Charcoal Basket for UDS

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by freshmeat, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    Would the 20/20 charcoal basket discussed in this thread be sufficient for an UDS? Effectively it is a 12"x12" square with 6" sides. Square vs. circular in shape does not matter? Any users of this know how much charcoal (briquettes) this will hold?

  2. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Should work fine. By my calculations it will hold about 75% of what my round 13.5" x 8" basket will hold and I can smoke for 16+ hours with mine.

    Just make sure you put some legs on it to hold it about 3" off the bottom of your drum. [​IMG]

  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That should work fine. I would personally get a bigger one so I could smoke for longer but you can alway make another basket if this one isn't big enough. Los of people have several baskets depending on how long they are going to smoke.
  4. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    It should be fine as long as you get off the bottom of the barrel and get some air flow to it.
  5. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]

    I know I can buy the 24x24 sheet at a big box store, they have it in stock. A 24x28 sheet will make sides 8" high and increase volume ~ another 25%. I will price this size at local Metal Supermarket and if not astronomical high will jump on it. The Weber that I have robbed parts off of has a coal grate of 17". I am not a welder, my mission between now and second build is finding a welder that likes beer[​IMG] and I will incorporate this with shorter sides.

    I had planned on 3" off the bottom for floor of basket. It needs to be this height because I have everything drilled and completed to this spec. I am having zero luck finding 3" stainless bolts for the legs, have wore out all the big box stores, and local hardware. Any ideas for this?

    Looking forward to firing this bad boy up!
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No need to weld to make a UDS charcoal basket. [​IMG]

    Just some pliers, wire cutters, wrenches, vise and maybe a hammer.

    That's weird that you're having such a hard time finding the bolts. Mine were 3-1/2" x 1/2". They are stainless but don't need to be. If you could find black steel that would work too. Just stay away from galvanized.

    Good luck.

  7. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    Thanks for your help!

    What kind of wire did you use / is that also attaching grate to walls?
    My idea was to make ash pan and basket as one. (Zero personal interest in galvanized.) I can't find 3" stainless (threaded entire way) either in hex or carriage. I have not looked for black steel.
  8. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure exactly what kind of wire it was. [​IMG] Just some soft bendable wire I had in the garage. I don't have the spool anymore so I can't even tell you the guage. I bought it several years ago to use for a small electric fence. I did use the wire to hold the grate to the sides as well.

    The bolts don't need to be threaded all the way. Mine were only threaded about an inch or so. Just use two nuts and flat washers to hold the grate on. Use a washer and nut on either side of the grate, tighten them down good and you're good to go. The hex head end of the bolt are actually the bottom of the leg on mine.

  9. 200xga

    200xga Newbie

    u said u were going to atach the ash pan to the basket just drill three holes in ash pan slide the bolts threw then attch basket like dave said. good luck
  10. erik

    erik Fire Starter

    Hey DDave, How did you attach the grade to the expanded metal?

    A metal working noob. [​IMG]
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just wrapped some thin wire around the edge of the grate and threaded it through the expanded metal in a few spots around the circle.

  12. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Try Metal Supermarkets for your supplies. They have been very good to me, and will cut to size for free. Best thing is you only have to pay for what you use. Cost will be far less than the Big Orange Store or the Big Blue Store. They may have end cuts or pieces that can be purchased for cheap!

    I've never ordered online cuz there's a store just a few miles from my house.

    Metal Super Markets

  13. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Or if you have a welding shop or fab shop close by that's a good place to get expanded metal too. They can cut any size you need.

    An 8" x 44" piece works perfect with a 13.5" charcoal grate from a small Weber. [​IMG]

  14. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    I feel like a dipstick on this one[​IMG]...this will absolutely work. I have become anal goofing with this in my head [​IMG] while on the road for work.

    I have one of these local, and spoke w/ them on the phone. They have what I need regardless of which direction I go.

    I will be at the same address as my barrel Friday...this bucket is delivering smoke this weekend.

    Thanks to those for the help.
  15. brian s

    brian s Fire Starter

    Man I just had my buddy weld up a charcoal basket for me. I used the bottom grate from a Weber 22" grill. The grate is 17" in diameter. I used 12" tall expanded metal. This thing is huge! I think I should have gone smaller [​IMG].
  16. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    Be careful that the wire you used isn't aluminum i don't think that's good from what i can remember
  17. rodc

    rodc Smoke Blower

  18. badfrog

    badfrog Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hey Freshmeat,

    I will be picking up several 4ft long 18" wide pieces of expanded tomorrow or Tuesday from my friends metal shop (scrap left from trailer builds!). should be enough to build 3 maybe 4 baskets...if you've got your weber grate for the bottom, all the stainless bolts washer etc are available at my local hardware store... come on up and we'll build a couple.
  19. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    I am in! Shot you a PM.
  20. dburgette

    dburgette Fire Starter

    I am really having a hard time finding the expanded metal. Where else should I look around town?

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