Charcoal Basket Question???

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by dirtsailor2003, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have been looking through the threads on UDS builds (two 55 gallon drums w/ locking lids have fallen into my hands) and I was curious about the expanded metal charcoal baskets. I see that many use bolts to create a 2"-3" stand off for the base. has anyone just cut the expanded metal 2"-3" taller and wired the rack 2"-3" higher? I know bolts aren't that expensive, just thinking of keeping it simple. I was thinking of making a charcoal basket for my Mini-WSM and may give it a try.
  2. That is certainly possible however if it is like I am picturing it in my mind that would create a hoop that keeps the ashes under the basket instead of letting them spread out. I have made 2 baskets, one for each smoker I have.

    My UDS basket I used the bolts to keep it up and have burned 20lbs before without it getting choked out. If I raised the grate up into the expanded steel it would severely decrease my charcoal capacity for the long overnight smokes. For only a few dollars and my 2 cents, this is the easiest way. 

    This one is for my SFB smoker. It has no legs but sits on the stock provided grate that is a few inches up from the rounded bottom. I will have to dig out the ashes after a while with a scraper to keep proper air flow under the basket but with this set up I am in the firebox every hour or two to add a hand full of coals. The minion method will not work with this smoker since the firebox isnt exactly air tight. I use this smoker mostly for jerky now since I have built the UDS (UDS+bbq guru = greatest thing ever). I have also used the smaller basket for shorter smokes in the UDS but I put legs on it when I do. Hope this helps.

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks, I wondered about that being an issue, but I wasn't sure how much the ash actually spread out as it burnt down. I still may experiment a bit. Worst case I disassemble it and put it back together with bolt legs.
  4. Exactly. Experience is always the best teacher, let us know how it works out.
  5. you could leave the expanded metal long and cut out everything between the corners. bolts are however pretty cheap. i was thinking if you had an extra lid. cut it a little smaller around. bolt it to the bottom of the legs. when your done smoking. lift it out with the basket to empty the ash and clean the drippings.

  6. experience is what you get when you don't see it coming. man have i got some experience!
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Removing portions of the mesh might be another good way to do it. Bolting an ash pan to the basket would be a good idea too, especially for those like me with short arms! My overall plan for the two drums is to build two USD's and sell one. I originally thought about selling both, but after reading how well they run for long periods of time I may keep one! I can hear my fiancee now... She hasn't noticed them in the back of the yard debris trailer yet!
  8. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All  Question, I can get expanded metal at Lowe's/Home Depot 12 x 24 do I need more then 1 sheet to make a basket for UDS?

    Thanks Dan

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