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First time using UDS

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ronaldf123, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. ronaldf123

    ronaldf123 Newbie

    Hi, finally completed my barrel and tried it for first time.  I put a 12" thermometer(calibrated) below grill.  I used the charcoal baskets made by Weber full with unlit brickets then added 12-15 lit to top.  Barrel went to 270 right away and then I added two beer butt chickens to grill.  Charcoal is 3" off bottom, grill is 27" off bottom.  Could not get the temp down to 240, stayed around 280 for entire cook.  Capped two 3/4 air intakes and turned valve 1/2.  Set weber lid on top to accomodate for height of chickens, was not a very tight fit but seemed to work.  The chickens were around 5.2 lbs. ea. very close in weight.  It took 4.5 hours for the birds to reach 165 internal temp and the did not seem to be as golden as some of the pics I've seen here.  They were juicy and tasted good.  Does this seem correct?  
  2. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    You may have fired up to many briquettes to start it up causing it to get hot.  Once you get to many coals going it's tough to bring the temps back down.  Next time try using 8 to 10 coals to get your basket started.  My last couple burns I've used 8.  I think I read some where on here that someone posted a rule of thumb is about a one coal per pound of coal.  

    What I've tried the last two burns that has worked out for me is once I dump the hot coals in the basket, I drop the basket in and close the lid.  All values open, at 180* close one cap, at 200* close a second cap and at 225* closed the ball valve 1/2 throttle.  Let it burn for 30 minutes to an hour to clear the smoke and settle the temps.  Quickly place the food in and set back and enjoy.

    The 280* temps I don't think hurt much with the chicken.  Some people I think like to smoke them at the higher temps to get a crisper skin.  How did you prep the bird?  I found coating the bird in some EVO provides a nice golden color.  Someone I'm sure will be along to add more on the chicken.
    ddave likes this.
  3. ronaldf123

    ronaldf123 Newbie

    I just applied a rub under and over the skin.  I dont now if it matters but the barrel is unpainted and was in the sun.  Inside temp was 150 even before lighting coals.  Did you mean one coal per pound of meat?
  4. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Try brushing on a little olive oil before putting your rub on next time...it should give you some nice golden color.  Over in the UDS section I think it was Tom37 that mentioned a rule of thumb for how many briquettes to light when using briquettes is 1 briquette for every pound of charcoal used. I wouldn't rule out the outdoor conditions, but give lighting less a try, it's always easier to waiting just little while longer for it to heat up versus getting it to hot from the start and trying to cool it down.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  5. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I would say for the first time you done good. It takes a few smokes before you figure out your UDS. Altitude and weather can also enter the outcome. Now where's the Qview? [​IMG]
  6. new2que

    new2que Meat Mopper

    I have just completed the third burn in my new UDS.  The first time I had the same exact problems you've listed.  my solution... less starter coals.

    I went from about a third of a chimney (probably 15+ coals) down to about 6-8... and man it worked like a champ.  I've kinda gone at the target temps diff though.  I give the chokes room to breath, but let the temps stall in various places then open them up slightly.  Now i'm not choking the fire up, i just let it come and stall at 180, then open a little, then 200, then open a little to 225, etc.  Its just easier for me to keep the reigns on it, rather than trying to let it heat up and slow it down.  Could just be that i'm still a little scared from my first attemp!
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I am not a uds user( yet).

     But i really don't see a problem w/ the way you did it If you can keep the temps where you want them . Maybe one of the UDS gurus will think different?
  8. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Great news, glad to hear it's working out for you!  Agree with eman, if your technique works for you that's all that matters...not sure there's really any right or wrong way, just finding the best method and/or technique that works in your situation.  

    I'm not a UDS expert by any stretch but if it works for you controlling the temps on your UDS, that's all that is important!  It's just a matter of practice, learning the equipment and gaining confidence in the equipment, just like a Soldier with a new piece of kit.  Happy Smokin'!
  9. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Excellent, excellent starting method and advice. [​IMG]