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Anyone own a smoker mfg UDS?

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Joined Jun 27, 2020
Hello,

#1
I have a smoker building mfg DraftmasterUDS . It has two air intakes, the heat shield, draft block off system and the heat diffuser. I would really like some information on how you are lighting your charcoal, what temps you are able to maintain, intake/exhaust settings, etc. I’m having trouble keeping the UDS from trying to die out after about 2-3 hours. Smoke stops and the temps start to trickle down. It always has plenty of charcoal in the basket, which leads me to thing it’s not getting enough airflow. I am wondering if the draft block off plate is not letting enough air get to the top of the basket where my lit charcoal sets. I have reached out to the guys at smoker builder mfg and they were super helpful and suggested a full chimney of charcoal across the top of the basket, which I have tried. I have also done the minion method and the coffee can method this afternoon. I’m not disappointed in the product, just trying to figure out my user error issues. Any tips, pictures, tutorials for a newbie would be great. Im to the point now where I want to order a control fan if I can’t figure this out.
#2
I live in the south, does humidity have anything to do with this? I have been using lump royal oak charcoal, which i leave in my garage. A friend of mine mention it absorbs moisture from the air and mentioned that it could affect the lighting the charcoal throughout the cook. Any thoughts or opinions would be very much appreciated!
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thirdeye

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I've never seen one of those until now, but I did peek at the assembly videos. You did use a step bit on the center hole (of the 5-hole pattern) before bolting on the vent risers? I would think you would have plenty of intake. As far as lighting goes, I use a weed burner and light one spot dead center.
 
15
12
Joined Jun 27, 2020
I've never seen one of those until now, but I did peek at the assembly videos. You did use a step bit on the center hole (of the 5-hole pattern) before bolting on the vent risers? I would think you would have plenty of intake. As far as lighting goes, I use a weed burner and light one spot dead center.
I purchased it already put together from the guys up there.
 

unclebubbas bbq

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I don't have one but I really like the idea of the shield and block off plate. I assume that you have all the vents wide open at this point. How about trying a basket of Kingsford Blue, I usually run a combination of the blue & lump. Only other thing might be drilling the holes in the shield a little larger
 

JCAP

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I don't have a cooker like this..

I’m having trouble keeping the UDS from trying to die out after about 2-3 hours. Smoke stops and the temps start to trickle down
Does it trickle down and stabilize at a lower temp than you want? Or does it completely die out? I only ask because if I remember correctly, in my PBC the temp rises and then falls a bit before stabilizing.

Does it always do this? What happens if you open the intake a bit more than you think you need?
 

thirdeye

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They have similar features to a Gateway drum, straight can, up-sweeping pipes for intake and an exhaust in the lid which is hinged.
 

krj

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Your charcoal drawing moisture is a possibility, but unless is was setting for months at a time I can't believe it would cause this many problems.

Honestly, having done business with Frank and Crew in the past, my best advice would be to give him a call and explain your issue. Between him, Tom and the others they should be able to help you out. That group is a bunch of great guys, and are super knowledgeable and helpful. Tom actually gave me two recipes that I modified into one, that I use for one of my catering sides.
 
15
12
Joined Jun 27, 2020
I don't have a cooker like this..



Does it trickle down and stabilize at a lower temp than you want? Or does it completely die out? I only ask because if I remember correctly, in my PBC the temp rises and then falls a bit before stabilizing.

Does it always do this? What happens if you open the intake a bit more than you think you need?
Your charcoal drawing moisture is a possibility, but unless is was setting for months at a time I can't believe it would cause this many problems.

Honestly, having done business with Frank and Crew in the past, my best advice would be to give him a call and explain your issue. Between him, Tom and the others they should be able to help you out. That group is a bunch of great guys, and are super knowledgeable and helpful. Tom actually gave me two recipes that I modified into one, that I use for one of my catering sides.
absolutely they are great people and the smoker is well made for sure
 

JC in GB

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That is a nice looking drum smoker.

You could try running the air into the cooker with a blower and a PID controller. That should keep you charcoal lit even if it is a bit damp from humidity.

I have DC output PID controllers for sale that will run a blower to control your pit.

PM me if interested.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

thirdeye

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I purchased it already put together from the guys up there.
It would be easy enough to look inside the drum and verify there is a large hole in the center of the 4 bolt pattern where the vent pipes attach. Drums are a pretty simple design, they have intake, draft and exhaust.....
 
15
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Joined Jun 27, 2020
It would be easy enough to look inside the drum and verify there is a large hole in the center of the 4 bolt pattern where the vent pipes attach. Drums are a pretty simple design, they have intake, draft and exhaust.....
Oh there is a one hole for each pipe and the heat shield has multiple holes drilled into it also
 

unclebubbas bbq

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I would bet it's the charcoal. According to Frank this smoker actually functions better as is than it would with a controller
 

thirdeye

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Oh there is a one hole for each pipe and the heat shield has multiple holes drilled into it also
Good, this verifies that the design checks out. Unless a bird or a pack rat has left you a surprise in one of the tubes..... I think you need to change your fire management. Open both vents, fill that firebox up with fresh charcoal, light a spot in the center, leave the lid open for a few minutes then close the lid and play with the vents. I'd have something like some country ribs to cook while you play with fire.
 

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