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Why so dry?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just fixed some ribs on the new mini UDS I made. The cooker held temps well using a basket of lump (between 275-310) which is where I was shooting for vs the 225 that I normally did in the MES. The ribs cooked very quickly and dried out like jerky which was very disappointing. Taste was good if you could get past the tough and dry meat. Didn't use a mop sauce, only dry rubbed and no foiling. Ribs were way overcooked in about three hours. The chickens I tried on the first smoke had their own challenges due to not letting the KBB coals ash over enough, but thinking back they were a little drier too with temps around the 250 range. photo 2 is of when I put them on and first was at about 2 hours, should've pulled them the. But they were still stff as a board. Do you guys think that a heat diffuser would prevent this? There were no flare ups to my knowledge. Also wondering if its possible to have too much exhaust? Between the Weber lid holes and the holes for rebar that I use as a bracket for top rack and hope to use to hang meat once dialed in there is approximately 5" of exhaust vs a total of 2.25" of intake. Thanks for any advice
post #2 of 13

Have you recently tested your thermometer?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
No, but I will
post #4 of 13
Originally Posted by sfprankster View Post

Have you recently tested your thermometer?



Also, is the thermo right by the meat? As no long you are running the desired temp at the meat itself you shouldn't be having issues. I use my Maverick in my UDS in addition to the dial thermo that is mounted in the lid and always go by the Maverick. 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Checked the thermo in boiling water and it is dead on. I have it placed between the top and bottom grates (about 3 inches from each). I'm going to seal up the 1" exhaust holes for rebar (which are below top grate level) and just add some more brackets for the top grate and see if this helps by reducing the exhaust. I'm puzzled as to why with constant temps and an accurate thermo that I'm getting dry food in short periods of time. I will adjust it to 225-250 next cook and see what that does as well.
post #6 of 13

Yea that is weird. Sealing the holes will only help keep the temps steady but it sounds like they are already pretty steady. 


I would try and hold it at 225 if that is what you are used to and see what happens. 

post #7 of 13
Too much airflow over the meat itself could explain the dryness. I've not seen the inside of your smoker, but I would think there should be some kind of circular baffle above the fire bed to keep the hot air from rushing up directly on the meat. I would think you would want to deflect the currents to th outside edges so it'll rise to the top on the sides and then curl back down the center, causing a circus airflow pattern rather that a straight shot up the center.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was too wondering if a diffuser would help. Didn't want to use one because I wanted the juices to drip onto the coals and add more flavor. My bottom rack should be in tomorrow so I may wrap in in HD aluminum foil and cook on the top and see if that helps before fashioning a diffuser.
post #9 of 13

Could it be that your UDS is dressed in Texas orange in Cavalier/Hokie country... :icon_eek:

















...just kidding :cool: 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ha, that's actually Tennessee Orange. Go Vols! At least it's as close as high heat paint comes to Tennessee Orange
post #11 of 13

I also experienced overcooking on my first 2 tries. If I stick a long stem thermometer (like the ones you get with turkey fryers) through the exhaust hole on top, it reads approx 50 to 60 degress hotter than the brand new Weber thermo I have on the side on my drum. I guess I'll need to spluge on a digital thermo to monitor pit temps near the meat. The Weber thermo has a short stem, maybe an inch or so, I'm thinking the drum dissipates enough heat near the thermo to throw it off, I could be wrong.

post #12 of 13

You could always get a perforated pizza pan to use as a diffuser. That way the juices will still drip through and you have a barrier to help disperse the rising smoke. 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'd bet you're right on with that assumption. I will likely also have to go to a nice digital set up. I'm going to try a foil pizza pan next smoke as a heat diffuser and see if this remedies any of the problem
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