UDS build... Finally time for an upgrade...

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Jester1

Senior Cook
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
120
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
I've been using a 18" Weber ever since I got bit by the BBQ bug... After I came across the "huge" UDS build page and realized I have access to free used 55 gallon drums, I've started my build... I was a little worried about what was inside, but most board members say a good burn and a good cleaning will make things safe.

After I picked the drum up...
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I can across a thread where someone who found a 22.5" grill at Big Lots that had a lid that will fit on 55 gallon closed top drums, so I went and picked one up... The lid fits pretty well... Its a little tight, but I think a little hammering or using an angle grinder around the lip will make it fit perfectly...
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Yesterday I finally had some free time and was able to get out there and cut the lid out... It only took about 5 minutes to get it all done...
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Then I took the angle grinder around the edges and smoothed everything out... Plus I was able to use a rubber mallet to knock out a few dents that were on the sides... Everything is coming together now...
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I hope to be able to pick up some U-bolts and get a good burn out on it this weekend... I have a freezer full and ready to test this thing out...
 
I'm starting to debate on getting a BGE vent or sticking to the 4 1" holes that most people seem to be drilling... hmmmm...
 
I did 6 one inch holes on top of mine and 4 one inch holes at the bottom. Used the cheep chrome plugs at the top and bottom. Three out will cook my chicken at 375 and one out will cook an even 240-260 with briquettes. I use lump and a stoker so it holds whatever I want. I'd reccomend stainless hardware no zinc coating stuff and stay very far away from galvanized it's got led in it. I got the inside down to the metal too. Dont want to chance the kids growing a tail.
 
I'm picking up my BGE large vent tomorrow... The store closed before I even got off work. So now I'm going to have to make a trip out there tomorrow at lunch.

I also tried to see if I was going to be able to cut the bottom of the cheap grill to get the lid to fit better, but it actually fit really loosely inside the drum. The lid was also loose on the bottom of the grill... So I think it'll be better to just flex the lid to fit the actual top of the drum.

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I went and picked up a large BGE vent today. It's really good quality... I'm stoked about having the door because I wans't sure how I was going to get the vent pipes and valves to work. Plus with the valves being around $20 each, then ass all the components and the vent becomes about the same price. The only frustrating part, is that I cant find my dremel to cut the rectangle out tonight. I'm going crazy digging around in my garage. Oh well, I'll get a buddy to bring his over tomorrow night... Then its burn out time Saturday morning....

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Do people pressure wash or clean out the drums after the burn out... There's a lot of soot on the upper part of the drum..??

Also, is there a time on the time limit for a good burn out..?!? I tried to keep it raging ad long as I could before I got freaked out about the police showing up... Hahahaa
 
Dude, looks great keep us posted. I never thought of a BGE vent. Where did you get the Idea for that? Send some more picts. When it's done rub it down with lard and do a 2 hour burn with some wood chunks added to the charcoal. It won't hold good temps till about 4 or 5 cooks. You gotta get that thing nice and seasoned with a thick layer of baked on grease. I was usen mine for burgers and chicken for a couple of weeks when it was new just to speed up the seasoning. I always do an hour or two burn after I'm done cooken to really bake on the seasoning/grease. I wasn't too concerned about my venting in the bottom cus I use a stoker on long cooks. For high heat cooks 375 or so I just pull out two or three plugs. On your first couple of cooks you’ll only have that vent about ¼ in open. Here is my set up.
 

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Tri Tip said:
Dude looks great keep us posted. I never thought of a BGE vent. Where did you get the Idea for that? Send some more picts.

I first saw the BGE vent on this website...
http://hawgfathers.com/RD.aspx

Then I ran across a guy who built a fully SS UDS on the brethren site... He's been a lot of good help with me planning my build.... I think the BGE vent will work great...!!!
 
As far as the burn out. Mine had a almost Teflon like coating. I hit it with a weed burner on the inside for about 2 hours. This burn took the paint off the outside at the same time. I took a grinder to the residual char to take it down to the metal. That took another hour. The outside I hit with a wire brush wheel on the grinder which took the burnt paint ash off like butter down to the metal. The whole paint removal took about 4 hours total using a torch and grinder. My teammate burned his like you did and no luck on removing the Teflon like paint. He took it over to the local powder coating shop. They sandblasted it inside and out and powder coated it for $130. The enclosed drums seem to have a weaker paint almost plastic like on the inside. The open lid drums seem to have a thought Teflon like paint. Don't give up you'll get the best chicken ever on them things.
 
Cool cite. I've seen that dude's Utube vids. I'd leave out the drip pan that thing is galvanized which contains LED. We also dropped about $40 on stainless steel hardware to avoid the zink but that might be overkill.
 
Tri Tip said:
Cool cite. I've seen that dude's Utube vids. I'd leave out the drip pan that thing is galvanized which contains LED. We also dropped about $40 on stainless steel hardware to avoid the zink but that might be overkill.

I hear you on the SS hardware... I just spent $40 on all the washers, bolts, and nuts. I picked up all the last needed hardware and expanded metal...

I could only find 12"x24"x1/2" expanded metal... I've seen most people using 3/4" expanded metal, is the 1/2" good to use..??

I am also frustrated because I can't find a good pan to put under my charcoal basket. Anyone have any suggestions on what to use and where to find it..?? I'm also there and want to get this baby done so I can start seasoning...!!!! hahahaa
 
Not sure about all the hub bub to have the dome lid. They cook just fine using the lid that comes with the barrell. Just drill a few holes in to let the smoke out and add a handle to lift it. Now this be for barrells which come with lids. Last I bought was 15 bucks at the feed store. The fella say it had tomater sauce from S. Americka in there previously. It must have been from Brazil cuz the writing looked like Portugese.

bigwheel
 
I would have definitely used the lid if it came with a removable lid... I had to cut the lid out, so there was no way that lid could have been sacrificed.
 
Jester said:
Tri Tip said:
Cool cite. I've seen that dude's Utube vids. I'd leave out the drip pan that thing is galvanized which contains LED. We also dropped about $40 on stainless steel hardware to avoid the zink but that might be overkill.

I hear you on the SS hardware... I just spent $40 on all the washers, bolts, and nuts. I picked up all the last needed hardware and expanded metal...

I could only find 12"x24"x1/2" expanded metal... I've seen most people using 3/4" expanded metal, is the 1/2" good to use..??

I am also frustrated because I can't find a good pan to put under my charcoal basket. Anyone have any suggestions on what to use and where to find it..?? I'm also there and want to get this baby done so I can start seasoning...!!!! hahahaa

I dont' use a pan under the charcoal basket because I can't find one. I know a guy that uses them kind from a plant pot. I have both the 3/4th and 1/2 (two uds's) don't make a difference.
 
I found a 16" pizza pan at Walmart, so that's going to be the ash catch pan under the charcoal basket... It seems like a lot of people tend use these pans.
 
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