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UDS trial run underway and have some??'s

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have 4-3/4" intakes and 8-1/2" exhausts holes. I am using Mesquite lump and I filled my chimney starter with lump and newspaer and got it going. Filled my basket w/ lump, dumped in the hot coals. I started with 1 intake open and could not get over 180 in the 1st 45 min., So I opend up the other 3 intakes and another 45 minutes later, I  am @ 230. I have 2 temp guages 1 2" below cooking grate and 1 sticking in a exhaust port, both reading with 15 degrees of each other.

This sound right? I am new to the UDS and Lump...Most of BBQing  has been on a side firebox with wood.


post #2 of 13

Sounds right to me, but I'm still looking for a drum to build my UDS with.  I think most here start with all of their intake vents open every time to get up to cooking temp faster, otherwise why have 3 or 4 intakes if you're not going to use them?  Once close to cooking temperature but still below it begin closing vents until you're left with only the valved vent left open, and fine tune with that one.  With all four intakes open your temp will probably keep going up until you're in the 300s.


Do you have qview of your build?  Don't forget to take some of your smokes!


Enjoy your new toy.

post #3 of 13

If it's taking that long to get to temp, then to me it sounds like an air leak around the lid.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

After my 1st post, I went back outside and the UDS was @ 260, I closed off 2 intakes and it dropped to 250 and holding there so far.The lid does leak a little, not much. I have the clamp ring I can put on to help tighten it up.

Maybe its the newbie jitters is why I was freaking out on the temp....so far this is much easier than BBQing with wood, less work anyways.

I'll get some pics up.

post #5 of 13

Sounds like it's working ok then


Perhaps just the characteristics of your drum.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Its still holding @ 250, it will bump to 260 and back down to 250. So far so good!

As I sit and watch the temp, I find myself thinkin..WHY did you not build one of these sooner?

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Is it me or does the UDS cook faster than the other type of pits?

post #8 of 13

I've noticed the same.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I would rank this cook in my top 9 out of 10. I am 40 some odd yrs old and have mainly BBQed on side fire box pits with wood. I have always been a wood BBQ'er. Today is a new day for me! I literally threw together a UDS (out of need). I literally just drilled the holes and mounted what was needed...........no handles, I used gloves. I used magnets from Walmart to cover the intake holes. I was nervous at first, then just became amazed @ the UDS. I really think it cooks faster than a SFB does. I mean at 2.5 hours my ribs fell apart with just 1 sprits of apple juice.Anyways I yielded some great food on the cheap thanks to this forum. I really cant express my amazment on the UDS today!

post #10 of 13

Yes they do smoke/cook quick. I can do a 20# pound turkey and not even worry about getting to 140* in a safe time of 4 hours. There all different and once you learn there little quirks it's almost a set and forget smoker.  Welcome to the ugly side.

post #11 of 13

I'm new to the UDS, I just completed my 3rd cook on mine. I noticed that I had to feed it more air early to get it fired up too. I keep my 3 vents open until I start approaching my target temp, then close off the 2 side vents and just keep my ball valve vent open, then progressively close it down until it settles in on the desired temp. Just like a car, it needs more fuel to accelerate up to speed, but less to maintain that speed.


And I noticed my cook times were shorter too.

post #12 of 13

Mine doesn't even need the 2 side vents open. I keep the lid off until my firestarter sticks stop burning then pop the lid on, and close the ball valve to 1/2 way. will chug along at 225 all day long with about 10lbs of lump.

post #13 of 13

Here be how I do mine, Ain't sayin it's the only way, but what works fer me.


Get a tin can like a juice can, I put that in the middle a my charcoal basket an stack my bricks an chunks round it.  Fire up 10 bricks an put em in the can an pull the can out.


Put the basket in the UDS an put the lid on with all dampers open.  I start out with my intakes wide open an watch the temp, as I get near where I wanna be I start closin off intakes, easier ta slow one down then it be ta cool it off, I usually wind up with all a the intakes capped off an regulate with my valve.  That be fer a 250° smoke, higher temp smokes may require I open another intake.  Yall just have ta play with yers ta see what works out the best fer ya, but that be a good startin point anywho.


Drums er great, easy, efficient an ya could say fun!

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