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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, 08:27 PM   #61
Dr. Endo
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Ok, the final update, I had two problems that were keeping me from succeeding. First, the thermometer was reading wrong due to its location close to the sides. Once I used a digital thermometer I was able to get an accurate temp. the second problem was that my lid was leaking air. I was unable to drop my temperature due to this. So what I did, was I wet some shop rags (unused and clean) and lined the rim of the barrel with them. Then I placed the lid on. Now the lid was air-tight. I was able to control the temp easily with my ball valve at the bottom. about 1/3 open was all it took to keep the temp right at 240. So... Next time I cook I'll have to stick to this new plan. I may try the foil gasket idea, but It just seems like it would be difficult to keep in place. Maybe you all can shed some light of experience on how that went for you. By the way, the corn and potatos turned out just perfectly. At least something edible came out of my day's experience. And actually it gave me a good idea of cooking things other than just meat. I could put a lot of baking potatos and corn on a coupld of racks if I had a party. Maybe even place them around another butt, if I dare. Anyways, thanks guys. I really appreciate this forum and your readiness to help. Happy BBQ-ing. I'll post my next trial. :)
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:34 PM   #62
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My experiences say for low and slow you need a diverter / diffuser. It's direct heat no matter how you slice it without it.

For hot and fast, there is probably not a better cooker out there but it, as was mentioned, is not set and forget.

Also, you need to shut things down on the way up, prior to target temp. Knowing you will need to open to add meat, mop, sauce, flip, etc. That gulp of air is going to fire things up. Like some others here, I use fridge magnets, and I have 1" holes, typically, I use 1/4 of 1 hole once I get it dialed in.

I would venture to guess all of us have burned up some meat while we were learning the ropes, hang in there you won't be disappointed. And with that basket you could cook for like 2 days and never need to add any fuel.

I used electronic therms in the beginning to determine where my dial should be for an accurate reading. I don't use it anymore, I just know it's hotter at the grate than what my therm is reading

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #63
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i didn't read through 5 pages of this but on my mini uds, the few times i've used it i've had flare ups that have burnt my chicken to crap. i wonder if that is possible here?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Endo View Post
all vents are closed... temperature is 313. Is it possible that the coals could get enough oxygen from a mildly leaky lid? I really thought that the temp would have gone down by now. Any thoughts?
No, I don't think so. I would still like to know how much charcoal you have burning. I seriously doubt a leaky lid is going to make your temperatures hit 313 degrees. Convection works from cool to hot, which means up. There is no way a leaky lid is adding oxygen to the fire. That would defy the laws of physics.

How much charcoal do you have burning? How much air is coming from below the fire. THAT is what determines your heat.

Have you looked up and learned the Minion method?

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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Endo View Post
all vents are closed... temperature is 313. Is it possible that the coals could get enough oxygen from a mildly leaky lid? I really thought that the temp would have gone down by now. Any thoughts?
It is a matter of physics. Your lid is NOT going to feed your fire with oxygen. That would defy the laws of physics. Forget the lid. You either have too much fuel and/or to much air, which is definitely coming from below the fire. Convection works in one direction. It's not your lid.


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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #66
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Quote:
My experiences say for low and slow you need a diverter / diffuser
You haven't mastered temp control in a UDS yet.

Quote:
Also, you need to shut things down on the way up, prior to target temp
I wholeheartedly agree with this, it's much better to catch temps on the way up.

Quote:
Knowing you will need to open to add meat, mop, sauce, flip, etc. That gulp of air is going to fire things up
As a beginner on a UDS, I'd skip all the extra steps (voodoo) which IMO are totally unnecessary. Concentrate on fire management, and knowing when to pull the meat off when it's "done". Leave the cooker closed, don't peek, mop, spritz, open for pics.

If you insist on doing any of this, a great way to keep temps stable is to close down all intakes 5-10 minutes before removing lid, do your voodoo ASAP, then after replacing lid, leave intakes closed for another 5 minutes, then open up the one intake to the previous setting of 1/2 open or whatever it was before the voodoo. Nope, not joking.

Quote:
I would venture to guess all of us have burned up some meat while we were learning the ropes
I learned fire management on my modded brinkmann gourmet, which is basically a mini UDS. So by the time I did my first cook on the UDS, I had all aspects of fire management down. Never burned anything on the UDS. Destroyed some chicken on the COS offset before selling it on CL though. Creosote from heck and rubber skin.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:31 PM   #67
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I used lump in my UDS for the first time this past weekend. With one vent open, I couldn't get it lower than 300. Had I not watched carefully, I would have ruined a rack of spares!

When I use briquets, I get a clean 230 with one vent open. Starting with about 10-15 lit briquets, and a full basket of unlit. Briquets work the best.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:55 PM   #68
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Thanks vafish.

