How to build a UDS – Ugly Drum Smoker

Ugly Drum Smoker in action

I built my own UDS last summer. And I liked it so much I built 2 more.

Right now one is in my backyard, one is on the BBQ trailer and one my buddy borrowed.

I finally put all my plans on how I built my UDS – along with the CADD drawing Waylon did for me – on the website. UDS Smoker Build – Plans and Pictures.

I think it is the best >$200 smoker anyone can have. It’s perfect for the backyard. And they smoke great meat if you know how to use them.

These things burn hot for a long time.

After I cooked a couple butts on mine, I let it keep rolling – just to see how long it would burn. I got tired of keeping up with it at the 18 hour mark.

The challenge with cooking on these trash can smokers is the direct smoke your meat is getting. It can overpower anything – especially chicken.

But once you figure out how to pull back on the reigns of these drum smokers, you have a really efficient and highly effective cooker. And with the fire pan built the way it is, the coals are really easy to clean. You can see the CADD drawing here.

UDS Fire Pan

I’ve learned the hard way – the trick to these dudes is to keep the air flow limited and keep the wood to a minimum…. and play with it a few times before you cook something important.

But the best part about a UDS is that it will last forever because there is really nothing to tear up. And I love that about it.

I did buy a Weber kettle cover to keep the top from rusting – other than that its been a no-maintenance smoking machine.

Malcom Reed
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  1. Pingback: What You Need to Know Before Buying a Smoker - How To BBQ Right Blog

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