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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 06-04-2012, 11:27 PM   #9556
El Ropo
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Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
I noticed the meat dripping directly on it a couple of times , which had me questioning if directly under the center of the grate was a good spot for it. I may just pick up another one , I liked being able to check temperature at any point from the center to the sidewall just by sliding it in or out of the fitting , but there was the dripping thing. I think cold weather may have killed my last one, I woke up one morning after a hard freeze and it was pegged all the way to the bottom , and I couldn't get it to move back up , even in boiling water.
Those thermos are designed to be used in hot oil, I can't imagine a little warm juice from meat is gonna kill the probe. I did kill an el cheapo one by getting my uds up around 450 with lump and running wide open for chicken. The next time I tried a cook, it was reading about 100deg. low. Popped in another $5 cheapie of same make and model and never had another problem.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #9557
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The juice is not killing the probe , it's cooling it off to the point where it reads way off , I'm pretty sure the freezing weather killed the probe though , so the next one I'll take inside in the winter , or just buy another one , the thing was only like 3 bucks.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 05:50 AM   #9558
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1. My UDS has extreme hot and cold spots , varying as much as 50 degrees over different points on my grates , my charcoal basket is wide and low and I tend to spread my lit coals around on top of my unlit coals. So my question is , will a diffuser of some sort help with this , and will it create any "new" issues od it's own if I did use one.

I use the clay pot base diffuser method. It works great for me. Really evened out the temps for me.

2. I sprayed down the inside of my drum with PAM before my first cook , and have cooked several fatties , so for the most part the inside of the drum is pretty greasy , but it's still starting to rust on certain spots , is there a need to "re-season" every once in a while , or is this normal?

My UDS has too much build up (I think). It it black and hard as glass. I don't have any rust. I have used it about 2 times a month for 1 year.

3. I need suggestions for a thermometer , I started out with one of those turkey fry thermometers , it lasted about 3 cooks. Lately I have been using my digital probe through a block of wood sitting on one of the grates but would prefer a side mounted solution. What would be a good thermometer to use? I don't mind paying a little more for a good one , or two.

I have 2 Old Smoky Joe thermometers from Cabellas. They were in my price range.

4. Where should I be reading temps at? between my two grates? Or should I have one just below each grate? I find that if I get my digital too close to the meat it messes with the reading , so I'd appreciate some suggestions here.
I mounted them 1/2" below each grate.
I also use the ET732 with the IQ110. These do everything for you.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 07:41 AM   #9559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
1. My UDS has extreme hot and cold spots , varying as much as 50 degrees over different points on my grates , my charcoal basket is wide and low and I tend to spread my lit coals around on top of my unlit coals. So my question is , will a diffuser of some sort help with this , and will it create any "new" issues od it's own if I did use one.
Something to diffuse will help dramatically, but you should think about it a little. For quick fix you can put a rack down low and put foil on it and punch holes in it; you still want that meaty goodness to drip down into the fire. But I got some angle iron (or angle aluminum) that were about 1.5 inches on either edge, so that it essentially makes a larger "A" when laying it down on the grate. Have to cut them, but lay them down on that low grate, leaving some space in between. This let's the meaty goodness drip down, but also captures most of that heat and requires it to come out the sides or through the metal itself. Iron works great because it'll stabilize and radiate a lot of heat, but the aluminum will work also and is much lighter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
2. I sprayed down the inside of my drum with PAM before my first cook , and have cooked several fatties , so for the most part the inside of the drum is pretty greasy , but it's still starting to rust on certain spots , is there a need to "re-season" every once in a while , or is this normal?
Are you leaving it out in the rain? I have never seen rust on the inside unless water got in there. But after you smoke with it a few times the inside will be so nasty with smokey goodness, no bare part of the smoker will be visible. Technically to remove rust and prevent it from spreading you have to scrape it off. But even if you don't it ought to last 2-4 years I'd think. I don't see a reason why either of mine won't still be in use 6 years from now. One of them is almost 2 years old. Actually, CLEANING the UDS is in order occasionally. I had to clean out my older one because it was really starting to get nasty.. and the smell wasn't quite so good.. a bit too much creosote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
3. I need suggestions for a thermometer , I started out with one of those turkey fry thermometers , it lasted about 3 cooks. Lately I have been using my digital probe through a block of wood sitting on one of the grates but would prefer a side mounted solution. What would be a good thermometer to use? I don't mind paying a little more for a good one , or two.
Like many others, I got a turkey fryer one, but I got mine from Home Depot and it cost $15 I think. I've had it for some 18 months and it's totally fine. Got wet, got cold, still works. I also use Maverick remote for more accurate readings and to measure food temp. Not that a place like Home Depot is without problems, but I definitely don't care for buying someone else's garbage at WMart just to buy it again 6 months later so they can prevent local businesses from surviving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
4. Where should I be reading temps at? between my two grates? Or should I have one just below each grate? I find that if I get my digital too close to the meat it messes with the reading , so I'd appreciate some suggestions here.
It should be like 2 inches away from the meat, because indeed the temp of the meat will radiate and get picked up by the thermometer. It should be under the meat, but next to it is OK too. Don't put your meat too close to the top because the very top of the smoker will lose a lot of heat. You should have the top of the food sit like maybe 3 inches under the lid.
Remember about the diffusing; if you use something like the angle iron to push the heat along the sides of the barrel, the sides will have more heat than without so the heat will not escape as easily through the metal walls exposed to the outside.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #9560
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Thank you , for the advice. Yes , I leave my drum out in the rain , and yes it gets water inside it . Unfortunately I have no shelter in my yard , I suppose I need to invest in a cover of sorts to keep the water out when not in use.

