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Old 09-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
Take a breath!
Hozman's Avatar
Join Date: 09-07-11
Location: Grain Valley, MO via Big Sky country
Default to water pan or not to water pan

Trying to get some temperature control in my UDS. Thought about going with a water pan to absorb some of the heat but concerned water pan will add to much moisture to the drum.

Already was told to go with smaller chimney load. Wanted some input as I am firing it up in the morning.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: 04-25-11
Location: Valdese, NC

What kind of temp control issues are you having?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
somebody shut me the fark up.
Join Date: 01-26-10
Location: Virginia

I use and have always only used a 16" round terra cotta tray as a diffuser. I have no problem with dry BBQ and no trouble with temp control.

Now, how much and the way my fuel is started can cause some temp problems but they are usually always brought back into control by just adjusting the input vent.

I don't buy the whole water pan theory, myself. But, I've never struggled with temps in my UDS so what do I know?

Good luck, bro. Just keep trying things until you find what works for you. That's going to be the best way too cook BBQ.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #4
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Join Date: 09-07-11
Location: Grain Valley, MO via Big Sky country

My UDS runs straight and true at 270*. This is with all intakes closed and 2 1" exit vents open. I love this temp for my brisket and butts. I would like to get the temp down to around 220-225* for ribs/fish.

My process was/is fill my charcoal basket and mix in some chunks then add a full chimney to that. Talking to some other guys they are saying a full chimney is too much and try 1/2 chimney.

So am going to do that in morning but was also considering the water pan idea. Always open up an intake if needed to bring temp up.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: St. Louis

I light my WSM (with or without pan some days) with about 12 lit briquettes. I think you're using too much lit. A WSM without a water wan/diffuser is pretty much the same as a UDS. Start it lower and try easing it up.

I just finished a UDS tonight and will be firing it up tomorrow. For a diffuser, when desired in it, I bought a clay pot base. That's all I use in my WSMs as well. Don't need water, it's just there to even up the heat, but I don't like refilling. Clay pot, like a pizza stone, does the same thing.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN

Yeah when I want 225 I'll only light and add about 6-8 briquettes or enough to JUST cover the wires at the bottom of the chimney to my fuel basket. I've never added a full chimney. Sounds like with that much lit coals, you're lighting too much other coals from them throughout the cook. Try and adding only a few coals and slowly bring it up to 225 and then shut down the intakes to get it to cruise. Some drums just have a sweet spot that's hard to fight though.

I've never tried the water pan in my UDS. It works well with the ECB, but that's like a WSM and is designed as a water smoker. The UDS is not.

BUT, as Bo said.....fiind what works for you. Give it a try and see if that helps.
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