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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 07-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #16
Sean "Puffy" Coals
is one Smokin' Farker
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Join Date: 03-29-10
Location: Buffalo, NY

Originally Posted by Howtobrew View Post
How far above the top of the firebox should the diffuser or grease catchpan be?
A few inches. I'd say no more than 6. The higher you go, the less effective it will be, and it may interfere with the smoke flowing around the meat.

Originally Posted by Howtobrew View Post
What is the minimum distance between the top of the firebox to the food grate?
Most people say 24" from the bottom of the coals to the cooking grate. That doesn't do you much good if your coal basket is 22" tall.

I say, if you're using a diffuser/grease pan, 6" - 8" above that. Or about 12" - 16" from the top of your coal basket.
"Eating 'Que isn't making me fat- it's the beer I drink while lounging by the pit."
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #17
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Join Date: 04-03-10
Location: Cypress TX

I just added a grate 3 or so inches below my cooking grate and throw a piece of foil on it with some holes poked in it. Works like a champ.
J Crunch
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:33 AM   #18
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Join Date: 12-08-09
Location: Turlock, California

Perhaps asked and answered, but... Why does a diffuser/pan/clay pot increase the amount of fuel that is consumed?

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Old 07-08-2010, 10:43 PM   #19
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Join Date: 07-02-10
Location: La Crescenta, CA

It must be because it acts as a heat sink or radiant heat shield to the food, causing you to open the air port more to burn the coals hotter, and thereby consuming them faster.

Here's my next question: How deep does everyone set the top grate? Can you fit a turkey in there without using a Weber lid or does that put the grill too close to the coals causing flare-ups?

I bought the 1 ft diameter weber charcoal grate to use as the fire box base, and I am looking for 1 ft tall expanded metal mesh for the sides. I am thinking I can set the grate two inches up from the bottom to create the ash-relief and get good airflow, leaving 10 inches for loading coals. Sound like a plan?
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:20 AM   #20
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Join Date: 01-15-10
Location: Oak Park, CA. Ventura County 91377

I think you want the larger Weber charcoal grate that is closer to 16" for the base of your basket. The larger diameter will catch / burn the drippings better. My experience with cooking fatty beef ribs showed me the fat is converted to fuel by a UDS... crazy but true.

I built mine 12" tall but that is really more than you need.... and heavy! 8 or 10" tall will hold more than enough for 12 hour cooks. I got the flattened 12" x 60" x 3/4" x #9 expanded metal as a "scrap" from Ramcast metal for $20. (9165 Glenoaks Blvd., Sun Valley, CA 91352)

Mount it on a 18" flat pizza pan with 2 to 3 inch risers made of bolts or whatever. That way you can push the ash off the pizza pan into the trash without dumping the good leftover coals out of the basket.

I have not tried a diffuser or water pan... it is VERY moist in there when cooking and my family likes the flavor.
Bruce B.

Building "Robot", my UDS:
UDS "Robot" (the easy smoke oven), CL CharGriller w/sfb, Stok Quattro
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #21
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Join Date: 02-20-10
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There are no minimums or maximums, if it works for you ,it's all good. There may be guidelines to follow, I say break all the rules and innovate. Think outside the box.
"When I was in Canada, I had a lot of time to think."- Doug Sahm
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Last edited by expatpig; 04-12-2011 at 08:17 AM..
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