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I will keep updating this page until I feel that the page is perfect. Which of course will be never so check back often for updates.
Here are all the best links on the internet regarding a UDS Build. Check them out and you will have all the resources you will ever need to build a UDS.
UDS Build Links:
- BBQ Brethren UDS Build
- HowToBbqRight.com UDS Build
- Facebook Ugly Drum Smokers Page
- The Smoke Ring Ugly Drum Smoker
- SmokingMeatForums.Com UDS Build
- ThePickledPig.Com UDS Build
- BBQ-4-U.Com UDS Build
- BBQPitBuilders.Blogspot.Com UDS Build
- CowgirlsCountry.Blogspot.Com UDS Build
So the basic design of the smoker is really very simple.
1. You have a 55 gallon food grade metal barrel.
2.You then drill either 3 or 4 barrels about 2 inches up from the bottom of the barrel spaced evenly apart with a metal hole saw or a step bit.
3. You will then drill the holes for the grill grate bolts.
4. I then drilled 4 holes in the lid to bolt on a handle.
5. The next step is to have some exhaust holes on your lid.
6. I had a closed lid so I drilled 4 1 1/8 holes equally around my handle.
7. If you have bung holes on your barrel you may even add pipe to make some exhaust on your lid.
8. You may want to add handles to help move the barrel to the sides of your barrel.
9. The barrel is now sand blasted to remove any contaminants.
10. I then primered my barrel and painted it with some high temperature black engine paint.
11. Some people use black pipe nipples on the bottom intake holes. I left the holes open. If my temperature gets to high, I simply just put a piece of aluminum foil in a hole to control the temperature and have not had any issues at all.
12. I then purchased a pit thermometer and inserted it right below my grate.
Here is a picture of the final Product. She smokes and maintains a temperature better than smokers that cost thousands of dollars. So feel free to follow my build and comment or contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
I first started out with a regular 55 gallon food grade metal barrel with lid that I found on Craigslist. I paid $40 for the barrel.
The barrel had quite a bit of grime and some surface rust on it. I needed to get rid of all the contaminants inside the barrel and also get the outside cleaned up. I did a burn out of the inside of the barrel but it did not fully clean out the barrel. I then thought about getting a wire wheel and grinding out the inside and out. I googled all the other forums about UDS builds and then decided that I did not have the time nor did I want to go through all the hassle of using a wire wheel. I again googled sand blasters in my area. I called a few of them up and got various quotes from $20 to $80 per barrel sandblasted.
I decided to have a local guy sand blast it for me. He only charged me $20 and did it in about 15 minutes. It was also pretty nice to see the process. He has some sort of heavy duty sand blaster and does everything from full cars to 1000 pound metal transformers and much more. Here is a picture of him knocking out the barrel and lid both inside and out.
I should have taken a picture of the barrel after he sand blasted it but I forgot to get it done. It looked really good afterwards. The barrel looked like a shiny gray color and kind of looked like it had some glitter in it. He blasted everything off the barrel. It looked brand new and ready to go.
Here is a picture of the firebox I built full of charcoal and some mesquite chunks of wood. Works like a dream. The side is a piece of expanded metal that I wrapped into a circle and used hog rings to clasp the sides together. The bottom of it is a grill grate that I attached to the expanded metal with more hog rings. I didn't attach legs to my fire basket. I simply used 3 small tomato sauce cans that are emptied and cleaned. I have them on the bottom of the barrel and just sit my fire basket on top. It allows the ashes to fall through and keep the fire going and hot.
Here is a picture of a great cook. I had a rack of ribs, country style ribs, and sausage. The foil contained, onions, little red potatoes quartered up, and bell peppers covered with olive oil, salt, and pepper. When it was done all of the food tasted great and I did not have any complaints.
I should have taken more pictures of this cook but forgot to. I cooked a 8 lb. brisket along with some baked russet potatoes. The brisket was moist and tender and is the best brisket I have cooked to date. I promise to cook another brisket and document the whole process and post them on here for everyone to view.
So this is how I built my Ugly Drum Smoker aka UDS although I call this one a Beautiful Drum Smoker lol. So be sure to get started on your drum smoker today. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. Have a great day and get to Qng!
Here are some UDS Videos.