How big should the charcoal basket be for a standard 55 gallon drum,

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by tito, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. tito

    tito Fire Starter

    Ok So I am working on the last piece of the puzzle that is the UDS my charcoal basket. What size should it be?  I want to build it round, so I am looking for those measurements.  I have a 13.5 inch round charcoal grate that I will be mating expanded metal to.  but wrapping the expanded metal around that 13.5 grate makes the basket look way to big. 

    so what dimensions is your basket? 
  2. porkaholic

    porkaholic Smoke Blower

    I have a 13.5 grat also and I just fit the expanded metal around it.  Looks big but does a great job.  I have it 9 inches high and used 3 inch bolts as legs to raise it off the bottom.  I can use as much or as little fuel as needed for the smoke.  Fully loaded it can run 24 hours at 225-250 degrees.  I have seen some posts where people build a smaller basket too and use it when they only have a need for a short run.  I just use my larger basket all the time and fill to fit the task at hand.
  3. tito

    tito Fire Starter

    how much charcoal do you normally use?  for say ribs, brisket, and shoulder?

    and thanks, this is excatly what I am looking for.....keep it comming!!!
  4. porkaholic

    porkaholic Smoke Blower

    I do not always measure or weigh the fuel first and in fact I always seem to start with some fuel in the basket from the last smoke.  My UDS is very efficient.  If I were to guess I might think that I have to use 8-10 pounds of lump charcole for a smoke of 12-14 hours, butts and brisket.  I would likely have some left after the meat is done.  For chicken cooking at 275-300 degrees it only takes about 1.5-2 hours if they are spatchcocked so I use only a couple of pounds.  As a general rule I will have no more than 1/2 of the basket fulled with charcole at any one time unless I know I am going to go for a long time.  Then I might put in a bit more just in case.  Once I close the lid I do not open it until things hit the right temp.  Hope this helps.
  5. carbon

    carbon Newbie

    My basket also uses a 13.5" grate, 10" high.  I usually load a whole bag of Stubbs natural briquettes, 15 lbs worth, and that gives me 3 regular smoking sessions without having to reload.  I just shake the basket while in the drum to clear ashes and it's ready to go.

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