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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #7141
colonel00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco75 View Post
OK need a little beginners help here... Hammered out a smoker over the last few days... fired it up this AM and I am hitting temps of 400-500 degrees..even with all the air inlets closed.
I put in about 15lbs of KF mesquite charcoal and man the temps are flying high. Does that charcoal burn too hot for this application or did I put in too much.
I know a lot of people said they use chunk but the local store did not have it. Help!
Couple things...

First, can you describe your build or take photos? That will help determine if there are any flaws in the design or build. What kind of lid are you using?

Second, how are you lighting your charcoal? My guess would be that you lit too many briqs to begin with. Once that fire gets hot its hard to get back down. When you say all the vents were closed, did the fire die after a bit?
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Unread 11-08-2010, 05:40 PM   #7142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco75 View Post
OK need a little beginners help here... Hammered out a smoker over the last few days... fired it up this AM and I am hitting temps of 400-500 degrees..even with all the air inlets closed.
I put in about 15lbs of KF mesquite charcoal and man the temps are flying high. Does that charcoal burn too hot for this application or did I put in too much.
I know a lot of people said they use chunk but the local store did not have it. Help!
I'm guessing you lit too many brickets to start. Temps are really controlled by how many you light to start. You don't need to light much. Maybe 10 - 15 brickets. I don't even wait for them to fully light. Put those on top of 8 - 10 lbs of charcoal, put your lid on, and then watch your temps. Close down at ~180 and ~200 and the temps shouldn't get away from you. 8 - 10 lbs of charcoal is enough for 12 - 16 hours.

I also wouldn't use mesquite. You'll overwhelm the food with smoke flavor. Too much is sometimes a bad thing.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 05:56 PM   #7143
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Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
I'm guessing you lit too many brickets to start. Temps are really controlled by how many you light to start. You don't need to light much. Maybe 10 - 15 brickets. I don't even wait for them to fully light. Put those on top of 8 - 10 lbs of charcoal, put your lid on, and then watch your temps. Close down at ~180 and ~200 and the temps shouldn't get away from you. 8 - 10 lbs of charcoal is enough for 12 - 16 hours.

I also wouldn't use mesquite. You'll overwhelm the food with smoke flavor. Too much is sometimes a bad thing.
Thanks!
So starting a whole chimney to pour over the rest of the coals to start was too many hot coals. Plus 15lbs was too much of a load.
I will have to try this again in a couple of days.

Having shoulder surgery on Monday. So now that I have the UDS bug I'm really hurrying up to enjoy some 'Q' from this thing before I'm recovering.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 06:54 PM   #7144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco75 View Post
OK need a little beginners help here... Hammered out a smoker over the last few days... fired it up this AM and I am hitting temps of 400-500 degrees..even with all the air inlets closed.
I put in about 15lbs of KF mesquite charcoal and man the temps are flying high. Does that charcoal burn too hot for this application or did I put in too much.
I know a lot of people said they use chunk but the local store did not have it. Help!
x2 on to much charcoal. Your basket may hold 15 pounds but you need about half of that and it will last 12 + hours.

When did you shut the valves? I found that it is easier to control the temps on the way up than trying to lower the temps after they are to high.
I close one valve at 150, the second one at 200 and start closing the third at 225.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #7145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
Couple things...

First, can you describe your build or take photos? That will help determine if there are any flaws in the design or build. What kind of lid are you using?

