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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 10-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
elmatth
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Default UDS complete, now how do I cook this food?

I just spent the last several weeks doing some reading.... reading... and more reading on the UDS thread! Finally got a food grade barrell, weed burner and grinder from Harbor Freight, and all the standard attachments and got to work. I'm new to this site, and not too computer savy, so I'll do my best at posting my progress on the build. Thanks to all who contributed to the huge thread and gave me a wealth of information on how to build my own UDS. Fired the UDS up yesterday morning for a test run and the temps held a constant 225-235 degrees from 9:30am until I shut it down at 9:00pm. I can't believe how this thing can hold the temps for that long!

Anyway, being as I'm also new to smoking, I have no idea how long to cook different foods. I'm fairly decent on the grill, but as I'm finding out, that's a whole different ball game than smoking.

So, with that being said, I'm planning to put on a couple whole beer can chickens (4lbs each)(wife's idea, I wanted pulled pork), some bacon wrapped chicken thighs (inspired by "Bacon" who posted on his on the 28th), and two fatties (first I had to figure out what a "fattie" was). Well, there's nothing like waiting till the last minute, cause i'm supposed to be cooking for my in-laws and others tonight. Anybody who can chime in and help with cooking times and temps I would greatly appreciate it!
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
Monty
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I will tell you first off, i don't own, or know chit about UDS's except - they are brilliant, cool BBQ machines that allows just about anyone to make great BBQ.

Secondly you did a GREAT job! Not sure if you even need this on a UDS, but did you "season" it when you fired it up for 12 hours?

Also remember, when you put cold/cool/even room temp meat in there it will drop temp, more meat, longer it takes to get back up to your desired cooking temp...... i think with UDS too
So get it hotter (290?) than what you want before you put in the food, that will make it easier to bring up to temp after the food cools it down.

I do know this much, For BBQ, cook between 200min (i like 225) and 250max (rack temp), until desired doness (for chicken 165-170 internal temp).

Good luck brother, DON'T FORGET PRON OF THE COOK!

And a little passing advise to keep in mind - don't try new recipies, or BBQ for first time - to serve to company ... even inlaws But good luck to you anyway. I'm sure you will get a bunch of UDS advice on here, listen to them, they know their chit!
Cheers,
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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I’m sure you have read this before in a thread or 70.
“IT’S DONE WHEN IT’S DONE”
Times are approximant you need to cook by the internal temp.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
elmatth
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Thanks for the advice, Monty. I did season the UDS before starting it up yesterday... am I supposed to do it again today before I cook? I know I probably don't have to use the UDS for the chickens, but i'm dying to break this thing in! Besides, I've gotta try one of these Fatties that I keep reading about! My in-laws are great, by the way, and are actually wanting me to try the new recipies out on them! My wife, on the other hand.... well, lets not get into that. j/k

I read on another forum that the fatties should be on for 3hrs at 250 degrees... does that sound right?

Also, I don't have a good food thermometer yet, so i'm going to be judging this by time and appearence like I do when I grill. Any advice on that?
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:21 PM   #5
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I "seasoned" mine with a fatty.
UDS acts like a big chimney, so when your thermo (assuming it is a standard one with about 6" probe lenght) reads 200, you are about 230 at the center of the grate. Use a wired probe digital if you want to be sure.
Put charcoal in basket and light it "minion method". Put basket in UDS. Top with cooking grate. Get up to temp (cooking temp). Add meat. Cover and let cook.

Its just that simple. If you use a digital probe, no need to check anything until you are almost to done temp. If you can't stand the temptation to pull the lid, shut down the intake air before you pull the lid.
Usually only needs one intake vent open to maintain temp. Leave the exhaust wide open all the time until you pull the meat.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ON THE FARM View Post
Iím sure you have read this before in a thread or 70.
ďITíS DONE WHEN ITíS DONEĒ
Times are approximant you need to cook by the internal temp.
nice quote....

