UDS Build.

For years now I have fancied having a go at building a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) but never really had the time. So with less U.K. competitions in the calendar and my business being quieter than normal this year I decided to make a start.

After reading numerous forums and pages on the internet I decided to search out and pay extra for a new, unlined, open top drum, as I really couldn’t face burning out and sanding the dreaded tan liner, and I also wanted to know that nothing nasty had been in the drum. £40 well spent for piece of mind though.photo

The only things that needed removing were the strap that holds the top on and a rubber strip inside the lid.

The next job was to make a charcoal fire basket with ashpan. Again, reading the forums a good way to go was to buy a cheapo supermarket bbq and use it’s base as an ashpan. I decided to bolt the ashpan to a replacement pro q excel charcoal basket.

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Next job was the exhaust. I wanted a small right angle piece of car exhaust fitting into the existing bunghole. So a quick visit to a former neighbour and an hour later I had this.

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For a living I work with carbon fibre and I wanted to cover the whole barrel with it but unfortunately my curing oven is too small to accommodate it. I did try one section to see if it would get hot enough to cure whilst running but it didn’t, so we opted for a Matt black finish and I have used the carbon fibre on the lid and side tray.

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The only thing I would probably do differently next time is some kind of different wheel system. The castors I have fitted have made it a bit wobbly but not terrible.

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I always intend to use a guru controller to run this uds so there was no need to add any more than one inlet, which I did complete with ball-valve. Also pictured here is the side tray.

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I personally prefer the uds with its original lid as opposed to the weber lids that some people choose to fit, which meant I set the first grate 6″ down and another 3″ under that.

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Handles fitted.

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First burn.

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Holding temp perfectly.

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As most people that have built one of these cookers knows they are one of the most reliable available and so economic. After 14 hours on one load of charcoal I had to shut it down and there was more than half the basket of charcoal remaining.
Fantastic!