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Old 05-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
bimmerdad
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Default UDS Flat Lid not tight

Hi All,

I have a flat lid for my UDS and so far, if I don't use the clamp that secures the lid to the drum, the lid does not sit flat on the drum which of course allows smoke to escape. My lid seems to be a little warped.

I've seen several photos of other UDS builds where the lid seems to sit flat on the drum. I do have a Weber kettle lid I was thinking of using but I would need to add a metal strip around the inside of the drum and that would mean I could no longer use my flat lid and I don't know if I want to do that yet.

Any suggestions on what I can do to get my lid to sit flat on the drum? I really would like to solve this problem with the flat lid.

Thanks

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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I had a local shop cut the rim off the flat lid and weld it to the Weber lid, I then smeared some high temp silicone on the inside seam and it works like a champ. This weekend I am going to clean the rim and put a tight layer of felt around it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Get a high heat gasket such as the one used on the BGE's or the rope gaskets.

http://www.bbqgaskets.com/catalog_1.html

That should help seal the flat lid.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Ok maybe a dumb question but so what if it is not perfectly sealed? As long as only smoke is escaping and it is not acting like an inlet why worry?
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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@GreenDrake, Thanks for the info, that's something I might have to consider.

@Aawa, I think the lid would need to be even (not warped) for that to work, but I could be wrong.

There has got to be a way to get this thing to lay flat, I couldn't be the only one who has had this problem...

Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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If you're able to completely snuff out the coals at the end of the cook I wouldn't worry about the leaky lid.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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I thought about that but I thought I may have temp control issue. I guess you're saying gaps around the lid are just letting out more exhaust air and that shouldn't effect my temps that much?

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Originally Posted by zzrudyzz View Post
Ok maybe a dumb question but so what if it is not perfectly sealed? As long as only smoke is escaping and it is not acting like an inlet why worry?
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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I really haven't tried to snuff out the coals without using the locking ring. I can give it a try and see.

I also thought about putting a few heavy objects on the lid where it's not flat but that would look awful tacky....

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If you're able to completely snuff out the coals at the end of the cook I wouldn't worry about the leaky lid.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerdad View Post
I thought about that but I thought I may have temp control issue. I guess you're saying gaps around the lid are just letting out more exhaust air and that shouldn't effect my temps that much?
Depends on how warped. A little leakage wouldn't be a big deal but a bigger leak would make it harder to hold a temperature consistently.

disclaimer: I do not have a UDS but have a cabinet style smoker that is same basic principle just bigger. It had small air leaks on some of the trim and it still worked great.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerdad View Post
I thought about that but I thought I may have temp control issue. I guess you're saying gaps around the lid are just letting out more exhaust air and that shouldn't effect my temps that much?
Yea my lid leaks some not a big deal i just try to get it as tight as possible and if some smoke comes out i dont sweat it. I can hold temp pretty well. I originally tried to make a gasket for it but turned out to be more of a headache than it was worth.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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You can flatten out the bend/warped flat lid with a little over bending here and there. Do so in small increments and mark the spots before and after bending. good luck.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Thought about that also. At this point that might be the best I can do and just live with the little leaks.

I'm off to the hardware store to purchase a handle for the lid.

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You can flatten out the bend/warped flat lid with a little over bending here and there. Do so in small increments and mark the spots before and after bending. good luck.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
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I remember reading a post a while back. Someone recommended using folded shop towels all around the rim of the drum. Then hammering the lid down with a rubber hammer to stretch the lid rim a bit. I haven't tried but it might help.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:19 PM   #14
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I would not worry about this at all unless you were having crazy temperature issues, which I couldn't imagine happening. Door leakage on a horizontal smoker might be an issue, but that is the beauty of a vertical smoker, by then it has passed the meat and done its thing already. One of the real benefits of a UDS is the smoke pretty much has to make its way passed the meat cooking, unless you have put some crazy holes in the side of it for something.

Best advice, stop worrying about the minute details and enjoy cooking. It is a UDS, not some $4000 cooker, it is meant to be that way!
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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Cook more pork butts in it. As the grease builds up it will start to seal up better. In the interim, I used two cinder blocks. Its also a good place to set your Maverick ET 732 ( you do have one of those, right?) So it doesn't get too hot on the lid of your UDS.
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