New Toy Drum Smoker

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crundle

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My understanding from reading the UDS thread is that you are aiming for the temperature at the level of the grill to be 235 degrees Farenheit. Where people are using a thermometer on the lid, apparently the temperature reads about 50 Farenheit lower than it is at the grill, so this needs to be factored in or the thermometer needs to be adjusted if possible.

I have drilled the bottom intake holes in my drum, but still need to burn out the paint on the inside. A bit hard to do in the suburbs though, as neighbours can get cranky, so I am planning to take it to a mate's place in the country where a big fire wont disturb anyone.....

Looking forward to the first cook on this baby, they sound fantastic.

Crundle
 

crundle

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Found this link which is quite informative also about building an ugly drum smoker, this part focuses on the temperature gauge - UDS Temperature gauge

cheers,

Crundle
 

Spoonta

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good post Crundle good info in there
 

losp

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why is everyone wetting the wood?
everything i have ever read says to make sure everything is pretty much dry, otherwise you are turning the thing into a steamer, by adding moisture in there.
i have never seen the chips catch fire, and i guess it would be no big deal if they did... other than a burned meal.
 

crundle

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Just got mine back from the sandblasters, $50 to clean it inside and out. The outside is painted with black matt heatproof paint, the inside coated with cooking oil spray and is now in the process of baking the cooking oil to season it. It is sitting pretty with all holes open at 300 farenheit, and I think with more heat beads in it it will be good to get over 350.

The idea is to smoke the smoking wood, not to burn it, so it depends on how hard you are cooking as to hwo wet or otherwise the wood needs to be. The moisture isn't much of an issue, but if you are cooking low and slow at say 235 Farenheit, then the wood should only be smoking, as there will be a limited supply of air getting in to keep it alight. If you are cooking chicken at a higher temp with all holes open, then the wood is more likely to burn instead of smoke, so it may need to be a bit wetter. The other option is to have the wood in a container that limits air getting in, so that it can only ever smoke. BBQ shops sell boxes for that with wood chips, but for these things it seems that chunks of wood are the go.

Planning my first beer can chicken (with Galaxian Pale Ale) on Sunday - pics to follow!

Crundle
 

Chad

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Looks as though I forgot to post some pictures of my first run. I was measuring the ambient temp, as you can see the probe going in through the vent.
It was ok for the first time. I put way too much wood in, and the meat wasn't nearly as tender as I was expecting. Although it could have been the cut of meat.

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I have a leg of lamb marinating in the fridge for tomorrow.
 

Chad

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One thing I can't figure out is the finishing temp time. I have finishing temps for meats, but have no idea how long it is for, and is it part of the overall cooking time?
 

Chad

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Had a greater success this time round. Used just a single small chunk of hickory and the finishing flavour was much more balanced. It really does add that extra dimension to the meat.
The meat this time was also quite tender, not falling off, but very easy to eat. I also used a mop this time instead of a dry rub.
photo.jpg
 

crundle

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Looks the goods there Chad!

Not really sure what you mean by finishing temp time. I use either a $15 Ikea meat thermometer (also great as a mash thermometer) or my Weber meat thermometer, and check the temperature of the meat to see when it is done. For chicken, it is generally done when the internal temperature in the breast is at 82 degrees Celcius, although this may be a touch on the high side I am very careful about chicken. There is no real time limit to it, it is simply a matter of the meat is cooked when the internal temperature of the meat reaches a certain temperature. This can take a short amount of time if you are cooking at high temps, or can take many hours if you are cooking at a much lower temp.

I fired mine up for the first time in anger today, and it worked a treat, if taking a bit longer than I thought it would. I cooked up 2 beer can chickens, using Galaxian Pale Ale, garlic and herbs in the cans and sat the chickens directly on the weber grill sitting inside my drum. I had the temperature measured at the top of the drum at 300 Farenheit, and had the drum loaded up with a 5kg bag of briquettes and one small chunk of hickory.

The smoke flavour was incredible, but the chicken was a tad overdone, having been in the drum for nearly 4 hours. The drum roasts veggies very well also.

Only one hiccup really, and that was when the grill fell into the base of the drum, with the chickens in hot pursuit! A bit of a flare up in the drum involving oil ensued, but the chickens were largely unhurt, and other than making a mess of the surrounding pavers (SWMBO expects them to be cleaned tomorrow) that was the only issue. I need to have longer bolts supporting the grill to make it less prone to dropping into the drum, but want to make sure that I am able to move the grills around and have the ability to have 3 grills in place when doing ribs.

Sorry no photos for this one as I was a bit under pressure timewise today, but for the next cook I hope to get some taken.

I would heartily recommend to anyone to build one of these things as they are simply amazing to cook on and with summer coming up they are a great way to cook outside for a large group of people if needed.

For anyone interested, I have a pdf of the build process that I used to base mine on.

cheers,

Crundle

View attachment UDS_Instructions.pdf
 

crundle

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Thanks for the smoking time guide there Chad. My chicken seemed to agree with that guide at about 4 hours, but like I said, I prefer chicken to be a bit higher in temperature than the guide states.

