Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ugly Drum Smoker - The Charcoal Basket

The picture above shows a little more detail of the charcoal basket assembly.

The picture above shows the assembled charcoal basket in your smoker barrel.

Excerpt from The Smoker Barrel a guide to building an ugly drum smoker:

“Take your expanded metal and wrap it around your 14”or 16” charcoal basket. Want to make it a little easier? If you have a bottle of propane for a gas grill, wrap it around that. It will give it a pretty good shape to start with. Put a short (1”) bolt through the expanded metal at the top and bottom to hold it together. Put them about two inches from the top and bottom of the expanded metal. Add the two of the same sized bolts equidistant from the first bolt (put three bolts the same distance apart around the outside). These three bolts will be where the charcoal grate rests, so try to spread them out evenly. If you want to add a fourth bolt, feel free to do so. This is your smoker.”

Hopefully these pictures will give you a little better idea of what the assembled charcoal basket will look like. I am also currently working on what I hope will be a simpler version of a charcoal basket for your ugly drum smoker.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Build A Smoker Barrel

Smokers aren’t really all that complicated. They create heat and smoke in a controlled environment while giving you the means and ability to smoke your food. The basic idea behind a smoker is to have one area in your smoker that creates heat and smoke and the required temperatures to do your cooking and another area that is designed to hold food in an environment that allows you to control the temperature. The difference between these spaces will provide the necessary airflow that is required to keep the heat and smoke working together to properly smoke your food.

Advantages of a Barrel Smoker

1.) You can achieve temperature control through an adjustable valve which limits airflow. This is one of the easiest ways to smoke food because you don’t have to deal with fire tending and helps to save on fuel for your smoker. This also allows for a very simple smoker design which allows for easy venting of exhaust through the barrel lid. This ability to easily adjust airflow, both intake and exhaust, is one of the most important parts of a barrel smoker.

2.) Ugly drum smokers are also very portable. They are relatively lightweight and can be easily moved if necessary. They are great to use in areas where the feasibility of a more permanent type of smoker may not be an option due to permits or limited space.

3.) They can be easily built with simple tools and parts. You don’t need any special skills to make one.

The material you decide to use to make your smoker needs to be strong enough to withstand the temperatures that are involved in smoking. It also needs to be able to withstand a certain amount of abuse that will almost certainly occur over time.

Just because you don’t have any special skills, doesn’t mean you can’t make a great smoker. A smoker can be built out of almost anything you have on hand. It just takes a little imagination on your part. Remember that your own abilities and experience when combined with a “can do” attitude will allow you to accomplish most anything. When building your smoker don’t be afraid to try something different, you’ll be surprised at the results.

This post will contain links to all the articles on how to build a smoker barrel from a 55 gallon food grade barrel. Hopefully by doing a step by step process it will make it easier for you to build an Ugly Drum Smoker of your own.

The Smoker Barrel

Building a Smoker Barrel - The First Step

Building A Smoker Barrel - The Second Step