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Ok trying to learn more about UDS's, how many and what size are your air intakes?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have three 3/4 inch ball valves  on mine and want to know what you guys have? I think three might be unnessecary? I see alot of people have one input and i pln on making a few more uds's so i want to make them cheaper if i can?

post #2 of 19

I did mine with three intakes, but only put a ball valve on one. I capped the other two.

post #3 of 19

One 1/2" ball valve and a door from a ECB on mine.

 

intake.jpg

door.jpg

post #4 of 19

I have three 3/4" pipe nipples spaced evenly around the bottom of mine. One has the ball valve and the other two have caps. Here is a pic that shows 2 of the three, it also shows the plug I use in the ball valve to keep rain out. This is to be removed before a smoke. I AM sure no one really needs to ask how I know this.

 

May16_000600.jpg

 

meateater, I have an arrow drawn to a part near your ball valve. Did you buy this flange as it or did you modify it in to the egg shape? I really like the looks of it alot.

Thanks

Tom

 

14418fd5_intake.jpg

post #5 of 19



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom37 View Post

I have three 3/4" pipe nipples spaced evenly around the bottom of mine. One has the ball valve and the other two have caps. Here is a pic that shows 2 of the three, it also shows the plug I use in the ball valve to keep rain out. This is to be removed before a smoke. I AM sure no one really needs to ask how I know this.

 

May16_000600.jpg

 

meateater, I have an arrow drawn to a part near your ball valve. Did you buy this flange as it or did you modify it in to the egg shape? I really like the looks of it alot.

Thanks

Tom

 

14418fd5_intake.jpg



I bought that flange but cant remember what its called off hand. I dont have a welder so I used it and just drilled the holes and bolted it in, seems to work OK.

post #6 of 19

I've built over 30 UDS smokers in the past year and have a personal fleet of 10 that I keep for personal use. Out of all the ones i've built, I can't begin to tell you how keeping it simple silly (KISS) really goes a long way.

 

Most recently, I smoked both a 9.5 pork shoulder and a 15lb ham on my #2 UDS which consists of nothing more than four 3/4 holes regulated with magnets. I fired it up and loaded it with food at 1030pm friday night and it held 240 for 15 hours straight.

 

My point here, is use what you have, learn how it cooks. There's been others who say their UDS cooks the best and most efficiently at 270, some at 265 and some at closer to 300, your mileage will vary. My builds #6-10 all have a single 2" intake with a slide cover that regulates overall airflow. The differences between how well 6-10 cooks vs #2, none whatsoever. The reason why is because i learned my equipment and how it LIKES to run when loaded with fuel and food and capitalized on that instead of forcing it to cook a way that would require more interaction and less enjoyment.

post #7 of 19

Helljack, I believe there to be alot of truth to what you have just said. I think my next one will be about as plain Jane as they get with the exception of the ashes. I would like to be able to lift the ash pan out when I lift the basket out.

 

How do you clean the ash on yours?

Thanks

Tom

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom37 View Post

Helljack, I believe there to be alot of truth to what you have just said. I think my next one will be about as plain Jane as they get with the exception of the ashes. I would like to be able to lift the ash pan out when I lift the basket out.

 

How do you clean the ash on yours?

Thanks

Tom


take out the firebox and depending on how lazy i am either using a wet/dry shop vac or just flipping it over and dumping it out, about once ever so many cooks i'll actually just dump it and then pressure wash the inside, let dry upside down for 12 hours or more and then recoat with oil to keep it from rusting out.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yes i understand you can adapt to any smoker you have and any number of intakes and get used to it but why have four intakes to mess with? hell i have three and i think thats cool but not nessesary to have that many, i guess i could experiment on my next smoke and only open one intake and see what happens.Keeping it simple would not be to have four intakes, one would be simple. I spent over 150$ on mine and am looking for ways to bring that cost way down and still have it look decent. what im saying is i lets say i gave one to grampa, grampa would have a much easier time with one valve than three or four right? its a no brainer lol

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 


i have seen other people do the cap thing to and i dont get it? do you always leave the caps on or do you take them off to control temps?

doesnt make sense to make a hole then cap it? and if you do take the caps off then that seems like a pain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AK1 View Post

I did mine with three intakes, but only put a ball valve on one. I capped the other two.


 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Photo0082.jpgheres a pic of mine with the shelf on it, it may look goofy with a bigger shelf but i can put a big cookie sheet full of meat on it which comes in handy.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post

Yes i understand you can adapt to any smoker you have and any number of intakes and get used to it but why have four intakes to mess with? hell i have three and i think thats cool but not nessesary to have that many, i guess i could experiment on my next smoke and only open one intake and see what happens.Keeping it simple would not be to have four intakes, one would be simple. I spent over 150$ on mine and am looking for ways to bring that cost way down and still have it look decent. what im saying is i lets say i gave one to grampa, grampa would have a much easier time with one valve than three or four right? its a no brainer lol


Four intakes at 3/4 inch equals 1.5 inches of air intake vs 2 inch air exhaust. My entire build costs less than $50 to make, and takes from start to finish, about 35 minutes to build, how much more simpler would you like it? I have four intakes because on a whim i can open them all up and use my smoker as a grill and have it well over 500+ in a matter of minutes with the lid off. I didn't say I mess with all four of them when slow cooking, you assumed that fact and you are wrong. When using it as a slow cooker I only have to leave one open to achieve and maintain 240 degrees for extended burn periods, again, how much easier to operate would you like it?

