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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 02-25-2017, 05:25 AM   #1
Dgrudus
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Join Date: 02-20-17
Location: Toms River nj
Default UDS temp maintenance

I'm struggling maintaining temp for longer cooks on my uds. I'm good for about 4 hours then the temp slowly drops and I can't seem to get it back steady. I've read the various threads and have tried everything. Went from KBB to stubs to red oak lump. Slightly better results with stubs and lump but still lose temp after awhile. Raised my basket to 3 1/2" high with 3 3/4 intakes at 1 1/2". Basket is expanded metal around Weber grate. Also running 2" exhaust. I load the basket pretty full, shake to settle the fuel in, light about 15 kbb when ashed I over I put them in the center. Run with 1 intake wide open gives about 260 degrees. An occasional shake/kick during the cook sometimes buys me a little more time. Opening the intakes buys a little time too but once I start need to keep opening more every half hour. Any other ideas to get longer steady temps? I'm now debating investing in a partyq or iq110. I'm envious of all the folks that set and forget their uds....

Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:03 AM   #2
Nuco59
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Is puzzling. If you have held a temp- 260- for 4 hours, I have to assume you don't have a wind problem stealing your heat.
I see nothing wrong with your build as it's described- it's pretty bone stock. Only obvious difference to my rig is I use a square basket - some would call it "purdy small" for a UDS. 12" x 12" x 6" tall - all expando and run cheapo KBB- no lump. I have few issues with temp- cruises along at 300 for the 4-7 hours I need it to- with a kick to settle ashes about 4 hours in. I don't use a big basket or ask it to run for 15 hours. (anything I cook is either done in 6 hours or finished off the oven- by preference not need). I'm going to have to let the marathon uds users chime in. Good luck, buddy.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:04 AM   #3
mikemci
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Do you have elbows and risers on your intakes?
Are you using a diffuser?
How much fuel is left at the end of your cook?
Can you post pics of your smoker and charcoal basket?
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:25 AM   #4
ebijack
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Like mentioned, if you have elbows and stand pipes on your intakes. That could be one of the problems.
Do you have a stack/pipe for your exhaust? Without a stack, the wind can/will blow down thru the exhaust into the drum. And with to much restriction in the intakes. It is quite possible that the drum will not draft properly. Putting out your coals.
Do you clean out the ashes after each cook? Ash build up is also a reason coals will go out.
It is all about air flow.
Photos can help us alot on seeing problems. Once you get a few posts.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:58 AM   #5
Dgrudus
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Location: Toms River nj
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Thanks for the replies.

No standpipes on intakes. Started with them and quickly learned they caused problems. I do have a stack on the exhaust. I do clean out the ashes between cooks. When I moved to stubs and lump I noticed a big diff in ash left over. At the end of running the drum with these I checked and still had good clearance under the basket for air flow. I do use a diffuser. Around 14" stone I borrowed from my BGE knockoff. At the end of cooks I don't have much fuel left over. It does seem to burn the majority of the fuel just not consistent temp.

I have pics and will post them next
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:15 AM   #6
AussieMatt
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Get rid of the stone and use a cheap aluminium pizza pan with a lot of holes drilled in it. I'm thinking the stone is one GIANT heatsink.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:27 AM   #7
Dgrudus
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Join Date: 02-20-17
Location: Toms River nj
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A few pics. I will give the pizza pan a try next. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:42 AM   #8
JS-TX
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Is that how much fuel you are left with or is that how much you are starting with? Sometimes big pieces of lump don't catch easy, you have to pack that basket pretty tight when using lump. The stone does absorb some heat but not enough to make that much of a difference.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:28 PM   #9
ebijack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgrudus View Post
I'm struggling maintaining temp for longer cooks on my uds. I'm good for about 4 hours then the temp slowly drops and I can't seem to get it back steady. You have choked the coals down at that point to far. You need more air to start with to insure you have a good coal bed going.
I load the basket pretty full, shake to settle the fuel in, light about 15 kbb when ashed I over I put them in the center. Run with 1 intake wide open gives about 260 degrees. You are running border line air flow enough to keep the stone warm/hot, let alone heat meat
An occasional shake/kick during the cook sometimes buys me a little more time. Opening the intakes buys a little time too but once I start need to keep opening more every half hour. Again you are choking the coals out, making your cooks even longer. Keep one open and use another valve to adjust. I don't believe your valves are a 3/4 thru the valve.
At the end of cooks I don't have much fuel left over. That would suggest you have a slow air leak. Your drum should drop in temp by alot after 30 mins.
Thanks for any suggestions
Hope that might help point you on where to look.
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:29 PM   #10
PorkinButts82
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Bigger intakes and check for leaks?!

There's so much back and forth about having risers and not having risers. Mine are 18", with 3 3/4" valves (2 ball and one capped nipple tbat i use to get up over 300*)done about 8 or 10 cooks on my drum. Have to play with the valves a few times to get my temp that I want (about 250-275)but once I get it locked in it stays there with a little fluctuation here and there. I have 3.5" legs on my basket between the basket and the ash pan as well.

I'm going to remove my risers today, cap the through holes for the u bolts, attach my valaves so it is direct intake to my drum. I guess I will see where that gets me with temps.

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Old 02-27-2017, 04:53 PM   #11
zippy12
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Difuser plates eat charcoal faster!
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS-TX View Post
Is that how much fuel you are left with or is that how much you are starting with? Sometimes big pieces of lump don't catch easy, you have to pack that basket pretty tight when using lump. The stone does absorb some heat but not enough to make that much of a difference.
Good question......

That basket looks a little bigger than 5 gallon bucket size. It may be too big around. Mine is barely 5 gallons around and just as tall. And it should be at least 3/4 full of charcoal when you start. And don't get hung up on a certain amount to light and start with. I use the leftovers from the last smoke to start mine with. Usually a full chimneys worth of used coal.
And maybe not enough intake. I'm a fan of Stubbs too.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:51 PM   #13
Nuco59
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Not enough intake? Can't tell. If he's running 3 actual 3/4" holes or 3/4" full bore valves, he has plenty of intake (sufficient anyway) Go back and take a look at the HUGE UDS thread- lots of UDS's made with 3 x3/4" valves back in the day. Nothing changed with physics over the years. Put more /bigger holes in the drum- just means you have to close off more running at normal temps. (bigger /more intakes will allow you to run at higher temps-but that was not the problem cited)
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:03 AM   #14
ebijack
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