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Any info for a newbie would be greatly appreciated...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I recently built a UDS. I am in the process of burning a bag of charcoal(no name brand) and some apple wood chips as well as sprayed the inside of barrel and lid with olive oil to season the UDS.
My issue is that I'm also trying to learn how to regulate the temp at the same time using a dial thermometer attached at the level of the top cooking grate and also have a lowes brand master forge wireless thermometer at the same height. Dial reads @ 215 and the digital reads @ 246. Does that sound about right other than the fact that the #'s are off I suppose I should go by the digit thermometer since they should be more accurate right?
As a side note I'm not very patient and I decided to build a UDS to train myself to be more of a patient cook on top of enjoying smoked foods and I would like to learn more about how to prepare them. Any responses would be great. Thanks
post #2 of 9
Hey fellow smoker I would lean on your digital thermometer they are more accurate than your normal thermometer that you buy and install on your smoker. Those thermometers are almost always off mind for instance always read 25-30 degrees hotter than my digital thermometer. I have a maverick 732 et-732 and its excellent. You wanna get a reading of how hot your smoker is close to your meat since that is actually what your cooking.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I figured as much that the digi thermos are better and more accurate, but I was foolish and picked up my digi at lowes and am pretty sure that I should've listened to the reviews but it was convenient. I also got my dial thermo @ lowes and it reads @ 30 less than digi. So I just wasn't sure. Pretty positive that Ill be purchasing a maverick ASAP. And probably a better dial thermo.
By the way I am trying just 2 chicken breasts my first go around. We shall see how they turn out. The temp seems to be up and down. Only @ 30 degrees.
post #4 of 9

First things first. Take both of those thermometers and calibrate them so you know how accurate they are. Once you know if they are on or off a little bit one way or another you will take the guess work out of it. Now the next thing is depending on where you have the probes located in the drum you will get different temps especially as the drum is still coming up to temp. If your probe is in the center of the grate it will read much higher than if the probe is on the outer edge of the drum. I usually try to put my digital probe right next  to my analog probe so I know I'm comparing apples to apples. Once you use your drum more you will have a better idea of what your temps will be running at. As the UDS comes up to temp the fire will spread throughout the basket and the temps will be more even across the grate but you will still usually have a little hotter spot in the middle unless you install a  heat diffuser which I'm hoping to do soon.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. Not sure how to calibrate them both. As I stated earlier I'm thinking that both of the thermos I bought from lowes for convenience are junk I believe. Anyway I did put the probe on the side right where the analog thrmo is. It read 30 deg higher. As I also stated and apparently it's going to be a slow go my patience is going to drive me nucking futts. Hope I don't offend anyone with that last statement. Anyway I'm trying. That's the first step I guess.
post #6 of 9

Greetings J, put both of the probes in boiling water and see what they read, then try ice water. That should give you a pretty good idea on the difference between the two. Hope this helps.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
That kinda what I thought. I'm having other issues as well. Went in to tidy up the checkbook with th wife and came out to the smoker about 40 or 50 degrees lower than when I went in. Was down @ 160 or so. Not very happy since I'm trying to work on something I thought was easy like 2 chicken breasts. They only went up 4 degrees in @ 1 hour.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I pulled everything out and stirred charcoal. Of course temp jumped back up. Will take some time to get it all in line. My issue is I wanted it to just happen. I know better than that though. Patience...hmmmm
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Could anyone look at my pick of finished UDS and tell me whether or not they think my air vents may be to long to draw proper air flow. I saw other folks with long air vents and wasn't sure if mine were to long.
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