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UDS Smoker Questions - Page 4

post #61 of 76
I drilled a hole through a bolt to hold my thermometer in place so I can slide it in and out of the drum. I didn't think of the drippings hitting it but to be fair, when the drum is full my 5" stem thermometer is going to suffer from the same problem.
post #62 of 76
Well . . . not really. You want to measure smoker temp at the grate level, not several inches above the grate and the meat. Plus when you put the cold meat on if the thermo is above it, it will read much lower than the temp under the grate which is what you're trying to control.

The side mounted thermo works fine. Just compare it to a digi probe at the center a few times so you know what the difference is and do the math like Rick said. It's really no big deal. I try to keep my side thermo between 180° and 200°. On my drum that's a center grate range of 230° to 250°.

You can also do the deep fry thermo through the bolt. I had mine set up that way for a while.

post #63 of 76
Thread Starter 
damn had an idea to make a cover over end of thermometer to stop meat juice from dripping on it but like you said it would be hell dealing with the charcoal basket darn.
post #64 of 76
I have a question, the three valves that are located at the bottom. Do you only take off the caps when you need more air?
The check valve is the main one?? Just a little confused.
Thanks, Tony
post #65 of 76
You generally start with both caps off and the valve wide open. As the drum warms up, you can put one cap on and/or close down the valve to get the desired temp. Most drums seem to run around 240ish with one cap on and the valve 1/2 to 1/3 open. Mine likes to run at 240ish with both caps on and the valve 1/2 open.

The caps are just there because they are cheaper than the valve. If you thought of the drum "throttle" opening in a numeric sense from 0 (both caps on and valve closed) to 3 (both caps off and valve wide open) you can achieve anywhere from 0 to 3 with a combinaton of caps and the valve. One and 1/2 would be one cap off and the valve 1/2 open. Two and 1/2 would be both caps off and valve 1/2 open. It's an easy way to achieve infinite levels of air control without having to buy three very expensive valves.

post #66 of 76
Thread Starter 
some people have made a smaller insert to go in there charcoal basket for smaller burns, but why couldnt you just use same basket and less coals?
post #67 of 76
Thread Starter 
some people on here have made a smaller insert for their charcoal basket for smaller burns, cant you just use less coal?
post #68 of 76
Thread Starter 
oops posted twice
post #69 of 76
Sure, you can. You can also just fill it up and use the unused coals the next time around. Many times I have just filled the basket up then use what coals were left on the next smoke. Either way the drum is a fuel miser.
post #70 of 76
Thread Starter 
you lost me how would there be unused coals? by choking the air off?
post #71 of 76
What he said. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Close down the intakes . . . and exhaust if necessary . . . AFTER the cook and the fire goes out. Shake out the ash the next day and reuse the coals next time.

post #72 of 76

I use 12" thermometers in my drums so that I'm getting what is generally the hottest reading at grate level. I don't have any issues whatsoever with drippings changing the temperature readings. I'm sure drippings get on the thermometer at times, but I'd notice if there was a big variation because of it and I haven't ever seen that. My smaller drum has two grates in it and two 12" thermometers. Yes, they have to be partially removed in order to get the charcoal basket out, but that's easy enough to do the way I mounted them, which was with the clip that comes with for attaching to the side of a deep fry kettle. Sort of spring loads them for stability and easy removal (which is also nice for cleaning the thermometer stem with steel wool). I have also seen in this forum where someone drilled a hole through the center of a bolt and inserted a long thermometer that way. I can vouch for the 12" thermometers working great on both my drums.
post #73 of 76
Thread Starter 
Cool i will give the long stem one a try, thanks for the info and cool way to mount it so its removable.
post #74 of 76
FYI Pan, I've seen where a couple guys have also used wiring gromets (sp?) to run in a wireless thermometer line. Something like this seems like it would also work well for the long-stem thermometers. The only disadvantage to the way I have mine mounted is that you need two hands to slide the thermometer out. Not a big deal, but sometimes inconvenient. Let us know what route you choose in the end!
post #75 of 76
Thread Starter 
just read your reply lol, old post but i am learning that about having coals left over but that's with leaving the valves open, maybe its the walmart brand charcoal that's not burning good.
post #76 of 76
Thread Starter 
i will, i was plan on picking another thermometer up at wally world but i forgot
to last time i was there. i will proboblay mount it the way you did.
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