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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 04-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
-HAZARD-
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Default Cooking On Two Racks - UDS

I built my UDS to accommodate two racks. I don’t have the luxury of a kettle lid right now so the top rack is 6 – 7” down from the lid, and the bottom rack is 6” below that. The reason for the top rack height is I left about an inch of head room between the lid and where I determined most cuts of meat to be in height when sitting on the top rack.

Because the lower rack is 6” below the top one, the bottom grate on my charcoal basket is only about 18” from the bottom rack. I have read along the way that it should be 24”, but that just was not possible. Now I am concerned that it will be too close.

In a couple of weeks, I need to cook two racks worth of pork shoulders. Should I plan to exchange racks (swap top for bottom) sometime during the cook? Would half way between cook time make the most sense? How about flipping the meat over?

Thanks!
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
polishdon
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You should be ok, I always like to put the fat cap side down on the lower rack to kind of protect it from from the heat. If you can rotate them from one rack to the other during your cook that would be helpful, but I've cooked (5) 9lb butts on mine and never rotated them, came out fine. Just watch your internal temps on the shoulders.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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Do you have a heat diverter above your charcoal basket?
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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I think you might run into trouble. The two issues I see are:

1. The bottom rack being too low. With 18 inches you aren't that far from really just grilling the shoulders. Switching out racks may help but it seems like that would be a real PIA.

2. The possibility of basically cutting off the heat to the top rack. I've tried cooking with two racks on occasion and found it works much better when I don't load up the bottom rack or I have something that is not big in size like thighs on the bottom. This lets the heat go up to the top rack.

Not saying you can't do it with shoulders but you may want to have a back up. Maybe its time for a second drum?
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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I bet if you started check Craigslist daily you could pick up a Weber (lid) between now and then for about 30 bucks. I've snagged two (a silver and a perfect gold) in the last three weeks. Each for 30 bucks. The gold had a brand new unused double hinged grill grate to boot.

Not exactly an answer to your question but worth putting it out there anyway.

Best of luck on your cook!
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutlawSwine View Post
Do you have a heat diverter above your charcoal basket?
NO, but I certainly could do that. Maybe split the difference between the top of the charcoal basket and the bottom rack?
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pole D View Post
Maybe its time for a second drum?
Always time for a second... Or a third!
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Unread 04-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -HAZARD- View Post
NO, but I certainly could do that. Maybe split the difference between the top of the charcoal basket and the bottom rack?

I would certainly try this. I have two racks on mine too, with a third for the diverter. It works fine. If I'm cooking chicken, I put it on the bottom rack, since it's hotter closer to the fire. Also, like a previous post said, just watch your temps.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 03:06 PM   #9
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I just place a pizza pan directly on top of my charcoal basket. I saw no need to have a rack just to set a pan on.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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I use 2 racks in all of mine I have compensated a little bit by only making my racks 5" and 5" and I made my coal basket bottom 2 in off bottom and 11 inches deep X 16" dia. I never rotate unless the upper rack comes off earlier than the bottom. Like cooking fattys on the top rack and (2) butts on the bottom. When I take the fatties off i move the butts to the top... Thats only time I rotate. If im doing briskets and butts. I do butts on bottom, brisket on top...no rotation.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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Put a heat shield in, 3 bolts through the side far enough in you can still get the charcoal basket out but you can set on the ends a pizza stone, clay flower pot base, etc and you basically have yourself a two for one, uds with just the top rack and a wsm with the bottom rack and diverter. That's how mine is built as well.
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