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December 13, 2011

 UDS INTERMEDIATE THEORY: BEYOND THE BASIC COOKER

I found a short video from the guys at HOWTOBBQRIGHT.COM  that details the basics of making your first UDS.  I can’t stress enough the need to go simple with the first one.  At the end of this post I’ll throw up some pics of more complicated builds that you might aspire to emulate for build 2.


Some key points you need to know going in:
Again—DO NOT GET A BARREL WITH THE RED LINER!!!  It is a pain in the ass to grind off!

No matter how clean the barrel appears, give it a long burn bonfire style then was with soap.

Do not go galvanized on your fire box—just basic scrap metal.  Many will tell you not to use any galvanized hardware at all but I don’t subscribe that notion.  Chemistry tells us that the zinc won’t melt until way past the point that I could blaze this barrel so it’s no big deal. 

A valve is not necessary for one of your intakes but nice.  I have seen plastic PVC valves used but I don’t because sometimes I blaze my barrel and they could melt.  I have made many drums that are just 4 holes covered by 4 magnets that work phenomenally.  El cheapo pizza magnets will work but the thin plastic curls up when prolonged to extended heat.  I order thicker, legit car magnets and solved that problem.

If you are going to use the flat lid that comes with your drum you will want to recess your first grate a bit further down on the barrel to accommodate beer can chickens or a turkey.   A 22.5” kettle lid is nice—keep your eyes peeled on craigslist or grab an el cheapo from Wal-Mart!  For more space and a slightly larger diameter, use the bottom of the grill!
Bigger is better when it comes to your thermometer!  Most BBQ thermometers have a short neck that will give you the temp reading on the edge of the barrel.  It might be 30-50 degrees hotter in the middle of your grate directly over the fire.  I use cheap, long turkey fryer thermometers to get a more accurate center temp.  Calibrate your thermo using boiling water before using!

DO NOT PAINT THE INSIDE!!!!  Season before the first cook.  Coat the walls with PAM spray or whatever grease you have laying around and then cook some sausages.  Watch the magic happen as the sides become nice a seasoned!

You do not have to paint your UDS!  I loved the look of mine all rusted up but my wife went NUTS!!!  Some guys have had success with good old Rustoleum spray paint.  I use a base of the high temp BBQ paint and then coat it with whatever normal spray paint I can find to save money.  It works great and is cheap.   High temp engine paint is also an option for those who engage in overkill!

Do not go crazy if you have leaks around the lid.  Pound out your lid to give you the best fit possible but some leakage is no big deal.  Overkillers might want to purchase some Big Green Egg felt gasket to shore everything up.  AVOID the fireplace rope gasket as it has fibers that could flake off and get into your BBQ goodness!
Here ends the lesson on intermediate UDS theory.  As you can see, a lot of science and research has gone into the Redneck Microwave.  Below is a preview of what you can do when graduate from the advance course!



-TrashMan

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