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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 04-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #1
Dr. Endo
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Angry My UDS and I are complete failures!!!

Ok, guys, I'm just about ready to blow this damn thing up! I have made alterations. and fixes and all types of crap and I can't I'm ready to go all Donald duck on the thing. I made a new fire basket, I checked my thermometer and all is correct. So I wanted to cook a 6lb pork butt to do pulled pork. I put in 8 lbs of lump charcoal with some hickory. placed it in the uds at 8:30. I watched it for an hour to make sure that the temp was constant at 240-250 F. 2 and a half vents were open. I had to run to work for a few hours and so my wife calls me at 1240pm and says that the temp dropped to 200F. I rush home and discover it at 175F , almost all of my charcoal is gone, and I have a vaporized butt! I had set some neck bones in there and some jalapenos to see what happened to them too and they were nothing but black crispy char all the way through. What the hell happened!! Did it magically explode into flame when I wasn't looking??? I've almost had it guys... please give me some much needed advice quick.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #2
landarc
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Give up on lump, go to briquettes. Also, post some pictures of your UDS showing the inside, outside, lid and basket, maybe someone will see something that is not quite right.

I will add, my UDS takes more than an hour to really adjust once I open the lid to load it, especially with lump. I generally cook with one vent partially open for 225F and one full open for 250F. 2 vents open and it is going hot and fast, with lump, it will burn out quickly.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
AlanTX
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When you say vaporized, does that mean = burnt to sh!t? What's the distance between your charcoal basket and the rack you were cooking on?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
Dr. Endo
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I have 26.5 inches from the bottom of my basket to the rack I'm cooking on. and yes... It means burnt to sh!t. beyond Sh!t. I couldn't have burned it worse with napalm.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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The Ique 110 made me fall in love with my UDS all over again. I was ready to scrap it for metal but the temp controller made my life wonderful.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
huskerfan1200
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How big are the intake holes?

2.5 vents open @ 3/4" each is quite a bit of air. On mine, this would easily give 300*+

The distance between the charcoal basket and your cooking grate would be good information.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
AlanTX
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I think I'd have to question the calibration of the thermometer at this point.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
El Ropo
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Quote:
2 and a half vents were open
Something is wrong with your thermometer. If I was running 8 lbs of decent quality lump with hickory chunks buried within he lump. and 2.5 out my 4 vents open, I'd be running over 400 degrees.

With lump, in a UDS, I normally can cruise @ 275 forever (at least 12 hours). I have four 1" intakes in my UDS covered with fridge magnets. It would only take 1 intake maybe 3/4 open to maintain 275.

Definitely something with the thermo, or placement of thermo.

Bad lump (Cowboy) may be another contributing factor.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
Dr. Endo
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I don't know how the temp could have run like that, becuase when adjusting vents in the beginning, 2 vents open and the temp started dropping below 220. With three open it was climbing at 250 so... 2.5 seemed right. I'll get some pics up for you guys. at least it will give you a laugh.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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too much air maybe? When it reaches temp you're supposed to cap off 2 intakes and leave 1 open. I think that leaving 2 1/2 open let in too much air allowing for a flame up, thus not only burning up your fuel but your meat as well.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #11
huskerfan1200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Endo View Post
I have 26.5 inches from the bottom of my basket to the rack I'm cooking on. and yes... It means burnt to sh!t. beyond Sh!t. I couldn't have burned it worse with napalm.

26.5" from the 'bottom' of the basket to the cooking grate? To me this seems a bit close.

Is this a 55-gallon drum? How far from the top of the drum is the cooking grate?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Endo View Post
I don't know how the temp could have run like that, becuase when adjusting vents in the beginning, 2 vents open and the temp started dropping below 220. With three open it was climbing at 250 so... 2.5 seemed right. I'll get some pics up for you guys. at least it will give you a laugh.
Let us know where your therm was placed in the drum, (center of grate, top of lid, side of drum, etc)
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:44 PM   #13
AlanTX
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With my UDS and I'm assuming others as well, temperatures take a lot of time to rise and a lot of time to fall provided radical adjustments aren't made at the same time(like uncapping everything or capping everything) and the lid isn't take off, which of course gives it a burst feed of oxygen.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
Dr. Endo
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yes, yes, temp had to be too high. I wish I knew exactly how high. I had a PVS pipe exhaust that looked cool, and the bottom part attached to the barrel was melted. How much heat does it take to melt PVS pipe?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #15
El Ropo
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Another thing I just noticed. You mentioned using 8 lbs of lump, how are your starting your fire? I only drop 10-12 lit briquettes on top of a full fire basket of tightly packed lump with wood chunks buried within the pile of unlit lump. It's called the minion method. The fuel will slowly burn down, providing a very long and very clean cook.

May be a combination of both factors.
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