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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 08-29-2013, 10:30 PM   #1
nopantsdan
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Default UDS.. a downgrade?

howdy folks..

been on the hunt for the past few months for a new smoker. i have been contacting Lang, Gator, etc for quotes/shipping information etc. i have some money to spend, but can't quite seem to pull the trigger on anything.

been smoking some time (bout a year now), sometimes every weekend, at the minimum every other weekend it seems on a custom built offset. i purchased it off of craigslist for $300. it is 1/4" steel all around, a 30x20 cooking chamber with round firebox. it cooks well (most complaints are with my skill). it leaks some, more than i think is appropriate, around the firebox lid and the cooking chamber lid. this is what led me to the Lang, Gator, etc. for a while i thought a properly built rig might solve some of my let downs of my first pit.

my dislikes first.
-heavy, it takes two, maybe three friends to move my current pit. it came originally with just a stand. i added some wheels, which allows me to move it around a bit by myself - but i certainly can't get it out of my backyard without help.
-uneven temperature. i am fairly certain this is user error. i have my maverick setup to show grate temp on either side of the smoker. sometimes it varies by 10* sometimes by 50* or more when I try when I add a split. i know temperatures are inherently uneven on an offset, and that it can be used to an advantage. i tend to obsess about temperature control though. i spend more time adjusting make shift tuning plates, than enjoying cooking and being outside etc.
-tending the fire. another thing that is inherent to an offset. i am getting better, but adding a split every 45 minutes can be cumbersome - and while i don't mind it for the first 5 hours, it can be tedious and can get old.

likes.
-space. lots of space. easy to work with food with the lid open
-classic. lots of compliments from people when they come over. can easily become the center of attention at a gathering.

my dislikes for the offset brought me to vertical smokers, some insulated, like Humphrey Smokers. i nearly pulled the trigger on a Battle Box a few months ago - even had the approval from the WIFE!

i have long known about the UDS, but never was serious, thought it was too much a of noob move ( don't hate me!) after owning a fancy offset. if i couldn't enjoy smoking with my offset, why would i like a UDS. recently though the advantages of the UDS made me more interested.

am i crazy to get rid of my offset for a couple of UDS? i really like the idea of stable temperature, long cook times, set it and forget it mentality, not to mention the price. could definitely use the extra money for a ceramic grill, and a new playstation 4 when it's released

sorry to babble, my wife gets tired of me weighing the pros and cons and constantly debating over what to do. any thoughts or suggestions?
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Unread 08-29-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
Richard_
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pellet cooker
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Unread 08-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
mikeleonard81
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Who says you have to get rid of the off set? why can't you keep it and the 2 UDS?
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Unread 08-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeleonard81 View Post
who says you have to get rid of the off set? Why can't you keep it and the 2 uds?
bingo!!!
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Unread 08-29-2013, 10:40 PM   #5
landarc
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A offset and two UDS smokers seems like a good start.

The noob move would be to assume you can only have one or two smokers
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Unread 08-29-2013, 10:54 PM   #6
SmittyJonz
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I'd sell the offset and get one of the good insulated cabinet smokers.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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Keep the offset and try a drum. I went from a little Jambo to a Gateway drum(basically a pretty UDS). I miss the Jambo for the novelty factor but man once I half assed figured out this drum it is a damn fine cooking machine. Just did a comp last weekend and it went 24 hours on a basket full of lump. Never had to add fuel. Recovers quick, easy to adjust temps. Of course the best part about the drum is I can load it into the back of my truck by myself.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
SmittyJonz
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
gettinbasted
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I second the Gateway Drum. My two gateways are hands down the best cookers I own and they look great too!
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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I'm currently saving up for a backwoods gator. You and me sound like we're in similar camps. I have an offset smoker that weighs as much as a small tank. My problem was the constant amount of wood I was using on the smoker but the chamber was so small, I wasn't getting my bang for my buck. I built a UDS. And love it. It's not difficult to build one.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:27 PM   #11
Hawg Father of Seoul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinbasted View Post
I second the Gateway Drum. My two gateways are hands down the best cookers I own and they look great too!
Yeah, If I was not so cheap I would buy a couple Gateway drums also.

IMHO brisket and butt is best off a drum.

Finally bought a good rib cooker for comps. If you figure out how to get that last 5-10% on the drums that you get on that Assassin... help a brother out.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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The UDS is flat out an incredible cooker and is in NO way a downgrade but an upgrade in quality of cook.

long cook time
Fuel efficient
Cooks faster
But most importantly the extra flavor is out of this world!

There is no downside. I recommend Big Poppas drum kit or their adjustable charcoal basket at minimum
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Unread 08-30-2013, 03:17 AM   #13
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Keep the offset and build a drum. It'll be the best $100 you've spent. A UDS is the best bang for your buck.
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Unread 08-30-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
Kloogee
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I'm with the others. Keep your offset for now. Build a cheap UDS, cook with it and decide if you like it. If so, build as many as needed to fulfill your needs and decide whether to sell the offset at that time.

Building a UDS is cheap and easy. Then you'll know if you like it or not and can make your decision based on real, not imagined, information.
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Unread 08-30-2013, 06:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Father of Seoul View Post
Yeah, If I was not so cheap I would buy a couple Gateway drums also.

IMHO brisket and butt is best off a drum.

Finally bought a good rib cooker for comps. If you figure out how to get that last 5-10% on the drums that you get on that Assassin... help a brother out.
The assassin came off the trailer yesterday and is in the garage. I am running all drums this weekend in Quapaw. I will let you know how it goes.
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