Originally Posted by scottjess
As much as I love my ballvalve; I would prefer something more 'set & forget'
So you have built a UDS with "issues" then.
I don't get it. What's more set it and forget it than a fridge magnet or a ball valve?
The problem is your UDS. When done properly and tweaked right they ARE set it and forget it. There are many of us that designed a UDS and had fire issues but we tweaked them out.... OR tweaked our fire management skills (which is more like how to load ONCE, what to use, and how to start).
So, you are not in the minority having a defective UDS. But if you look for air leaks, check your lid, and especially take mind of your lighting and charcoal fire management techniques you will have the same experiences most of us do.
Here is mine.... I start the coals (10-15 coals) on top of my other coals. I adjust my valves to where I usually experience 200 or 230 or 275 (depending on what I am wanting). Open the lid and plop the meat on. Quickly put the lid on and somewhere between 12-15 hours later I have to shake the drum to settle the ashes. Some with smaller baskets shake sooner then the temp goes right up.
The whole reason we build these things is for the set it and forget it concept. I NEVER need to smoke 12-15 hours but I can smoke up to 20+ with NO ADJUSTMENTS. My first time yes, it took a while to dial it in as I have TWO ball valves. But once you do your done if you remember.
Look, I have faith in you. I can think of 16 people I have seen as stupid as a brick dial their UDSs in and I have faith you can too. It just doesn't make since to spend $80 bucks making something that is perfection already but just needs a tweak here and there, only to buy 200-300 worth of apparatus to make it work like it could naturally. Not to mention, what if your blower fails.
Plus, UDS don't lend themselves to air exchange too well. IMHO. That's my opinion.
Granted, if this is the way you want to go.. there are people in here that can help with all the electronic stuff. There is nothing wrong with these people and the electronic blowers. I just think you can do it. And if you do, and you get your UDS tweaked right... jussst right, you will then realize that you are superior to those in every way.