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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 04-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
intrex
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Default UDS Temperature Issues?

I built a 55 gallon UDS a few months ago. I have done about 10 smokes on it now and it is pretty incredible. It has been very efficient and I can hold 225 for 12+ hours easily if I don't touch the lid. The only problem that I have had is that when I open the lid to baste what ever is cooking the temps go through the roof. If the UDS was running at 225 and the top comes off for only a minute or two the temp will jump to around 275-300 once I get the top back on. It will then take about 30 minutes to an hour for the temp to drop back below 250. I can completely shut the air off right after putting the top back on and it will drop much faster but then I find my self fighting the temperature from bouncing around for the next few hours.

Is this normal for a UDS or am I just missing something?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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Yup, that's a common occurence. When the lid is removed, a rush of oxygen hits the fire, and it flares up. Some folks will shut all of the vents, about 10 minutes before removing the lid. Once the lid is replaced, open your vents back up. Your temps will still rise, but not quite as badly.

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Unread 04-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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Shut it down 10 min before you crack the lid reset 5 min after you put it back on. OR come to the dark side and cook in the 275-300 zone you won't regret it.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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Thanks guys,

Will give that a shot on the next smoke. I did 4 Boston butts yesterday and they turned out pretty well but not tender enough for the bone to be easily pulled out. I suspected it was because the temps varied so much and half of the smoke was done in the 275 range and the other half at around 225.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intrex View Post
Thanks guys,

Will give that a shot on the next smoke. I did 4 Boston butts yesterday and they turned out pretty well but not tender enough for the bone to be easily pulled out. I suspected it was because the temps varied so much and half of the smoke was done in the 275 range and the other half at around 225.
The bone didn't pull out cleanly because you didn't cook long enough. Temp swings have no effect on doneness, just the length of time it takes to get there. They are done when they are done.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Like Teamfour said......the bones didn't pull out because they weren't finished. Butts are endlessly forgiving in that regard, and temp fluctuations like you noted are fine.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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I cooked them until 165 then foiled and pulled them at 195 IT. I was thinking that maybe they werent completely finished.Next time I will just leave them unfoiled and check the bone for a pull test every once in a while after 190. Thanks for the info.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 05:28 PM   #8
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You will find life less stressful and your self a better cook if you let the pit do it's thing at the temp it wants to run at.

BBQ RULES FOR SUCCESS


YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS BY COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OR BY TIME ( XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL! For Brisket it must pass the poke test(probe like soft butter) Ribs pass the Bend Test, Pork Butts when the bone wiggles loose. These are the only reliable methods to ensure that your cook will be a success. There is one exception to these rules and that is Poultry which must achieve and internal temp of 170 deg in the thickest part of the thigh and 160 in the breast.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intrex View Post
Is this normal for a UDS or am I just missing something?
I guess it's normal because I hear about it frequently.
But on the other hand I don't seem to experience this with my UDS. I normally use a mix of K-Blue and lump in the basket. I've never experienced sudden spikes many people speak of, even with the lid off for a couple of minutes.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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I use to focus so much on temperature control too, but in the end, I don't think it matters a whole lot as long as it is not swinging up above 300, and there are a lot of people who cook that hot normally, but that is another discussion altogether. Closing the vents a bit beforehand works too.

I also agree on NOT cooking to an internal temperature to tell if it is done, temperature can tell you when you need to possibly start using the different feeling methods.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
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I don't have temp swings when I open the lid for a few seconds. Maybe because I use a diffuser plate above my basket?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:48 PM   #12
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You could stop basting and opening the lid. That would be step one. A temperature spike of that amount for 30 minutes is no big deal. But, I would not pull until the bone wiggles, no matter what the internal temperature.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
come to the dark side....
.....We have BBQ..


...and cookies


Seriously though, jump up the cooking temp to ~275 and there will be less of a spike.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all of the pointers. My wireless Maverick has probably made me pay too much attention to temps. The answer may also lie in a lack of beer consumption during smokes.

I am going to be smoking this weekend, not sure what yet, so we will see how this round goes.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverWild View Post
I don't have temp swings when I open the lid for a few seconds. Maybe because I use a diffuser plate above my basket?
This is very practical advice as it prevent an inrush of air that then stokes the fire.

In a sense, its like a non variable choke plate. But how much choke should be applied. I'm thinking air passages in the choke/diffuser plate should be about 1.5 times the inlet air.

Anybody got something more scientific to go by?

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