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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   #31
woodbutcher1
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Get a 12" deep fryer thermometer.That will get you an accurate center of the drum reading. I had up to 100* demp. difference between a 2 1/2 " and a 12" thermometer. Yes,both were calibrated in boiling water at 212*.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:30 PM   #32
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As we all have said, your drum looks right! but the issue is your temp gauge is lying to you. with 2-1/2 inlets open your temp has to be more than 250°. Trust us only use 1 to 1-1/2 open inlets after initial start up.... and get a digital therm....

I have a real good friend that lives in Belton,Tx. If your still having issue's the next time I'm down there I could swing by and give you some pointers. We can't have a Texican not knowing how to make some damn good Que now can we?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
Yep, it looks like you fired up all of the lump at the same time.

Minion method is your friend. Once mastered, that huge arse basket should burn for over 24 hours.

When using a UDS, fill up the basket with unlit coals (well maybe in your basket's case, 2/3 full) with your wood chunks buried at varying depths within the unlit coals.

Start 10-12 briqs, or briq sized pieces of lump in your chimney starter. When they are completely ashed over, dump them on top of the basket of unlit coals/chunks. Wait for cooker to stabilize at desired temp. I like to start cooking @ 250. And when I say stabilize, I mean thin blue to invisible smoke.

It usually takes 15-30 minutes max for this to happen. LEAVE ALL intakes open till 25 degrees below target cooking temp, then close off all except one. When target temp is reached, close off the remaining open intake to 1/2 to 3/4. This should get you close to what you are seeking.

If you do that, your problems will be solved.

BTW, if your PVC exhaust pipe melted, it must have been raging. Possibly raging enough to kill your thermometer.


And, I'm not a fan of tall narrow baskets. I prefer shorter, larger diameter baskets. I built one basket this way and it it's harder to control the heat IMO.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #34
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Looks like you are getting lots of help here and you will soon get it figured out. With that said, one day you are going to look back on this and be able to laugh about it. You should print that pork butt picture and hang it on your garage somewhere just so you can see how far you will have come. :) :) :)
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Unread 04-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #35
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Here is the way I start my UDS using RO lump. I have an elcheapo brand chimney starter & only have about two layers of charcoal covering the bottom. I start it using the side burner on my gas grill. When it is all burning, I pour it in the center of the unlit charcoal in my basket & lower it into my UDS. I then put my grates in place & close the lid. I have all 3 of my 3/4" bottom vents open. When my internal temp hits around 180*, I cap one vent. At 200*, I cap the second. At 220*, I close the ball valve about half & it will settle in between 240-250*. At 250*, I only have the ball valve open between 1/4-1/2 depending on wind, temp, etc. Once temps over shoot your target point & your fire mass gets too big, it is hard to bring the temps back down. Also, my drum reacts very slowly to changes in vent settings, so be sure to give it 15-25 mins after opening/closing a vent to be sure what the final effect will be.

A leaky lid can be a problem. I had leaks around my lid & would see temps creep up during a long cook. I could close all bottom vents & still run 230*. Try loosely rolling some heavy duty foil & place it around the lip of your drum. Put your lid on slowly & press down gently. This will help seal most of the air leaks around your lid & let you know if that is a problem or not.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #36
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great remarks guys! I'm giving it a dry run right now. I placed the digital thermometer on the center grate and started her up again. (and I have been using the menion method, just at light speed I guess). Guess what my digi thermometer read? yep... 300 and climbing. Guess what my other thermometer read? Yep.. 160. I guess I must have cooked that butt somewhere around 450 F. Anyway, I'm working the temp down now to see what vents need to be open. to maintain a easy 225. So now the question is... should I just use a digi thermometer every time? I kind of liked the idea of the one in the side. But it doens'tseem to work for me. I tested the thermometer in a glass of water and it was correct, so... it must be too close to the side then, as mentioned above. What are you guys using?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #37
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If you're still running into trouble, create some kind of diffuser, to offset all that heat.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:20 PM   #38
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+1 to everything above...being relatively new to UDS I can only add...DONT GIVE UP...it took me half doz or so cooks to dial in mine but i garunatee (sp) it will be worth it
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:21 PM   #39
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Glad its figured out!! I always use digital thermometer, never did trust a dial type.

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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #40
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Catch the temps going up so that you don't have to work your way back down while cooking as mentioned. If your side thermo is one that can be adjusted calibrate it to the digital then you will know where you're cooking at. Or, when it settles in see what the diff is between the 2 thermos and just know you have to add 100 degrees or whatever the diff is between the two.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Endo View Post
What are you guys using?

10-12" turkey termo
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #42
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I use the Maverick digitals on every smoke.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #43
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To get the round back in your drum try some rope a stick and some blocks
Make a turnicate tighten with the stick and use blocks of wood to push in the out of round sides
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #44
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If you really want to use the side therm. you need a third grate about 2" above the coal basket. then set a 16" pizza pan on it. Then your heat will get deflected towards the outside of the barrel more. I use several digital therms. (3) I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond, (2 or 3) from Wal Mart and Target and I am going to buy atleast (1) from Ikea just to try it out...

most tend to use the maverick brands and a thermopen for probing for tender ness and temping...
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Last edited by razrbakcrzy; 08-23-2012 at 08:49 AM..
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Unread 04-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #45
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I don't have a UDS, but a WSM is similar.

If you are lighting up all that charcoal at once, that would certainly turn your meat into charcoal. As mentioned, use the Minion method, so that at any given time, only a small amount of your fuel is burning, and the fire works it's way through the fuel like a slow burning fuse.

I also have to suspect, as others do, that your thermometer is not telling you the real temperature in your cooking chamber -- not even close. That much burning fuel and airflow has got to be making heat well above 300 degrees.



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