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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
packerfannate
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I finished my UDS a few months ago and have enjoyed it. I just bought another barrel and will build a second one this spring.

I smoked a turkey today - my first turkey in a smoker. I had a very difficult time keeping the temperatures above 200. The high here in Utah was 42 today and I am sure this had something to do with it. I have read some articles on the internet about ways to keep the smoker warm and decided I would ask the experts. What are some ways to keep the smoker warm and keep the temperatures up inside the smoker?
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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Wrap it with a welding blanket.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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42 is nuttin for a UDS........ How many intakes and size you got? Exhaust?
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
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I have 4 1 inch holes drilled 2 inches from the bottom. I typically cap 2 of them, but this time they were all open. I have 3 1 inch holes in the lid for exhaust and typically keep one capped. Today I had all 3 open. I started with 2 intakes open and 2 exhaust vents open, then when the temp was low I opened the other vents.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
42 is nuttin for a UDS........ How many intakes and size you got? Exhaust?
Yea need these answers because it's probably air (in and out)related vs temp outside related.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
SmittyJonz
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High Winds? How much lit Charcoal do you dump onto unlit? What charcoal you using?
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Always run the exhaust fully open for one...other than that with the bottom all open eventually you'll reach 400* if you wanted.

Get the temps up initially by lighting more charcoal ...don't need a bunch usually, 1/4 to 1/2 chimney at the most. Pre heat the drum hotter than your target temp because your meat many times will bring it down.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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^ +1 .......

Also keep in mind the turkey is probably a larger mass of meat than what you usually put in it. It takes longer to come to temperature as the turkey is absorbing heat.

If your cooker thermometer is close to the meat you will also get a lower reading.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
packerfannate
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virtually no wind today. Light drizzle.

I used lump charcoal and the charcoal pan was nearly full. I dumped one chimney starter full of lit charcoal on top.

For my charcoal pan I used the dome of my old Brinkman smoker and drilled holes in it. I attached the legs of the Brinkman smoker and it lifts it about 2 inches off the bottom of the barrell.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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My thermometer is a 12 inch probe that sits just below the grill grate.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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Pack you just might need a remod of your basket. Can you post pics of your set up...you're just not getting enough air to the coals. It has nothing to do with your drum itself but the basket imo.
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Unread 11-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #12
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Either not enough air ( maybe dome basket not intakes ) or bad charcoal. Try reg ole KBB or Stubbs Briquets. Does the Dome allow ash to fall thru?
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Unread 11-24-2013, 11:08 PM   #13
packerfannate
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I will post picks tomorrow, too dark and too cold now.

I have used this a few times since building it and the temperature has been great. I did some pork butts for a team dinner for the local football team and it stayed between 225 and 250 for the entire smoke. It was flawless. I have done ribs and they were fine.
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Unread 11-25-2013, 02:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Pack you just might need a remod of your basket. Can you post pics of your set up...you're just not getting enough air to the coals. It has nothing to do with your drum itself but the basket imo.
^^^ I'm leaning the same direction. I can vizualize lots of air entering at lower intake holes,enough of it entering the holes in dome/basket to feed a nice fire but the larger quainty of cool air riseing around outside of dome dilutes barrel heat on the way to meat.
You can't beat an expanded charcoal basket. You had plenty air but most was deflected by the dome and never came in contact with charcoal.
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Unread 11-25-2013, 03:06 AM   #15
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As others have said look at your charcoal basket. the air temp got nothing to do with it. I've cook at -45F no insulation with over 100lbs in each @325.
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