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My first UDS, and a couple observations, questions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

this is my first UDS.  I decided on this build about a week back.  Originally, I was going to purchase an electric smoker.  After some browsing, I noticed some UDS youtubes, and the threads on forums such as this one.  Ive more time than money atm, so this is my attemt at the cheapest UDS I could assemble.  I scavenged what I could find and bought whatever else at Lowes where I enjoy a 10% discount cuz my wife works there.  Basket is a 12" round x 12" tall...why? because I found a 12"x50" piece of expanded rolled black iron at a nearby sheet metal shop for free.  I sheared off a piece for the bottom and rolled the sides up to match it, and welded it up. got 3-3/4" inlets.  The lid has 3-3/4" vents (also has the 2" "bung" which was capped when i began the breakin).  thermometer only has a short stem.  Lid warped during burn off, but I put the whammy on it and with the lid ring i think its okay. 

     Okay, I loaded up the basket and fired it up last night.  Heres the breakdown.  the can warmed up to around 230 then I capped 2 inlets with the valve full open and  the 3 vents open.  the temp then began dropping.  So i opened the inlets again and the temp kinda stayed flat.  I decided the cans not breathing so i opened the bung. Now I have all the inlets and outlets available open again and the can maxed out at about 250.  I capped an inlet, choked the valve hafway and it held just under 250 from 3pm till 9pm and i went to bed.  When i went to work at 5am the temp said 125 still, so it burned a long time.  

  So heres where I need some advice.  First my thermometer.  Ive an offset smoker which u can kinda see next to my can.  In that smoker the trick is to actually keep the heat down because the thing will get too fricken hot.  I kinda expected the same here but I found that it was the opposite, I actually never got the temp above 250 with everything fully open.  Ive read since then that a cans inner temps are about 50 degrees hotter than the reading im getting just inside the wall.  If thats true then im probably actually at 300 right?  In which case im plenty hot, can go pick up a brisket and get crazy.  If not then maybe we should address the vents.  I for sure noticed that  3-3/4" vents arent enough, should I add more around the lid and how many or just use the bung and does the bung benefit from adding a stack.  Im also thinking a 12" round fire basket is a lil narrow compared to ones others seem to be using, and that may contribute to the inability to get roaring hot.  Any tips or comments are appreciated and thanks in advance.  Maybe someone can add something ive not mentioned. 

post #2 of 3

A couple of people i suggested to upsize to  two 1" nipples and  two 3/4 ball valves and they love it. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Update....went to the market n got some chicken wings. Wrapped some hot Italian sausage in bacon. Lit my Uds. Put a digital temp probe on my cooking grate and discovered the temps in the center are about 90 degrees hotter than the thermometer I mounted will read. Meat came out fine. Ran at 250-275 with valve 3/4 open for hours. I even took the lid ring off n my warped lid is good. I'm happy with this. Monday I'll b smokin brisket for veterans day.
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