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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 06-25-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
smokeyw
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Default Tuning a UDS

I have two Ugly Drum Smokers and absolutely love cooking on them. However, I know that on average, the temp. is 75 degrees hotter in the center than it is near the side. This varies some depending on how the fire is burning in the basket, etc. I have learned this over time, confirmed it, and since I know it, I have learned to adjust for it and deal with it. In general it is not a big issue. I am wondering though if anyone has experienced the same thing and maybe played with a diffuser to even the temp. out. I am considering a round diffuser plate of some kind with holes in it that will still allow the drippings to fall in the coals. I like the flavor created by the drippings in the coals and have no interest in a water pan. I would appreciate any opinions or experiences on this.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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I too have noticed this and its really annoying if you have your grate maxed out with butts or other chunks of meat that are hard to rotate. What I did was mount and extra grate jut above the charcoal basket and I set a few of those cheap weber aluminum pans in the center. Still allows alot to fall into the coals and works wonders on diffusing the heat on the cheap. Also helps to keep your fire from going out when those butts start to plateau by catching and holding some of the drippings.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
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A large stainless steel colander/strainer usually works as a draining diffuser.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
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Question.

How are you starting your coals? What is your procedure when adding live coals? Thanks.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
Question.

How are you starting your coals? What is your procedure when adding live coals? Thanks.
Not sure if this is addressed to me, but I use a weed burner outside of the drum and then lower the basket in. Then place my grate and foil trays. I've never had to add fuel to my uds even on a 14+ hour cook.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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My basket is 14" in diameter and 10" tall. I fill it full with a mix of Royal Oak lump and Kingsford blue with 2 or 3 fist sized hunks of hardwood. I light about a dozen coals in a chimney starter and then dump in the basket. I use a Pitmaster iQue to control the temp. When smoking 3 butts, I clip the probe to the iQue dead center along with my Maverick probe. Whensmoking a 15 pound brisket packer, I have to clip on the side because so much of the grate is covered. I have to adjust the iQue depending on where I am able to clip the probe. I also have a 12" turkey fryer thermometer just under the grate. It is dead on with the setting on the iQue and the Maverick when I can clip in the center, but always hotter if I have to clip the iQue and Maverick probes to the side. I don't have an issue controlling the temperature. I just have a large difference from the center to the side. It makes since to me since the basket is dead center and there is a space on the outside of the drum with no fire.

Thanks for the replies.
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