Controlling Temperature in Custom BDS

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by mikep in tucson, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. I have been cooking mostly on a ProQ Excel 20.  But, at the recent Arizona BBQ Festival competition, I won a custom-built "UDS".  But she really is a "BDS" (beautiful drum smoker).


    I have seasoned it and worked on controllong the temperature, but I do have a question:

    On the Excel 20, and on WSMs, the top vent is supposed to stay open the entire time during the cook.  Is it the same with a UDS, or is the temperature controlled using both top and bottom vents?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mike, morning....  I would start with the exhaust wide open and control with the air inlet only....  That should work... if not, experiment...    Nice looking "Beautiful Drum Smoker" you have there....

  3. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would leave top 100% open and control from the intake.
    That a cool UDS!!!! You have any picture of the inside ?
  4. Hey guys,

    Thanks for the info.  I will see how it works out using only the intake to control temps.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the inside.  Right now there is only one grate, but the builder, AZBBQGRILLS, say they can make another one that will hang under the top one.  It would be just over the deflector plate.  The deflector plate, or diffuser, is 3/16 steel.



    I don't have a picture of the charcoal basket, but it is 14" in diameter and about 9" deep.  I think she would burn for about 24 hours if I filled the charcoal basket.  I will get a picture of it.

    AZBBQGRILLS is selling them now for $650 (but not powder coated).  I can tell you she is one heavy BDS, but not too hard to handle without the top, the grate, and the deflector plate.  I just lift the charcoal basket out the top.

    There is also a 3/4" pipe at the bottom for use with a temperature control device.  I have a BBQ Guru pitminder that I use with my ProQ, so I may see how that works with the BDS>
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  5. That is badass!!!
  6.  She sure is!!!  Here are the specs:

    Rolled from 14 GA Metal
    36H x 24D
    Exhaust 12H x 3.5D
    Grill Grate framed with 1 x 1/4 Flat Bar
    Cooking Grate 3/4 x 9 gage Expanded Metal
    Grill Grate Cooking Surface 23 Diameter
    Fire Box Vented with 3.5 Inch Opening
    Fire Basket 14 Inch Diameter x 6 Inches Deep

    My charcoal basket is deeper.  I guess after they made the first one, they figured they could go with a smaller one.  She also has a powder coated paint job -- Harley Davidson black wrinkle.
  7. I contacted them and may have them build me one, but with a side door for easier access to the fire box and second grate like a WSM
  8. Also, keep up posted how the Guru works with it. I love that they include a spot to add one if you want
  9. I will let you know how the pitminder works out.

    I also thought that a door on the side would be good.  They are making a second grate for it.  With that, and it being 24" in diameter, there will be a lot of room for meat.  At $650, with it being MUCH heavier duty than the WSM, it really should perform well in any type of weather.  Do you live in Boston?  I was born & raised in Rhode Island.

    OK, here is a picture of the charcoal basket.  It is 15" in diameter and 9" deep.  But I can't imagine ever actually filling it, since I was able to get 5 hours out of a single chimney full of charcoal.  That amount didn't even make 2 layers at the bottom of the basket.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  10. Tons of room for meat. Not sure I'll ever need it, but more is always better! If you filled that basket, you'd probably have fuel for two days, ha.

    Yes, I do live in Boston. If I do end up going this route, smoking in the winter will be no problem. It looks like a beast!!! I may put some casters on the bottom of it too so I can roll it around with ease. I love the look of it! I'll be the most popular guy in town, haha
  11. The guy who had it built for the raffle told me he thought I could go for 40 hours on a full charcoal basket.  He is probably not that far off.

    How would you get it from Tucson to Boston?  Yeah, this smoker will definitely turn some heads.  And, yeah, doing a cook in the dead of Winter would be a piece of cake with this baby.  Just think, if you get one, you would own one of only two in existence.
  12. I asked about shipping, but he hasn't got back to me yet about that. He said no prob on making a door though. He's out of town now and is going to get back with me next week. Hope he can ship, otherwise I'm SOL
  13. Hey Boston, did he ever get back to you about shipping?
  14. fumosanto

    fumosanto Newbie

    I'm in need of a deflector plate for my UDS, and I like the disc you have in there.  Any suggestion on where to get at stainless disc that size?
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

      Try a Pizza pan...  they even sell some with holes in them...   Dave
  16. cmwr

    cmwr Fire Starter

    Man thats NICE!!!!
  17.  Not sure about stainless disc.  But look for someone who custom makes smokers and they can probably set you up.  I would think a pizza pan might be too thin.  I think my deflector plate is 3/16"
  18. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    pizza pan works great for it .
  19. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Hey Mike!

    Recognize you from forum

    I always run my drum (U of A themed ;) btw) with the exhaust all the way open.

    Also, I suggest cutting a few holes in that deflector. For one, the heat on your outer perimeter will be greater than the center, as well as all your drippings will fall around the basket into the bottom of the drum making for a messy clean up.

    That thing is a beauty!
  20. Hey!

    I have been having good luck with the temperature by adjusting both the intake and the exhaust vents simultaneously.  Tried with just closing the intake down, but the exhaust is so big, I think it just tended to keep sucking air in.

    The charcoal basket is mounted on a rimmed plate, so drippings catch in that.  Most are cooked off, but some mix with the ashes and are easily scraped out.  I think before drilling holes in the plate, I will check with the guy who built it to see what he thinks.  I haven't noticed a heat difference -- that is, in how the meat cooks -- around the edges.  Thanks for the suggestions.

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