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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
mwfaith1971
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Default Theory on UDS temperature

I'm still having an issue getting my UDS up to 325F when I start doing a whole chook, but I have a theory.

My UDS has the usual 3 3/4" inlets.

I think that I'm filling my charcoal basket too much. As the cook goes on my temp increases with the inlets open the same amount, so my thinking is that I should start with a half basket of charcoal instead of a full basket.

Does this hold any water or is it full of holes?

BTW, I have leakage around my lid (weber lid) but I'm going to make a gasket with it out of rtv.

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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
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No, that doesn't make sense. I see where you are going, but, no.

However, if you start with twice as many lit briquettes, in a full basket, you will come to temperature a lot faster. For a hotter cook, half a chimney of fully lit charcoal will get you hot in no time
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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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How about starting off with more lit coals, regardless of whether your basket is a third full, half full, or three quarters full.
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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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I should have added that I start with a full chimney of hot coals. Something if definitely amiss somewhere.

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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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You say you have 3/4" inlets, but the cheap valves even though they use 3/4" pipe actually have a passage of 1/2" or less. Don't know if this is the case here restricting airflow or not. Just a suggestion on something to consider looking at.

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Unread 08-31-2014, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
You say you have 3/4" inlets, but the cheap valves even though they use 3/4" pipe actually have a passage of 1/2" or less. Don't know if this is the case here restricting airflow or not. Just a suggestion on something to consider looking at.

.
I changed my inlets to gate over ball valves and they look like they are full bore instead of reducing down like the ball valves.

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Unread 08-31-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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Maybe not enough intake?
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Unread 08-31-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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How large is the exhaust, could be the exhaust is not drafting properly. A full chimney of completely lit charcoal launches my UDS up to 375°F+ in 10 minutes or so.
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Unread 08-31-2014, 07:52 PM   #9
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There's a rule of thumb that more intake air is better than less because you can always cut off what you don't need.....There's another rule, air in and out. You can have all the air in the world open but if you don't have the exhaust it won't matter.

Learn your pit and experiment, You'll figure it out.
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Unread 08-31-2014, 10:02 PM   #10
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Are you using a diffuser? I had one get all gummed up w/ drippings once and it seriously limited my top end temp.
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Unread 08-31-2014, 10:11 PM   #11
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That is weird but it is not rocket science. Fuel and air flow. That's about it. What are you using for a fire basket and how big is it. Bigger is better for air flow. Make sure your chimney briquettes are getting gray before you dump them into your fire basket surrounded by unlit briquettes. Leave the lid off for a couple minutes if you want high temps.
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Unread 08-31-2014, 10:48 PM   #12
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It could be the type of basket you are using. Is it constructed of expanded metal, or from a pot with holes drilled it it? If the latter, then you may not be getting enough air to the fuel source. Somehow there is not enough air to encourage ignition. How much air space is under and around the basket?

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Unread 09-01-2014, 12:37 AM   #13
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Did you do anything to the exhaust or are you using the one that came in the Weber lid? Here's why I ask. When I built my UDS I left the plug in the large bung on the lid and added an 18" long, 3" od stack in the center. Since I use a diffuser in mine, I figured that the heat coming up the sides and then exiting in the center would make for extremely even heat and it did. I actually checked it with 4 probes. 2 in my ET732 and 2 in my ET733, spaced at equal intervals around the top grate and it was right on the money. I also thought the stack looked pretty cool.



BUT... the stack proved to be problematic in other ways. For starters, it was heavy and unwieldy. It would often slip off the hook and crash to the ground when I had the lid off. It also provided too much draft. Just a slight intake adjustment made for some pretty big swings in temperature, and really quickly. I got to where I could control the heat pretty well, but it took absolutely minuscule adjustments to do so. Throttling the exhaust helped with this but it was hard for me to find a good balance.

I also discovered that on a windy day, the wind blowing across the top of the stack would suck the heat right up the stack and out of the drum. I had a tough time maintaining even 225° on those windy days until I discovered that If I simply put a wind block around the top of the stack I could easily reach and maintain 375° and likely plenty more if I wanted. I never tried to go above 375° as that's the hottest that I ever cook anyways and that's only on turkeys. I do a lot of turkeys, though.

I also disliked the flat lid due to kids and grandkids whining about the sooty condensate dripping back onto the meat. The condensate didn't seem to affect the taste at all, but... well... kids... grandkids... you get the picture. So, like you and so many others on here have done, I decided to adapt a Weber lid and I couldn't be more pleased with the results thus far.



I cooked on it Thursday and Friday with the Weber lid. Both times I used a half-chimney of lit lump, removed one intake cap and opened the gate valve halfway. Both times, it settled in quite easily at 223° and held there for the entire cook (upwards of 7 hours each time). I'm still tempted to close off the stock vent in the lid and add a stack to the center but that's just because I'm all kinds of OCD-crazy. Hopefully I can defeat the OCD and leave it alone but if I just can't help myself, I'll use a much smaller, much lighter stack.

Sorry for the long read. I try to be pretty thorough with information in order to answer any questions that guys might have and/or to get any suggestions from those of you that have been at this for longer than I have.
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Unread 09-01-2014, 07:06 AM   #14
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When I built my UDS I had 3 1" intake holes. 1 with a ball valve and 2 nipples with plugs. I could never get high temps. I drilled a 4th hole, took out the nipples and now use magnets. Problem solved.
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Unread 09-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwfaith1971 View Post
I'm still having an issue getting my UDS up to 325F when I start doing a whole cook, but I have a theory. My UDS has the usual 3 3/4" inlets. I think that I'm filling my charcoal basket too much. As the cook goes on my temp increases with the inlets open the same amount, so my thinking is that I should start with a half basket of charcoal instead of a full basket. BTW, I have leakage around my lid (weber lid) but I'm going to make a gasket with it out of rtv.
Matt
Don't worry about your leaking lid unless it is excessive, which it does not sound like it is. If the temp still slowly rises as your cook continues, you started cooking before your drum got to your desired temp. Like others mentioned, it is all about air flow. Without any other changes you could try leaving your lid off for 20 to 30 minutes after dumping on your hot coals and watch your temp, when it gets to your desired temp put the lid on, let the drum stabilize, then add your meat.
You probably do not have enough intake area to cook at 325 deg, if your using a deflector you really don't have enough intake area ( your exhaust must equal a 2 inch hole or more). Typically my temp below a deflector is 100 deg hotter than the temp at the top grate on average.
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