Originally Posted by AZBBQ
Allright right to it I just made my first UDS and can't keep a steady temp for more than an hour. Serious fire issues. My wife would like me to bbq a pork shoulder for a party on march 10th. I can't even keep this damn thing lit much less have any practice.
Drum has 4, 7/8" holes 1 inch from the bottom
Fire basket is a 12x12" expanded metal and about 10"high and offset from the bottom by about 1"
Used Kingsford competition and also some lump charcoal with Hickory chunks.
Lighting methods used
1st time - burnt it all to coals and tried that - yeah no go since I can't add
2nd time - filled up basket with charcoal and some wood chunks - lit some wood in my chimney and put the coals on top of the unburned stuff. worked better but not for long - maybe not enough fuel??
I did put a water pan in mine - and used it both times
Temp wouldn't go above 200F unless the lid was moved to the side and had a 3" gap in a crescent shape from the lid being moved over.
Put the lid on with the 2"? threaded hole and it died and smoked way too much - temp drops.
About to make this thing into a plant holder and buy something.
Give me hope please
I actually have a few ideas but any advice is much appreciated.
Also, besides looking at how to make the fire, make sure your basket is able to breathe as well and not extiguish itself out. In other words, is the ash able to fall through the basket bottom? I do not have 4 holes (I have 3 -1inch holes, which when only 1 is left open leaves a nice steady 250 temp), but the number (wether 3 or 4) shouldn't be a big deal, its the point air can flow.
My basket uses expanded metal as well (12x12x12) on top of an 16" old grill grate, which is held 2" from the bottom using bolts/nuts/washers as legs. I've filled my basket to the top, and have gotten 24 hours steadyy burns (with charcoal still left over I might add...I think I could have gone maybe 2-3 more hours).
PM me if you need a picture of my basket.