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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 06-22-2011, 04:43 AM   #8101
DevineSwine
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This has to be the longest running thread of any website
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Unread 06-22-2011, 05:05 AM   #8102
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That's because it's the most important topic of any website!
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Unread 06-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #8103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgh1204 View Post
I would guess too much wood. I have gone to using Kingsford blue with about 2 or 3 cups of wood chips. If using chunks, I would go with 5 or 6 spaced out amount the briquets or lump.

ONce the cook gets going, you are going to see white smoke due to the fat dripping on the fire.
thanks for the response jgh,

I htought the same thing as well, since the first session had 4 chunks. I reduced it to 2 (1 apple 1 pecan) and still had the same thing happen.

My exhuast is only the bung of the drum lid. Perhaps that is the problem? I did notice some smoke coming out of the bottom inlets from time to time when the wind picked up.

I'll try again this weekend and see what happens.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 03:21 PM   #8104
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Well, my first UDS is almost done. I had posted a while back about grinding the edge off of the top of a closed barrel and then using that top as the lid. I regret to report that I have no report. The friend that is helping me build got tired of seeing the parts laying around his shop and just got started. He used a plasma cutter to cut the inside of the lid and then ground down the edge a bit. It works out, though. I had an extra barrel around to cut for my lid. We cut it just below the first 1/3 rib so that the "lid" has a full rib. Thus, the lid will wedge inside of the lip of the UDS. Does anyone have any comments about the lid being over the lip versus inside the lip? I already have another tab open, searching "aluminum foil mod." I'll report back on the air tightness of the lid later.

The burn out was completed today. The next couple days will be some light grinding on the outside to prep for painting. I hope to do a test burn as soon as I can thereafter. Assuming all goes well, fatties to season after that.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 01:15 AM   #8105
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This thread is amazing. After attempting to buy a used WSM from a member that was selling his on Craigslist, he directed me to this thread. While waiting for my membership to be approved, I've read the first 60+ pages.

I built my UDS over the last two days while my 3 year old napped. Got a new, unlined steel drum and have drilled three 7/8 holes two inches from the bottom for the intakes. I have pipe nipples for them (two caps and a ball valve), but I'm an idiot and didn't get a step bit big enough to drill holes to fit the OUTSIDE of the pipe nipples (the pipes are 3/4, and I bought the step bit that could drill a 3/4 hole).

This has been interesting...no welding capabilities and a fairly limited tool arsenal. I bought a 24 x 24 inch piece of expanded metal at HD, and cut it in half. I took each piece and bend them around a propane tank, and fastened them together with bolts and fender washers. Used rebar tie wire to fasten the expanded metal to a Weber charcoal grate, and put 3-inch legs to keep it off the bottom and above the pipe nipples....so the whole thing is about 14-16 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall.

Project is getting more expensive than I really wanted it to, so I'm not going to mess with buying a Weber Kettle lid, I'm just using the flat. Put a garage door handle in the middle and five 7/8 inch (largest my unibit would drill) in a domino pattern between the handle and the edge. Grate is sitting 5 inches from the top...might should've dropped it an inch more, but I started worrying about the "golden rule" of 24" of clearance.

The drum came glossy black with a white lid. I plan on adding the bottle opener mod and painting the lid red, and putting a large red Double T on it as well. I can't wait to fire it up tomorrow. I'm just going to use foil to plug up the intakes until I can get a bigger step bit to fit the pipes. Going to coat it with Pam tomorrow morning, and get it started. I plan on getting a turkey thermometer to put in the side right under the grate, and I already bought a probe meat thermometer.

Hopefully I can maintain temperature tomorrow by using foil in the intakes, and I can toss a fatty on in the afternoon and have breakfast tacos for supper.

I'll try and get some pics tomorrow in action.

This thread has been amazing. I've never smoked anything, and until about 5 years ago was fascinated and dumbfounded by the green fluid in a level. And yet with the information in this thread I've built a smoker that I'm pretty proud of (we'll see how tomorrow goes).

