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Thawley 08-02-2009 09:13 PM

UDS Heat Shield & Biscuit Test (Pictorial)
Burnig coals – very hot
Make shift heat shield/baffle/diffuser – 10x10x0.25" mild steel plate
Fire basket & diffuser in their native environment
U-bakem biscuits – the natural enemy of burning coals
Ritual of sacrifice
It's a little warmer on the west side. (Photo taken facing south) Ironically, the air inlets below the grate are at 12 & 6 o'clock. Heat should be even from east to west. I can only assume that the Earth's rotation is somehow affecting the combustion airflow. No doubt the heat distribution would be reversed in the southern hemisphere.

Saiko 08-02-2009 09:17 PM

Wow, pretty big difference between the left side and the right side. What do you think is the cause? It's a verticle smoker, so it seems like the temps should have been more consistent. Maybe a circular heat shield larger than the diameter of the charcoal basket would even things out, dunno.

mranum 08-02-2009 10:10 PM

Is the change anywhere near the exhaust vent? That could maybe do it.

Thawley 08-02-2009 10:22 PM

Exhaust is centered. Though I suppose it's possible the bend somehow affects the airflow, I kind of doubt it. Besides – that bend keeps the rain out. It's staying.

landarc 08-02-2009 10:25 PM

It might be worth doing another test just to make sure of the results. Maybe even turn the shield 45 degrees and see what happens.

Thawley 08-02-2009 11:11 PM

To be honest, this is a big improvement over what it did without the steel plate. I did the same a while back (before iPhone) so no photos. But the center of the grate was WAY hotter than the edges.

Still got a ways to go though.

Kubbie 08-02-2009 11:44 PM

Interesting test. I need to try this a few times. (Plate, no plate, changing exhaust position...)

Noticed it again yesterday on a load of ABT's. One side was get done faster. I would spin the rack and rotate the lid so the exhaust would be in a different part. (Sorry - no after pic on this load - and as fast as they went, I needed to make about 3 times as much!)

I have a shorter but wider basket - about 17" wide and 5" of height.
You can just see in the second pic that when I start it in the middle, it doesn't always work itself out evenly in the first few hours or the burn (or if I have something smoking that is a heavy dripper)

I thought it was my 2" exhaust that is to the side (flat lid). Need to get to know the drum better.

HoosierTrooper 08-03-2009 05:30 AM

I added a grate 4 inched above the charcoal basket with a foiled water pan setting on it, WSM style, as a diffuser. I have 8 1/2 inch holes in the lid and never noticed any hot spots but since adding the pan I really like the results better than when the fat was dripping on the coals and wood.

Bbq Bubba 08-03-2009 05:39 AM

It's obvious your drum is sitting crooked. This explains everything. :twisted:

Rick's Tropical Delight 08-03-2009 05:44 AM

the west side is always warmer after noon. :biggrin:

did you eat those muffins or throw them at passsing cars?

Thawley 08-03-2009 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by Rick's Tropical Delight (Post 988170)
did you eat those muffins or throw them at passsing cars?

Butter & syrup for breakfast baby...

Hog Warden 08-03-2009 11:45 AM


Great information! I have concluded the UDS is about as idiot proof and reliable as anything I've ever used to cook with.....but all things can be improved on and I've been thinking for a while these things need a baffle of some type to separate the meat from the fire.

My unit....

Ash pan is a lid from a 30 gallon drum. Last smoke of baby backs, I used the ash pan from my ECB, setting the charcoal basket in that, and the 30 gallon lid on top of the charcoal basket. Worked just as well and eliminated some of the "blackened" look and taste, and some of the "burnt" smell coming from the stack during the smoke....

End results.....

Up next is a full packer brisket......same process.

HW (Who has been Matchlight free for years.......)

mgwerks 08-03-2009 05:46 PM

Any chance there was a breeze blowing? That would cool the windward side a tad.

Countryhb 08-03-2009 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by Thawley (Post 988055)
Besides that bend keeps the rain out.

So that bend works twice a year??? You sure you don't mean that the bend keeps the sprinkler out???

Thawley 08-03-2009 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by Countryhb (Post 988793)
So that bend works twice a year???

Dude, my bend works every time.

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