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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 05-19-2015, 03:33 PM   #12451
TXLX
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Join Date: 08-12-14
Location: Texas
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^ I'd worry less about it. I run my cooking grate about 8-9 inches from the top, and the top of my firebasket is pretty high. Just leave yourself enough room on the bottom for the firebasket to ash and air to get under it, and go as high as you want.

I run a drip pan for pork butts and briskets under the cooking grate, but I wouldn't be worried about the heat without it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:28 PM   #12452
SmittyJonz
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Join Date: 07-17-13
Location: Burleson Tx
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Originally Posted by B4tn View Post
Thanks! Maybe I am really over thinking this but I am driving myself crazy here. Everywhere I read states the golden rule of having the charcoal basket bottom 24" from the first rack. Now I am assuming that all 55 gallon drums are basicly the same and I have a new drum marked dot "7a type a". So I have approximately 33" of inside height with the flat lid on. If I do my intakes at 2" with the bottom of the grate resting at 3" from the bottom and measure up 24" that's only 6" to spare for cooking area. I dont plan on using a diffuser and I am concerned 6" is not enough space. I have literally spent the last 3 hours reading on the subject and cant seem to find a definitive answer. Some say 18" and up, some say just use a diffuser, some say 24" is gospel, and some say +/- couple inches wont matter. Am I over thinking this?
You're overthinking it. Forget the 24" BS and build a basket 10-12" Deep that sits 3-4" off bottom. Measure down from the top for your grates to whatever looks right to you- if running a dome lid put first grate 2-4" down and second 8-10" under that - if flat lid go 6-8" down they another 6-8" under that.

You can see the nuts on side of mine to see my spacing. I have 3 grates - the bottom one I run a cake pan water pan then 2 cooking grates.i can't remember my measurement but the greatest distance is between top and middle grate. Everybody's is a little different, but this has worked for me for 100+ cooks.



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Old 05-19-2015, 08:56 PM   #12453
Razor800
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Join Date: 03-28-15
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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When I started this quest, I called a local container store. They had a reconditioned, unlined drum for $65 or a higher gauge one for $95. I thought $65 was too much. Yeah, I was stupid. In propane and sweat equity I have that in it and it still isn't ready. I have a lead on a sandblaster and if the price is decent I am going that route. Live and learn.
If you are new to the whole UDS thing, word of advice: listen to those that know. My barrel is being sandblasted. $40, so well worth it given the pains I have gone through with the red liner of death. Picking up tomorrow and painting will begin. May be ready for Memorial Day.
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