View Full Version : Newbie Question: How much charcoal in the UDS?

05-16-2013, 12:09 PM
Hey folks, sorry for the newbie question but is there a formula for how much charcoal to use? I guess I'm trying to figure out how much to use for ribs vs. brisquett (sp) vs. pork butt because I know the all cook for different lengths of time.

Also, once the cook is over I imagine you shut off all the intakes, close the lid, and let the fire go out. Can you reuse whatever charcoal is leftover after a burn or do you need to start with fresh every time?

Thanks for the help, I'm going to attempt some ribs on sunday I think, I appreciate the help! PICS will follow!

05-16-2013, 12:14 PM
No problem with newbie questions, because we all were newbies once.

N8Man has an EXCELLENT thread on this.


Yes, you can reuse whatever is left over. Use a METAL can to catch the ash and crispy bits. then load it up again.

05-16-2013, 12:25 PM
My coal basket is always half to 3 quarters full regardless of the size or length of time of cook. And it's a big basket.

05-16-2013, 12:29 PM
Load it up!
Whatever doesn't burn this cook you can use next cook. I NEVER throw out charcoal. All I do is shake off the ash, reload the basket and light it!

That's the great thing about a UDS. It's so air tight that you can just shut it down when you're done and relight the basket next time.

05-16-2013, 02:35 PM
+1 on the load it up and reuse it.

05-16-2013, 04:00 PM
Good advice above, but just in case you don't already know, you have to use the Minion method to make it work.

05-16-2013, 06:53 PM
Here is what I do with very good results.

I have smaller diameter rings that hold 5-6 lbs of charcoal that I set inside my baskets for short cooks.





Most of the drum baskets I use are built on an 18" or 22" Weber charcoal grate frame with the expanded metal @ 9-13" tall. None of them perform any better or worse than the others as I only use 10lbs of briqs for heavy meats and have never had to add any fuel during a cook and there is always fuel leftover.



Size really doesn't matter, its how much fuel you use for the cook. Here is one built on a Weber Smokey Joe charcoal grate platform and its a chicken & rib cooking mofo.



This is all I need for ribs, chicken or turkey cooks in my 85 gallon drum.



a$$holes are like opinions-everybody has one, and my methods work for me, YMMV.

Bbq Bubba
05-16-2013, 07:02 PM
Listen to the master. ^^^^^^

05-16-2013, 07:32 PM
On the other hand you don't want to leave a basket of coals sitting in the UDS for a period of time between firings where they can pick up moisture.

05-16-2013, 07:58 PM
Swamprb knows UDS pits.