The chunk of Hickory I used was dry but didn't burn when the lid was on, just gave a good dose of smoke, but ignited when the lid came off.

Going to be having some good food from this thing!

Crundle
 

Bubba Q

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For those who have a bit of knowledge on smokers

I plan to purchase a rotisserie attachment & small smoke box for my hooded 4 burner bbq. Would this setup be suitable for smoking?

I plan to give this a go next weekend with either some beef or pig and was wondering if it was a good idea or if I should just save my cash.
 

losp

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Just got mine back from the sandblasters, $50 to clean it inside and out. The outside is painted with black matt heatproof paint, the inside coated with cooking oil spray and is now in the process of baking the cooking oil to season it. It is sitting pretty with all holes open at 300 farenheit, and I think with more heat beads in it it will be good to get over 350.

The idea is to smoke the smoking wood, not to burn it, so it depends on how hard you are cooking as to hwo wet or otherwise the wood needs to be. The moisture isn't much of an issue, but if you are cooking low and slow at say 235 Farenheit, then the wood should only be smoking, as there will be a limited supply of air getting in to keep it alight. If you are cooking chicken at a higher temp with all holes open, then the wood is more likely to burn instead of smoke, so it may need to be a bit wetter. The other option is to have the wood in a container that limits air getting in, so that it can only ever smoke. BBQ shops sell boxes for that with wood chips, but for these things it seems that chunks of wood are the go.

Planning my first beer can chicken (with Galaxian Pale Ale) on Sunday - pics to follow!

Crundle
I have never had any wood catch fire. and i have never wet the wood. Although i don't do big smokes. mainly a lot of seafood (trout, salmon, various fillets) with the occasional pork or steak.
 

Phoney

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Well, thanks to you guys ive decided to knock one up for myself...


I got this drum for $15, bargain! But all that white paint on the inside has to come off....

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So after HOURS of blood, sweat and tears fighting with the wire disc drill attachment it's finally clean. I cant believe how quickly the bare metal begins to rust!

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Bunnings didnt have brass ball valves in stock and I doubted a plumbing supplies store would be open on a weekend, so I made these spring tensioned sliders out of aluminium strap to cover 1/2" holes. Therefore I have 8 x 1/2" intake holes at 2" and 4" from the bottom of the drum, and 4 x 1/2" exhaust holes in the lid. I may need to enlarge those holes, but I didnt want to shell out $50 for a 3/4" drill bit (that I probably would never use again) before at least seeing if I even need it.

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Handles installed on the lid (exhaust holes are closed off in this pic)

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So ive since given it it's first coat of black kettle paint today, inside and out. With another coat due for tomorrow. Still yet to attach the grill mounts and the temperature guage... but im hoping to have it ready for a test burn by next weekend. :)

Question: What are you guys using for your fire baskets? Bunnings dont seem to have the expanded metal that the US guys all seem to be using.... Ive got an old mini 'webber charcole kettle' style bbq thing I bought from one of those asian discount stores for a pittance years ago. Ive taken the legs off and it now sits about 5" high. It's only 14" in diameter and has about 3" between the charcole grate and the top. Could I get away with using this? (Of course, after I give it another dozen air holes and some new, shorter legs to sit on an ash pan)

here it is

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Ill post some more pics of the final product....

Oh and finally: The most important question of all; What colour should I paint the air hole sliders? I reckon yellow, the missus reckons green. Thoughts? :D
 

Chad

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I cant believe how quickly the bare metal begins to rust!
Go grab yourself some solidified oil from the supermarket and give it a good coating. It will really slow the rusting down until you get the rest of it finished off.
 

Wisey

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Hehe, a fire would have burnt that off Phoney

You wont keep it shiny mate
 

Phoney

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I know, but firewood is hard to get around here....and lighting a fire that big in my small backyard would probably have brough the fire dept to my front door! :lol:

Never mind it's all painted inside and out with black kettle paint now :)
 

siiren

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I have just finished making my UDS.
Currently on the seasoning run, but had to throw in a few snapper cutlets and a few scotch filets!!!!
Very easy build.
Got a 44 from work, which had an internal bladder. Cut that out easily with a stanley knife.
Built a fire in the drum to burn off the paint.
Rubbed over the whole drum with a scotch brite pad.
Sprayed the outer shell with a high temp paint.
Added my handles, vents, rack and chimney.
Oiled the internal wall with good old home brand canola spray.
Pics to follow........just have to find my camera data cord.....hmmmmmmm
 

crundle

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You will love your UDS, I cook with mine every opportunity I get. I made some smoked pizzas the other day that were great, and will even be taking the drum camping over Christmas for the whole family to cook our dinner with each night, they are so versatile to cook on.

I have now added four levels for the grills to sit on so I can get the food as close to or as far away from the charcoal/heat beads as needed.

Love my UDS!

Crundle
 

komodo

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Any one over SE burbs of melbourne got a source for the open top 44gallon drums with steel lids?
Theres a guy in airport west with them on ebay but thats a hike and a guy in dande has them but with plastic lids and I dont have a webber lid...
 
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