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UDS / Homemade Barrel Cookers

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Post Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:20 pm
JD_Smokes well done
well done

Posts: 530
Location: West suburbs of Chicago
jazzspot wrote:
Not sure if 'gang box plugs' are the same as the "Hole Plugs" which I use.

Yes, same thing. Couldn't think of what else to call them off the top of my head. My typical use for them is plugging holes in gang boxes and other metal electrical entry ways.


Regarding the ball valves, I'd personally probably split the difference and put two towards the front and cap the back ones. That way the majority of what is needed will have fine control without mucking around removing caps. And if it comes to it, then I can stop being lazy and remove a cap from the back. But I'm not a UDS expert; I'm more just discussing in terms of how I would approach it.
Eating meat is murder.....mmmm, tasty, tasty murder.
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:49 am
JD_Smokes well done
well done

Posts: 530
Location: West suburbs of Chicago
Ok, so does anyone have any current tips on the best way to go about getting an appropriate drum to start with? Based on the article in Smoke Signals magazine I should only start with a barrel that has held food product or I guess is brand new (this is logical).

I haven't been searching on the internet yet, but if anyone has some insight on getting my paws on a barrel, then I'm glad to listen.
Eating meat is murder.....mmmm, tasty, tasty murder.
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:14 pm
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
This is the place I plan on getting my first drum from, their drum distribution warehouse is on the south side of Chicago in University Park, but you can pick them up there and avoid shipping charges. There's someone on craigslist selling 55 gallon drums with the epoxy liner for $20 a piece... but the extra $40 for peace of mind is worth it to me.

http://www.bestcontainers.com/index.html

Their customer service will reply to emails, but give them two days to do so.

Do a search on google, there are a bunch of drum manufacturers in the Chicagoland area.

Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:36 pm
JD_Smokes well done
well done

Posts: 530
Location: West suburbs of Chicago
IronStomach wrote:
This is the place I plan on getting my first drum from, their drum distribution warehouse is on the south side of Chicago in University Park, but you can pick them up there and avoid shipping charges. There's someone on craigslist selling 55 gallon drums with the epoxy liner for $20 a piece... but the extra $40 for peace of mind is worth it to me.

http://www.bestcontainers.com/index.html

So then this is the one you'd be thinking about getting: OH55-3E? 55-gallon black rolled steel open head with Epoxy-Phenolic lining for $61.81. And yeah, I'd probably pick it up myself as well.

Out of curiosity (pronouced lazy) any idea between open head and closed head? It seems like open is a removable lid with ring clamp while closed head is permanently attached with bung entrances. Meh, I've got time for research; not looking to buy immediately anyway (Spring at the earliest I think right now).
Eating meat is murder.....mmmm, tasty, tasty murder.
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

Post Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:17 am
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
JD_Smokes wrote:
IronStomach wrote:
This is the place I plan on getting my first drum from, their drum distribution warehouse is on the south side of Chicago in University Park, but you can pick them up there and avoid shipping charges. There's someone on craigslist selling 55 gallon drums with the epoxy liner for $20 a piece... but the extra $40 for peace of mind is worth it to me.

http://www.bestcontainers.com/index.html

So then this is the one you'd be thinking about getting: OH55-3E? 55-gallon black rolled steel open head with Epoxy-Phenolic lining for $61.81. And yeah, I'd probably pick it up myself as well.

Out of curiosity (pronouced lazy) any idea between open head and closed head? It seems like open is a removable lid with ring clamp while closed head is permanently attached with bung entrances. Meh, I've got time for research; not looking to buy immediately anyway (Spring at the earliest I think right now).


No, get the unlined one. It's sprayed with a rust inhibiting paint, that'll burn off with a good hardwood burn. The epoxy is something you'll want to steer clear of, it's a PITA to get out. And if you're buying new, may as well buy the easiest.

Also, get an open head drum, the closed head ones you'll need a drum deheader to cut open (or an hour with a hammer, a chisel and a box of tylenol) and those run about $50 from Northern Tool.

My plan is to get the drum up and running by New Year's... the UDS will burn much less fuel in the winter than my CG. :D

Post Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:20 am
JD_Smokes well done
well done

Posts: 530
Location: West suburbs of Chicago
IronStomach wrote:
No, get the unlined one. It's sprayed with a rust inhibiting paint, that'll burn off with a good hardwood burn. The epoxy is something you'll want to steer clear of, it's a PITA to get out. And if you're buying new, may as well buy the easiest.

Also, get an open head drum, the closed head ones you'll need a drum deheader to cut open (or an hour with a hammer, a chisel and a box of tylenol) and those run about $50 from Northern Tool.

