After recently trying my hand at smoking ribs and a few other things, I decided that my "Weber Q and chip parcel" method simply won't cut it anymore. I looked into a few bullet style smokers such as the Weber Smokey Mountain and Pro Q Elite 20, but they just don't seem big enough in grate area. So I decided what the hell, I'll build my own UDS.
Now the issue is that some rusty old drum, no matter how tasty it cooks food, will not suffice. WAF is real, and if I'm to have something cooking in the back yard, it needs to look respectable. So I did some research (the more you read the more you need to start over again!) and started acquiring the parts. Below is a list of things that I have planned for the build, which may of course change greatly or not at all over the course of the build.
- Recycled 44 galon drum
- Charcoal basket made from an 18.5" Weber charcoal grate and mesh sides
- Weber 22.5" cooking grates, upper and lower
- Weber 22.5" lid on "Unknown BBQ" brand hinge
- Side tables
- Castors so I can move it around
I don't intend for this thread to be a step-by-step, but I will try to capture a decent number of pics of what I'm doing along the way. I spend a good amount of time when I get home from work with my young daughter, so most of the work on this project is done at night so apologies for the sometimes suspect quality photos (night time and phone camera).
Anyway, on with tonight's progress.....
Got a drum, that's a good start! Made in Korea apparently, hopefully not glorious Korea. Had some kind of solvent in it at some stage, but not to worry, it will be thoroughly burnt-in. Has a slight ding at the top, but a rubber mallet will fix that in no time.
Started out by flipping it and marking out the holes for the castors. Figured this will make it easier to move around when doing other parts of the mock up build (Intend to build the whole thing first before burn in and paint, so I don't have to damage the finish.
Pilot holes drilled and about to attack with with the stepped drill.
First time ever using a stepped drill. Holy shit
! These things are awesome.
Holes for all four castors drilled. Used some vegetable oil as lube for the stepped drill. Can't remember where I read that, but it helped. Thanks Internet!
Bugger, forgot to grab hardware to mount the castors. Oh well, on to something else. I was going to make some side tables for it, to hold the thermometer sender, meat before it goes on, my beer, etc etc beer beer. The I found out some clever blokes had already designed and were selling some. Shout out to Big Poppa Smokers, these are a nice little product.
One table fully assembled. Apparently there is a coating on the timber, but it's a bit light for my liking, so before final assembly, I'll probably give it a quick once over with a polyurethane floor lacquer, something that can easily be wiped down.
Hey, one for each side!
Hardware for the 25mm (1") inlet at the front of the smoker. This will only be used for lighting and capped once temperature is up.
This gear is for the two adjustable air inlets. 90° bends at the bottom and the cooper pipe runs up the side of the drum at the rear. 20mm (3/4") ball valves on each for easy control. Before final assembly, these will be rubbed back with wet and dry, and high temp clear coated to preserve that nice copper look.
Started drilling the hole for the 25mm (1") front inlet but it was getting late and drilling big holes into empty drums is bloody loud, so I thought I'd give the neighbours a break. More progress to come soon.