UDS advice please

PostPosted: 05 Oct 2015, 09:04
by essexsmoker
Holy cow batman. That's not cheap, thats nearly free! Lol.
How come so cheap?

I'd say that would be fine. You can always put another layer over the top if you need to.
If you use briqs you will want the big holes but another layer of mesh for supermarket lump as it's normally smashed to buggery. The briqs produce a lot of ash which can choke the fire so big holes is good.