Smokin'

MinorDamage

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Mar 21, 2006
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I finally finished up my Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) build. Total cost around $100. Once I got this thing settled in at 225 it hasn't budged. I have a 6 pound boston butt sitting in there going on 2 hours now. Getting ready to spray it down with some apple juice.

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Can't have a smoke without a little Woodford.

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Josh
 

padronanniversary

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Re: Smokin'

can you show us more pics of the inside ?

Man, Switch got my going on smokers, been smoking nonstop. I still can't do ribs worth a damn though (Alabama, I'm gonna need some instruction).

That is some damn nice handy work on your part.
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Padron,

I will take some pics once I crack the lid to give it the spray down. Here is a quick list of what I did:

-Procured food grade 55 gallon drum.
-Burned out the drum to remove paint. (It only affected the outside paint. The inside was epoxied. I will never make that mistake again. I had to buy a sandblaster at harbor freight to get that crap off.)
-Bought a step drill to punch the holes for bolts.
-Put in 4 bolts to hold up the grill grate.
-Used a Weber 22.5" grate. The ID of the drum is 23", so it fits with .25" clearance on each side.
-Used a 22.5" charcoal grate for the bottom of the charcoal basket. I then attached expanded metal to the grate to make the walls of the basket.
-Attached a chain to the charcoal basket to aid in removal.
-Placed 3 swivel caster on the bottom to wheel it around.
-Drilled (8) .5" holes equally spaced around the lid for exhaust.
-Painted the outside with 500 degree engine paint from auto parts store.
-Attached a utility handle to the lid.
-Rubbed the bare inside down with Canola Oil and did a test smoke (no meat) to season the inside and create a thick sooty barrier to protect against rust.

I'll get some detail pics in the next 30 minutes.

Josh
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Another note...There are 3 vents at the bottom. I think I used 1.5" holes and threaded in metal conduit for electrical boxes. They screw right on...the thickness of the barrel is perfect. Two of the three use simple steel end caps while the third uses the valve. Once I get the smoker up to 250, I place both of the caps on their vents only leaving the valve to throttle the air. Today, I left the valve almost fully open with the two caps on and it is holding 225 like a champ.

Josh
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Hopefully, I can hold out on those tickets. Ha! My wife and I have enjoyed our stay but we transfer in December and will be heading back to the East Coast. She's a Virginian and I am a Florida Cracker (4th generation). I'll be using this sucker for tailgating and the like.

Josh
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Here are the requested pictures:

Two of the three vents spaced equally around the base (120 degrees apart). They are about 1.5-2" from the bottom. End caps for two of them. Valve for one. You can see the barrel is off the ground. The casters are hidden underneath.
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Vent holes in the top (8) .5" holes. One utility handle.
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View of the grate and meat after 2 hours. You can see the supporting bolts at approximately 10 and 1 o'clock under the grate.
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The charcoal basket is a little hard to see. The sides are the expanded metal. The base is the 22.5" charcoal grate from weber. I used a couple bolts as feet to get it about .75" off the ground. You can see one of the chain links at about 4 o'clock.
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No water pan, but the idea of the UDS is that you let the drippings vaporize and moisturize the meat along with the apple juice. It smells amazing right now.

Josh
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Coals: never needed to add more. This thing will go at 225 for 12-15 hours on 12 pounds of charcoal.

Wood: If you notice the hinges on either side of the grill grate...they are large enough to place wood through down onto the coals. I simply flip one of them up, which creates around a 4-6" opening and just set the wood down in there with tongs. The Weber 22.5" grate has that feature and it is awesome. I don't have an angle grinder and didn't feel like cutting away a door near the bottom. So far it runs great.

Josh
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Once the basket was finished I simply got some sturdy chain link from the local hardware store...maybe about 3 feet of it. I then attached one end to one side of the expanded metal and the other on the opposing side. So, when I reach down in there following a smoke I don't have to grab hold of the expanded metal to get the basket out of there...That crap will cut you! Instead, I grab the chain and pull it out. I will take a picture of the basket once I get the meat off tonight.

