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bh5k
09-07-2009, 10:40 PM
Anybody recommend a good post out there (I am sure there has to be one, but I haven't found it yet) on cooking with a UDS? I can find all sorts of threads on making them, but nothing great on cooking with them. I have been reading this thread http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43943 and also the 273+ monster thread on UDS building.

Questions I have now are how hot and how long do you want to burn off the barrel. I found some corn syrup barrels and I am anxious to get started. Do you drill the holes in the bottom first so that you can get a good fire going in there? Should it be hot enough to burn the paint off the outside?

Second, in all the plans that I have seen so far it seems like people have an ash pan and fire basket, but do you usually not use any liquid of any sort in the UDS? My limited knowledge of smokers seems like some of the Brinkman's have a water pan.

Thanks,

B.

Hugh Jorgan
09-07-2009, 11:28 PM
Search the regular old internetweb for cooking on the UDS, Drum Smoker, Big Drum Smoker etc. You can search for Bigmista. He is a member here and there are a few videos out there featuring him utilizing the UDS with utmost efficiency.

moda253
09-08-2009, 09:25 AM
Yeah nothing great on cooking on them if you completely disregard this website.

I'm not sure how many times it's been stated in that you should put the holes 2" up from the bottom before the burnout to give the fire more O2. But it's in there and it's in there early in the thread too.

I think some people try to make this more complicated or daunting than it really is. It's a giant can with some air holes in it and a fire box to hold some coals. That's really all there is to it. It's really one step above caveman cooking. And while they may be beautiful to us they really aren't intricate or elegant pieces of cookware.

As for cooking on it. Start a small amount of coals (I do about 10).
Dump them on top of your loaded coal basket (that has only about 4 fist sized wood chunks).
Open up all the air holes.
Shut one down at 200.
Shut another down at 220.
Use the valve or magnet to keep it between 225 and 250.
Let the smoke thin out a bit.
Put the meat on.

That's it. You can stand around and wait for it to dance and do backflips but it's a pretty boring site from then until you mop or pull the meat out.


Really the most complicated thing about it is something that doesn't get talked about much and that is calibrating your thermometers. If you have analog dial therms, make sure to calibrate them every now and again. For those using the cheap turkey fryer ones this is especially important. There is a nut on the back that you can turn to adjust it. Boil some water and adjust it to the proper temp (yes it changes in different geological areas). Or crush up some ice and test it that way.

bh5k
09-08-2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah nothing great on cooking on them if you completely disregard this website.


Yeah, the thing I have noticed is that there is TOO much information here and often it get polluted with albeit funny, but waaaayyyyyy too many joking comments.

So what simple recipe should I start with? From what I have read it sounds like a Boston Butt with some variation of a dry rub...right?

moda253
09-08-2009, 10:05 AM
Yeah, the thing I have noticed is that there is TOO much information here and often it get polluted with albeit funny, but waaaayyyyyy too many joking comments.

So what simple recipe should I start with? From what I have read it sounds like a Boston Butt with some variation of a dry rub...right?

Yeah man it can be a bit overwhelming. Boston Butt is awesome. I would do a smaller one at that. You can use a premade dry rub or use the one that I use:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Paprika
2 tblsp coarse Salt (sea or kosher)
2 tblsp Black Pepper
1 tblsp Cayenne Pepper
4 tsp Cumin
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Thyme Powder
2 tsp Sage
2 tsp Coriander Powder

Basically you want the salt, paparika, and the pepper everything else is just gravy IMO.


Seriously though, erlax and have fun with it. You will get it dialed in and you don't need to worry about that on your first attempt. Just try to keep your temps in reasonable range and don't go messing with adjustments too often because if you are adjusting more than every 20 minutes you aren't seeing the results of those adjustments.

Skidder
09-08-2009, 10:07 AM
As Moda says keep it simple follow his directions and yeah a butt or a fatty to start is perfect.

bh5k
09-08-2009, 10:09 AM
Yeah man it can be a bit overwhelming. Boston Butt is awesome. I would do a smaller one at that. You can use a premade dry rub or use the one that I use:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Paprika
2 tblsp coarse Salt (sea or kosher)
2 tblsp Black Pepper
1 tblsp Cayenne Pepper
4 tsp Cumin
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Thyme Powder
2 tsp Sage
2 tsp Coriander Powder

Basically you want the salt, paparika, and the pepper everything else is just gravy IMO.


Seriously though, erlax and have fun with it. You will get it dialed in and you don't need to worry about that on your first attempt. Just try to keep your temps in reasonable range and don't go messing with adjustments too often because if you are adjusting more than every 20 minutes you aren't seeing the results of those adjustments.

Awesome! Thanks for the Rub recipe. It will be the first thing I try!

On the burn out, should it be so hot that it removes the paint on the outside of the drum? That seems a bit excessive... Mine had corn syrup in it so I am sure it had a food liner in it. (just picked it up last night)

I am going to have to find a good place to get wood here. Briquettes are obviously easy to find, but wood could be interesting...

moda253
09-08-2009, 10:16 AM
if it had a liner in it, then yeah it needs to get REALLY hot and the outside paint will come off. Hopeyer neighbors aren't fussy.

Awesome! Thanks for the Rub recipe. It will be the first thing I try!

On the burn out, should it be so hot that it removes the paint on the outside of the drum? That seems a bit excessive... Mine had corn syrup in it so I am sure it had a food liner in it. (just picked it up last night)

I am going to have to find a good place to get wood here. Briquettes are obviously easy to find, but wood could be interesting...

Merlinspop
09-08-2009, 12:47 PM
Even though mine was unlined (but it had some kind of 'rust inhibitor' sprayed on), I made a fire so hot the bottom half of the drum glowed red. Not a trace of paint left on the outside.

At first I tried to put the lid on the drum during the burn, but that cooled the fire to the point that it literally filled the neighborhood with smoke and some neighbors became worried (we had a temperature inversion that night). So I knocked the lid back off and the fire got super hot again with very little smoke.

What was interesting was that the dirt under the drum was bright orange after I move it in the morning compared to the tan of the surrounding dirt.

That's a long way to say, sure, burn the outside paint off. A can of high temp spray paint is only $5 at Wally World.

B

bh5k
09-24-2009, 06:37 PM
Smokin' a fatty on the virgin run!