Question for UDS "Dome Lid" guys/gals

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by danbury, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    I use the barrel lid for my UDS and personally I like it that way. Just about everything I cook I have plenty of room. My wife has brought up the subject of me doing a whole turkey months from now for Thanksgiving when her family comes over. Personally I'm not much of a turkey eater and have been content to just do an occasional turkey breast which always turn out great. What I need to do, I think, in order to do a big bird is move my grate up and probably use a dome lid. I have a dome lid, but it doesn't exactly fit properly. Looks like I need to put some sort of rim on the inside of the top of the drum to get it to at least fit but that leaves the air tightness question.

    For you folks that are using the dome lids, how did you do it, does it seal real good and if you have any pictures you could post, I'd greatly appreciate that. I'm all eyes and ears at this point.
  2. smokin' dick

    smokin' dick Smoking Fanatic

    I've got two drums. 1 Has the flat lid and the second has a Weber Top that I found in the steel recycling bin at the town dump. Perfect condition and Free to boot! It just sat on the lip of the drum, so modification was needed.
    What I did first was to bend the flange with a pair lineman's pliers then flatten nicely with a hammer. Wear some eye protection while doing this as the porcelain finish will be cracking and flying around.
    Once the flange was fairly flat I put the Weber top on the drum and using a smaller hammer pounded on the flange to round it slightly around the lip of the drum. It moves a bit while doing this, but with persistence, you will succeed at getting a good fit. After it was fitted I painted the edge with the same High Heat Rustoleum as was used on the Drum.

    Here is a close up of the lid. Notice there is some crazing and cracking of the porcelain near the abused edge. More paint may be in order.

    and a pic of the whole barrel

    I do like the look of the dome and the potential for more cooking space, too. The Weber lid seals a bit better than the flat lid does on this drum, so this one will be called Little Roundtop.
  3. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    I didn't think of bending the lid like that as I was concerned about cracking the porcelain finish. Not that I care about it that much as I was more concerned with the seal. My existing drum lid still has the original seal in it and seals flawlessly at this point and that's what I'm after is getting it as close to tight seal as possible.

    Thanks for the explanation and pictures. I may give that a whirl. The other way I was thinking, but didn't want to do was to put some kind of rim on the inside of the drum and I really don't want to start drilling more holes in my drum.
  4. My weber lid is my UDS lid. My original design is Wu-Tanged (thanks Wu it works great). Flip the barrel cut the bottom out and use the lid and lock ring as the new bottom. I knew I was going to use my weber as the only lid for my UDS because I wanted two grates and room at the top and I didn't want to cut up my Weber b/c I still use it. So this was the way for me. July 4th I did 5 racks of Spares in here two flat on the bottom rack and 3 standing up in a rib rack on top. I couldn't have done it without the Weber lid and wasn't sure if it would fit anyway but it did. I could probably do 6 full slabs of spares using two rib racks, one on each grate. I'm happy with that capacity.

    Here are some pics to help illustrate. A lot of people will look at that and say you lose heat or air gets in the bottom, not so. It works great and I cinch the locking bolt down as tight as I can. As I said you probably don't want to re-work your build but this is an Idea for next time maybe.

    Old top New bottom w/ring

    Intake w/magnet and ring

    Full Size Shot

    Finished Version with Thin Blue, I love the UDS!!!
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks all... that gives me some ideas that may fuel other ideas if I decide to do this.
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've done plenty of whole turkeys with the uds using the barrel lid. I've done one as big as 14lbs. Remember when doing turkey it is not recommended to do really large ones. I see no need for the Weber lid for turkey.
  8. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here is a pic I stole off of one of Tip's posts

    He took a 1" piece of flat stock aluminum and riveted it to the the drum to form a lip for the lid. I plan on doing the same if I ever get the time but I will be bolting mine on as I don't have a rivet gun. I also bought 1.5" stock to make it easier to work with. Hope this helps!
  9. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    Deep fry your turkey, it's the only way!

    I haven't smoked with my Weber lid on my UDS, only tried it on for size and I thought it fit really good. Need to go back and take a look at the seal.
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmm, seems you haven't had much smoked turkey, I prefer it over fried any day.
  11. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Update since i started this thread.
    I did what Smokin'**** (sorry, but built in forum filters are killing his name) did and bent out the lip of the dome lid and gently hammered it on the rim of the barrel. I then cleaned the lip real good and put a bead of heat resistant RTV gasket sealant on the underside and smoothed it out. That was few days ago.

    Yesterday I gave it a try and bbq-ed some chicken. Had a really good seal. Temperature maintained as well as with the regular lid. I put another set of shelf bolts up a few inches below the barrel rim to raise the grate. No problems at all.

    All in all it's another option if I need it. Though I'm not real crazy about turkey, my wife is and when the little lady says she wants a smoked turkey... she's going to get a smoked turkey.
    I have smoked turkeys on other pits including a Weber and offset smokers. The family was always crazy about them. I just prefer to cook other things and other than an occasional turkey breast, I stick to pork, beef and chicken.

    Unless I absolutely need to, I'll stick with the regular barrel lid for the brunt of my UDS cooking.
  12. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  13. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Can't say I have Cowgirl. As I said, I'm not real crazy about turkey. I'll cook it for my wife and her family from time to time but personally it's not one of my favorite things to eat.
  14. hilbillyinca

    hilbillyinca Smoke Blower

    Yeah, I don't mean to brag, but I've done Turkeys on my WSM every major holiday for a few years now. Still far and away the best turkey I've had.

    well, maybe I'm braggin a little :p

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