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Old 12-09-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
Found some matches.
Join Date: 10-30-13
Location: Salvisa, Ky
Default First attempt on UDS. (Pron included)

This will be my first post and what better way then to jump right in and see if we couldn't burn something up. A friend of mine and I got the idea from one of our co-workers, a member here (TexasAggie97), after he brought his two UDS's over one weekend for a cook a while back. Thus, the search for drums and a build or our own is started. We lucked out and found our drums realtivley easy and started our assembly. After assembly was finished it was time for us to season the barrels and get them ready for cooking. Here is where we will start with pics of our seasoning day that lead to our first cook. It's true, it's awful hard to sit there and watch those barrels burn without some type of meat inside.
We started the morning by finishing any loose ends and oiling the barrels with cooking oil for the seasoning process. Once we were seasoned we added some lump and started the seasoning process. Being new to the UDS and smoking in general, I was surprised to see my barrel run up to 500* before I knew what was going on. My barrel is still awaiting a Weber lid so I used a fine sheet of 3/4 plywood with four 1 inch holes drilled in the top. Works just as well, just doesn't have the aesthetics.

So here we are, barrels churning out the smoke and us trying to bring the temps down, bring them back up and hold them at different temps throughout the morning. Of course, this process is more tolerable with a nice Turkey and Coke in a chilled plastic cup. We keep our Solo's in the fridge around here.

We continue our expedition into UDS temp control for a few hours. As we sat in front of our barrels watching temps and playing with ball valves and pipe nipple caps we realized we had no goal to reach. I mean, technically we were learning our drums and how to control temps but at the end there would be no product. What good is a task if there is nothing to accomplish? With that, we had decided to hit Sam's Club for some meat. Heck, if you're going to do it you might as well go all in right?

We made our way to Sam's and picked up four boston butts that were about 6-8 pounds a piece. I figured butts were the easiest and most forgiving so if they didn't turn out we did nothing more than make gourmet dog food.

Upon arrival back at the house we checked the drums for temps and made some adjustments to see if we could get temps back up while we prepped the meat. Meat was prepped with a coat of mustard and a rub found on here. I will say that in tasting the rub before putting the meat on I was a little worried. Later this would change but I have learned that I am not a huge fan of Cumin. Next time this will bbe cut in half and replaced with brown sugar. Though the rub worried me at first, the finished product was completely different and tasted great.

So now the meat is prepped and ready for the drums. We didn't brine or let the meat rest since we picked it up unfrozen and with a cooking schedule that was less than desirable. At this point it is 2:30 pm and if we are going to eat anything our cook is going to have to be shorter than normal. For this, I decided to try the 3-2-1 method at 300* or when the meat reached 190* internal. We added more lump and some cherry wood to the drums and brought them back up to 300*. I know this is probably not the ideal way to cook a butt but it worked for us and turned out great. Following is a picture one hour in to the cook.

More pics of the drums rolling blue smoke.

After 3 hours on the smoke we checked IT (140*) and decided to wrap in foil to obtain moisture. I could hear the juices dropping in to the fire basket while the butts cooked uncovered and was a little worried that I would dry them out. This being the first cook I wasn't sure what to expect but decided to err on the side of caution. After we wrapped the butts we stuck them back on flipped. why I flipped them, I really don't know, but it sounded good after a few drinks.

Two more hours in and we checked internal temp again. Butts were moving along around 160-170* and plenty of juice rolling out of the thermometer hole telling me we would be alright. We let them roll on for another hour and checked temps again. At this point it is past 8:30 pm and we had finished a liter of Wild Turkey. Needless to say we were hungry and ready to sample some meat. IT reached 190* about 9:00 so we pulled the butts and put them in a cooler to rest for the period of time it took us to clean up and close off our drums.

Inside we pulled back the foil to reveal a great looking piece of meat. The bone pulled right out and there was more than enough juiceness in each butt. We pulled it the best we could with forks. This isn't an easy task when
the meat is still hot. The finsihed prodcut was a hit with everyone that tried it. We delivered two butts to friends down the road and kept two for ourselves and buddies at work. Neighbors love it when you show up at 10:00 pm on a Friday night with fresh Q.

Finished Product

All in all we had a great time learning our drums and just happened to spit out some pretty tasty butt for our first cook. It has become a disease around here as we try and decide what we will try and conquer next. When that happens, I'm positive we will have plenty of pron for your enjoyment. Thnaks to all on here, especially TexasAggie97, as he walked us through some concerns we had early. All the info here is some of the best. I'm glad we had a chance to hear about this place. I just started another hobby.
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