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propane uds temp problem

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
i am using a 55 gal drum with side burner off a gas grill sitting on the bottom on one side. i have an X formed at top to hang 12 in summer sausage. well the problem is while running at 170 for a few hrs i got an internal of 200 plus on 2 sausages nearest the flame and wall above burner. had to trash those. should i get a discarded lid and cut it down and install a 3-4 inches above burner to baffle heat and make all sausages run at same temp? keep open flame distributed like that maybe? i know a friend who uses 2 hot plates and does good.i was nt ready to switch just yet because i put in a grill rack from time to time and smoke hams,bologna and need the heat produced by propane vs the hot plates. thanks.sorry i got longwinded. djicon_smile.gif
post #2 of 4
(Edited: Sorry DJ, you posted on the thread below, so you know where I've been). Would like to hear more about what you did (pictures) and what worked and what didn't).

You might take a look down below at this thread, as I've been working on a similar concept:


Sounds like you have a smaller BTU output burner, but it's inside the drum, so all the heat is in the drum. Good and bad. Good, that it is efficient and sheltered from wind. Bad, in that it does concentrate a lot of heat in there, and causes other problems like how to get smoke in there, along with a source of combustion air. You can't risk snuffing a gas flame like you can charcoal, or else you run the risk of the big boom.

If you don't have one, you will need a heat baffle. A plate of flat steel, or like I'm using, a heavy steel lid from a 30 gallon drum. If doing more than sausages, etc, you need to isolate all the drippings from the flame and burner. The plate of steel will support either a water pan or drip pan. In addition to catching the drippings, it needs to evenly distribute the heat inside the drum. I'd want the burner centered, forcing the heat through/past the baffle to even things out.

Setup as a UDS, the heat source and smoke goes in first, then the baffle, and finally the smokee. It's awkward to reverse the process to get at the heat source and or smoke if you need to, which is why I quickly migrated to putting the heat and smoke outside the barrel. The barrel just contains the heat and smoke around the meat. Others have cut doors in the bottom of their barrels so they can tend to things down below without disturbing what's up top.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
i cant center this particular burner because its a side burner off a gas grill and vent on tube must stay outside and the tube is not long enough, thought about using a top of a 55 gal drum that was the cut out with a torch style and cut it down some and drill small holes except over the burner area. would that help? i was going to put 4 bolts 3 inches above burner and let dist plate rest on the 3 in long bolts sticking through to the heat area. i may have to go to a different burner to get heat even but want to keep flame inside. i have a 6x8 inch hinged door at bottom now. would the dist plate be ok to drop wood chips on down through the sausages also? i have no photos just trying to get this thing tweeked. thanks for your help. dj
post #4 of 4
For a heat baffle, you could try that expanded wire mesh we build the charcoal baskets out of for a UDS. Put it above your burner and a pile of BBQ lava rock over the burner, thinning out as you move away from the burner. That might prevent a hot spot right over your burner. Or use that and put a wood chip pan over your burner....a big one...for your smoke source and baffle.

As long as your flame is in the barrel, you are going to need a drip pan to keep the grease off it. You don't want any grease fires.

I had trouble with my burner inside the barrel, as I got the nasty smell of unburnt gas coming through the vent. That went away when I moved the flame outside.

You might also consider an external smoke generator to eliminate the problems of using your burner to generate smoke. That way, your gas burner is just providing heat. That solves a lot of problems with these drums.
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