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Old 05-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
BigTone's Avatar
Join Date: 01-25-13
Location: Salem, NY
Default Newbie Question: How much charcoal in the UDS?

Hey folks, sorry for the newbie question but is there a formula for how much charcoal to use? I guess I'm trying to figure out how much to use for ribs vs. brisquett (sp) vs. pork butt because I know the all cook for different lengths of time.

Also, once the cook is over I imagine you shut off all the intakes, close the lid, and let the fire go out. Can you reuse whatever charcoal is leftover after a burn or do you need to start with fresh every time?

Thanks for the help, I'm going to attempt some ribs on sunday I think, I appreciate the help! PICS will follow!
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Join Date: 10-15-12
Location: Anaheim, CA

No problem with newbie questions, because we all were newbies once.

N8Man has an EXCELLENT thread on this.


Yes, you can reuse whatever is left over. Use a METAL can to catch the ash and crispy bits. then load it up again.
Dbl Bbl Smoker, UDS, ECB, Char-Broil gas grill & charcoal grills, SJ - Certified Moink Baller
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: 08-24-08
Location: Los Angeles

My coal basket is always half to 3 quarters full regardless of the size or length of time of cook. And it's a big basket.
....UDS....Mini-WSM....Midi-WSM....Mod-ECB....22.5-OTG....34"wood fired pizza oven....
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN

Load it up!
Whatever doesn't burn this cook you can use next cook. I NEVER throw out charcoal. All I do is shake off the ash, reload the basket and light it!

That's the great thing about a UDS. It's so air tight that you can just shut it down when you're done and relight the basket next time.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Join Date: 09-02-12
Location: Kentucky

+1 on the load it up and reuse it.
XL Big Green Egg, Weber kettles, WSM 22.5" and Pellet Pro adapter
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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Join Date: 04-02-07
Location: Warren, Vermont

Good advice above, but just in case you don't already know, you have to use the Minion method to make it work.
Jim - Another transplanted Texan

Large and Medium Big Green Eggs , Black 18.5" WSM, Blue Weber Performer - Stainless, Green Weber OTG Kettle , Brinkmann SnP Pro, and a Stainless UDS. One retired Portable Kitchen grill.

Red Thermapen, Maverick ET-732, EdgePro Apex Sharpener.

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Old 05-16-2013, 06:53 PM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 10-27-06
Location: Bothell WA

Here is what I do with very good results.

I have smaller diameter rings that hold 5-6 lbs of charcoal that I set inside my baskets for short cooks.

Most of the drum baskets I use are built on an 18" or 22" Weber charcoal grate frame with the expanded metal @ 9-13" tall. None of them perform any better or worse than the others as I only use 10lbs of briqs for heavy meats and have never had to add any fuel during a cook and there is always fuel leftover.

Size really doesn't matter, its how much fuel you use for the cook. Here is one built on a Weber Smokey Joe charcoal grate platform and its a chicken & rib cooking mofo.

This is all I need for ribs, chicken or turkey cooks in my 85 gallon drum.

a$$holes are like opinions-everybody has one, and my methods work for me, YMMV.
Brian - Left Hand Smoke BBQ PNWBA 2010 Team of the Year
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #8
Bbq Bubba
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 05-03-07
Location: New Baltimore, Mi.

Listen to the master. ^^^^^^
Pitboss @ Woodpile BBQ Shack
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I cook the best brisket north of Dallas. Get over it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Join Date: 08-24-08
Location: Los Angeles

On the other hand you don't want to leave a basket of coals sitting in the UDS for a period of time between firings where they can pick up moisture.
....UDS....Mini-WSM....Midi-WSM....Mod-ECB....22.5-OTG....34"wood fired pizza oven....
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
somebody shut me the fark up.
Join Date: 06-28-09
Location: Lynnwood, WA

Swamprb knows UDS pits.
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