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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 02-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #9256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarkw View Post
I got my exhaust stacks welded on my lid and now the lid doesnt fit as well. A little wobbly if that makes sense so not sure why that happened. Could I use some of that RTV red silicone sealant stuff around the drum lip to help seal it better? I still have the locking rig and could go that route.
Had the same problem with mine. A hammer and some brute strength got it close but not perfect. Good enough to cook.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 02:44 PM   #9257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarkw View Post
I got my exhaust stacks welded on my lid and now the lid doesnt fit as well. A little wobbly if that makes sense so not sure why that happened. Could I use some of that RTV red silicone sealant stuff around the drum lip to help seal it better? I still have the locking rig and could go that route.
If you have the locking ring, use it. That has the double purpose of keeping the lid on tight and keeping the curious folks from letting all your heat out. If your ring just has the large bolt, get a 2" spring clamp to hold it closed instead of the bolt (http://www.harborfreight.com/2-inch-...amp-39529.html)
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Unread 02-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #9258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipW View Post
You shouldn't really have to give it more air after you take the lid off. In fact the opposite should be true.

If you think about it, before you take that lid off, you only have a very small amount of combustion air coming in through your intakes. When you take that lid off, the fire gets a huge gulp of combustion air (by comparison). It will burn through that air hotter than if you had not taken the lid off.

Your temp gauge drops only because there's some cool air in there at the moment, but the fire isn't running at that new cooler level, it's still hot as it was and even hotter now due to the extra air.

It will easily catch up on its own. In fact, I think most drums will actually run up in temp after taking the lid off. Many turn their intake air off before taking the lid off to prevent too much air from getting in and causing a temp spike.
You are correct, PhillipW. This is exactly what happens. I have built about 5 or more UDSs so far, with some different methods, and I can concur that the vent sizes and lid seals, and removal of the lid are major factors to the temp spikes and temp control.

I have set up a table with butcher board/paper on top. Whenever I tinker with my product (basting, temp-check, seasoning, etc) I always pull the rack out with the meat on it, and place the lid back in place. I get virtually no temp spike. Someone on here invented some cut-off vent, which is pretty cool, but taking the meat out, and putting the lid back on is a lot easier. The meat might cool slightly, but it is a non-factor when you are cooking something 12+ hours anyway like a brisket or pork butt.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 03:58 PM   #9259
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A quick question for the UDS pros: lets say that your UDS is running at 300 and you wanted it to run at a lower temp. How long would it take you to lower the temperature to 250 degrees?

I am asking this because last night I completed my UDS but when I was doing some trial runs, It took forever for the temp to drop even with all intakes closed but when I closed the exhuast, then the temps when down in like 30 minutes. Is this normal or do I have a leak somewhere?
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Unread 02-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #9260
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Thanks all for the replies. I was just at Harbor freight and I wish I knew about the clamp. Will have to snag that on my next visit.

I'm racking my brain about this diffuser thing. I know I could easily drill some more holes, add another grate for a diffuser and figure out something to use if I want to. But what are most people doing?? Does the meat taste that bad with the fat dripped smoke? I have read so many post on so many different forums and I'm indecisive.

My other 2 smokers are an offset and a char broil fat boy water smoker; like a 18.5 WSM and I use the water bowl filled with sand for a heat sink. I'm not a smoking newb but I have never done a UDS direct heat smoke. TIA
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Unread 02-28-2012, 04:14 PM   #9261
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Hi all,

I started re-reading the last 30-40 pages of this thread to review some of the new ideas, and I have to say that this thread has become an amazing source of information. If only someone could create a master cross-reference to the designs, and modifications. A monumental task, no doubt.

I built my first of 6 UDS's about 2.5 years ago using elements of Norcoredneck's picture plan, circa page 3 of this thread. That thing is the epitome of KISS. I was too a doubter of this simple plan, but I have to say that 3 years later, my original is still going strong. I have built and sold the other 5 over the last summer and fall, and people love them.

Maybe I just got lucky in my implementation, but I have most recently done a couple cooks of pork butts, with virtually no tinkering whatsoever with temp or intake settings. These things work rock-solid. I use a expanded metal charcoal basket (15 inch diameter) wired on top of a weber charcoal grate. It is 12" tall. If I fill it 3/4 full, and use 12-14 red-hot coals to start my minion method, I can obtain 225-250 in my UDS for as long as 14-16 hours depending on outside temp. I most recently went 13 hours with the temp hovering between 25-30 degrees F, in Minnesota. It's amazing.

I have also built a intake blower using a design from righteousdog, and that thing works awesome too. It maintains my temps overnight within 5 degrees, and I don't have to check on it AT ALL, while I am peacefully sleeping. I think I have spent about $175 total out of pocket on my original UDS, including the more recent blower attachment. And to think, 3 years ago I was wanting to drop $1200+ on a XL Big Green Egg. No way.

Best of luck to you all.

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Unread 02-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #9262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarkw View Post
Thanks all for the replies. I was just at Harbor freight and I wish I knew about the clamp. Will have to snag that on my next visit.

I'm racking my brain about this diffuser thing. I know I could easily drill some more holes, add another grate for a diffuser and figure out something to use if I want to. But what are most people doing?? Does the meat taste that bad with the fat dripped smoke? I have read so many post on so many different forums and I'm indecisive.

My other 2 smokers are an offset and a char broil fat boy water smoker; like a 18.5 WSM and I use the water bowl filled with sand for a heat sink. I'm not a smoking newb but I have never done a UDS direct heat smoke. TIA
no diffuser needed. I have a weber kettle style lid, so I run two cooking grates one is about 17 inches above the top of the charcoal basket, and the other is 6 inches higher, roughly. I cook with no diffuser, no water pan, nada, and it all works great. Look on page 3 of this monster thread for Norcoredneck's design plan. If you stick to that, you will not be disappointed. I have not read your original posts, so pardon me if I missed on some of your earlier points. But my opinion, is NO diffuser needed. Just let the drippings help flavor the meat.

Last edited by smokindave74; 02-28-2012 at 04:38 PM..
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Unread 02-28-2012, 04:34 PM   #9263
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Thanks Dave. Yes I just built my first one using the KISS method and I'm about done. Just trying to decide about the diffuser. I really dont want to but I will do a few cooks and see what I think. This thread is awesome.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #9264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn007BBQ View Post
A quick question for the UDS pros: lets say that your UDS is running at 300 and you wanted it to run at a lower temp. How long would it take you to lower the temperature to 250 degrees?

I am asking this because last night I completed my UDS but when I was doing some trial runs, It took forever for the temp to drop even with all intakes closed but when I closed the exhuast, then the temps when down in like 30 minutes. Is this normal or do I have a leak somewhere?
No expert, (my dad always says X is a mathematical symbol used to denote an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure).

By my UDS will continue to run about 175 with the intakes closed and the exhaust vents open. If I plug the exhaust vents it cools down in about 45 mins.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #9265
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I think the time it takes to make temp changes is also affected by the number of actively lit coals you have going.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #9266
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Two weeks ago I smoked 3 Boston butts totaling 31lbs. I was on a frozen lake in the middle of our town where we hold our annual winter festival. I got to the lake at 4am it was -33/-39 windchill I put up a plastic tarp as a windbreak and fired up the UDS. at 5am I had the drum temp stabilized @270 and put on the butts. I put two on the bottom rack and one on the top rack. Not ever having cooked on a UDS in these extreme temps, I decided to keep it at 270. I looked at the butts once at 12noon. The temp stayed rock steady all day @270. I had a temp probe in one on the bottom rack and one on the top rack and at noon they were both about 180. I pulled them at 3pm@195 and wrapped them in foil to rest. after an hour and a half, I opened them up and pulled them apart, they were absolutely perfect. I can't say enough good things about my UDS, I was skeptical about the performance in harsh temps,but now, I'm more of a believer than ever before.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #9267
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I hope to start my first UDS build this weekend, I have everything collected I believe or will have it all tomorrow when UPS arrives. Just waiting on some expanded steel, I ordered a 48x48 sheet from Amazon for $44 delivered via 2 day service, gotta love Amazon Prime!

I had originally picked up a couple food grade drums that had the dreaded red liner for $20 each. Then thanks to this site I found Orlando Drum & Container (http://www.orlandodrum.com/) and decided to go with a couple refurbished barrels. I sold the other 2 barrels for $25 each and for $40 each I picked up 2 barrels that were spotless inside and made of substantially heavier metal, they feel to be about 10 lbs heavier per barrel than the previous ones. It was well worth the extra money not to have to deal with the liners and to get heavier gauge steel. My new drums are 22.5" diameter so I am going to add a steel ring to one of them to use with a Weber lid.

I am undecided on what to do with the 2nd drum, I may sell it to help pay for the first. I can always go after a couple drums in the future if I need another.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 09:39 PM   #9268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktkintner View Post
I hope to start my first UDS build this weekend, I have everything collected I believe or will have it all tomorrow when UPS arrives. Just waiting on some expanded steel, I ordered a 48x48 sheet from Amazon for $44 delivered via 2 day service, gotta love Amazon Prime!

I had originally picked up a couple food grade drums that had the dreaded red liner for $20 each. Then thanks to this site I found Orlando Drum & Container (http://www.orlandodrum.com/) and decided to go with a couple refurbished barrels. I sold the other 2 barrels for $25 each and for $40 each I picked up 2 barrels that were spotless inside and made of substantially heavier metal, they feel to be about 10 lbs heavier per barrel than the previous ones. It was well worth the extra money not to have to deal with the liners and to get heavier gauge steel. My new drums are 22.5" diameter so I am going to add a steel ring to one of them to use with a Weber lid.

I am undecided on what to do with the 2nd drum, I may sell it to help pay for the first. I can always go after a couple drums in the future if I need another.
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I made my first UDS this past Fall. I'm hooked! I'm making my second one as I write... Just keep your second drum until after you've smoke a couple times with your first. You may have the bug too!

Good luck with your build!
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Unread 02-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #9269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarkw View Post
Thanks all for the replies. I was just at Harbor freight and I wish I knew about the clamp. Will have to snag that on my next visit.

I'm racking my brain about this diffuser thing. I know I could easily drill some more holes, add another grate for a diffuser and figure out something to use if I want to. But what are most people doing?? Does the meat taste that bad with the fat dripped smoke? I have read so many post on so many different forums and I'm indecisive.

My other 2 smokers are an offset and a char broil fat boy water smoker; like a 18.5 WSM and I use the water bowl filled with sand for a heat sink. I'm not a smoking newb but I have never done a UDS direct heat smoke. TIA
Basically the meat taste like it was cooked on an open pit. If you've ever had bbq from a place that uses open pit to smoke on you know what I mean. Its pretty good eats!
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Unread 02-29-2012, 05:35 AM   #9270
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[QUOTE=SawdustguyExactly! It can be the fugliest grill on earth but if you can cook good Que with it, she is pretty in my eyes.[/QUOTE]

lol If you don't like the looks of my pit, don't look at it so much!
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