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Old 03-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
is Blowin Smoke!
Join Date: 09-07-10
Location: Chicago, IL - West burbs
Default UDS Charcoal Usage Example - Pron

I know a lot of new UDS used struggle with how much charcoal to use, etc. I know that I still am after a dozen + cooks. So, I thought I would post an example from a last week's brisket cook.

This is my basket before & after a 12.5 hour cook, with drum temps averaging 245* to 255*.

Sorry, I didn't get the exact same photo angle, but you can see very little charcoal usage. I started with an 11# bag of Royal Oak Briquette with a few old briquette and some leftover chips of RO Lump. It was about 8" - 9" deep in the basket. When I pulled the basket out today I was shocked at what I found. About 6" deep of charcoal with many unburned, new look brisket around the edges.

This is what it looked like after 12.5 of cook time!:

I pulled 20 of the new looking briquettes out of the basket and threw them in the chimney for today's rib cook. Shook the basket a little, place a chuck of apple in the middle and then dumped the lit coals on the top center. Worked great.

I'll use a lot less charcoal next time. But, I've learned that it works better to have more than enough. I think it is best to finish with a solid layer on the bottom of the basket - I think.

I hope this helps someone.

Proudly Smoking on a UDS, PBC &
Accidental Winner of the 2012 "Saucy" Throwdown.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: 03-04-11
Location: Springfield, MO

Great to know! I have a UDS I have not used yet and was wondering how much to put in and what to expect. Thanks for the pics! Sure didnt use much.....
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 01-19-11
Location: Lee's Summit, MO

My basket dimensions are roughly the same and it took three separate 12+ hour cooks in the 225-250* range to get the coals down to the last 1-2" in the bottom of the basket. Precise air intake control is a beautiful thing, isn't it?
"If I were just a bit more humble, I'd be perfect"
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 01-03-11
Location: Smithfield, North Carolina

My basket is 14" diameter by 9" tall. I always fill it up and have never run out during a cook. I did one 18 hour cook and had probably 2 to 4 hours of charcoal left. I usually cook at 225 to 250. The good thing about the UDS is you can shut off the air when you are done cooking and it will go out. Next time, just fill up the basket agagin. No waste
Fired Up Smokers KCBS Team, Smokey W's Pit Que NCPC Team / 2011 NCPC Whole Hog State Champion
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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Join Date: 04-24-09
Location: Utrecht,TheNetherPharkinglands

The Large,Midi en Small charcoal baskets are all almost Philled to the rim.
Everytime I do a cook I just shake the basket a bit and dump about 16-18 hot briqs on top.
When I almost can see the bottom of the charcoalbasket I take the used briqs out,Phill the basket with Phresh briqs and put the used briqs on top.
It takes about 3-4 months when I have to clean out the basket and ashtray of the 55gal. UDS.

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