Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ugly Drum Smoker - The Cooking Grates

Here is a pic of the grill grates installed to give you a little better idea of what the finished assembly will look like.

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

“Measure up 25 inches from the BOTTOM of the barrel. This is where your first cooking grate will go. Put three bolts around the barrel, spread out pretty evenly. I used to do four bolts (8 when I used small grates). What I found was that if you are off even a little bit on one of the four bolts, your grate will be uneven. Three bolts will always have a stable (even if not level) cooking surface. Throw a 20 pound brisket on a grate and let me know how important stability is (again, don’t ask how I know).For the second grate, measure up 31 inches from the BOTTOM of the barrel. This will give you six inches between cooking grates, and roughly three inches from the flat top of the barrel; more than enough room for a slab of ribs or two.”


Anonymous said...

I reccently saw a smoker barrel using a rib rack,he had 8 slabs of ribs cooking on their edges.Im thinking this woudl not allow for more than one grate at a time.However i might be able to install the bolts for 2 grates and remove 1 for this method.what do you think?If this has already been addressed I apologize for being redundant.

jasgord said...

I left the earlier post abot the rib rack and failed to identify myself.sorry new at this.

riverwalker said...

To: jasgord

The ease of removing the grates makes a number of different combinations possible.

If you wish to smoke a lot of ribs, removing one of the grates and using a set of rib racks is an excellent way to do this.

I like to use a custom grate made from boiler plate for smoking sausage but use standard grill racks also.

Thanks jasgord.


jeepman74361 said...

I recently stumbled on plans for a double 55 gallon barrel smoker that gives you a firebox below and large grill area above. Plans and photos can be found using this link;

Sonia said...

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

Cooking Equipment

Susan Broughton said...

Where do you find the grate?

riverwalker said...

To: Susan

They are Weber replacement grill grates. You can buy them at Academy Sports & Outdoors or online from