Cool, that makes sense, thanks!!! So this one from the same place is the rust inhibitor version with open head...runs $61.06 plus tax (and assuming pick-up). By the time you add in the the ball valve and other inlets plus the innards I figure end cost will be $100-$125. Not too bad I think.
Eating meat is murder.....mmmm, tasty, tasty murder.
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

Post Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:56 pm
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
JD_Smokes wrote:
IronStomach wrote:
No, get the unlined one. It's sprayed with a rust inhibiting paint, that'll burn off with a good hardwood burn. The epoxy is something you'll want to steer clear of, it's a PITA to get out. And if you're buying new, may as well buy the easiest.

Also, get an open head drum, the closed head ones you'll need a drum deheader to cut open (or an hour with a hammer, a chisel and a box of tylenol) and those run about $50 from Northern Tool.

Cool, that makes sense, thanks!!! So this one from the same place is the rust inhibitor version with open head...runs $61.06 plus tax (and assuming pick-up). By the time you add in the the ball valve and other inlets plus the innards I figure end cost will be $100-$125. Not too bad I think.


Yep, that's the one. I think the cost of the drum will more than offset the cost of fuel over the winter. And spring. And summer. And fall. :D

Post Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:40 am
Married_Man medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 233
Location: NC
Thanks for helping me find the right drum! I'm looking to order one as well. I have an e-mail in now for a shipping estimate.

But, where can I get one of the stainless used for $50, instead of new for $900. :wink:

Post Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:14 am
JD_Smokes well done
well done

Posts: 530
Location: West suburbs of Chicago
Married_Man wrote:
But, where can I get one of the stainless used for $50, instead of new for $900. :wink:

No kidding. When I first went to the site and saw stainless steel I was like, "hey that's great". So I clicked the link and after I got up from the floor and back in my chair I hit the back button. :D
Eating meat is murder.....mmmm, tasty, tasty murder.
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

Post Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:59 am
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
Glad to help guys!

NC? Man, there's gotta be drum manufacturers on the coast, shipping ports and all that jazz. I'd think about finding one close to home, freight on an item like that would probably cost as much as the drum itself. Or more. Then again, a few hours drive might cost as much too, so... I dunno.
Good luck on the freight quote! :D


Yeah, those stainless ones are insanely expensive... but think of the industries they're used in: winemaking and beermaking predominantly. Wine barrels typically cost about that much if they're made from imported oak. Try finding local wineries and see if they use stainless steel barrels and ever sell them once they're done?

I'm kicking myself for passing up a stainless barrel for $150 last month. But that's the nature of craigslist, right? :wink:

Post Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:03 pm
Married_Man medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 233
Location: NC
Shipping estimate is $36. Not great, but not prohibitive.

I'll continue to search locally but may end up having that one shipped.

Thanks again :)

Post Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:48 pm
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
Married_Man wrote:
Shipping estimate is $36. Not great, but not prohibitive.

I'll continue to search locally but may end up having that one shipped.

Thanks again :)


Wow, that's not bad at all!

Post Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:23 am
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
Someone in Bridgeport is unloading a used SS drum for $200.... unfortunatley my budget for a drum won't see me over $75, but just passing on the word.

EDIT: forgot the link: http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bfs/1513490371.html

Post Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:49 am
Married_Man medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 233
Location: NC
IronStomach wrote:
Married_Man wrote:
Shipping estimate is $36. Not great, but not prohibitive.

I'll continue to search locally but may end up having that one shipped.

Thanks again :)


Wow, that's not bad at all!


I just got a quote from a different company of $122! On the plus side, that's good for up to four drums. :shock:

That has me concerned that the "estimate" could turn into a lot more once the order is finalized.

I'm also having second thoughts on the UDS. I read yesterday that one of the appeals of the UDS is that it drips fat directly on the coals to add extra taste. I don't like the idea of smoking my meats with burned fats and grease.

Has anyone built a UDS with water pan? How did that work out for you?

Post Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:13 pm
IronStomach medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 238
Location: West [of] Chicago
Married_Man wrote:
IronStomach wrote:
Married_Man wrote:
Shipping estimate is $36. Not great, but not prohibitive.

I'll continue to search locally but may end up having that one shipped.

Thanks again :)


Wow, that's not bad at all!


I just got a quote from a different company of $122! On the plus side, that's good for up to four drums. :shock:

That has me concerned that the "estimate" could turn into a lot more once the order is finalized.

I'm also having second thoughts on the UDS. I read yesterday that one of the appeals of the UDS is that it drips fat directly on the coals to add extra taste. I don't like the idea of smoking my meats with burned fats and grease.

Has anyone built a UDS with water pan? How did that work out for you?



Cooking with a water pan is usually how I cook indirectly in my Char-Griller, and I don't have a SFB either. It helps keep cuts of meat moist on longer cooks, and also makes cleaning up a breeze since there's no grease running all over the coal grate.

The taste of the basted grease is supposed to be pretty good, make sure to try it at least once.

But by far the biggest upside to the UDS is temp control -- the design makes for a pretty airtight system -- imagine being able to keep a chimney of coals going for 8 hours. That's pretty much just a wet dream for my Char-Griller. :)

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