Friday, 30 November 2012
BBQ: Ugly Drum Smoker
Here are some pictures and details about my UDS or Ugly Drum Smoker. Basically a UDS is a '44 gallon' drum, usually topped with a Webber kettle BBQ lid, and usually fitted with Webber kettle BBQ racks. Most frequently it's used to burn charcoal fuel (or Heat Beads) for hot-smoking (Southern) American Style BBQ (ribs, pulled pork and those sorts of things). Most often they are painted and fitted out much nicer than mine. ;)
There is a ~700 page (that's pages not posts!) thread here on the BBQ Brethren USA BBQ forums all about the UDS, how to build them and various options etc.
And a good build thread, with suggestions for measurements, dimensions and hardware can be found here.
I got a 44 gallon drum from Ebay (approx $10 or $20), burned it out at my sister's farm last year, and cleaned the interior with a drill and wire brush:
Measured 1/3 segments:
and drilled air-intake holes with a TCT hole saw:
Two recycled Webber kettle BBQ racks are mounted on 3x SS bolts at the top of the drum:
There are many ways to build an UDS, the only generally fixed guideline is that the lower rack should be at least 24inches from the bottom of the fire-box.
The general way to build a fire-box is to attach a ring of expanded mesh to the ash-tray of a Webber kettle, however I couldn't find any of the expanded mesh (in small/cheap sizes/prices) locally, so I cut an old BBQ grill-plate in half:
... and wired it together with some nichrome wire:
using an old BBQ-wok-tray for an ash-catcher.
Note: after using a few times, I think the fire-box is a bit too high and will be making a new one (or changing this one) so that it is wider and flatter.
Various methods (most often a ball-valve) are used to control the opening on the air-intake holes and thus control the cooking temperature, I just used a few fridge magnets stolen from the fridge:
... no additional hardware or setup needed, and easily adjusted:
Finished it looks like this, note how the protective oxide layer nicely matches the colour of the lid: