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lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:07 PM
Hello all,

I don't understand what's going on. I smoked a brisket on my big poppa UDS a while back. After 7 hours, I burned through a whole basket of fuel (kbb). I thought it might have been a bad bag. I bought a 2 pack at SAMs yesterday and thought I'd try again. I lit my coals at 6:30 am, 15 coals in a chimney starter, got my temp up, put the butt on and closed the lid. Did not open for 6.5 hrs when my internal reached 160. I'm almost out of coals. WTF. how are some of you getting 10-15 hrs out of a basket of coals. So far in two smokes, I got 7 hours on a basket each time. I must be doing something wrong. My excitement for my UDS is almost gone. Help.

Bludawg
05-29-2016, 02:16 PM
Charcoal basket is tiny build a bigger basket use a Weber 22" charcoal grate for the base and 2 12X 24 pieces of Expanded metal. 4 3"carriage bolts 8 nuts & fender washers for the legs. a 5.00 walmart pizza pan for the ash catcher.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:20 PM
I gotta try something. Thanks

mcyork28
05-29-2016, 02:21 PM
I built my UDS with a BPS kit as well and I get similar burn times out of a basket. I thought I would get a longer burn time as well.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:26 PM
According to their forums, lots of people say they get 10-15 hrs easy. This is aggravating.

yakdung
05-29-2016, 02:29 PM
My UDS 24+ hours.

mcyork28
05-29-2016, 02:31 PM
What temp are you running? Mine typically settles in around 275. If I could get it down to 225 it would probably burn a lot longer.

I was thinking of making some sort of divider for the fire basket so the fire didn't spread as quickly. Could also start with fewer lit coals.

USMC
05-29-2016, 02:34 PM
Try a different brand of charcoal. My experience way back when I stopped using KBB for smoking in my WSM is that it burned way too fast and made too much ash. That's just my experience with it though. Some still swear by it. I first learned charcoal smoking from my Dad, but even he said it has changed over the years and has since quit using it.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:37 PM
What temp are you running? Mine typically settles in around 275. If I could get it down to 225 it would probably burn a lot longer.

I was thinking of making some sort of divider for the fire basket so the fire didn't spread as quickly. Could also start with fewer lit coals.

I'm keeping the temps between 240 and 260.

mcyork28
05-29-2016, 02:37 PM
Try a different brand of charcoal. My experience way back when I stopped using KBB for smoking in my WSM is that it burned way too fast and made too much ash. That's just my experience with it though. Some still swear by it. I first learned charcoal smoking from my Dad, but even he said it has changed over the years and has since quit using it.

I have been using KBB. Either comp or blue bag. What brand do you prefer?

shnmclr
05-29-2016, 02:37 PM
I use a WSM, but I found that the KBB gave up after about 7-8 hours. After I switched to Royal Oak Lump, I've never had another problem. The lump gives me much longer cook times and uses way less fuel.

Groundhog66
05-29-2016, 02:39 PM
Maybe try some hardwood lump (Wicked Good or the like), should increase the burn time.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:40 PM
I guess that will give me a reason to cook again.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 02:42 PM
Gotta go re-light.

DouG M
05-29-2016, 02:47 PM
What is the size of your basket did it hold the hole bag of charcoal. What size of bags of charcoal did you buy. The hotter the temp. you run the UDS at the more it will use. My basket is 16" across x 12" high. I only fill it 1/2 full for most cooks and have lots to reuse next cook. Just a couple of things to look at first. Winners do not give in they keep going untill they win. Every cook is a little different.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 03:01 PM
It holds 15lbs or so when full. Not sure the dimensions.

bstomper
05-29-2016, 03:03 PM
I agree with bludawg. Build a bigger basket. I just checked their website and it does look small. What the size of your basket. My first uds basket is 12" tall and I wrapped it around a 20 lbs propane tank to get the diameter size. I have had 17 hours at 225-250 before I shut it down and I think it could have went for another 3 or 4. On my second build I built a shorter and wider basket so I would have better heat distribution so I could raise the basket and use it for grilling also. It works great for grilling and shorter smokes but I would never get the time out of it for a brisket cook. I have used royal oak briquettes and lump, mainly because that's all I can get here, and have better burn times with the lump.
Never really tried any other brands but I have no complaints. I think a taller basket would solve your problem. Maybe just get some expanded metal and extend the height of your original basket. You can just use rebar wire to attach it.

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 03:04 PM
14" across x 6" high

bstomper
05-29-2016, 03:09 PM
Yep. Extend the height to 12"

lacajunman
05-29-2016, 03:13 PM
If it's any consolation, the pork butt looks awesome at this point. Pics when I'm done.

bstomper
05-29-2016, 03:15 PM
Ha ha. That's good to here

Milkman_d83
05-29-2016, 05:24 PM
I agree with bludawg and bstomper. Try a bigger basket. I have a similar basket to what they describing. I believe I could get 18 hrs out of 20 pounds at 250. Best of luck with it.

Zin
05-29-2016, 06:11 PM
Hello all,

I don't understand what's going on. I smoked a brisket on my big poppa UDS a while back. After 7 hours, I burned through a whole basket of fuel (kbb). I thought it might have been a bad bag. I bought a 2 pack at SAMs yesterday and thought I'd try again. I lit my coals at 6:30 am, 15 coals in a chimney starter, got my temp up, put the butt on and closed the lid. Did not open for 6.5 hrs when my internal reached 160. I'm almost out of coals. WTF. how are some of you getting 10-15 hrs out of a basket of coals. So far in two smokes, I got 7 hours on a basket each time. I must be doing something wrong. My excitement for my UDS is almost gone. Help.

Get a WSM and it will solve all your problems. Its simply the best.

jham0077
05-29-2016, 06:52 PM
Don't give up on your UDS. My basket is the measurements of a 5 gallon bucket with a 20 gallon steel trash can lid mounted to it's bottom to catch ash. I've gotten 12 hours easy @325+ out of mine burning Stubbs without packing it full. I've never let it go to see how long it would last.

DjPorkchop
05-29-2016, 08:05 PM
The longest I have ever got out of my Big Poppa UDS coal basket was a freckle over 11 hours. and that was in the 225-275 back and forth category. If I need to cook any hotter, the basket will burn out very quick. As for those reporting 15 hours plus, I call bull chit. I would have to witness it with my own eyes to believe it.

It seems when ever I cook a 10 pound butt in my Big Poppa UDS I have to take the butt out, put it in the oven, refill coal basket, get coals going smooth once again and then and only then when coals are set, re set my meat back in the smoker. it is a royal PITA to be quite frank.

If I need to go over 10 hours, I will fire up my old leaky UDS. I have burned 10 pounds of coal in it for well over 17 hours and had some left over for a quick fatty cook.

Now all that said, I DO LOVE my big poppa UDS and love to use it.

bstomper
05-29-2016, 08:07 PM
Agreed, dont give up. While the WSM looks like a great smoker, and I would absolutely love to have one, The $500 plus price tag up here in Canada is a huge deturent for me. Especialy when I can do the same things and get the same results from my UDS at $50 in parts and a day of fun fabrication.

jasonjax
05-29-2016, 08:18 PM
Try the Royal Oak lump ... sooo much better than KBB IMHO.

chingador
05-29-2016, 09:22 PM
Hang in there. The Big Poppa charcoal basket is just really small. Everything has to line up right to get a very long burn time out of a basket on that thing. I have had the same thing happen several times.

lacajunman
05-30-2016, 12:35 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm not giving up yet.

USMC
05-30-2016, 05:15 AM
I have been using KBB. Either comp or blue bag. What brand do you prefer?

I use Stubb's mostly. I usually have a stock of it, but if I run out and it's not available I'll go with Royal Oak or K Comp.


Thanks for all the replies. I'm not giving up yet.

Don't give up. You'll get it dialed in eventually. Just experiment with different charcoals and try the bigger basket and you'll be on the way to some stress less good eats in no time. Don't ever give up!

chingador
05-30-2016, 10:22 AM
Short of building a larger basket, use a good quality hardwood briquet. It would be better to use a good quality lump but the basket is so small that with all of the odd sizes you get in a bag of hardwood, it is hard to stack up the lump to get the max amount in the basket with minimum amount of air pockets. When using the hardwood briquets, carefully arrange them to where they are touching with the minimum amount of air pockets. Instead of a chimney starter, just throw a single weber starter cube in the dead center top of the basket and light. The temp will come up slowly, but you will have a smaller fire which will allow for a long as possible burn time. Stubbs, or B & B would be my first choices. Here in Texas, HEB has a quality hardwood briquet.

Even doing everything perfectly, you will only get so long of a burn time due to the smaller basket. I am usually cooking 2 or 3 pits, so I have to transfer and rebuild the fire. If you are getting 6-7 hours out of your basket with what you are doing, wrap the brisket in butchers paper or foil, place in a small cooker and fill the rest of the air space with old towels or a blanket. It will stay plenty hot while you replenish fuel. It shouldn't take long, then back on the pit goes the brisket. Not perfect, but it will work.

Gato Gordo
05-30-2016, 10:40 AM
I think you should switch from the Kingsford briquettes. I, too, have a Big Poppas Smoker UDS and I have done pork butt several times with no problem. I use Royal Oak lump and have never had to reload during the cook.

Pstores
05-30-2016, 11:03 AM
Also light a very small area on the top of the charcoal.... I do this with RO.... Burns along time... 10sec torch light with just two three pieces in the same spot in the very top. Let it burn down

SmittyJonz
05-30-2016, 11:27 AM
I could get 12 hrs at 275* with my non big poppa basket on 20 lb bag of KBB. I bought 400-600 lbs of the 2 x 20lb twin packs on half price sell. Always used a full bag on a long cook 10-12 hrs.

My basket was 10" Deep. At 6" deep how much charcoal is it holding? 12 lbs.? 12 lbs would only get me about 7 hrs like you are reporting.

Get a piece of expanded metal 10-12" tall and wrap it around your basket - inside or outside- and wire tie it together. Fill it with 16-20 lbs and see how long it'll go.

dummy que
05-30-2016, 01:38 PM
Try the Royal Oak lump ... sooo much better than KBB IMHO.

kbb is just two steps above cow pattys why would you use it after reading the msds sheet

LouisianaSmokesman
05-31-2016, 12:16 PM
I would definitely use Hardwood Lump. In my 19 years of experience smoking I had the similar problem. Once I changed over that was a wrap. Good luck and keep your head up!