Originally Posted by R8ter87
I am having a heck of a time getting my UDS up to temp.
I have 3 3/4 inch intakes, one is just a straight nipple with a cap and the other 2 have an elbow with a 2 foot pipe and a ball valve.
The intake holes are drilled 3 inches from the bottom.
The lid has 4 3/4 exhaust ports.
My charcoal basket is a Weber 18.5 charcoal grate as a base and 16 gauge expanded metal welded to it.
I added 4 inch tall legs to the bottom of the basket. I have attached a picture of both my barrel and charcoal basket.
I have tried methods such as lighting a few briquettes and adding to the top and letting them burn down.
Also today I light a whole chimney of coal and poured them on the bottom and add the unlit coals to these.
Both of the methods failed to get the temp up after waiting at least a half hour.
My best guess is to eliminate the legs on my basket? I'm baffled anything will help thanks.
There are several things you can do to trouble shoot but it seems to me you would want to focus your attention to a few areas first.
To cook at 275-300, try lighting a full chimney of kingsford blue or competition briquettes, wait for 20 min or until they are completely lit and then pour on top of a loaded basket of charcoal. If that doesn't work, look at the air part of the equation.
The exhaust on the weber lid you are using is perfectly fine - I always cook with mine wide open and adjust temperatures with the bottom vents. I would take off both pipe extensions and elbows off of your inlets at the bottom of the UDS. The 90 degree bends and the 2' pipes add restriction and are not allowing enough air to enter. Try the same coal lighting exercise with the elbows removed. You should be able to maintain 250-300 with one 3/4" pipe nipple completely open and one of the 3/4" ball valves partially open.
If that doesn't work, look at lowering your charcoal basket to 2" and try it all again.