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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 02-16-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
smokeyw
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Default Butt Question (UDS)

I am doing my second butt cooking on my UDS. I have three, 8 Lb. butts going that have been on since 10:00 last night. Just like my last butt cooking, the temps ran steady 225 or so for the first 6 or 7 hours with 2 of the 3/4" nipples capped and the ball valve 3/4 way open. At that time the temperature dropped to around 195. I removed a cap and ran a rod through the nipple and shook the basket a little to shake the ashes down. I replced the cap, opened the ball valve up all the way and the temp began to rise. It got to about 225 and started falling again. I then removed one cap. Now I am running with one cap removed and the ball valve wide open. After about 45 minutes the temp is back up to 235 and still rising. I replace the one cap and leave the ball valve open and the temp begins dropping again. I am getting ready to remove the cap again. I have a theory that 3 butts dripping all of that grease in the coals is smothering it down and causing it to need more air. Has anyone else experienced this and do you have any theories on it? By the way, I am running a mix of about half Royal Oak lump and Kingsford blue.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
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I suspect you hit the nail on the head with the too much drippings theory. If you wanted to curtain this problem a little, you could wrap one or more of the butts. Eight hours of smoke is plenty as far as flavor goes so wrapping them shouldn't hurt you there. If you wrap them until 180 or 185 and then lose the foil and let them go the reset of the way to 195/200 to let the bark firm back up, I think you'll still be fairly happy with the result.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 06:41 AM   #3
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Mine will do this when my fuel level starts to get low. That's my best guess. How big and full was your basket?
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:17 AM   #4
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The fuel is not low. I have done an 18 hour burn and had at least 2 more hours of fuel. It only does this if I load it down heavily with meat. I gave it more air and it is chugging along nicely now at 230 degrees.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
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I have the same issue when my butts get to about 160-170. Drippings smothering the coals is the conclusion I came to as well.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:43 AM   #6
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I use a drip tray: catching the drippings gives you a good stock base, in your case the fire will burn cleaner; and perhaps as important as any... cleanup is much easier.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Crunch View Post
Mine will do this when my fuel level starts to get low. That's my best guess. How big and full was your basket?
^^^ That’s my guess. I think you need to replenish your charcoal. Drip pan would also help.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
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I have a UDS. I have cooked multiple Butts at once (4 on the rack). When I cook this amount of Butts the drippings do become a factor. For quick and Easy I place a charcoal grate(from a 22 1/2) on top of my charcoal basket. I then place an aluminum foil pan on top of that. You can arrange anyway you want, letting some drip into the pan and some drip on the coals to get that aithentic UDS flavor. I also find that when I cook 4 butts my cooker is moister then with 2- makes sense I know but the humidity level is really high with multiple butts.

_ You should never have to replenish charcoal in your UDS_
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Unread 02-16-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1226 View Post
I have a UDS. I have cooked multiple Butts at once (4 on the rack). When I cook this amount of Butts the drippings do become a factor. For quick and Easy I place a charcoal grate(from a 22 1/2) on top of my charcoal basket. I then place an aluminum foil pan on top of that. You can arrange anyway you want, letting some drip into the pan and some drip on the coals to get that aithentic UDS flavor. I also find that when I cook 4 butts my cooker is moister then with 2- makes sense I know but the humidity level is really high with multiple butts.

_ You should never have to replenish charcoal in your UDS_
Makes sense to me. Since I readjusted the air, the temp has remained constant at about 230 for 4 hours now. I have one cap off and the ball valve 1/2 open. I'll have pron later
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Unread 02-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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Heres my attempt at 4 butts. Notice on the bottom all the condensation running out of the bottom of my drum. This was before it sealed up real good with fat, grease and creosote. It took all 3 3/4" intakes wide open to maintain 225*. None of the butts were trimmed. I trim my butts quite a bit now, but thats another topic,.

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Unread 02-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #11
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The 3 butts turned out pretty good. After I had to give it more air this morning, it stayed rock solid at 130 degrees until I finished and shut off all the air intakes. It took a total of 14 hours.




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Unread 02-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
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They look good!

Consumption on the UDS is weird, and very dependent on outside temps. I have done 24 hour burns before, but recently ran out of fuel at 15 hours on a butt cook (stupid thing was 13.5#'s, took forever, lunch turned into dinner) because it was so cold outside.
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Unread 02-17-2011, 05:30 AM   #13
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After completing my 3 butts, I really do suspect that the grease and moisture had something to do with the temperature drop at about 6 hours. I gave it more air and the temp was rock solid until the smoking was complete (14 1/2 hours). I shut the air off when completed and the smoker went out very quickly. When I checked the charcoal later, I had about 1/3 of the basket left. There was a lot of water in the bottom of the drum and some grease. Hence my theory about the moisture and grease smother the fire some. The butts were really moist. It is pretty amazing to me that these drums produce such moist meat while cooking over direct heat and with no water pan.
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