 

You would do well to not knock the art of simplicity. $150 per smoker in your case vs. under $50 in mine, you have more than one ball valve that requires adjustment, i have a single magnet to set in place, hmmmmmm, I believe that the simpler idea WOULD be mine.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post


i have seen other people do the cap thing to and i dont get it? do you always leave the caps on or do you take them off to control temps?

doesnt make sense to make a hole then cap it? and if you do take the caps off then that seems like a pain?


 

I'm not quite sure.

 

This was my first build, so I decided to go with what seems common. Basically, from what I understand, you open one cap, and the ball valve until temp is reached, then close the capped intake & regulate airflow with the valve. I'm guessing the third intake is for high heat cooking?
 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Helljack im not arguing or saying that you had to operate all four inputs on yours,i guess i did assume that you had to use all of them but im wrong, i didnt claim to know everything about it thats why i made this thread to learn, and i think you answered my question to AK1 as far as his capped openings that he would take them off for grilling temps. I didnt try to make mine for cheap i wanted it to look good so thats good that you made yours for 50$ but i had to buy my parts and apparently you had everything around allready, and i tried the magnets and they melt on and get stuck on and didnt last long so thats why i went with the valves but once again thats why im asking here so when i make more i can do them cheaper.

post #15 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post

Helljack im not arguing or saying that you had to operate all four inputs on yours,i guess i did assume that you had to use all of them but im wrong, i didnt claim to know everything about it thats why i made this thread to learn, and i think you answered my question to AK1 as far as his capped openings that he would take them off for grilling temps. I didnt try to make mine for cheap i wanted it to look good so thats good that you made yours for 50$ but i had to buy my parts and apparently you had everything around allready, and i tried the magnets and they melt on and get stuck on and didnt last long so thats why i went with the valves but once again thats why im asking here so when i make more i can do them cheaper.

 

Relax man, it's all good. I use the heavy duty magnets you get that come in a roll that you cut to your preferred length at about 1" wide from ace hardware and been using the same set without replacement for over a year now. If your magnets are getting that hot and melting away during a smoke, i'd have to guess that your firebox is either too low to the ground or your intake holes are too high up and too close to the firebox heat. I don't have that problem, my firebox sits about 3.5-4.0 inches off the ground and my intake holes are 2 inches off the ground.

 

No, I buy all my parts that I need to make a UDS smoker and it runs me about $50 or so, what drives your costs up are the ball valves. What I would do for your next build, is drill a single 1" or 3/4 inch hole two inches off the bottom, assemble and fire it up with fuel and meat, leave the single hole wide open and find out where your temps settle at, you might not need more than one hole for intake for slow and low. And to use as a grill, just use with the lid off because the air rushing in from the top is going to feed the fire more than the air coming from one intake hole at the bottom.
 

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

The magnets i used were the cheap free ones they give you on the phone book with the lawyers on them so thats probably why they didnt last, real thin cheap crap.

I got the valves for six bucks each so it was better than home depots ten dollars each ones, i paid 20$ for my barrel and thats alot because i think i have a connection local for 5$ each so that will be good and i will take two of the valves off mine now and just use them on two more smokers and use caps on the other holes. I will find out if one 3/4 inch intake is enough next time i fire it up. I had read somewhere that the reason for three holes is that it makes a more even heat at the cooking grate but im not so sure thats the case now.

post #17 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post

The magnets i used were the cheap free ones they give you on the phone book with the lawyers on them so thats probably why they didnt last, real thin cheap crap.

I got the valves for six bucks each so it was better than home depots ten dollars each ones, i paid 20$ for my barrel and thats alot because i think i have a connection local for 5$ each so that will be good and i will take two of the valves off mine now and just use them on two more smokers and use caps on the other holes. I will find out if one 3/4 inch intake is enough next time i fire it up. I had read somewhere that the reason for three holes is that it makes a more even heat at the cooking grate but im not so sure thats the case now.


Honestly, i've NEVER had that issue with even heat. I used a 6" side probe and a prob directly in the middle of the cooking grate, they came within about 5 degrees of each other the entire cook. You want even heating, spread out your hot coals as you dump them into your firebox instead of clumping them up in one location. It doesn't matter how many holes you put in the bottom, the only purpose of those holes is to feed air to the fire, not regulate even heating.

 

A couple options if you're really looking to try to "even out" your heating, either install a heat shield/damper (which really is an oximoron based off the UDS cooking design to begin with) OR move your top exhaust to TDC (Top Dead Center) of your lid which will force the interior smoke to swirl and evenly pass over all your food moving towards a more centralized location.

 

3/4 inch hole should be more than enough to get your UDS right up to temperature, what's really going to dictate is how many coals you start out lit with. I think the max coals i start my UDS with is 12pcs, wait until they're all ashed over and spread them over the firebasket. Then I drop the food on and put the lid on when temperature hits about 174 on the external therm. At this point i'm already operating with one intake open full, as i hit 200 i start slowly covering that one intake until she settles into the cooking range I want.

post #18 of 19

I smoke alot fer commercial purposes, use the drum on the small jobs, got 3 3/4 inch pipe nipples, one with a full flow ball valve, the other two have caps.  When I first start up the smoker, I have all three open, then as the temp get closer ta what I be lookin for, I put on a cap, when it gets almost ta my set temp I put on the second cap an use the ball valve ta regulate ta the fine hairs.  It's what works, so I ain't changin that.  Magnets would work to, but I tend ta loose stuff an the nipples an caps save that headache cause the caps er on keeper chains.

post #19 of 19

I used one 2" pipe and made a damper at the top with my exhaust damper from my char-griller. Cooks just fine with one big input.. I have a dome lid from a wall mart el-cheapo kettle..

Paint.JPG

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