Originally Posted by cardiac_cadet002
Hey Wyley, fellow TNFO here just down the road from ya! If you haven't already stop by cattle call and introduce yourself. glad to hear your mini UDS worked out great! How much height do you have between the bottom of your charcoal basket and cooking grate? Curious minds want to know!
Cardiac, I have 21 3/4 inches between the bottom of my charcoal basket and cooking grate. I had to throw the conventional wisdom out the window when I had to drill my intake holes (1") dead even with the bottom of the drum. There were some small gashes that had to be taken care of so I just incorporated those into my intake holes, not realizing just how far down that was going to put the intakes. I am using a perforated pizza pan that I enlarged a bunch of the holes in for the bottom of my charcoal basket with an expanded metal ring that measures 16 X 7 sitting on top of it. I have eight 1" exhaust holes which i think is too much but if I cover a couple of them the temps stay down so I'm not real concerned about that.
I had no problem at all keeping the temps within about a 15-20 degree window all day. The only time I had a big swing was when we had a thunderstorm come through and the outside temp dropped about 20 degrees in just a couple of minutes, and the temps in the UDS went from around 235 to 200. I just moved a magnet covering one of the intakes a bit and my temps went right back up. One thing I did notice though is that I had to run all of the intakes almost entirely closed to keep the temps in the right place. I think that's because I have so much exhaust area that it was letting in fresh air. But the flip side of that is that when I took the lid off to turn the meat I got no swing in temp either way.
The best thing about this small UDS that I made is that I have absolutely no money in it at all. I'm probably going to pass it on to a friend after I've made a normal sized one but the experience was fun and I learned a few things not to do again and a few things I need or would like to do on my next one.