View Full Version : OT Barbeque smoker plans

07-07-2010, 01:25 PM
I've been looking around for smoker plans on the internet and have found a few that look promising, but I figured I'd ask here too. I'm sure there are quite a few people who have made smokers here, so show them off guys. Let's see some pics and hear some stories. BTW, this is one thing I found on the web that made me laugh my happy a$$ off. I can't seem to put a direct link to it, but click the link and under "Homemade Contraptions" click the one that says "What the..."


07-07-2010, 01:43 PM
I got a lot of info from this site http://www.ibiblio.org/lineback/lex.htm I worked in the barbecue restaurants when I was young, and have always lived in the South, where pig is King. Here is the one I built, and it did involve metal fab with the doors and dampers. Two years later I helped a neighbor build a similar unit.
Edit, opps thats the same link, I didn't look
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc28/mototed/th_IMG_0128.jpg (http://s217.photobucket.com/albums/cc28/mototed/?action=view&current=IMG_0128.jpg)

07-07-2010, 03:39 PM
If you are referring to UDS's Ugly Drum smokers 55 gallon drums that fit a Webber 22.5" kettle lid with or with out water pans, colder smokers, electric, gas, wood, charcoal or wood burning pizza ovens. Just about anything else Q related and cooking to competition Q . From UDS thread with with over 400 pages, and almost a hundred thousand views.

The general forum is called Q-talk for just about everything, from builds to rubs and food pron photo's.

They also have a sticky so new people can translate their lingo
The Brethren's site is the best on the net,BBQ-Brethren (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/index.php)

UDS smoker thread (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436)

Here is the one we built for the son, after the guy building it backed out 12 day's before a big pulled pork smoke for Vets at a veterans home on the west side of the state 120 lbs of shoulder. Built it in 10 days, and cleaned, seasoned burned in

It may not look pretty but is sure does the job, the smoke/cook chamber was an oil tank, and the firebox was a hot water tank.

We put 4 trailer tongue stands on it so he could jack it up and pull the trailer out from under it to use for hauling his smaller ones and other grilling equipment.


Used #9 3/4" flattened expanded metal for the grill racks, over 1/2" rebar frames worked out great. No sag and the flattened has less burrs for the meat and other stuff to catch on compared to regular expanded metal. Cleans up real fast and easy.

If you use food grade drums with the cream, tan or red linings remember it is phenolic epoxy coating. you want to stay out of the smoke when burning it out. Can take up to 3 burns and then clean out the residue. Than season it a couple times making sure you get the oil into the seam joins and burn out with a weed burner type torch or a good fire.
Stripping it works well if you are in a neighborhood or take it to a place that does chemical dipping stripping. Fastest, cheapest and less work.

I use Dawn industrial/commercial grease remover detergent. You can get it at Gorden's food service stores. put some in and filled it up and the let it set 1/2 day then used it with a power washer the oil tank out before cutting.

For seasoning I use what ever cheapest vegetable oil is on sale and coat it good.

We are planning to bring it back and do a couple of mods we are planning to change the door/lid for the cooking load area from an opening to. The new lid will be 1/2 the way down the width, and 1/2 the length of the tank top to bottom.The way it is laying on its side. As it is easier to get a better smoke seal, along with that it doesn't distort as much from the heat with the built in seams etc.

Sons friend that was going to build it gave us some bum info, on what to do. and I listened to my son as I had only built a couple of horizontal UDS offset smokers in the past.

And I didn't find the Brethren till after we had started and cut the opening.


07-07-2010, 04:08 PM
Questions to be answered. Do you want it portable or not? Low budget or not? Pretty, or just usable?
One of the cheapest but effective ones I have seen was just a real old Kitchen fridge, one before all the plastic. Guy cut a hole in the side and ran a 4 inch pipe from a charcoal box into it. Put a stack in the top. both the stack and the pipe had regulators. Kept the heat low, plenty indirect heat and smoke, wire racks to hold all the meat etc.
john L

07-07-2010, 07:36 PM
Questions to be answered. Do you want it portable or not? Low budget or not? Pretty, or just usable?

Well, I'm certainly not looking to build anything that has its own trailer hitch, but at the same time, I'd like to bring it along with me whenever I move. Aesthetics are certainly secondary to its ability to cook meat. Low budget would be nice. I'd like to make it out of metal rather than bricks. As far as designs go, what should I be thinking of in terms of firebox size and location? I've seen some with a small firebox off to one side and I've seen some where the firebox is nearly the same size as the cooker and either underneath or behind. Is one better than the other? It seems like the small firebox would need to be refueled for longer cooking times. Does a larger box equate to higher heat though?

07-07-2010, 07:44 PM
I've built several of these at the school for charity auctions.



I think the drafting department is in the process of making CAD drawings for them. I'll check to see if they're available yet.

Plain ol Bill
07-07-2010, 10:27 PM
I want a set of plans for that if they are available. I like the looks of that one for sure and can see the craftsmanship in it. Nice job!

07-07-2010, 11:35 PM
My son built one out of a 55 gallon drum (previously used to transport food product) in my shop. Combustion control is done by using two air valves at the bottom of the barrel. The chromed exhaust tip has a butterfly valve.The plans were from the Internet.




07-08-2010, 02:32 AM
There are pictures of a more recent version here:


The trailer has been redesigned to make it a little easier to build.



I'm thinking about trying this on the next one:



07-08-2010, 08:40 AM
Smoked-meat.com smoker forum (http://www.smoked-meat.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=24)
You should be able to find a style that will fit you needs.

You may want to check the grill/smoker section at the local big box home store as they have a number of well rated smoker/grill combo's that you can get a real up close and personal feel for. Offsets etc. are the most popular.

07-08-2010, 07:12 PM
The student in the drafting program who was making the drawings for the smoker as a course project is out for several weeks for medical reasons. I'll try to get them later in the quarter, and I'll pass them along to anyone interested.

In the meantime, I'll try to answer any questions you have if you want to try building one from the pictures in photobucket. I don't think any of the dimensions are critical as long as the parts fit together in the general arrangement. Of course, axle placement is important for proper balance and towing. The subframe makes easier to get that right after the tank and firebox are welded to the tongue.

The main thing that's not shown in the photos is the distribution plate that runs from the firebox opening to the other end of the tank. It's even with the top of the firebox, and ends where the end bell is attached.

We've had lots of compliments on how well the smokers work, so I think you'd probably be happy with one.

07-08-2010, 09:39 PM
Love this one my brother-in-law has:


It's fascinating that the shape of the great state of Texas is ideal for smoking meat. Must have been destiny.

Eventually, I will build my own copy:


The thing to think about in a smoker is how to stabilize the temps where you want them. Keeping the fire from delivering direct heat (hence the popularity of offset smoke boxes), the thermal mass of a little thicker metal, the shape and space plan needed for your racks, and the ability to regulate the air to the fire are key.

It takes all day, so you ideally want a smoker that doesn't take too much tending.

BTW, if you like ribs, try my Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce on 'em:




07-09-2010, 09:06 PM
Upright drum smoker out of an old 55 gallon grease drum. Burn it out good, put your air valves in & season it. Then put on the meat/food of choice.......




Then you end up with something like this:


07-12-2010, 12:01 PM
I've built several of these at the school for charity auctions.

What price do they usually bring?

07-12-2010, 12:40 PM
Oops, I wrote auction, but I meant raffle.

I just build them. I believe the tickets are $5 each. I suspect they do OK, since the golf tournament associated with the event draws a fair number of participants.