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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 04-09-2013, 09:40 PM   #10786
Burnuce
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Originally Posted by n0face View Post
Finally figured out my basket

Exhaust vent fitted

Grill mounted

I just need to find a bbq thermometer and I'm done I think.
Love the color, great job!
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Unread 04-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #10787
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Thanks, here's a picture of it in the garden.

I fired it up to season with 4kg of lump and it held 450f for 8 hours when I snuffed it. Just waiting for the delivery of some digital thermometers before I give pulled pork ago.
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Unread 04-13-2013, 01:15 PM   #10788
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Thanks to everyone for this thread. I built mine a couple of weeks ago in an afternoon. The drum was free from work, unpainted inside, I used the lid/grates from my Weber (will buy new grates for it later), then the other normal stuff for a total of around $40 out of pocket.

I bought an ET-73 remote thermometer, much nicer than having to keep walking to the window or getting the kids to do a 'temp check'.

I normally use Kingsford original (loaded up a couple of years ago on Memorial Day) with apple but will probably run out of that this summer based on how much I'm smoking nowadays. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a good deal this Memorial Day for my next stockup.

I seasoned it with 2 fatties then did maybe 12 pieces of chicken that came out excellent. Last week I loaded up the rack with ~35 legs/thighs for church that disappeared in a hurry.

Today I'm doing my first Boston Butts, 13lbs total between the 2. I'm at 4.5 hours in with one at 164F. The smoker ran 240F +/-5 for the first couple of hours super steady with 1 cap off and valve ~2/3 open, but now we have some wind that has pushed it up to 270F so I'm having to close off some inlet air.

I cut the rolled edge off so the Weber lid would fit but it was hard to get a completely straight line with the Sawzall so I siliconed in a fiberglass rope seal on the lid. Much better and it works on the kettle also.

So far I love the UDS, much easier than smoking on the Weber. I could do 2 whole chickens on the Weber but had to babysit it the entire time. Brisket will be next in a week or two.

Pics (pardon the patio/yard, still working on fixing up this short sale we bought last fall and that's a low priority compared to other stuff):

Seasoning with 2 plain fatties




I plan on cutting the lid down to be a better ash pan



Butts rubbed and ready

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Unread 04-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #10789
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My firebasket is about 12" high and almost as big around as the weber charcoal grate( slightly smaller). How much charcoal should I be putting in this thing for a good cooking? The reason I asked is I filled the basket about 3/4 full yesterday and lit it up using the minion method. Temp did not take too long before it was up to 375 degrees with all the vents open as well as the top lid vent. I then got her brought down to "dead on" 225 degrees. It held there for about three hours or so then it dropped. I took my "fire poker" and mixed the coals around and "bam" she shot back up to 300 degrees in no time and I got it back down to around 250 degrees. Got up this morning and temp was around 175 degrees and barrel was still warm so I took a peak inside. I still had warm coals so again I stirred them up with my poker and opened another vent hole just so I can finish burning this charcoal up. Temp is now 300 degrees. My vents are all 1" on the bottom and of course the top is the regular hole in the drum lid that I can regulate with the cover plate. With all this being said, how much charcoal should I be using (along with the wood) in order to maintain a good steady fire. I feel like I had way too much charcoal in the basket. I would welcome any thoughts, opinions or help.

Thanks,

Poppy J
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Unread 04-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #10790
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I always fill mine up, then after the cook shut it down and reuse what is left in the basket for the next cook. Mine will go 16+ hrs on a basket full of lump, without stirring it. Try some lump and see how that works. I would leave the top vent open no matter what and regulate the air flow with the bottom vents. Mine also seems to work better if you catch the temp on the way up rather than lot it get hot and try to bring it back down. Good luck!
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Unread 04-14-2013, 12:54 PM   #10791
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Thanks for the reply. I will probably give lump a try the next go round after I finish burning up this other bag of Kingsford. Home Depot had (2) twenty pound bags for $19.97 so I grabbed two. I just want to be confident enough that once I get the temp stabilized, I won't have the need to have to poke around in the fire basket to make things get to going again. No pun intended but I guess it was "Trial By Fire"! LOL
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Unread 04-14-2013, 04:43 PM   #10792
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PoppyJ, from my pic above, add one chimney of charcoal and that's what I smoked for 10+ hours yesterday and still have at least 1/2 of it left today after snuffing it out. Make sure you can seal the drum up airtight and you can kill the fire in under 5 minutes to save everything for the next burn.