My father works in a metal shop , and has access to a CNC plasma table and pretty much any thickness of sheet metal. I may get him to cut me a disc with some holes in it to go on a rack just over the charcoal basket as a diffuser. It should work very much like you described , allowing drippings through but acting as a heat sink/diffuser.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 11:32 AM   #9561
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The turkey thermometers are adjustable if they have the hex fitting seen in this photo,

Just turn it while the tip is in boiling water till the needle is at the correct reading.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 12:48 PM   #9562
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I bought a cheap $6 or so cover from Wall Mart and it has lasted me over 18 months. My drum sits on my front porch under the overhang, but open to the elements none the less.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:22 PM   #9563
Paul Worth
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I bought a cheap $6 or so cover from Wall Mart and it has lasted me over 18 months. My drum sits on my front porch under the overhang, but open to the elements none the less.
I got one of those covers you see over a stack of tires at garages and tire stores. Mine happens to have the Michelin Man on it
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #9564
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I got one of those covers you see over a stack of tires at garages and tire stores. Mine happens to have the Michelin Man on it
that's a really good idea, I think I may borrow that
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #9565
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This thread has 2.2 million views!!!!!!! It's got more views than all the "sticky threads" combined! LOL
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #9566
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This thread has 2.2 million views!!!!!!! It's got more views than all the "sticky threads" combined! LOL
And yet this thread is not stickied?
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Unread 06-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #9567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboDog View Post
Yes , I leave my drum out in the rain , and yes it gets water inside it . Unfortunately I have no shelter in my yard , I suppose I need to invest in a cover of sorts to keep the water out when not in use.
I have this Brinkman Smoker cover from HD and it works PERFECT. My dad has a Weber kettle cover on his and it is a little short. I have a kettle lid so I got this cover b/c it is longer. It is the perfect length and diameter for a UDS with a kettle lid to go all the way to the bottom of the drum. I leave my UDS on the deck all winter in MN with this cover and have no issues with moisture inside. The elastic on the bottom keeps it on tight. For $10 it can't be beat!
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Unread 06-05-2012, 05:54 PM   #9568
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I SO TOTALLY LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Just finished my first UDS this past week and put it to work right away. I got the drum from our local scrap yard for five bucks. Had to burn out the last dregs of glue (used to make Kellogg's cereal boxes), but after a good burn the nasty sand out (a right of passage...) it didn't take long to add the hardware and build the fire box. I actually ripped the expanded metal off the back of my garage door and sewed it together with the copper wire from #12 Romex. The ash pan is an old rusted deep dish pizza pan with holes drilled in the sides for ventilation. The plan was to use it to smoke shoulders for my daughter's graduation open house. I started a bag of KB with a few hickory chunks here and there at 11:00 p.m. on Friday night and put two shoulders on at about 12:30 a.m. (The plan was to give myself enough time to use my BWS if things didn't go right- open house was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.) I went to bed at 3:00 a.m. when I became convinced that the temp wasn't going to budge from 250- put a couple of fatties on for breakfast (a first for me!) By 7:00 a.m. the fatties were done (OH MY LORD!!! I will never light a fire again without throwing one or two on the side!!! World's best kept secret...) Long story short, by midnight on Saturday, I had finished a total of 5 shoulders on the UDS and kept them in my oven wrapped overnight. By the time I shut down, I still had about a third of my fuel left! The pulled pork was incredible, and got rave reviews from our 250+ guests on Sunday. My thanks go to BigMista and all the brethren for your trials and errors, insight, and inspiration! This sight is the happiest place on earth! (well, except for maybe the smoked turkey leg stand at Disney World...)

Jim Sirks
Battle Creek, MI

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UDS (Proud new owner!)

P.S. DEFINITELY don't go with a side mount thermometer! 120 degree difference between it and the grate thermometer I put in "just to check."

Last edited by Jsirks; 06-05-2012 at 06:12 PM..
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Unread 06-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #9569
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Welcome to the drum corps Jim. You found out in one cook the awesome ability of a uds if made the KISS way. I know you are proud of your build, I was and still enjoy it after about 20 months of use. Congratulations!
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Unread 06-05-2012, 07:44 PM   #9570
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Good looking drum Jim, And the food looks great also.
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