Josh
 

Switchblade

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Re: Smokin'

What's the thermometer for?
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A good pork butt takes 6-8 hours and the internal temp will go up, but it's the total cooking time to get to the point where it shreds.

Padron
Ribs, ribs tough? Kicking your butt? 250* for two hours, mopping every 30 minutes, wrap in foil, mop, close, smoke for another two hours, done. Only failure should be rub unless you are burning stuff up with too much heat. Total time goes 5 hours if you set temp at 225* and 2 - 3 hours for 300*
HOWEVER, I will let the two experts make the best judgement as to ribs, RJW, and 'Bama. I got an 11# Brisket to play with but I need some more wood. Charcoal I have plenty of though.


Oh yeah, the topic! That IS a sweet set up for the cost, really nice! I dig the baskets and fact it holds temps with only a 12# sac of coals
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Switch,

Thanks for the kind words. I would love to have some of the setups I see on the smoker forums, but they are a touch rich for me. I always heard these things would hold a really consistent temp even as they were stingy on coals. It really is amazing how little I have to fool with this thing. As for the thermometer, I am new at the whole purpose built smoker thing. I am sure I will get a feeling for it after a bit. It does have that nice wireless repeater...It has been overcast today so I just sat in the house, hung out with the dog, and monitored the temp from my chair.

Update: The butt just reached 155 and I foiled it up. Now the run to 205, an hour or two to settle and then dinner is served.

Josh
 

ArcticLight

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Mar 27, 2003
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Re: Smokin'

Wow!!

You do realize the next thing to do is to get 2 or 3 of them, build them and put them in teh for sale section right?

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Nice job!
 

High Binder

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Re: Smokin'

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ArcticLight</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
You do realize the next thing to do is to get 2 or 3 of them, build them and put them in teh for sale section right?
</div></div>

I got dibs on the first one!
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Ha! There is a website (click me) that sells them. However, they don't come as cheap as mine. Honestly, I am thinking about building another with my neighbor, but I will NEVER make the mistake of getting another drum with the dreaded "red epoxy liner". It is a spray on epoxy and is a bitch to get out. You can find the drum for 10-20 bucks on craigslist in your area.

Really, if you get one with a REMOVABLE plastic liner you are golden. Make sure it was food grade. Mine carried "White grape juice concentrate". This thing would have been done in a matter of 3-4 days had I not needed to remove that damn liner.

It is the way to go. If you are thinking about building one and need some more info, just PM me...I am happy to help.

More updates and a couple last pics to come. Stay tuned.

Josh
 

padronanniversary

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Re: Smokin'

I'd be curious to see that charcoal basket and how you made it. I've been meaning to make one. Pretty sweat rig though, and best part is you will enjoy it !!!!

I'm on the hunt for more wood. I'm gonna give some oak a try sometime as well since that is plentyful around here, I'd love to get more fruit wood though
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

The meat is off and is resting in the cooler. I'll pull it around 6:30.

Basket sides are 2 wraps of expanded metal sheet from Home Depot. I couldn't find the heavier gauge stuff around here, but if you can it will probably hold up better. At some point I will replace mine. I used what looked like mini muffler clamps to hold it to the charcoal grate and a couple bolts through the side to hold the ends together.
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The chain is attached with two detachable links. It definitely comes in handy.
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For the feet I used bolts with two nuts and two washer. I put on one nut then a washer.I then placed the bolt through the grate from the bottom. The another washer on top of the grate and one last nut to lock everything down. It gives it enough clearance to breath. I will probably move to a longer bolt in the future. Maybe give it an extra .5" than it has right now.
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Josh

BTW, that is the charcoal after 8 hours. That thing is definitely stingy on the fuel.
 

Phylodog

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Re: Smokin'

That is a thing if beauty. I don't know if my wife would tolerate one sitting on the back patio but I'm definitely gonna ask. I haven't been too impressed with the smoker I've got.
 

