UDS Temperature Question

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bandcollector, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I recently smoked a turkey and was unable to get my UD'S temperature above 300˚. Average temperature was 279˚.

    The 55 gal. drum has three 3/4" air inlets at the bottom (two 3/4" nipples and a 3/4" adjustable ball valve). All three inlets were completely open.

    13" charcoal basket made of expanded metal filled half way with Kingsford charcoal (blue bag).

    I use a Weber Kettle Grill Lid as my cover and exhaust which was also completely open.

    The temperature that day was 40˚ F with no wind.

    I used accurate digital thermometers to monitor the temperature of the drum as well as the turkey (12# turkey).

    My question is, does this also occur to those of you who live in the colder climate areas of the country or is this just unique to me and my drum?

    Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, John
  2. taterdavid

    taterdavid Smoke Blower

    I got mine going right now and i'm about 20 miles north of PGH. mines running about 240 right now as i got a couple sausage on it. i'm gonna try to run it hot after they come off just to see how it goes. this is only my second smoke with the drum so i'm still learning
  3. I have done a turkey in mine and had 2 out of 3 lower 3/4" vents closed and the ball valve 3/4" open and it ran 350* like clock work.
    A few ? are all your vents on the lower open.
    Is your coal basket up a couple of inches off the drum bottom.
    did you get enough coal going 10 or 15 briquettes or so.
    where is the drum temp sensor.
    I can tune the drum with 1 vent open 2 closed or 2 open 1 closed or all 1/2 way ,you get the idea.The temp outside shouldn't make that much of a difference just put more fuel on (open lower vents) by letting more air in.no need to answer just running some thing by .Bill
  4. Check you temp gauge and where it is located. That might be one thing. As far a lighting coals, I typically flip over my weber chimney starter and fill what would bw the bottom with coals and that is how many I light. If you don't have enough coals to generate enough heat...it might take a while to get up to temp.
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Could it be the charcoal was a bit damp? When doing poultry try using some lump charcoal. You should be able to get the drum up over 300° easy with the lump.
  6. taterdavid

    taterdavid Smoke Blower

    mines running 300 no problem and its 33 degrees here. gotta be something out of wack with the charcoal or something. you should be able to hit 300 easy
  7. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Right now it is 36° and windy and if I let it the drum would hit way over 300°. I think your charcoal is the problem. Could be damp.
  8. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Charcoal has been kept under cover in the garage.........didn't seem damp when I opened the bag.
  9. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks for all the opinions but the briquettes didn't seem damp..........I'll try again with another bag. Maybe I need two chimneys of lit briquettes to get things started.

    Appreciate the responses, John
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow, two chimneys? Even in the dead of winter I have never used more than 20 coals to get things up and running.
  11. taterdavid

    taterdavid Smoke Blower

    i started 10 bricks yesterday and had no problem hitting 300, had valve wide open along with one hole. held that temp for around 4 hours till i lowered the temp.

    gonna cook a butt on wed as long as it don't rain
  12. budlighting

    budlighting Fire Starter

    yea i only have 6 little 3/8" holes with magnets over them and mine will shoot over 300 easy too.lol.did ribs sat mmmm good.
    Oh and i used one chimney to get it started.

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