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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 02-26-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
Don Jeansonne
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Default new UDS chokng on ash

Just finished my UDS using the following:
- burned out barrel and wire brushed it clean.
- used flat top for lid with 2" bung hole for outlet vent.
- made 8"h x 13.5"d charcoal basket with 3/4" expanded metal and 13.5" Weber grate on 3.5" bolts for legs. Also have alum pizza pan for ash pan.
- Three 3/4" close pipe nipples for air inlets 2" off bottom. (2 with caps and one with 3/4" ball valve)
- 22.5" Weber meat grate set 24" above charcoal basket (27" off bottom). Have thermometer 1" below meat grate.

I used Kingsford briquets for my cooking trial run of pork spare ribs. I lit about 1/4 of a chimney and set it in a coffe can to the edge of the basket loaded with about 10 lbs of briquets.
With all inlets open, the UDS came up to 250F fairly easily for the run. Then I capped 2 inlets and tried to control with the valve only. I had to keep opening and capping one inlet to control between 230 to 270F. It didn't seem to be stable, either too hot or too cool. Then eventually it wanted to die out. So I opened the second small (about 1") bung hole in the top and the UDS seemed to draft better. I was able to get control at 230 - 250F with only the inlet valve.
The only problem (I think?) I have now is that the fire wants to choke out with ash build-up. I had to shake the drum too often it seemed (every hour) or open it and rack the coals around to drop some ash.
Overall I was please with the results but don't really see it being able to run 8 - 10 hrs almost unattended like I here some people are doing.

Any suggestions on helping my ash build up problem would be appreciated or any mods I need to make to the design that may help.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
Smokin' D
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Your drum sounds exactly like my first one. Chased temps on mine too. Changed the 3/4" ball valve for a 1" on the second drum and that one works much better. As to your problem. Briquettes produce huge volumes of ash. Kinda like eating lobster, when you've finished there appears to be more stuff on the plate than when you started! My suggestion is to switch from briquettes to lump charcoal. Far less ash production and a better smell and taste to boot! IMHO.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
Cre-B-Ce
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I had to ditch blue bag K in my drum. After a couple of hours I would have to kick the drum every 30 minutes to an hour to keep it running. I now use Stubbs and can run unattended until it is all burned. never have to kick the can. I just ordered a 40 lb bag of Royal Oak Chef's Choice and gonna give it a try.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
Rich Parker
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I use the blue bag all of the time and had a basket of briquettes burn for over 16 hours without any kicking or shaking of the drum.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 06:26 PM   #5
motley que
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Try a smaller fire to start. I start small and keep all intakes open then control w valve. Never 'choked out and runs 225 - 250 w no problem
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Unread 02-26-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
jeffjenkins1
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Order a wiggle rod from thirdeye, I get 10 to 15 hour burns no problem with K.

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Unread 02-26-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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I only use lump as I had the same problem with briquettes. However, a coworker with one of my barrels only uses briquettes and works good for him. I do notice a bit of an off taste on his stuff though but that could be a lot of things.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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EDIT--I can kinda picture your coal basket. Could you post a pic so we could see the expanded metal on it? I'm also thinking that maybe if you put all the coal in one edge of the basket, that maybe that created one large hot spot and an uneven burn. That's a tough thing about using the pipe nips, you can fine tune the air flow. You either have the cap off or on and sometimes the ball valve won't give you the fine tuning you need if the weather is not cooperative.
What was weather like?
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Last edited by BobBrisket; 02-26-2010 at 11:19 PM..
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Unread 03-01-2010, 09:31 AM   #9
Don Jeansonne
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Default coal basket

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
EDIT--I can kinda picture your coal basket. Could you post a pic so we could see the expanded metal on it? I'm also thinking that maybe if you put all the coal in one edge of the basket, that maybe that created one large hot spot and an uneven burn. That's a tough thing about using the pipe nips, you can fine tune the air flow. You either have the cap off or on and sometimes the ball valve won't give you the fine tuning you need if the weather is not cooperative.
What was weather like?
The weather was cold (mid 40's) with minor wind. See attached basket pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0999.jpg (71.5 KB, 71 views)
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Unread 03-01-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
ChiefOsceola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
EDIT--I can kinda picture your coal basket. Could you post a pic so we could see the expanded metal on it? I'm also thinking that maybe if you put all the coal in one edge of the basket, that maybe that created one large hot spot and an uneven burn. That's a tough thing about using the pipe nips, you can fine tune the air flow. You either have the cap off or on and sometimes the ball valve won't give you the fine tuning you need if the weather is not cooperative.
What was weather like?
Yep. I find that using the magnets to cover my other 2 intakes works well. I've can fine tune with the ball valve but I normally run with the magnet only half covering one of my other intakes (the other is completely covered). The nipples & caps looks better but I like that I can tweak just by sliding my magnet.
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