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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 02-22-2010, 03:23 PM   #5221
EatRBBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
Howdy folks.

Have been thinking of adding a second grate to my UDS, but can't decide on a height for it.

The charcoal basket is 5-6" off the bottom of the drum, and is about 8" deep. The top grate is just about 24" from the bottom grate of the basket.

I'm intereste in cooking beans in the UDS - want all that good smoked drippings flavor from putting the beans under the meat on the top grate. If I plan to cook in a stockpot kind of utensil I will probably end up with a second grate that will be too close to the fire. Alternative is to use a foil pan for the beans (bought plenty at Costco) so that the second grate only has to be 4-5" or so below the second grate.

The second grate would then be about 20" from the bottom of the basket. Is that too close to cook some ribs or chops on there when I need the space? Would I end up spending alot of time flipping grates and such and then going crazy chasing temps?
From what you shared, I'm assuming this is a flat-top lid UDS?
If so, you could always modify it by adding a domed lid and another cooking grate above your existing one. Bring all the food a little higher up instead of sneaking in a lower grate?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 03:27 PM   #5222
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Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
I'm actually burning briquettes. So it would better to use lump? Is lump more or less expensive? And of I get lump can you recommend one for me? Never used it before and don't know the INS and outs of it.
Lump burns hotter and with far less ash. I pay $6.50 for a 10lb bag. I use the Royal Oak Hardwood Lump in the red bag at wal-mart. AS far as using it no different then briquettes for the most part. Pour it in your basket, add a 1/3 chimney of lit to it and away you go.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #5223
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Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
I'm actually burning briquettes. So it would better to use lump? Is lump more or less expensive? And of I get lump can you recommend one for me? Never used it before and don't know the INS and outs of it.
Instead of switching to lump, I suggest you stick with the briquets. You have some experience with the drum and you need to keep building on that. How many smokes have you done, 4 or 5? There is a learning curve on these things, and you need to figure out how to control the heat. Briquets are probably the most forgiving when you are learning since they do run fairly consistently.

As for temps, go back and see what happened. Typical things like opening the drum will absolutely make the temp spike. Pretty basic; if your temp is going up it means you are getting more oxygen to your fuel. Banging the drum will knock the ash off and your temps will go up, but first you usually see them drop as the ash builds up. If your temp is going down, that's a good time to bang the drum and open up the intake A LITTLE. Again, usually takes 30 minutes until your see where the drum is headed. Lots of adjustments in rapid succession will drive your temps all over the place.

My usual routine is to get my drum temp settled out early. Then, I'll check the thermometer every hour or so. If it dips, I'll bang the drum and check in 15 minutes. If it starts to run hot, I'll close down the intake by 1/4 and check again in 15 minutes. If the temps are fine, I'll leave it alone. Last smoke was pretty typical. Banged the drum a couple times... adjusted the intake a couple times... And smoked for 11.5 hours. Opened it to put the meat on, then again to take it off. Definitely worth it to get some temp sensors that don't require you to open the lid. Get one for the drum and one for the meat.


Good luck!
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Unread 02-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #5224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
I'm actually burning briquettes. So it would better to use lump? Is lump more or less expensive? And of I get lump can you recommend one for me? Never used it before and don't know the INS and outs of it.
I got a 17.63 lb bag of Royal Oak hardwood lump (red bag made in USA) from Restaurant Depot for $9.01. I have found the lump works well for long slow cooks. But like some one posted above, you should pick one, lump or briquettes and practice until you get the results you want.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 06:13 PM   #5225
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Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
If you are looking to build one and have trouble locating expanded metal, Go to the closet organizer section in Home Depot and pick up one of these (11 bucks) it measures 16"x16" and is 10" deep. Just have to burn off the paint.


.
How is this basket working out? I have a buddy looking for something similar for his first uds. My concern was how well will it hold up. The wire seems kinda thin, and for about the same price i could make him one with a webbar grate, and the expando.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:08 PM   #5226
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Originally Posted by Pit Boss Honeycutt View Post
Thanks Man!.. Actually for a friend of mine that I work with.. Think he will like it?
dude, he's going to farkin' love it. very, very nice. are you going to deliver it or will he have to pick it up?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:14 PM   #5227
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The wire basket works like a champ! I have used it a half dozen times so far and the only thing I have noticed is that it turned black.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #5228
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Originally Posted by sdb25 View Post
Banging the drum will knock the ash off and your temps will go up, but first you usually see them drop as the ash builds up. If your temp is going down, that's a good time to bang the drum and open up the intake A LITTLE.
I read this and immediately started singing "I dont wanna work, I just wanna bang on de drum all day"...LOL
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #5229
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Originally Posted by sdb25 View Post
Instead of switching to lump, I suggest you stick with the briquets. You have some experience with the drum and you need to keep building on that. How many smokes have you done, 4 or 5? There is a learning curve on these things, and you need to figure out how to control the heat. Briquets are probably the most forgiving when you are learning since they do run fairly consistently.

