Alright, thanks for all the tips guys, I did a lot of what was recommended earlier in the thread on saturday, and still it took quite a while and I never really got over 210 or so while smoking 3 chickens.
I didnt get a chance to add a stack yet (because I messed up cutting the hole I have to figure out how to do it), but I did raise my basket about 1.5" off of where it was, and it's sitting ~4" off the bottom of the drum now.
I used fresh charcoal as well. I'm not dead set on re-using old briques, I just happened to last time because they were all still pretty big - I think they were part of the problem.
This time I lit the fresh kingsford charcoal in the chimney (I have a homemade one out of an old coffee can), went to the store to pick up the chickens, and when I came back all the coals in the chimney were orange. I put them into the center of my basket, put the basket in the UDS and went inside to spatch the chickens and spice them. When I came back out, the temp was around 150, so I let it continue to build to about 175 before I put the chickens on. This is where I think Ive been going wrong. How long do I need to wait between when I put the chimney fired coals on and when I can put my food on the grill? I usually give it an hour or so, but is that not enough time, or is it too much?
I tossed the chickens on at about 175, and let them go for a bit over 2 hours - every one loved them! I didnt however, have the lid fully on during the smoking, I left it cracked a small amount because of what I had learned from the turkey debacle. There wasnt much of the lid open, but it did seem to get the temp up. I was using a few mesquite chips, and 4 apple chunks.
Here are some pictures of my current exhaust. It was supposed to be about 2" dia, but since I messed up the cut, It's a bit bigger than that. The other two are of my charcoal basket.
I do have an analog thermometer that I bought from lowes. How would I go about testing that for accuracy, use the oven?
Last edited by Wyobbq; 12-03-2012 at 04:02 PM..