My Fire Pit/ Mini UDS smoker UPDATED!

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by austexrod, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Thanks to SMF for all the input and to my wife for putting up with this obsession of mine.

    My wife didn't want to see a smoker in the backyard, so I got creative! I was working on a flagstone patio and decided to build a fire pit. Then I wanted to use it to do some charcoal grillin'. I came across the UDS when researching my fire pit on YouTube. This is what I came up with and I haven't seen one similiar to it. What do y'all think?







    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a very creative solution to keep momma happy and be able to smoke! 

    Is that a 55 gal drum buried in the ground, or a shorter version?!!  I imagine servicing the coals and cleaning it out might be a chore, too.  How is the airflow and maintaining temps? (I bet it is great in terms of insulation -- you could smoke in any kind of weather with that rig!)  Do you use it as a regular fire pit, too?
  3. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Very cool
  4. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Thanks, and yes it is a 55 gallon metal drum cut down to 20" tall and I did have to dig down into the ground a little over 6". I was afraid that because of the dimensions it wouldn't smoke right, but I was able to get 14 hours with one basket and still have charcoal left over. I have a 14" clay saucer for the ash pan and an addiitional one for my diffuser (lined with foil). I was going to use sand, but figured the clay saucer alone would do the trick.
  5. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Neat.[​IMG]Did you put a french drain below it?
  6. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    @adiochiro3. Initially I was perplexed with getting the temps right where they need to be. The therm you see on the dome is about 75-100 degrees off from the cooking grate temp. I wanted to check it with my turkey fryer therm (has a stem on it) and sure enough, I had a descrepency. I believe the stem therm is probably more accurate. I plan on investing in a digital twin probe remote.


    Clean-up is pretty simple take the grates, diffuser and charcoal basket out. I lift out the ash pan and dump most of it in the grass, it helps feed to rough patches.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  7. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Thanks M.A.
    No french drain, I have one in the front of the house, probably would've been a good idea. We've had a couple of good rains and I just put the fire pit lid on and haven't seen any accumulation of water down in the UDS or my fire pit.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  8. Damn you filthy horn...  That pit and smoker look awesome, and now I want one.  lol.

    Did you use fire rated bricks for the pit itself, or are those just normal landscaping bricks?
  9. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Thanks Boomer!

    No fire rated brick here, just plain ol concrete landscaping brick from Homer's Depot.

    I considered it but since the flame never comes in contact with the brick, it seemed reasonable that the pit wouldn't need it.

    Also, if you make one like mine make sure you have a chisel and a mallet, there is a lip on every brick that knocks off easily. If you don't you'll wind up off setting them and they take on a flower-like-appearance and the diameter gets smaller with every row.

    take care Sooner!
  10. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Way Cool!!
  11. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  12. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Thank you Gentlemen, much appreciated

  13.  Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about on the bricks... I have them for my flower beds.  I've always wanted a firepit like that, but to see how you used it as a smoker made me even more stoked.  I kind of always figured those bricks would be fine, just hadn't seen a firepit I liked enough to see how it was done.

    But, again, kudos to you on the setup.  It's pretty sweet and it's definitely got my wheels spinning on doing something similar.

    P.S. Gotta love BBQ and the SMF's... it's even got a Sooner and a Longhorn playin' nice... Which is HARD to do.   [​IMG]
  14. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter


    Finally Finished. Party patio to go with my FPDS!!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  15. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Nice job! [​IMG]

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