I like to dig out the middle and empty the lit chimney coals there so they can get fresh air from the bottom. One time I just had all the unlit in a layer and put the lit on top and had some stability issues until enough got to burning, so I started doing the middle and it's much more consistent.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #10793
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My drum was used for "corn syrup" and has a clear shellac/lacquer type finish on the interior. I tried to burn it out with a weed burner, brush it out with a wire brush on a drill, and paint remover. It there is no way that I can get it to shiny metal without a metal grinder. I think that will make it too rough on the inside and prone to carbon-up. Is there any reason that I need to get that finish off?
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Unread 04-17-2013, 07:24 AM   #10794
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I didn't have to burn out a liner, but from reading a lot of this thread, you need to burn it out with a longer/hotter fire. Pallets are probably the best option, make sure to drill the air holes first.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #10795
Heisenberger
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Question: will putting my grate closer to the coals (roughly 20 inches) have any effect on the meat? will the underside be cooked and more from radiant heat?I want to add another rack for sausages, chops, wings etc, a few inches from the top (original flat lid) but I need that 5 or 6 inches for the grate to clear the bolts...
so should I try to keep it around 24'' or is 18 - 20 just fine for smoking?
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Unread 04-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #10796
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heisenberger View Post
Question: will putting my grate closer to the coals (roughly 20 inches) have any effect on the meat? will the underside be cooked and more from radiant heat?I want to add another rack for sausages, chops, wings etc, a few inches from the top (original flat lid) but I need that 5 or 6 inches for the grate to clear the bolts...
so should I try to keep it around 24'' or is 18 - 20 just fine for smoking?
I think you'll find most plans recommend a minimum of 24" between the bottom of the charcoal basket and the lowest cooking grate.

I would guess that some vary an inch or two, give or take.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #10797
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One of my reasons for asking, and this may nor be the right thread, is because a Pit Barrel Cooker makes some good meat, even when the distance to the coals is fairly close, especially with brisket. We still consider this smoking/bbq. If chicken can hang 15 or so (is this about right?) inches from the coals, and brisket even closer, then shouldn't it not really make a difference how close it is when we are talking 15 - 25 inches so long as the temp is right? Can the PBC change how we make our UDS?
I know I'm getting nit picky, but thats what we're all here for!
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Unread 04-18-2013, 04:12 AM   #10798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heisenberger View Post
One of my reasons for asking, and this may nor be the right thread, is because a Pit Barrel Cooker makes some good meat, even when the distance to the coals is fairly close, especially with brisket. We still consider this smoking/bbq. If chicken can hang 15 or so (is this about right?) inches from the coals, and brisket even closer, then shouldn't it not really make a difference how close it is when we are talking 15 - 25 inches so long as the temp is right? Can the PBC change how we make our UDS?
I know I'm getting nit picky, but thats what we're all here for!
On page 65 of this thread, #965, SmokeWatcher posted:

"I use a Weber lid too. The first grate is 1" below the lip, and the other is 6" below that. That places it at less than 24" from the fire....like 21" or so....but it still works well. I normally don't use the lower grate unless I need extra space or head-room."

I too have been curious about just how the PBC works so well with meat much closer still to the fire. Would be appreciative if someone more knowledgeable could address the subject.
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Unread 04-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #10799
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My christening cook.

Meat.


Trimmed and rubbed.


Smoking.


Holding steady.


11 and a half hours later.


And pulled.


Served it with a cider vinegar bbq sauce, slaw and rolls.

Very happy with the function of the UDS, just need to perfect some recipes now.
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Unread 04-18-2013, 10:21 PM   #10800
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Default Breaking the ice...

Feels a little silly chiming in on a 6 year old thread (like I could possibly contribute any new thought! lol) but I'm joining in on the fun! I was inspired by this site and all of you guys on this thread to build myself a UDS. I started this week and am about half way done. I got an old "Oil Stabilizer" barrel that is in really good shape. Its nice because its significantly thicker than the other barrels I looked at. So far I have spent two hours washing it with degreaser and dawn (cleaned up great! doesn't have any oil smell and haven't even burnt it out yet). Then I took it to a car wash and pressure washed it. (Don't laugh, I thought it was innovative! lol) I have since wire wheeled it and pre-drilled my holes for my two grates and bought and used a step bit for the bottom. My next step is burning it out then making a paint decision. I am between satin black with a cool red pig painting OR leaving it the wire wheeled metal, painting the pig, then clear coating. I would also accept some advice on the hugely debated question of 8-1/2" holes or using my 2.25" bung hole for an 8" smoke stack... I love the idea of the smoke stack, but dont want to lose any quality over "hot spots." I have read a ton on each method but am having trouble pulling the trigger on either. I am on a really tight budget so if anyone has any cheap smoke stack ideas for 2.25" I'd like to hear them!
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