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jfanent 07-27-2015 08:41 PM

OK. I read thru 405 pages of this thread, constructed a UDS with 3 1" intakes with 3/4in nipples and one ball valve on an 18" riser. I have 4 3/4in outlet vents on top. Burned out the barrel (which was unlined but i didn't know what was in it.....the lining was silver and got some light surface rust just sitting out overnight), seasoned it with spray vegetable oil. It burned hot (450-500) for 7 hours and had a hard black coating on the inside after it was residue on a finger swipe.

Hooray, i thought. Yesterday I put on a fatty and 10 chicken thighs to break it in. To make a long story short, they came out terrible. Waaaay to smoky. I used a half basket of charcoal with 3 fist sized chunks of hickory and a few smaller slivers. Started about 15 briquets in the chimney and then dumped them on the firebox. The UDS held a steady 250 the entire time with one of the intake caps on. I waited for the smoke to die down before putting the meat on, but it never got to the point I would consider TBS. Once I put the meat on, the smoke got very thick for a while. I checked the meat at 2hrs, and never opened the lid until that point. At 2.5 hrs I pulled everything as both the chicken and the fatty were near 180 degrees. The chicken was good without the skin, and the fatty was good with the bacon removed. The skin and bacon were so smoky we couldn't eat it.

It's obvious I have a problem with smoke control, but how do I fix it? I've come up with several possible fixes but I'm not sure which apply, and I don't want to make more work for myself.

Add 2 more 3/4" outlets to the lid

Wait until there's nothing but TBS before I put the meat on

Use less wood

Scrub the barrel back to bare metal and reseason


ebijack 07-28-2015 04:15 AM

IMHO you should at least double your exhaust.
Chicken I prefer higher temps like 315, not 250 to get crispy skin.
You can use less or no wood to get the smoke profile your looking for.
After dumping on the hot coals you should wait till you get the drum stabilized or close to the temp you want to cook at.
It's all about air management.

icebox114 08-01-2015 11:28 AM

Many thanks to all these pages and all the tips from brethren around the world, I've finished my UDS! Proud to finally add it to this great thread. Christening it as I type with a 14 pound brisket. Think I've got my airflow figured out, temps are steady. I think I've created my own "man's best friend".

wdpope1 08-02-2015 12:17 PM

lovely sunny sunday, smoker stinking up the whole neighborhood got the ABTs on for a snack Boston Butt at 175 UDS at 233 havoing hard time waiting for my supper

Jsmith 08-02-2015 07:04 PM

Icebox, love what you did for the adjustable shelf. Curious what you used and where I might be able to get it.


jabbey71 08-05-2015 03:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm getting ready to season my UDS. I'm going to either spray Pam or coat the inside with crisco oil. What temp will be a good temp to season this drum at and for how long. Thanks.

ebijack 08-05-2015 06:06 AM

It's a good time to play with temps and see how long your able to get stable at them. A couple hours at least for seasoning. Go from 250 ish to as high as your able to get without any food in the drum See if you can hold at 50 deg increments. Once you add food into the drum, you most likely won't be able to hit as high of temps.

jabbey71 08-14-2015 03:37 AM

Charcoal Amount
I'm going to season my UDS this weekend weather permitting for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours at around 250. My charcoal basket is 17" round and 12" high. I'm going to put some chicken on afterwards to cook but I don't think I want to fill the basket completely. How much charcoal would be enough for seasoning and cooking. Also approximately how many lit charcoals should I place on top of the unlit charcoal from my chimney starter. This will be my 1st Drum smoker that i'll be using. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

ebijack 08-14-2015 03:48 AM

jabbey71 08-14-2015 05:38 PM

Thanks for the link. Very appreciated..

Originally Posted by ebijack (Post 3329011)

ThatQ 08-19-2015 05:25 PM

Hello Drumheads. Newbie here. Have read the first 250 pages of this awesome thread. I know what I want and I think I know how to get there (thanks to first 250 pages). Picked up a drum today $15 bucks. Guy says it was from a chocolate factory. No Liner open head. In my exuberance of my lucky find I did not pay close attention to the label on the drum. Upon further inspection of the label I see caustic in the description. Not sure if this is something I should be using. Posting Pics (hopefully). Thank you.

ThatQ 08-19-2015 05:31 PM

Since the picture showed up posting another one of the inside of the drum. Looks like pretty much bare steel with light rust. Was careful about not sticking my head in there after reading the label.

Mr. Bo 08-19-2015 06:46 PM

Here's some data on the material from the drum.

Mine had Kawasaki motor oil in it but I just burned it out real good before cooking on it. Good luck with the build!

ThatQ 08-19-2015 07:55 PM

Thank you for information. I will do a burn and tide scrub up and see what shakes. Have begun to assemble some goodies for the build. Need to get some expanded metal for firebox.

damascusmaker 08-21-2015 03:59 PM

Adding photos of my UDS
Just built 2 or 3 months ago. Still learning, but it works great. Longest smoke was 24.5 hours, original load of fuel, added one chunk of apple late. Shut down there was about a double handful remaining. It did a great job on a pizza. Best things I've done have been boston butt and hotdogs.

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