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UDS question

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've looked and seen that the vast majority of the uds's are vertical and there is no buffer to prevent the fat that is dripping from the meat to fall onto the charcoal and burn. as far as I remember, I've seen somewhere that it is not too healthy. is it only my imagination or there is a way to prevent it, or perhaps it does not matter at all?
post #2 of 16
The fat drops inta the charcoal basket an burns, turns ta smoke what adds flavour ta the meat. No different then a grill eh? Never had a problem with it an have done hundreds a smokes on Titan 1.
post #3 of 16
Its true, there are some tiny amounts of carcinogenic chemicals that are produced when fat hits fire, however most studies have concluded that high heat as in grilling and producing heavily charred meat is the real culprit.

This excerpt comments on a 2009 study, where 60,000 people avg age 63 eating habits were watched for 9 years. Lovers of well done deep charred bbq fared the worst developing pancreatic cancer at a significantly higher rate than all others.
Bottom line, if your tendency is to worry about ambiguous health risks while eating common foods, then BBQ and smoking is most likely not for you. The fact is there are so many elements to daily life that will kill you, there are synergistic effects going on in our bodies that no tests can duplicate which are the result of chemicals from so many things we eat, touch, breath. I'm not telling you to ignore proven science, but those of us that are older can easily remember when those same scientist told us eggs, milk, and butter were bad for you, and since they have reversed themselves. Sometimes the replacement is more harmful than the item they are trying to tell you to stay away from.

You can avoid meat juices and fat from hitting the burning coals by adding a water pan to catch the fat. If you just add a drip pan (the coals will heat that grease and fry it) you will get the same effect of high heat releasing the carcinogens.

The one thing I can tell you for sure at this moment, if you own and use a UDS and a Toyota Prius you have a serious health risk.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanx for the detailed reply. since I dont have a Toyota. can I assume that my life expectancy just rose by 50%? (assuming that I will consume smoked meat). I'm joking, of course.
post #5 of 16
I just built my UDS this winter and it is my go to rig for pork, beef and just about anything else except fish.
post #6 of 16
I use a thin piece of sheet metal over my basket. Thin enough that it doesn't act as a heat sink (which will reduce efficiencies) but provides a surface for the grease to run off without hitting the coals. Much of the drippings still vaporize getting you the same flavor, but doesn't cause your fire to get out of control. This is important to me as many times I let my drum run over night.
post #7 of 16
Look at thread tailgating uds 2.0 in uds builds and it will show an idea of using a drip pan in a uds.
post #8 of 16
You could put a rack about halfway down the drum and put a drip pan there if you were worried about it. It would be far enough away from the coals that it wouldn't get hot enough to vaporize.

Some people do that not because they are worried about the health implications but because they don't particularly like the flavor that the fat burning adds.

Just a guess though, if you have a fondness for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, bacon wrapped fatties and such cooked while bathed in smokey byproducts of combustion -- and hey, who doesn't, that's why we're here -- I would venture to guess that the smoke from some vaporized fat is probably not your most serious health risk. icon_mrgreen.gif

post #9 of 16
I smoked a beef rump roast last weekend in my uds, I took it to 210* and pulled, foiled at 165* it was moist and delicious, my point is I wanted to try something different, so I put the meat on the top rack and placed a drip pan on the rack below to catch the fat from dripping on the coals, I have read that the fat burning can create a sour flavor. The drip pan worked great! it does however take up cooking space if you plan on loading it up. I have yet to cook a butt in the UDS but plan on doing one without a drip pan, and one with a drip pan (at different times) so see if I can notice the difference.
post #10 of 16
I don't know that I would call it a sour flavor. Over the course of a long smoke, it can be a bit much for some -- like my wife. icon_mrgreen.gif I've never used a drip pan per se but one time used a piece of steel over the charcoal basket. When I do butts, I usually foil but the one time I didn't foil, I noticed a much more pronounced "fat smoke" induced flavor.

It's certainly a matter of preference. Some would say it's blasphemy to use a drip pan or (GASP) a water pan in a UDS. Depends on what you're trying to achieve I guess.

If some folks prefer to use it and they like to run theirs that way, then great. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif What ever gets your meat cooked the way you like it is the way to go in my opinion. icon_mrgreen.gif

post #11 of 16
I use a large stainless mixing bowl in mine, however I also add water to my pan, 3 reasons 1 to add moisture and also to keep the drippings from boiling in the pan and it helps to keep my drum clean. I say experiment until you find the right combination that works for you. The UDS is a great smoker.
post #12 of 16
Thanks Swindler.
This pan I made mostly for doing pork butts or other fatty roasts.
Beef roasts I don't use one.
I love the taste of the fat hitting the coals but I live with 5 women... I lose!icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all
Thanks for your comments, they really are very helpful, especially when they are coming from people with a lot of experience. to my humble opinion, the sulotion that Grizandizz came up with, seems very simple to apply and yet, very efficient.
Btw- I've got myself a drum and now I'm looking for a lid ( which, I'm affraid I'll have to manufacture myself- since I dont think that I will be able to purchase the Weber cover that many people use, since it is not very common here). So, as Confucius said that even a 1000 mile journey beggins with one pace - the first pace was made.
post #14 of 16
2 things...

1. DDAVE, that is a fine looking paint job on your UDS! what kind of paint did you use? I am assembling the parts for my first UDS and would love for it to look that good!

2. If anyone is too concerned with carcinogens and other by-products of smoking, may I suggest you put down the tongs, back away from the smoker and steam yourself a little broccoli with a squeeze of lemon ...icon_mrgreen.gif
post #15 of 16
Deltadude, thanks for the great, informative post!
post #16 of 16
Thank you. The black is good ol' Krylon BBQ Grill Paint. The yellow is Duplicolor High Heat Engine Enamel and the color is Daytona Yellow. It doesn't necessarily have to be high heat paint but Duplicolor has some really cool colors in this product line.

I ordered the yellow paint online from Jeggs High Performance for $5 per can.


I used 3 cans but I put on several coats. I also used the high heat primer. Again I don't know if it was necessary but I wire wheeled the drum down to bare metal and figured I'd do it up right.

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