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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 01-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #16
jrn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
Harder to control an empty cooker and IMO a waste of charcoal and time. For the things we cook, holding an exact temperature is rarely critical.

Others have made good suggestions and I will only add that you should also keep the lid on. Each time you open that up, you admit fresh air that will affect the fire. Likewise if the cooker is in a breezy location, that could make temperature control more difficult.

As others have said, be patient with your changes and don't worry, better temperature control will come with practice.
Charcoal is a lot cheaper than a brisket. And learning ones cooker is hardly a waste of time. :)
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Unread 01-30-2013, 09:30 AM   #17
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BBQ guru digiQ dx2 and never worry again, cook the best Q of your life
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Unread 01-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
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As stated make small changes it takes about 15 min to see the results of a change. Try and catch the temp on the way up, it is easier than wrestling to get it down.
Start with a Full Basket of Lump 4-5 fist sized chunks of wood buried in the lump. light up 8-10 briquettes in a chimney, once ashed over place on top of the lump let it sit 10 min as the lump catches it will start "snapping" . Lower the basket in the drum, Open all the intakes and wait 5 min to warm up the drum, put on the lid open the exhaust. Watch the thermo when the temp gets to 150 close off 1 intake, at 210 close off the next one and choke the valve by 1/4 and let it settle in for 20 min make final adjustment as necessary. YMMV
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Unread 01-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
BBQ guru digiQ dx2 and never worry again, cook the best Q of your life
If you didn't have all that crap you couldn't cook
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Unread 01-30-2013, 09:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Charcoal is a lot cheaper than a brisket. And learning ones cooker is hardly a waste of time. :)
Yes and yes. And when you're done, you have nothing but some ash. From the OP "They came out pretty good" so why should he waste time and charcoal when he can make something that's pretty good?
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:00 AM   #21
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Im a new UDS user also, and can relate to your issue. I also did dry runs, a few of them, 3 actually before using a 2 pound shoulder. Stay calm, dont over adjust things, or you will never get it under control. i also suggest lighting only 8 maybe 9 briquets to start it, anymore than that i feel makes the heat rise to quickly and without knowing your drum to well will get out of control fast. I learned this when i seasoned my drum. And you have prime air control with ball valves, my UDS has magnets that curl when they get warm and they are propped up with sticks (im fixing this) and i did my first small butt fine, i think. You'll get it i though i wasnt going to either but its coming around.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:09 AM   #22
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My only suggestion would be to change from "can't figure it out" to "haven't figured it out yet". You'll get there - just keep working with it. Most people, myself included, have a learning curve with any new cooker.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
Yes and yes. And when you're done, you have nothing but some ash. From the OP "They came out pretty good" so why should he waste time and charcoal when he can make something that's pretty good?

I hear ya and agree. I was thinking back to my first cooks. When I was having trouble controlling temps on top of the added stress of ruining my meat. I found it less stressful to try do a dry run. To take some time and experiment a little. Then after a couple of hours of playing with it and achieving a steady temp, add a fatty or two. Something on the cheaper side. I agree though, there's no reason to let it run on for hours. Just maybe that he could scale it back a bit until he gained more confidence.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
If you didn't have all that crap you couldn't cook
Ha! Bludawg how did I know you were going to say that?
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:18 AM   #25
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The best advice I can give anyone is:
#1 Take your time
#2 Get to know your cooker
#3 Have Fun
repeat....
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Unread 01-30-2013, 10:34 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8man View Post
The best advice I can give anyone is:
#1 Take your time
#2 Get to know your cooker
#3 Have Fun
repeat....
Yeah the link in N8mans sig helped me a lot when I first entered the drum world.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 11:28 AM   #27
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I would suggest not to place all of the lit coals over the complete pile of unlit at the beginning when starting your fire. Find an old coffee can (#10) and remove the top and bottom. Place the can in the center of your fire basket (mine is round) and fill around the can and basket with unlit charcoals. Place a few coals in the coffee can and ignite. I sometime use a torch or I dump lit coals from a chimney starter using long cooking mitts. Remove coffee can. Close all bottom vents except one and leave all top vents open to start. Use a digital temp gauge to monitor and tweak from this point forward as temps start to rise.
Good luck and I hope this helps.

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Unread 01-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #28
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This is the easiest process I have determined...

1. Intermix your coals and smoking wood in you basket to your desired level not more that 4/5 to the top..

2. Lite about fifteen briquettes or 1/2 -3/4 chimney of lump in your chinney.

3. open all vents on the bottom and top of the smoker 100%.

4. when coals are ashed over pour on top of the basket and destribute evenly as possible.

5. after about 10 minutes close 1 or 2 bottom intake vents (depending if you have 3 or 4 intakes)...

6. 1/2-3/4 way to your cooking temp close another vent and pay close attention to your temp.... you should still have one vent 100% open... if temp does not continue to rise or drops more than 10 deg. in 10-15 minutes, you will need to atleast patially open one more intake vent....

If you have ball valves use them slowly easing them close fractions of the opening at a time... Look down in the valve and watch how much you are really closing it, to get a visual perspective on the actual opening...
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:05 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
If you didn't have all that crap you couldn't cook
I am fairly certain that even after I get all that crap I still wouldn't be able to cook... but that won't stop me from faking it!
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