[quote=ebijack;2646631][QUOTE=DjPorkchop;2646531]Hello everyone. Long time lurker, firs time poster in the UDS thread.I built my first UDS.
In my case, I put the cap on the rear vent at 200 and closed my valves half way and the temps plumeted well below 200. I then opened the valves all the way and left the cap on and it came up to 200 on the dial (250 i would guess). And there it sat. I then took the cap off the back vent, closed my valves half way and she leveled out at 225 on the dial, again I'm sure not accurate. I actually found myself chasing temps for a better part of 5 hours.
Decisions decisions. This is my first smoker ever and by the end of the day of seasoning, I was plum worn out chasing temps. Any good tips or advice?
Every smoker is about air flow control. If your chasing temps, your tending it too much. Make a change and wait till it stabilizes. It sounds like you started with too many lit coals, and ended up choking off the fire and them fighting to get the coals going again which can take awhile to stabilize. That is also something that changes a bit with each smoker and you have to learn how many to lite for your smoker. How big is your coal basket, is it off the base of the drum, Your stand pipes might be to restrictive for your drum, should be easy to remove and try again just to verify. A lot of variable's with every drum design. Don't give up. Did you do a high temp burn yet?
Thanks for the reply I appreciate it. As far as a high temp burn, I did manage to get the UDS up in the 350 range for a good hour or so.
When I lit my coals, I did use a chimney that was almost full and the remainder of the coals in the bag went in to my coal basket. (6 lb lump)
My coal basket is made from a 18 inch cheapo BBQ grill (the base of the grill and the gill rack). The basket I mounted to the grill grate was made by using 2 pieces of 12x24 expanded metal wrapped around a propane tank for shape. It is about 13 inches across and about 11.5 inches deep.
A valuable lesson I learned is that I BADLY need a nice smoker/meat probe. I am not so trusting of the dial I have mounted. On a side note, I have mounted 3 bolts in the barrel just above my coal basket. I was going to get a extra large pizza pan and drill it out for a heat diffuser.
All in all, I love the UDS and am excited to get in to the world of smoking food. This is my first attempt at it. I have never used a smoker before I built this drum.
The attached image is my coal basket attempt. The remains in it are after a 5 or 6 hour season run of 6 lbs of coal.