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Simple DYI 55 Gallon UDS Directions?

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  • Matt Bykowski
    Club Member
    • Jun 2020
    • 22
    • New Berlin, WI

    Simple DYI 55 Gallon UDS Directions?

    Hi All,

    I'm considering building my own 55 Gallon ugly drum smoker (UDS). Does anyone have any recommendations for a place to get simple no weld directions/instructions? I'm trying to keep the cost down and the directions simple. Also, any recommendations for a DYI cover for the UDS?

    This seems like it will be a good project to work on over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to have a few cook on it by the end of summer.

    Thanks all!
  • HawkerXP
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 6730
    • Virginia
    • 2 Weber Performers
      1 kettle
      1 Smoky Joe
      PBC
      Thermoworks POPs
      Dot and Chef Alarm
      2 Slo n Sears
      Cold beer

    #2
    Mudkat has built one.

    Comment

    • bbqLuv
      Club Member
      • Jan 2020
      • 2200
      • Milwaukie, OR

      #3
      Design your own, plan your build, build your plan. Good Luck.

      Comment

      • rickgregory
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 1307
        • Seattle, WA

        #4
        So, unless you just want to do this for the hell of it, I'd consider the cost vs simply buying a PBC. I mean, the first thing you need to do is source a safe drum. Which means that if it's been used, you need to know what it was used for.

        But hey, if you just wanna F around and do it for fun... go for it! I'd look at product photos of the PBC to get an idea of where to drill etc.

        Comment


        • Matt Bykowski
          Matt Bykowski commented
          Editing a comment
          I've can get a food grade drum, just thinking about goofing around with something. We'll see, poking around it looks like a fun idea, but I want to keep it simple and cheap. Thanks.
      • latenight71
        Club Member
        • Feb 2021
        • 444
        • Long Beach, CA

        #5
        Check HERE

        If you build it Meat will come

        Comment

        • TripleB
          Club Member
          • May 2017
          • 973
          • La Crescenta
          • Jambo Backyard Smoker
            Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
            Portable Kitchen 360
            Portable Kitchen Grill
            Pit Barrel Cooker
            Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
            Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
            BBQ Guru ATC
            Favorite Beer: Peroni
            Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

          #6
          Big Poppa Smokers has drum kits.

          DIY Drum Smoker Kit & Parts (bigpoppasmokers.com)

          Comment

          • jfmorris
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 3920
            • Huntsville, Alabama
            • Jim Morris

              Cookers
              • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (2021)
              • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
              • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
              • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q & Rotisserie (2007)
              • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
              • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
              • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
              • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
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              • Thermoworks Dot
              • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
              • Thermoworks RT600C
              Beverages
              • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

            #7
            I've looked into this myself, and there is a lot of info online. At the very simple end, you can actually use the metal drum lid as the lid if the smoker. Other folk find a sacrificial 22" weber kettle and use that as their lid - it seems to fit the drums pretty easily. Beyond that, you just drill holes and install 2 to 4 pipe nipples and ball valves near the bottom to give you temp control, make a charcoal basket, and insert some screws from the sides at the levels you want to put some cheap Weber 22" kettle grates inside the drum.

            As others say, you need to consider the prior use of the drum, needs to be food grade if previously used. You want an UNLINED barrel for sure. Then burn off any paint, make your holes and such, and start cooking.

            Something along the lines of the steps this page uses:

            https://smokingmeatgeeks.com/ugly-dr...ans-uds-build/

            Comment


            • Matt Bykowski
              Matt Bykowski commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, that is the website I was eyeballing. Just wondering if there might be others to checkout that are as descriptive.

              Cheers.
          • RonB
            Club Member
            • Apr 2016
            • 14124
            • Near Richmond VA
            • Weber Performer Deluxe
              SNS
              Pizza insert
              Rotisserie
              Smokenator 1000
              Cookshack Smokette Elite
              2 Thermapens
              Chefalarm
              Dot
              lots of probes.
              CyberQ

            #8
            And please don't use anything galvanized. When galvanization gets hot enough, it emits toxic gasses.

            Comment


            • jpietrantone
              jpietrantone commented
              Editing a comment
              Amen. I built one and used all stainless hardware and expanded metal for the engine.

            • Matt Bykowski
              Matt Bykowski commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the warning! I was specifically wondering about using a galvanized bucket for a charcoal basket.
          • Mudkat
            Club Member
            • Feb 2017
            • 2124
            • At a river near me, MD
            • Weber Smokey Mountain 14.5"
              Weber 22" Kettel
              Weber Smokey Joe (2)
              One Grill 45" Rotisserie
              Lodge 5 qt. Dutch Oven
              Lodge 10.5" Double Loop Skillet
              Cast Iron 9" Skillet
              Cast Iron 12" Skillet
              Weber 22 Grill Grates
              Home Built 55 Gallon Ugly Drum Smoker - "MUDS"

            #9
            Here’s a step by stepper of a UDS I built for a little over $300. There are cheaper ways of going about it but it may help you form a plan.

            I love cooking on this thing. You can PM me if you want or just post your build here. We all love watching something take shape!


            https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ild#post409718

            Teaser:

            Prime coat

            Click image for larger version

Name:	E8B0AD00-9F9C-47A1-A9B8-467DAE05718F.jpeg
Views:	59
Size:	2.06 MB
ID:	1049660

            Comment

            • au4stree
              Club Member
              • Aug 2018
              • 733
              • Heart of Dixie
              • Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC), PK360(graphite), Jumbo Joe and PBC. Weber kettle @ the hunting camp.

              #10
              These guys have a decent you tube channel too.
              https://www.smokerbuilder.com

              Comment

              • Matt Bykowski
                Club Member
                • Jun 2020
                • 22
                • New Berlin, WI

                #11
                Originally posted by Mudkat View Post
                Here’s a step by stepper of a UDS I built for a little over $300. There are cheaper ways of going about it but it may help you form a plan.

                I love cooking on this thing. You can PM me if you want or just post your build here. We all love watching something take shape!


                https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ild#post409718

                Teaser:

                Prime coat

                Click image for larger version

Name:	E8B0AD00-9F9C-47A1-A9B8-467DAE05718F.jpeg
Views:	59
Size:	2.06 MB
ID:	1049660
                Very nice, thanks for sharing. I'm still considering this, but am a little on the fence about it. We'll see. Thanks.

                Comment


                • jpietrantone
                  jpietrantone commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I was too. That all went away once drilling my first hole. I loved the process!

                • Matt Bykowski
                  Matt Bykowski commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, that is encouraging.
              • au4stree
                Club Member
                • Aug 2018
                • 733
                • Heart of Dixie
                • Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC), PK360(graphite), Jumbo Joe and PBC. Weber kettle @ the hunting camp.

                #12
                I totally get wanting to build your own cooker, but as mentioned above the PBC, WSM and Bronco’s are all good cookers. I own a PBC and WSM, love them both. I was considering a Hunsaker and building my own but decided to get the WSM22.

                This is the fun part of our hobby, the research and seeing all the options out there.

                Comment


                • Matt Bykowski
                  Matt Bykowski commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great info. Thank you!

                • Mudkat
                  Mudkat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I go back and forth on wether I should have cut a door in my barrel. In the end I didn’t want to put more holes in it and that’s a big one. 😀

                  I have a 14.5 WSM and love the door in that. As far as cooking better ribs. I don’t know. Most likely it’s about knowing your cooker. I do like putting a water bowl in mine though. Don’t know much about that in a PBC.

                • Matt Bykowski
                  Matt Bykowski commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks.

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              2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

              This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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