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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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Old 11-06-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
CarlWayne
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Default UDS questions from a newbie

Where do I need to mount the thermometer? Also I bought a old smokey BBQ thermometer. Will that be good enough to get the hang of using the grill?

I'm to the seasoning stage. I understand spraying the inside with Pam but do I load the basket with charcoal and start it from there and how long? Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
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Most people mount the thermometer right under the cooking grate. Since you need room to get the charcoal basket in and out, there are a number of different solutions on how to slide the thermometer in and out depending on how long the probe is. Any thermometer should work, just be sure it is accurate by testing it in boiling water.

As for seasoning, I rubbed the inside of my drum down with crisco, threw on a fatty and did a few hours of cooking (let it continue to cook after pulling off the fatty.) I would got 3-4 hours the first time, there should be a nice black coating inside when you are done. Be sure to post picutres of the beauty when you are done. I love my drum and wouldn't trade it for the world. I have had mine going since August and have smoked more food in the last 2 months than I have in the 10 prior years, mainly due to the ease of use and awesome flavor!
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlWayne View Post
Where do I need to mount the thermometer? Also I bought a old smokey BBQ thermometer. Will that be good enough to get the hang of using the grill?

I'm to the seasoning stage. I understand spraying the inside with Pam but do I load the basket with charcoal and start it from there and how long? Thanks!
Mount your old smokey right under your grill grate,how long is the stem on that thermometer 2 1/2 inch? If so I don't think 2 1/2 inch stem would give a real great accurate reading but it's better then nothing. You can use whatever oil/lard you want to season it, start up that charcoal basket with 5# of coal/lump/briquets and get something to cook then when your grubs done eat it and let the uds continue to run maybe open up all the valves to crank up the heat until the fuel burns out. Good luck and enjoy your new baby that will crank out some great Q!
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Last edited by AustinKnight; 11-06-2011 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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I seasoned my drum with the cheapest can of non-stick spray I could find. Liberally coated, and fired it up to 350 for several hours, done.

For accurate grate temps, the probe needs to be placed under the cooking grate as close to the center as possible. This means you need an 8 to 12" probe that extends to the center of cooking grate maybe 1/4" below it. If using 2 cooking grates, I'd place it under the top grate, if you feel the need, you can install one under each grate.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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My probe is like 2 inches long. I have a feeling I bought the wrong thing. Will it still work?
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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I have made and seasoned quite a few UDS's.
I put the thermo right under the top grate keeping in mind that you don't want it to be too long or you will have a problem removing your second or third grate.

To season, I have always just fired up the UDS to about 275-300 degrees and put some really fat meat (cheap tubed fatties) on the top grate. Don't use a drip pan but do have a dust catcher under your fire basket. I let them cook until my basket of briquets is gone or the sausage is toast. 3 hours minimum. The drum gets a beautiful amber color and smells just great!
Then feed the cooked sausage to your dog! Ready to go.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:51 PM   #7
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If you're not using a diffuser, the outer portion of the smoker is gonna read lower than the middle/inner portion.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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Then feed the cooked sausage to your dog! Ready to go.
LOL nice
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillywannaQ View Post
If you're not using a diffuser, the outer portion of the smoker is gonna read lower than the middle/inner portion.
So can I get by with my thermo or what can I do to fix this problem
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:23 AM   #10
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I have the same thermometer in my UDS. My solution is that I know it runs a few degrees cool, so I just remember to account for it when adjusting my temps. If you want, you could get a cheap oven thermometer to put on the middle of the grate to get a more accurate reading there and then compare that to the what the old smokey thermometer tells you.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
I seasoned my drum with the cheapest can of non-stick spray I could find. Liberally coated, and fired it up to 350 for several hours, done.

For accurate grate temps, the probe needs to be placed under the cooking grate as close to the center as possible. This means you need an 8 to 12" probe that extends to the center of cooking grate maybe 1/4" below it. If using 2 cooking grates, I'd place it under the top grate, if you feel the need, you can install one under each grate.
This is right on. I made the early mistake of relying on a short, side-mounted probe for the first number of cooks, before I figured out that I was reading about 50 degrees cooler than the actual cooking area. Very irritating!

So you can either rely on the side-mounted thermometer, and then just add 50 degrees or so based on experience, or you can do what I did -- which was to put an additional cheap oven thermometer on the cooking grate right next to the meat, and when I believe I'm at the right temp, I take a quick peek just to confirm. Remember -- a QUICK peek! Too long, and you mess up temps again.

Every drum is different, and runs with its own quirks and personality. You need to learn yours, and just roll with it. Also keep in mind that a lot of drums will fight you at 225. My drum settles in nicely at about 240, and I'm more than happy to give her the extra 15 degrees to keep her happy over extended cooks.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw View Post
I have the same thermometer in my UDS. My solution is that I know it runs a few degrees cool, so I just remember to account for it when adjusting my temps. If you want, you could get a cheap oven thermometer to put on the middle of the grate to get a more accurate reading there and then compare that to the what the old smokey thermometer tells you.
I also have the Old Smokey's on my UDS. They are better than the turkey cheepos. They will work just fine for what you are doing. I use the Old Smokey's for a quick reference of the temp. Ask Santa for a Maverick ET-732 and you will use that more than anything else.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
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Check e-bay for a good thermometer with a 12" probe.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:43 AM   #14
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I bought a 30$ electronic meat thermometer with a little wireless remote display. I just stick the probe through a tiny potato and leave it sitting on the grill next to my meat. This way I can see what the temp is from inside the house. Also I can move the probe around to see the temperature near the side...in the center etc.

Of course once Santa sends you that maverick 732 it'll do the same thing...
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:52 AM   #15
CarlWayne
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So should I mount my old smokey on the outside and buy a 12" thermo probe from like Walmart? Just lay it on the grill grate and compare the temps while I season it?
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