sharris wrote:Ugly drum smoker -- works great and was easy to make. It takes monitoring to keep the temp in the right zone, though. Looking at pics of the mini wsm, it looks like it is easier to add more charcoal into than the UDS. How long does a basket of charcoal last in that? The most I can get out of the UDS is 4-5 hours before I have to add more.
I use the minion method to manage the speed and temp of the burn. So I get between 3-4 hours out of the burn at 220-225. It's a snap to refill but after about 8 hours the ash level gets high. That's easy to deal with as well.
All you have to do is pull the pot with lid and meat in it and set it aside on a non flammable flat surface. Pull the lit charcoal with tongs and put into a chimney. Pull the small grate, dump the ash, replace the grate and re-ring the charcoal tray with briquets, replace the lit briquets, drop the top half back on and the temps go right back to normal. Takes a whopping 3 minutes.
Also, it takes less than a minute to pull the pot to add briquettes as needed. I use trader joes briquettes as they burn clean with less ash. The only problem is that they do take a little more effort to light.
The first charcoal burn will be shorter because you have to get the smoker up to temp. That usually takes about 45 minutes - it's never taken over an hour - but it's never been less than 35 min.
There are a lot of sites that have more information on the conversion. Mine is running pretty well, but depending on how you drill out the pan, what you use as a heat diffuser (I use a foil wrapped clay saucer) your results are going to vary.
Hope this helps.
All this for a bowl of borscht.