Originally Posted by jd-santaclarita
First off, i am pretty much following norcorednecks guide with the (3) 3/4" intakes, etc. I guess i misread the size of the charcoal grate and I got the bigger one (~17" in diameter vs 13.5" dia). This is obviously going to make my charcoal basket a lot wider. Will this have an impact on performance since the standard load of 10lb will lay shorter and wider?
Second, Is there a standard "Known good" method for doing an exaust stack? (2" black iron? how long, etc?) I dont want to end up with hot spots, etc... I would do the 8 hole method, but I have a habbit of not putting on the bbq cover and the rain would make its way through the lid holes and into the pit...making a mess.. I figure with a stack I can avoid the rain/water issues.
Third issue. I have seen several interpretations of the 24" grate height rule. I thought it was from the top of my charcoal basket (or charcoal height i guess). Sounded good until i measured it out on my 35" tall barrel...The grate would have to be at lid level for that to work :( Then i have seen it stated that it is charcoal grate to food grate...That helps (it doesnt make sense to me what the charcoal grate has to do with it though). Anyways...i ended up just going 6.5" down from top of the barrel as its as high as i can go and still get pork butts on it. Anyone have a 35" drum with this setup that can comment on how being closer than 24" affects things?
I have a bigger charcoal grate too, but I rolled the mesh into the correct size and welded it there. I tried it on the perimeter of the grate, but it was too wide and low, and did not seem to burn evenly. The fire seems to burn up and down easier than side to side. I am also thinking about modifying my charcoal basket so the bottom slopes in. I was thinking about running some of the mesh(expanded lath) along the bottom at a 45 degree angle to act more like a funnel. I seem to end up with a lot of unburned coals at the end of a smoke. I was thinking if they funnel towards the center it might encourage a more even burn. And require less charcoal for the shorter (5-7 hour) smokes.
I can't comment on the exhaust, because I went with the 8 hole option. I have been pulling the UDS into the garage when not in use, but that will change as soon as I sew up a cover for it.
My opinion on the 24 inches from the fire grate to the first food rack is that it is not an unbreakable rule, just a good approximation. I don't think your UDS will cook bad food if your rack is at 23 inches. But I could be wrong.