OK - here is the concrete-bottomed UDS experiment (for those that didn't catch intro info over in cattle call - very little bbq experience, and this is my 1st UDS).
It has 3 3/4" holes for intake, no nipples. Just fridge magnets for air control.
2" of 5000 psi concrete in the bottom, 1 week cure time.
24" from basket to cooking grate.
I got it finished up Saturday and was going to do a seasoning / test burn - gauge temps, times..
Got some scrap expanded metal from a friend who owns a metal fab shop. It was only about 5" tall, but very heavy so I didn't fuss one bit.
I didn't want to wait for Monday to go to his shop to weld it up, so used rebar wire tie to connect it.
Cut so pattern continues.
Got her 1/2 filled with about 5 lbs of Kingsford (didn't weigh, just eyeballed less than 1/3rd of an 18 lb bag). Sprinkled some hickory and mesquite throughout the coal pile.
I have a 12" fry thermometer that reaches right below the rack in the center. second is a Weber thermometer in the lid.
12:58 - Started the chimney with notepad an pencil to start recording times.
1:10 - The 10 to 12 (didn't count) coals in chimney were ashed over, so dumped into basket. All 3 intakes open.
1:15 - Fry Therm showed 250°, Lid showed 220°,
1:17 - choked 1 hole.
1:25 - Choked hole #2, left one 3/4" intake open 255° fry, 235° lid
1:44 - 255° fry, 235° lid
2:13 - 250° fry, 230° lid
2:16 - opened all 3 intakes
2:19 - 300° fry, 270° lid, choked 2 holes
2:40 - 260° fry, 230° lid
3:00 - 250° fry, 215° lid
No smoke stack, just using the 2" bung in the lid.
No paint yet, but beautiful in my eyes!
Neighbor walks over and is curious what I'm doing. Told him about the UDS - he is fascinated!
He says, "can't waste a good fire", so he jumps in the car and picks up 3 slabs St. Louis spares.
I told him this was my seasoning / test run, no intention of cooking!
So we quick dry rub up 2 racks with some JB's Fat Boy sweet rub, last one is a mustard rub and some Famous Dave's I had sitting around - don't really like it too much, and no time to make one.
No real rest time, had to leave for son's little league ball game at 3:30pm.
Take note - never cooked on a UDS, just left it to faith to hold temp.
Got back at about 6:30, Fry them was showing 215°.
Neighbor covered 2 holes while I was gone, he just left 1 open. With meat, UDS liked 1 1/2 holes - got up to about 235° with the extra 1/2 hole open.
This is what the looked like after about 3 hours - not bad for virgin experience...
Got them in foil, let them go for some more.
Started drinking beers.
Stopped tracking times and temps, forgot to take more pictures.
But thermometer was pegged..
No final pics - the ribs were great!!! Tender, moist, good smoke. Another neighbor came over, said better ribs than in any restaurant that he's tried.
Set it and forget it, why buy an expensive smoker when this works so well?!?
We let it burn til 10:30, still was holding about 250°.
I choke all intake and exhaust, didn't go back there for the night. She was cool in the morning.
Looked in there today, shook the basket around, probably had 1/2 of my usable coals left after a 9 1/2 hour burn! (Again reminder, I started with 5 - 6 lbs!)
Seriously, is it this easy?
If I'm not fighting temps, all I have to play with is recipes and cook times, sprays, flips...
But not fighting fires or low temps? Am I gushing? I am. I love it!