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Unread 02-18-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
jasonalan724
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Default Thermometer questions for UDS build...

What is the best thermometer for a uds...i am about to start a build and want to get a good thermometer or two...what is the best STEM SIZE to get? it seems to be all ove the board. and where should i put it/them? I was thinking about putting one just under grate height for each grate? or should i just put one in the middle ov two grates that i am planning to do six inches from the top and the second six inches below that. I am also planning on using either a large, handleless cast iron skillet or a terra cotta saucer on as a baffle above the fire basket to even out the heat across the drum. Help, i cant seem to figure out what thermometer/set up to use!
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Unread 02-18-2010, 10:03 PM   #2
ChiefOsceola
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I bought one @ WalMart for $16 that works great and seems to be accurate. It has a large easy to read face and has about a 3 1/2" stem. It's mounted just below my bottom grate.

I first bought a cheap one @ Lowe's ($7.99). Not very happy with it. First, it reads up to 700 degrees and is small, so pinpointing a temp is tough. 1 1/2" stem on it. Have it mounted just below my top grate.
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Unread 02-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
sdb25
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Tough call. You see most drums out there with the thermo mounted on the side, but I'm not sure this is the best location. You really want to know what the temp is at the location of the meat. While I initially used a wall thermo, I have switch to a couple of inexpensive digital probes (the kind with the cable that runs to the display). I place one right below the meat using a magnetic clip (think the kind that would clip a piece of paper to a magnetic bulletin board). I make sure to clip the probe far from the tip where it measures the temp. I usually place another probe in whatever I'm cooking (except ribs).

You can find inexpensive yet reliable (in my opinion) probes at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Good Luck!
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Unread 02-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
jasonalan724
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i'm thinking of using Guru eyelets and long stems that way i can just pull them out when it comes time to yank the grates/fire basket
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Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire… Exodus 12:9

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Unread 02-19-2010, 12:49 AM   #5
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Yep, the only temps I really pay attention to is that which is inside the meat. But you still need to maintain a internal drum temp of 235ish during the cook... but after playing with my UDS for a month I can anticipate the temp by the amount of intake I have open with fluctuations only at start, after opening the lid for too long, and when I'm outta coal. The UDS is so efficient, stable, and consistent it's almost unfair.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #6
jasonalan724
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most importantly i was wondering what size stems to use
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Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire… Exodus 12:9

4 UDS' - Rolling Rotis Hog Cooker - Weber Kettle Resuce Collection - ECB - Lodge Cast Iron Collection - HF Weed Burner - ProQ CSG - Super Fast and Accurate White Thermapen - 4 tap homebrew keezer - 10 gallon all grain single tier keggle build
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Unread 02-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #7
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Great article in the Smoke Signal Magazine with instructions and pictures about constructing a UDS. Read it careful though as there are a couple of descrepencies with dimensions and quantities. Check it out.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
Smokin' D
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In my two drums, thermometers with 12" stems are used. Reads the center temp that way. Also use some remote therms for the meat.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #9
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I use a 12" stem - designed for a deep fryer. It was $7.99 at my local supply. So far it has been very accurate, which is surprising. It has a very small, cheap face. And has built up condensation in it from time to time making it difficult to read. But it has been accurate and I get my temperature reading AT the meat I'm cooking. The nice expensive, big face, colorful temp gauges all have small stems. I'm thinking of installing an expensive gauge on the opposite side of my drum, to see if the two read the same.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Don View Post
Great article in the Smoke Signal Magazine with instructions and pictures about constructing a UDS. Read it careful though as there are a couple of descrepencies with dimensions and quantities. Check it out.
This is the same exact write-up Norco did found here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...1&postcount=86

They even used the same pictures.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 10:23 AM   #11
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My design uses a therm for each rack, mounted one inch above each. We have been using the fryer type with 1/8th inch stems, 8 to 12 inches long. Placing under can be fooled by grease dripping One has to remember pulling them before rack removal. Also at five bucks I carry spares. We also suggest a oven therm placed next to what is on rack, just to learn hot spots.Steve.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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either get a super long stem, or, get a probe and make a foil ball. Stick the probe into the foil ball and press it onto the center of the grate. that is the temp that matters. Unless you have some dampeners or other mods. I have a great side wall gauge I got from Spice Wine Iron Works. Works awesome. I rely on both...side wall and probe.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefOsceola View Post
I bought one @ WalMart for $16 that works great and seems to be accurate. It has a large easy to read face and has about a 3 1/2" stem. It's mounted just below my bottom grate.

I first bought a cheap one @ Lowe's ($7.99). Not very happy with it. First, it reads up to 700 degrees and is small, so pinpointing a temp is tough. 1 1/2" stem on it. Have it mounted just below my top grate.
Hey Chief, I just picked one of those up yesterday, I mounted it in my lid, I already have a good one in the side, I just wanted another to make sure to confuse my self some more.
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Unread 02-19-2010, 01:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonalan724 View Post
What is the best thermometer for a uds...i am about to start a build and want to get a good thermometer or two...what is the best STEM SIZE to get? it seems to be all ove the board. and where should i put it/them? I was thinking about putting one just under grate height for each grate? or should i just put one in the middle ov two grates that i am planning to do six inches from the top and the second six inches below that. I am also planning on using either a large, handleless cast iron skillet or a terra cotta saucer on as a baffle above the fire basket to even out the heat across the drum. Help, i cant seem to figure out what thermometer/set up to use!
"" i am planning to do six inches from the top and the second six inches below that.""

Don't know what size drum you have but the lower most grate should be NO closer than 24" from the bottom of you coal basket. If you have the standard drum being 6" below your first grate will put you WAY too close to the fire!!!!! Maybe I'm just reading your post wrong????

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Unread 02-19-2010, 01:26 PM   #15
thirdeye
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I've taken readings across the grates on my drums and can find a 50° difference from the edge to the middle during the early hours of the cook, then they sort of settle out to about a 25° difference.

If you want a permanent thermometer, I would think one with a long stem, mounted just below your grate would be a good way to go. The problem is removing the charcoal basket.... or rotating meats from the top grate to the bottom grate..... you would have to remove the thermometer first.

I've rigged up a couple of gadgets with alligator clips to hold the end of a cable thermometer so I know what the actual grate temp is during the cook. A block of wood or a potato will work too, you just don't want the thermometer too close to the meat or it will throw it off.
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