One question...I've started reading a book called Low and Slow, and the guy says that turkey/meat thermometers won't give an accurate reading of the temperature in the smoker because they are meant to be placed into something. To this end, I've been looking all over for a thermometer that says it will measure air temperature...haven't found one. But it looks like most on here just use a turkey thermometer and I suppose that's what I'll do tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for the wealth of knowledge in this thread. I don't think I'll ever be able to read through all 541 pages, but this thread is just incredible.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 05:15 AM   #8106
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I've never heard that about a thermometer before. I've been using a $5 turkey fryer thermo from Wally World for two years now. Guess I (and thousands of others) have been doing it wrong. Sounds bogus to me. You will get different readings from different places in the drum, and depending on how much meat you have in it. I plan to add a short thermo that reads near the edges. There are a lot of them made with a 2-1/2" stem.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #8107
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Unread 06-23-2011, 09:47 AM   #8108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
I've never heard that about a thermometer before. I've been using a $5 turkey fryer thermo from Wally World for two years now. Guess I (and thousands of others) have been doing it wrong. Sounds bogus to me. You will get different readings from different places in the drum, and depending on how much meat you have in it. I plan to add a short thermo that reads near the edges. There are a lot of them made with a 2-1/2" stem.

I agree.I have 2 thermometers on mine( on at each grate level).One is a el-cheapo Wally world and the other is an Ashcroft industrial thermometer.
Temps only vary by a few degrees.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 12:05 PM   #8109
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Thanks. May be overkill, but I bought a remote probe digital thermometer, the turkey 12 inch thermometer, and a regular oven thermometer to set on the grate for the first cook or two to make sure I can trust the turkey thermo.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #8110
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I don't believe that a turkey thermometer has the intelligence to know if it is in something or not. I know so many are using them with no problems.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #8111
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I'm trying to find the posts where someone was using claw type clamps to hold down their lid. So many pages can't find it. Can someone help?
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Unread 06-24-2011, 01:07 AM   #8112
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Default Is the ball valve really necessary?

After going through maybe a hundred or so pages of this thread I wonder if the ball valve is really necessary?

I owned several WSMs and they didn't have those.

Why not have 4 to six vent holes and just use cork as plugs?

Is the ball valve really a big asset to this design?
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Unread 06-24-2011, 08:01 AM   #8113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegobbq View Post
After going through maybe a hundred or so pages of this thread I wonder if the ball valve is really necessary?

I owned several WSMs and they didn't have those.

Why not have 4 to six vent holes and just use cork as plugs?

Is the ball valve really a big asset to this design?
When I am cooking and cruising along at 225, the ball valve is about 25% open. I think it is needed unless you have a better way to reduce the airflow as well as it does. You can really fine tune it with the valve.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 08:26 AM   #8114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegobbq View Post
After going through maybe a hundred or so pages of this thread I wonder if the ball valve is really necessary?

I owned several WSMs and they didn't have those.

Why not have 4 to six vent holes and just use cork as plugs?

Is the ball valve really a big asset to this design?
Lots of folks, including me, went for a round magnet over the intake holes instead of nipples/caps and a ball valve. Works like a champ.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 09:34 AM   #8115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegobbq View Post
After going through maybe a hundred or so pages of this thread I wonder if the ball valve is really necessary?

I owned several WSMs and they didn't have those.

Why not have 4 to six vent holes and just use cork as plugs?

Is the ball valve really a big asset to this design?
In this case the important thing to have is a flexible design that allows infinite control of air flow. Plugging an entire hole to reduce temps may be too much. With a ball valve or magnet you can do really small adjustments to dial in temps. It just depends on how much you want to control those temps. For most things it probably doesn't matter as long as you are in the ballpark so corks may be the ticket!

I went with a ball valve so I didn't have to bend over all the time to adjust the intake. What can I say? I'm lazy like that!
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