Switchblade

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Re: Smokin'

Phylo, get a drum and make it, then paint it with some BBQ fat black or flat black muffler paint so it looks like a , well it is a smoker.
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MD, and Padron,
I just got off the phone with my favorite expert who is in Arlington interring Major Rene Deforneuax today.
Here are the times for each smoked meats:

Pork Butt - 8 hours, 4 hours, mopping every half, at 4 hours place in foil, mop, close and go another four

Ribs - 4 hours, 2 hours, mopping, then into the foil for another 2

Whole Chickens - 2 hours and done

Sausages - 1 hour and done

Brisket - 4 hours, then 2 more in foil

If you keep your heat at 250* you will be solid with these temps and times.
The plan for summer is to smoke a bunch of chickens, some briskets, and some porks and ribs for the winter. I figure if anything else, this will give me more solid feel for time/temps as well as several days to smoke good cigars and drink good bourbon, or in other words, waste good money
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I am definately going to hijack that basket idea. That will make the coals stay nice and even and keep the mix(I use half and half briquet and natural hardwood charcoal) at a nice 250*.
Low and Slow

Been thinking about some Salmon too. A nice 150* Cold smoke for an hour, then thin sliced and put on cheese and bread, or slightly grilled with a nice spicy burre blanc
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PadronAniversary</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So did u just dump the whole bag in and then use a chimney to start the top of the coals ?</div></div>

Actually, I dumped in about 2/3 of an 18 pound bag (hence 12 lbs). As for lighting it...I have a chimney I use for the grill. However, Once I dump the charcoal in this baby I use the "turbo torch" from harbor freight hooked up on propane. I never cook food with gas, but it does light the coals quickly. If you use the "turbo blast trigger" it shoots out a 3000 degree flame and you just about need earplugs. It is truly a MAN toy.

Link

Here are the victory picks. The thing absolutely fell apart. Wife and I loved it.
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Josh
 

Switchblade

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Re: Smokin'

nice bark, good shred. I have to ask, where's the finishing sauce? NO! not on the pork, but for the sandwiches or plate. A man has to have some vinegar base or tomato base to add even more flavor, slaw, beans, brews, oh man, my mouth is watering now. Got some bird to grill later on, Hawaiian style. Aloha Shoyu based Teriyaki!
 

RJW

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Re: Smokin'

Nice looking smoked pig ya got there. Switch has the hours right. My general rule of thumb is 1 hour of slow cooking per lb of meat. Brisket and pork shoulder gets 4-6 hour so smoke. Everything spends spends 2-4 hours in foil the final hour to tenderize and stay moist.
Ribs take 4 hours and mop every 30-60 minutes so they do not dry out. Temps on all should go no higher than 225 degrees.

Padron, oak is a good wood for pork and beef. I use half oak and hickory for pork and sometimes half apple wood. For beef I use good oak.

Good smokin to all of you. Enjoy your summer
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

Thanks for all the kind words guys.

RJW and Switch,

Thanks for the tips on timing issues. I am still a relative newbie, but I am all about this hobby. I am sure my wife enjoys me having something else to do other than shooting. Switch, I am going to make a big batch of finishing sauce, but just didn't have the time.

Sorry it took me a couple days to get back to everyone. I was enjoying a little time down in the high desert photographing trains in Tehachapi, Caliente, and Bealeville. If you have kids that like that type of stuff, there is no place better.

Josh
 

Switchblade

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Re: Smokin'

Currently Smoking a nice Beef Brisket. Been working for 3 hours so far. Nice color and even cooking with Hickory chunks and Cherry wood. Got an estimate on R&R ing a garage main spring and have other work to do between mop sessions so no walkaround for me today
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Smokin'

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Switchblade</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Currently Smoking a nice Beef Brisket. Been working for 3 hours so far. Nice color and even cooking with Hickory chunks and Cherry wood. Got an estimate on R&R ing a garage main spring and have other work to do between mop sessions so no walkaround for me today </div></div>

You damn well better post after pics...

Josh