Originally Posted by RustyNutRacer
Rookie Smoker here. I stumbled on this site last Monday when I started making plans to build a smoker. My original plans of building a horizontal offset smoker quickly shifted upon finding this thread. I picked up my first two drums yesterday and I am seasoning my first UDS as I type! I kept it pretty simple so it would be ready for my cookout Sunday, but I have many mods planned for the future!
I only have one question. I have a thermometer in the side of the UDS and one in the lid. They are both pretty cheap. The one in the side is a cheap char-broil unit that screws into the UDS. It is about a half inch below the cooking grate and only sticks out about two inches into the drum. The one in the lid is basically a meat thermometer that I drilled a hole in the lid for it to slide into. It is about two inches above the grate near the center of the lid. Right now the one in the lid reads 250 degrees and the one on the side reads 160 degrees. That's a pretty sizable difference and I'm not entirely sure which one to believe. Thoughts?
Welcome to the Brethren and good looking UDS!!!
As for the thermo, you want the temp right at your grate in the middle of your drum. What you're really looking for is a turkey frying thermometer or another 12" or so thermometer. The longer probe will be right under the center of your cooking grate. I use a brass 3/8" tubing nipple threaded into side of of the drum with the barbed side inside the drum just below the grate for mine. This holds it in place quite well.
The thermo in the top of your drum will read hotter that where your food is since heat rises and it's being held there by the lid. The short one in the side, well, the drums just run cooler on the sides.