Second, how are you lighting your charcoal? My guess would be that you lit too many briqs to begin with. Once that fire gets hot its hard to get back down. When you say all the vents were closed, did the fire die after a bit?
Sorry I did not notice your reply when I replied to K.
Yea, it sounds like I used and lit too many brickets. I am going to try to get some pics up here of the build.
Thanks for your reply!!
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Unread 11-08-2010, 07:58 PM   #7146
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Here are some build pics as well as a pic of the temp gauge after 2+ hrs of temps in the 400's it finally settled in at 250...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg UDS 2001.jpg (30.7 KB, 786 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2003.jpg (35.4 KB, 785 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2004.jpg (21.0 KB, 780 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2005.jpg (22.6 KB, 784 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2006.jpg (35.7 KB, 785 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2007.jpg (41.7 KB, 786 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2008.jpg (42.5 KB, 788 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2013.jpg (39.9 KB, 783 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2014.jpg (60.5 KB, 787 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2015.jpg (52.9 KB, 782 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2016.jpg (61.4 KB, 786 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 2017.jpg (77.9 KB, 788 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 20101.jpg (30.0 KB, 788 views)
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Unread 11-09-2010, 08:44 AM   #7147
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Bronco- you will need to pay attention to the distance between your fire and your lower rack, especially if you have 12" of lump with a chimney dump on top. You will also find a fair temp difference between your thermo and the temp on the upper rack. What spacing do you have under the basket?
I've got the feeling you will be building more and you will find that you don't need the intakes spaced around the barrel but can have two at the front or better yet- one large one at the front.
Great job on that lid!
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Unread 11-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #7148
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I really don't think the problem is lighting too much coals - but there is an issue with letting the temps fly. I have used mine as a wood burner. Given air, it would combust and have flames coming out of the top, but when choked, I could get the temp back down pretty easy.

I don't know how well your lid fits, but it might be drawing air there. If it can draw any air, it will be hard to get the temps down once they are up and your whole basket is lit.

I know I have some cracks in my current drum. While I can still control temps very well, I have caught it having live coals 6hrs after I closed it up. My last drum could kill all the coals fairly quickly (an hr or so). That really surprised me, when I did back to back burns (evening and morning) and did not need to relight.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 11:57 AM   #7149
Bronco75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20loo View Post
Bronco- you will need to pay attention to the distance between your fire and your lower rack, especially if you have 12" of lump with a chimney dump on top. You will also find a fair temp difference between your thermo and the temp on the upper rack. What spacing do you have under the basket?
I've got the feeling you will be building more and you will find that you don't need the intakes spaced around the barrel but can have two at the front or better yet- one large one at the front.
Great job on that lid!
Thanks.... My basket is 2" off floor and 12" high. My load yesterday was 24" from top of charcoal to top rack. I have a place to put another rack in 8" lower. Here are a couple of pics of basket.
I agree on the vents. I do not like bending over any more than I need to these days so I was already thinking a change is coming with the next one. However, I need spend a little time Q-ing and learning how to manage the heat on this one first.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg UDS 049.jpg (59.6 KB, 743 views)
File Type: jpg UDS 052.jpg (45.2 KB, 741 views)

Last edited by Bronco75; 11-09-2010 at 12:23 PM..
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:02 PM   #7150
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My new drum came with a nice gasket in the lid. Can I leave this in place or will it melt?
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:14 PM   #7151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcinadr View Post
I don't know how well your lid fits, but it might be drawing air there. If it can draw any air, it will be hard to get the temps down once they are up and your whole basket is lit.
The lid fits tight, however, I just tack welded the Weber dome onto the flat lid rim. The lid was too thin for my lowest setting on the wire feed. So I may be getting a little draw from the areas that are not welded.
I wanted to braze the lid but I do not have a gas welder. I'm also thinking about possibly running a small bead of some silicone sealant around on the inside where the two meet.

I'm going to give it another try in a couple of days. Only this time I will try 7lbs of charcoal and a smaller chimney dump.

Thanks for your input...
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Unread 11-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #7152
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That's what my lid is on one of my drums. It had a few areas that needed sealed. I did so, and it is now very tight.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 08:48 PM   #7153
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2b burn 2.jpg
This is the beginning of my first UDS and the drum had a liner.
7 grating fitting.jpg
I have add the grating. I made two levels, the lower one is at about 12" down from the top and the top one is about 7" down. Was looking at two level and not sure if these will be at the right distance from the fire. But i made it and i can adjust it.
[ATTACH][/ATTACH]
Here it is on the deck. Still needs thermometer and a few handles.
I go tomorrow to get some expanded metal for the charcoal basket. (found some at the scrap Yard for .35 a pound) Was thinking about 14"-15" in diameter and 12" high. Any input as to size of the basket?
John
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New UDS (Well almost, can wait to use real fire)
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Unread 11-10-2010, 04:08 PM   #7154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigdog View Post
That's what my lid is on one of my drums. It had a few areas that needed sealed. I did so, and it is now very tight.
What did you use to seal the leaks on your dome-to-flat lid?
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Unread 11-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #7155
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high temp gasket stuff
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