Any source for BBQ thermometers with long stems or turkey fryer thermometers with large dials? Best I could find on ebay was a 4" stem on a 3" BBQ thermometer and a 2" dial on a turkey fryer gauge. A fryer gauge usually goes to a higher temperature so only has slight momvement between 225F and 250F so not quite as appealing.

Very few ads note the accuracy of the thermometer advertised.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevine View Post
I used lump in my UDS for the first time this past weekend. With one vent open, I couldn't get it lower than 300. Had I not watched carefully, I would have ruined a rack of spares!

When I use briquets, I get a clean 230 with one vent open. Starting with about 10-15 lit briquets, and a full basket of unlit. Briquets work the best.
Be sure to pack the lump tightly, so there is very little air space between pieces. Pack the wood chunks within the lump in the same manner, like jigsaw puzzle. Start with fewer fully lit coals, maybe 8-10. Control oxy with the intake, you might have to close a single intake down to 1/4, but unless there are other oxy leaks, this should work well.

I've never had issues controlling temps with lump in a UDS. The only explanation I can think of is I cooked a freaking lot of food in mine last summer, and it was sealed up like a freaking tank. No air leaks anywhere because of all the BBQ goo built up everywhere.

Right now, I have to put the UDS in the sun just to get the lid off, because all the BBQ gunk is keeping lid from releasing from drum. It's freaking tight!
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:39 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogFan View Post
Thanks vafish.

Any source for BBQ thermometers with long stems or turkey fryer thermometers with large dials? Best I could find on ebay was a 4" stem on a 3" BBQ thermometer and a 2" dial on a turkey fryer gauge. A fryer gauge usually goes to a higher temperature so only has slight momvement between 225F and 250F so not quite as appealing.
Go to your local Wally World and get one for about $5 or so. Mine has worked for about 18 months. Easy to read.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 08:24 AM   #71
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He's having a big hammer, small job issue. He was starting off way too hot because of the wrong temp readings. He left the inlets open for 2-3 hours, if i did this my UDS would have been 450° and my coals would have been almost gone. Now that he sees the real temps, he'll get it next time.

Just remember, slow the heat down about 25-50° before your cooking temp. I Like 260-270° others like 225° just what ever it is, inch up to it instead of blasting up to it. Remember using a big hammer for a lttle job is bad, get the right sized hammer for the job...


I do not use a difuser and I get low temps. around 250-275° anytime I want them for hours on end. You just need a little fire control and you need to know "the process to get your drum setup correctly". It may be what some consider direct cooking. I have about 14" of space between my lower rack and my coal basket top if filled all the way to the top. I consider direct cooking to be closer than 14" more like 3 or 4". If this is not the case all cooking in a Weber would be direct because you can"t get the food 14" away from the fire any where on a Weber grill.

As I have said multiple times, I cook Pork butts (2) at a time weighing anywhere from 8-18lbs each and I also cook (2) briskets at the same time also weight from 8-18lbs most cooks last more than 10 hours and use about 8lbs of coals with a 10" long by about 5" dia log for smoke. I usually can pull a brisket from the upper grates about 2 hours before I pull the butts from the lower grate. It never burns them, I do get nice bark, great flavor and fantastic smoke penetration....

I've done turkeys, chickens, fatties, baked beans, baked potatos, shrimp, chicken wings, I have even open the top and used "S' hook to hang the coal basket under the top grate and do steaks @ 500° grill tmep on my UDS. It's all about the fire control and your setup....
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Last edited by razrbakcrzy; 04-25-2012 at 12:20 PM..
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #72
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I have a very leaky weber lid on my UDS from taking a weed burner to it. Its still able to hold a temp at 220 for hours and hours.

I use a weber 18 inch grill and preferated metal as a basket. I fill it completely with one bag of lump and then I use a half a chimney and it never gets close to 300 degrees

BUt, if I miss the temp on the way up and dont close the vents soon enough, then it takes forever to control and can be very very frustrating.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:51 AM   #73
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There's really no way a leaky lid can fuel the coals.
There must be a draft coming from somewhere.

My UDS is a drum that's open on both ends.
I use the original cover as the bottom & don't even ratchet them together...There's a tight enough seal that I often have trouble getting them separated.
This seal gets better & better, with the drippings from each use.

My Weber lid also leaked, originally...
But, with use comes enough seasoning to seal that, as well.

If your coals are burning that hot, I suspect that something in the bottom of your UDS is feeding them oxygen.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 11:26 AM   #74
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I too am new to my UDS, this thread will help me as well. I used lump, just dumped it in the coal basket and was having a hard time keeping temps below 250*. I will now try stacking the lump and start with a little less in the chimney. Also in the future I'll try a bag of Stubb's that I have heard a ton of positives about in this forum. I hope the briquettes will burn a little cooler enabling me to use the air inlets a bit more for better control.

razrbakcrzy- Luv the UDS diagrams
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Unread 04-25-2012, 12:15 PM   #75
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razrbakcrzy- Luv the UDS diagrams
Just tryin' to help a bretheren out!!
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