My quote, "Its not done yet.....EXTENDING THE COCKTAIL HOUR!!!"
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:27 PM   #7
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where did you get your thermometer??

how much ?
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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elmatth, looks like a great job on the drum. Just wait until you and your guests tase the great Q you will turn out. Check the temps at the grate and compare to the side therm you took a picture of. When my barrels are at 200 on the side therm, the grate temp will be at 230. That seems to hold true with about all drums. Whole birds will be about 3 hours, wrapped thighs a little less. And the wonderful fatties total of three hours as well. On the fatties, I smoke for two hours, wrap and back in smoker for 45 minutes, then unwrap and back on the smoker for 15 minutes. That is just my favorite way and some others may do a little different. Check the temps on the chicken after an hour and a half to see how quick they cook to 180 degrees in the thigh. I have had them cook in two hours before and sometimes it may take 4 hours. Just keep an eye on it and you will be the new BBQ King in Chicago!!! Good luck brother!!!
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Unread 10-03-2008, 12:43 PM   #9
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Nice build and I like the pic with all the parts laid out.

Butts are pretty easy. I don't foil. 225-250 until internal temp reads 200-205. Rest the meat. Sometimes I use a cooler, sometimes not. Pull. Sauce. Eat.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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elmatth, also I wouldn't run the initial temp up much past your target temp. Adjust when you are close and let it settle in for a few minutes. Temps are hard to get back down in a drum. Like real hard sometimes. You may get a temp spike anytime you open the barrel and close it back up. Just let it settle back down without making adjustments.
Hope this helps a little and all goes well!
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Unread 10-03-2008, 01:10 PM   #11
elmatth
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I'm going to have to find a good digital thermometer now! But don't have one for tonights meal, so thanks Meat Burner for the time estimates. I've read several posts on the temp being approx 30 degrees different at the grate, so I was going to take that into consideration as standard for mine too, until I get a thermometer. Well, dinner is at 5:30, so I better get things started heating up.

Thanks again to everyone who's replied, I'll check back after I get things started for any other great advice.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 01:12 PM   #12
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Kitch, if the question on the thermometer was for me, it's just a standard cheap smoker thermometer from wally world.

I'm gonna have to see what type of digital thermometers everyone is using before I buy, so I can see what works and what doesn't.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmatth View Post
Kitch, if the question on the thermometer was for me, it's just a standard cheap smoker thermometer from wally world.

I'm gonna have to see what type of digital thermometers everyone is using before I buy, so I can see what works and what doesn't.

what I wanted to know...

hmmm.....

I'm building an USD for my broinlaw maybe I could just get a cheapo thermometer (IN-law can't be as good as me mod)
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Unread 10-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #14
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elmatth:

If you don't have the tools to check internal temperatures consider this:

You can also judge doneness by how the food is holding together (depending on the food). For example, if you tug on a chicken drumstick and it falls off, it's done. On a pork butt, if the bone portrudes from the butt, it's done.
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Unread 10-03-2008, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
elmatth, looks like a great job on the drum. Just wait until you and your guests tase the great Q you will turn out. Check the temps at the grate and compare to the side therm you took a picture of. When my barrels are at 200 on the side therm, the grate temp will be at 230. That seems to hold true with about all drums. Whole birds will be about 3 hours, wrapped thighs a little less. And the wonderful fatties total of three hours as well. On the fatties, I smoke for two hours, wrap and back in smoker for 45 minutes, then unwrap and back on the smoker for 15 minutes. That is just my favorite way and some others may do a little different. Check the temps on the chicken after an hour and a half to see how quick they cook to 180 degrees in the thigh. I have had them cook in two hours before and sometimes it may take 4 hours. Just keep an eye on it and you will be the new BBQ King in Chicago!!! Good luck brother!!!
I agree with (almost) all that he said! Take your time and it'll be done when it's done.... One other thing, do both the fatties or you won't even get a taste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
elmatth, also I wouldn't run the initial temp up much past your target temp. Adjust when you are close and let it settle in for a few minutes. Temps are hard to get back down in a drum. Like real hard sometimes. You may get a temp spike anytime you open the barrel and close it back up. Just let it settle back down without making adjustments.
Hope this helps a little and all goes well!
I agree... Leave the vents as they are and it'll settle back down in just a short time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
elmatth:

If you don't have the tools to check internal temperatures consider this:

You can also judge doneness by how the food is holding together (depending on the food). For example, if you tug on a chicken drumstick and it falls off, it's done. On a pork butt, if the bone portrudes from the butt, it's done.
You don't have to have a fancy digital probe, a cheap analog instant read work fine and I still use one on a regular basis...
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