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Smoker recommendations - Page 2

post #21 of 42
I think (1) 2inch valve is enough. Thats all I have on my pitmaker vault and it will hold 15 briskets. You can add another pipe and put a cap on it if needed for higher temps. Always want to put thermo at grate level. You can drill a hole in side at each grate level and add small bolt when not used to keep heat and smoke in. Also Big Poppas Smokers makes a UDS kit you can buy with everything needed. I have a spare 10cfm guru setup as well I dont need anymore if you are interested
post #22 of 42
Air flow is the key to any smoker.

Most UDS I see have 3/4" ball valves, but there are 3 or 4 of them. When I built my Jumbo Mini I put 1 ball valve and 2 capped of the 3/4" size. I wish I had gone bigger valve and no capped. Here is why:
Area of opening for the ball valves:
3/4" = .44 sq"
1 1/4" = 1.22 sq"
1 1/2" = 1.77 sq"

As you can see a huge diffrence in air flow possibility as you increase the size. The capped are nice thought, but I find them to be a pain. So would rather 1 ball valve to use and adjust. Also the burn of you fire is more controlled from one side to another.

As Golfpro said, yes on the feet and also the heat sync/diffuser is a must. I would either do a thick metal plate or the sand for this style of smoker. Water pans are nice, but can dry out then you have a fire hazard when you open the lid and flood it with fresh O2, and the UDS to fill the water pan when loaded is a pain, unless you design for that process.

But you will find a ton of amazing UDS smokers and builds here:


Good luck and have fun....
post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! I may be interested in the Guru: send me a p.m. With details if you would. I'm putting two grates in so I may split the difference between them.
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
Got the mini UDS finished up, except for a test run to cure the paint. Looks good and hope it will hold temps well and turn out amazing food. Will upload some Photos later. Thanks for everyone's assistance!
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There she is! I have two pieces of rebar for hanging half racks of ribs, chickens and such and they also serve as the brackets for the top rack. Have place for additional rack about 7 inches below the top one and around 11 inches above charcoal basket that I fashioned out of a grate and some cooling racks that I cut down and tied to the grate. I only put one 3/4" air inlet for now, may have to add an additional hole or two later. During test run its holding about 225 degrees with less than a half basket of coal and been fairly steady for about two hours. I'd like to get a little hotter than this; maybe around 300 - 325. Not sure if filling up with coal or changing types from the Kingsford blue will increase temps or if I need more air coming in to do this. It's fine for now because I'm using the low heat to cure the paint with. Plan on cooking a couple of spatchcock chickens on it tomorrow, so I will learn more then. I still need the find me an additional 14" rack for lower grate, so I may try hanging the chickens for now to get them both to fit. I still need to install the legs too, but otherwise am done.
post #31 of 42
Looks great, that's a nice build you deserve to be proud of!
post #32 of 42

Great looking build.


I use the Kingsford Blue in my Jumbo Mini, no issues other than a lot of ash. The get a higher temp you will need more air from what I have experienced with mine. For 14" grate look at the Charcoal grates for the 18" Weber (I think it is Item# 7440), that is the same one I used for the Minis I built last Christmas.


Now lets see some food come off of this!!! :popcorn

post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I was thinking more air flow would be the key. I will put another hole in it later today a see how that goes.
post #34 of 42
Looking good. Changing charcoal wont really make a big diff on temp. Lump will burn a little hotter so may help. If you want more heat you have two options. More air or light more charcoal to start with. I would replace your 3/4 with 1.5 or 2 and you ahould be good to go
post #35 of 42

I would change out to a larger valve and not make another hole.

post #36 of 42
Thread Starter 
post #37 of 42

I agree with JarJar. you dont want to make a nice smoker then keep cutting holes in it when 1 would do. Bite the bullet for a 2" valve and you will be good to go.

post #38 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I agree only one valve and not drilling extra holes is a great idea, but I didn't want to spend a lot more on this build so therefore I drilled two more one inch holes and placed nipples in them. Instead of capping them I just left them open and cooked two spatchcocked yard birds on her this evening. Temps stayed between 250 and 300 so that was good. Chickens looked good and came out alright. I didn't care for the smell or taste of the Kingsford blue using the Minion method. May try again with an entire basket burnt until grey before adding them. I also may try another brand or possibly even lump. I have two magnets that are metal hooks for hanging which fit the ends of the nipples perfectly if I do need to control airflow with them, which is nice because the hook makes a little handle for rotating into different positions. All in all I'm pleased with the way it cooked, just have to dial in that flavor profile and TBS instead of the white cloud.
post #39 of 42
Thread Starter 

Mounted legs from Weber to add a little height and keep the smoker a little off the ground
post #40 of 42
Looks good!
I agree with you on letting your coals burn a little before adding food. I usually let my UDS burn for 1/2 hour after it is lite and has established the temp I want.
You could maybe try some Stubbs Charcoal seems to have a little better flavor.
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