UDS questions

Discussion about Ugly Drum Smokers (UDS)
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Tipps
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UDS questions

Post by Tipps » August 2nd, 2018, 3:22 pm

I've started looking in to these, even though I'm not even done building my offset yet. But, I have a few questions that I can't figure out on the UDS smokers. These may be really stupid questions but I'm asking anyway...

Why are guys running air intakes up the side of the barrels +/-24"? with ball valves (looks like 3/4" or 1" pipe)? Took me a little while to figure out what those were even for, but I still am not sure why they are run up the side of the barrel. Is it so you don't have to bend over to adjust them? And also, does having 2-3 of those provide enough air flow for the coals since they come out and 90 and then run up the barrel?

How do you prevent meat from burning if there is no deflector plate above the coals? From what I can tell a defelctor plate isn't used typically, so to me it's almost like grilling, the fire is just lower (or grilling rack is higher).

Is the coal basket elevated off the bottom of the barrel with feet, or can it sit directly in the pan or whatever is used to catch the ashes, which sits directly on the bottom of the barrel?

Do any of you make the grill racks as opposed to buying the round ones that fit already?

I guess that's about it. I may attempt to make one of these whenever I can get my other build done, mainly so I can take it to my folks' house and have someway to smoke meat when we visit there. Appreciate the help.



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Big T
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Re: UDS questions

Post by Big T » August 2nd, 2018, 8:13 pm

There aren't any stupid questions around here. 1) you got it right. They're up high so you don't have to bend over to adjust them and it sort of looks cool. It isn't necessary because once you get to your desired temp, you don't really have to move them again unless there's some kind of major changes in the weather. The first one I built I used (4) 3/4'' intakes and I usually run it with one port fully open and another one partially open. I can open them all and get to about 350 degrees. I used (2) 2'' intakes on the last one I built but I haven't seen how high it'll get. I usually cook between 250-300 degrees so it gets plenty hot for me. 2) I run a deflector above my fire basket but a lot of guys don't and they have great results. The coals in a UDS don't have the available air that a grill does so they aren't all burning at the same time. That along with the greater distance that the rack is above the coals cuts down on the issue of burning the meat. 3) Most guys have at least 3'' legs on the fire basket with an ash pan below it. You'll have a good bit of ash on a long cook and it needs somewhere to go so it doesn't choke out your coals. 4) That's totally up to you. Some guys build theirs and others buy them. You can check out bbqsmokersupply.com if you haven't already done so, they have anything you need or want to build a UDS.


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Tipps
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Re: UDS questions

Post by Tipps » August 2nd, 2018, 9:22 pm

Man thanks Big T, cleared it all up for me. I’m definitely gonna build one.

How tall does the charcoal basket need to be, and at what distance are the first and 2nd cooking grated from top of fire basket?



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Re: UDS questions

Post by Tipps » August 3rd, 2018, 12:22 pm

And I see some pretty flashy paint jobs on some of these UDS smokers. How do you do that when high-temp paint is so limited to black and maybe a few other colors? You guys using engine paint or something and it working ok?



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Re: UDS questions

Post by Dirtytires » August 3rd, 2018, 12:44 pm

It sounds like someone needs to do a top to bottom build tutorial on a UDS. Haven’t seen an in-depth one in a while.



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Re: UDS questions

Post by Chromeski » August 3rd, 2018, 4:14 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
August 3rd, 2018, 12:44 pm
It sounds like someone needs to do a top to bottom build tutorial on a UDS. Haven’t seen an in-depth one in a while.
Not a bad idea at all. I've been looking at pics a bit recently trying to see what it's all about. Not sure if I'll ever build one.



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Re: UDS questions

Post by Big T » August 3rd, 2018, 9:12 pm

I'll have to measure everything to be exact but I believe that my 1st rack is 3'' below the top and the lower rack is 6'' below that. My fire basket is 12''x12''x12'' with 3'' legs and I let the uprights on my fire basket run 4'' higher than the basket so that I can set my deflector above the coals. I used a cheap pizza pan for a deflector and drilled a bunch of 3/8'' holes in it. My drum has the flat top and I have a 2'' exhaust stack in the center of the lid. I haven't ever done a pretty drum but I've painted a few of them with regular spray paint and they've done alright as far as the paint not burning off. My personal drum has never had any paint on it, it's covered in rust from top to bottom. There's a guy on the UDS Nation FB page that builds beautiful drums with awesome paint jobs and I believe that he said he uses high temp primer and engine paint. He usually builds 4 or 5 at the time to sell so I would think that they hold up well.


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Tipps
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Re: UDS questions

Post by Tipps » August 4th, 2018, 9:20 am

Big T wrote:
August 3rd, 2018, 9:12 pm
I'll have to measure everything to be exact but I believe that my 1st rack is 3'' below the top and the lower rack is 6'' below that. My fire basket is 12''x12''x12'' with 3'' legs and I let the uprights on my fire basket run 4'' higher than the basket so that I can set my deflector above the coals. I used a cheap pizza pan for a deflector and drilled a bunch of 3/8'' holes in it. My drum has the flat top and I have a 2'' exhaust stack in the center of the lid. I haven't ever done a pretty drum but I've painted a few of them with regular spray paint and they've done alright as far as the paint not burning off. My personal drum has never had any paint on it, it's covered in rust from top to bottom. There's a guy on the UDS Nation FB page that builds beautiful drums with awesome paint jobs and I believe that he said he uses high temp primer and engine paint. He usually builds 4 or 5 at the time to sell so I would think that they hold up well.

Thanks, I’ll check the FB page out



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Re: UDS questions

Post by babyshaq270 » November 27th, 2018, 5:22 pm

I mite a Lil late on this one but I have a Lil to share I have UDS works great I had the pipes running up the side on the first on but I took them off and just added straight ball valves at the base . I made myself a diffuser plate works excellent prevents fat from dropping directly into the coals preventing flare ups . My coals basket sits about 2.5 inches off the floor which is great airflow and I have learned a trick I could put some small splits under it so they burn nice and slow . Another thing I added was a drain hole that allows the fat from meat to drip in a catch pan under the UDS as it cooks .

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