Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ugly drum smoker

It's always nice to put a name to a piece of equipment. Back when I worked at a large residential facility for the state, the kitchen staff enjoyed a picnic at Folsom Lake each June.

One of the sous chefs always brought his homemade vertical drum smoker to the park and smoked tri-tip. A package of six or seven Costco tri-tips fit inside the smoker. I'll post more of my experience with the smoker in a day or two.

I learned over the weekend that barbecue folks commonly call it an ugly drum smoker (or UDS). It may not be the best looking piece of barbecue equipment, but it produces some wonderful meat. (Here are instructions to build one from the California BBQ Association.)

In the photo, the meat was about 30 minutes from being pulled. The seven roasts took about three hours.


  1. BELIEVERS--My brother, who is in Ag Sales, gave us this ugly farmer's drum with holes at the side that a steel bar goes through. The next step is to hang chunks of meat on stainless steel hooks and smoke them to perfection for 2-3 hours. It uses very little charcoal and creates some great tasting meat. My husband has hauled this ugly thing to work BBQs and has made believers out of many tri-tip loving City of Fresno employees!

  2. Ahhhhhhh, tri-tip...my all-time favorite cut of beef. My mouth is watering. I'll have to show this to hubby...maybe he could make us a UDS!

  3. Take pictures and send them to me ... I'll poste 'm on the blog.