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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
Got Wood.
Join Date: 06-16-11
Location: Washington, DC
Default Unattended UDS safe or not safe

How safe do most people feel about leaving a UDS unattended? When you are doing a long cook how far away from the drum are you. I am thinking about starting a butt on the UDS in the morning going to work and finishing it up when I come home. My UDS is on a brick patio in a walled in garden so it won’t be bothered by anyone or thing and there is really nothing to burn if it should somehow flipped over.
But the idea of leaving a fire going goes against my grain and all those years of boy scout training
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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If you feel comfortable that nothing, and I mean nothing will come near it during your absence go ahead. I have not left one that long but have left them for an hour or two. If you have someone that can check on it once in a while would be ideal.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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I have thought about setting up a webcam so I could monitor cooks from afar. Granted, that would almost be worse when you see it flame up or a neighbor helping themselves and you are 20 minutes away.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #4
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I wouldn't do it, besides it takes a few tweaks along the smoke anyway.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
Rich Parker
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Join Date: 06-20-09
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

At comps i fire mine off and go to bed for about 4 - 5 hours and it hasn't burned down yet. I probably would want to go any longer just to make sure the temps aren't off the mark either.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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You can train your webcam on the smoker and monitor it on your smartphone.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
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Join Date: 06-20-11
Location: Frisco, Texas

I left mine for a few hours Saturday morning while I went to the farmers market and took my wife to he doctor. It was fine. I'm not worried about anybody messing with it, but leaving a burning barrel unattended does give me some pause. Us I like to tweak the temperature every once in a while. Don't yet have the confidence to do an overnight cook.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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Join Date: 01-07-09
Location: Granville, Ma.

There was a post a while back where someone caught their deck on fire
(or maybe it was someone they knew, my memory isn't what it used to be).
I do remember there was a picture though.
I think they said they thought they had shut it down.

I leave mine. but I have a fenced in yard & only one cat. (which is not to say a neighborhood dog couldn't get in the yard maybe somehow) but the drum is on the stone patio so the dog will probably get burnt toes getting my meat & not burn my house down.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
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My UDS had a lid lock, but I'd be afraid of the temp change, might need a temp controller such as the IQ110
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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Location: Smithfield, North Carolina

I do overnighters cooking butts or brisket with the iQue 110 hooked up. I set the maverick remote thermometer alarms and set it beside the bed and sleep all night. I have left the house a few times but only for a short time to run to the grocery store or something.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:41 PM   #11
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Join Date: 02-19-11
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I leave my WSM burning several feet from the house on a concrete patio while I sleep or run errands regularly. I'm not worried about winds or anything knocking it over. If I had bears in these parts maybe I think people tampering with it would be the only real concern.

The only bbq "accident" I've ever had is lighting my chimney on the patio. I'd always start it on the edge of the patio. It was convenient. Then sometime into bbq'ing I'd heard you shouldn't do that, that the concrete can explode. After that I started it on the grill sometimes but still usually used the patio. Afterall I'd done it lots before and been ok, and when do you ever hear about that happening? Sure enough one day I came outside to find the patio blown up and chunks of coal and concrete everywhere. Still nowhere near the house but it would have been a problem if I'd been bending over to pickup the chimney when it went.

Take from that what you will. Its either the story of a guy that doesn't learn or an evaluation of probability.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:49 PM   #12
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I have but felt uncomfortable leaving a fire unattended. So I don't as a general rule now. But I do nap while it's Smoking Overnite, so's that is pretty much the same as leaving it. I do lock it down with the lid clamp, so that makes me feel a little better,
we have Black Bear in the area and if one knocked it over at least the fire would be contained.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:50 PM   #13
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If it is on concrete and NOTHING and Nobody is or will anywhere near be it, it should be okay. Then again, I'm a firm believer that if it can go wrong, it will. I will leave my Stumps unattended because it is all enclosed and it doesn't get hot on the outside.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:53 PM   #14
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It's only a problem if there's a problem
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #15
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I do overnight cooks all the time. My UDS just sits on the lawn though it is on casters. We have a pretty good bear problem but they never go after my cookers just the trash.
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