As for temps, go back and see what happened. Typical things like opening the drum will absolutely make the temp spike. Pretty basic; if your temp is going up it means you are getting more oxygen to your fuel. Banging the drum will knock the ash off and your temps will go up, but first you usually see them drop as the ash builds up. If your temp is going down, that's a good time to bang the drum and open up the intake A LITTLE. Again, usually takes 30 minutes until your see where the drum is headed. Lots of adjustments in rapid succession will drive your temps all over the place.

My usual routine is to get my drum temp settled out early. Then, I'll check the thermometer every hour or so. If it dips, I'll bang the drum and check in 15 minutes. If it starts to run hot, I'll close down the intake by 1/4 and check again in 15 minutes. If the temps are fine, I'll leave it alone. Last smoke was pretty typical. Banged the drum a couple times... adjusted the intake a couple times... And smoked for 11.5 hours. Opened it to put the meat on, then again to take it off. Definitely worth it to get some temp sensors that don't require you to open the lid. Get one for the drum and one for the meat.


Good luck!

Thanks for that advice. Question is, why am I running out of fuel at around the 12-14 hour mark? I NEEDED that extra two hours to finish my butts this weekend. Ended up finishing them in the oven.

My basket is a wire milk crate that the wife had. It has some decent size openings all over it. So big that a full unlit briquette will and has fallen through it. I think I need to get some sort of wire to keep it from falling through so fast maybe? Maybe Im losing heat because once it burns a bit, its easier to fall through to the bottom, therefore shifting everything down?

I dont know, Im just perplexed.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:43 PM   #5230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
Question is, why am I running out of fuel at around the 12-14 hour mark?
Depends how much fuel you are starting with and how efficient your drum is running. My guess is your charcoal basket only holds 12-14 hours worth of fuel. How much does that milk crate hold?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #5231
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Originally Posted by sdb25 View Post
Depends how much fuel you are starting with and how efficient your drum is running. My guess is your charcoal basket only holds 12-14 hours worth of fuel. How much does that milk crate hold?
Not sure about poundage. It is about 12x12x12 with 3 inch legs on it. I would say that it would hold about 12-15 lbs. I have never filled it to the top, but about a few inches from the top.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #5232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatRBBQ View Post
From what you shared, I'm assuming this is a flat-top lid UDS?
If so, you could always modify it by adding a domed lid and another cooking grate above your existing one. Bring all the food a little higher up instead of sneaking in a lower grate?
Dome lid... not enough space to add a rack above the existing one.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 08:28 PM   #5233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
Not sure about poundage. It is about 12x12x12 with 3 inch legs on it. I would say that it would hold about 12-15 lbs. I have never filled it to the top, but about a few inches from the top.
Same exact size as mine. I always fill it to the top, unless I'm doing something fast like chicken. But I can easily get 24+ hours out of it. Hmmm... I'm gonna have to think about this one.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:28 PM   #5234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariettaSmoker View Post
Thanks for that advice. Question is, why am I running out of fuel at around the 12-14 hour mark? I NEEDED that extra two hours to finish my butts this weekend. Ended up finishing them in the oven.

My basket is a wire milk crate that the wife had. It has some decent size openings all over it. So big that a full unlit briquette will and has fallen through it. I think I need to get some sort of wire to keep it from falling through so fast maybe? Maybe Im losing heat because once it burns a bit, its easier to fall through to the bottom, therefore shifting everything down?

I dont know, Im just perplexed.
I bet you are losing a good bit of charcoal out of it as it burns. Put a piece of expanded metal in it at the bottom. In my basket I use a weber charcoal grate, then a smaller grate I had lying around turned the other way on top of that so the holes are really small.

Does that make sense?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:30 PM   #5235
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Originally Posted by AJP View Post
I bet you are losing a good bit of charcoal out of it as it burns. Put a piece of expanded metal in it at the bottom. In my basket I use a weber charcoal grate, then a smaller grate I had lying around turned the other way on top of that so the holes are really small.

Does that make sense?
I doubt it. If that were the case he would find a bunch of unburnt charcoal outside his basket, and I dont' recall him saying that.
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