MY NEW UDS w/qview

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by tld, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    This is my version of a UDS. Also with this being my 1st one I have some newbie ?'s
    my free barrel

    Drilling with uni-bit

    1st burn out

    made me an ash pan and charcoal bucket

    ash pan painted

    welded up a 6" tall lid

    ash pan/charcoal bucket inside

    I have 2 racks inside

    done painting

    added a nipple to allow therm. access. Mistake??

    starting to season

    This is my shelve I added.(notice the outside temp this is before I started seasoning)

    notice temps (1/2 hour or so into seasoning)

    so here are a few of my questions. I checked my external therm. (it has the typ. 2" probe) and it is accurate. As you can see in 1st therm. pic its in the low 50's outside. when I was well into my trial run (I had my digital therm. in the center of my top rack). As you can see I'm getting approx.50 Degrees different. Is this typical?
    I'm also having problems holding my temps down. I've closed both 3/4 nipples when I hit 200 degrees.(which was almost immediate) now I only have my 3/4 ball valve open maybe 1/8" but still running @ 290 can't seem to lower the temp. Was adding the 1/4 nipple for therm access a mistake ? Is it letting to much air in that I can't control?

    Thanks for looking at my Q-View .
  2. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    man this is getting out of control. I had all air intakes closed including the nipple for therm. access. for over 1/2 hr and temps still climbing. I'm at 336 degrees. Is my 2" exhaust too big and letting air in??
  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey that looks pretty nice. I was just asking about building a UDS. Yours gave me some good ideas. Good job, nice and clean fabrication job it.
  4. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Im sorry I could not help you on your temp issues. Still a rookie at this stuff. I do have a question for you, is there some sore of drip pan or something to keep juices and fat dripping from landing on the coals and having flare ups?
  5. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    As of this time I don't have a drip pan. This being my first UDS I don't know if one is needed. I'm sure someone will be along to answer both of us on that question.

    Thanks for looking at my q-view
  6. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that's pretty trick! I dig the extensions and handles on the ash tray. Beats the crap out of rolling the drum over to clean it out, which is what I do.
  7. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    Thanks Josh. Getting old enough that I have to try to make things easier. lol
  8. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No, I don't think so. If you're burning that hot, there is only a stream of hot gas EXITING that vent...none coming in.

    Did you have a lot of fuel that close to the combustion point? You may be experiencing that combined with a leak in your lid that will suck air in and straight down the interior sides of that puppy to where the fire is, then right back up and out of the vent. Check your exhaust. If that baby is pumping out a steady stream of hot gas, I bet that's your problem.

    Without being there, course we can't be sure, but check into that.

    Hope this helps!
  9. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    more holes in the lid means more heat can escape.IMHO

    i believe the normal is 6 or 8 3/4" holes in the lid
  10. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Your 2" exhaust is pretty standard. Some people use the 8 1/2" hole layout but many just use the 2" bung on the lid.

    Using a nipple for therm probe access is probably a little big. I drilled a hole just large enough for the probes (and probe wires for the second probe) to pass through. But with the temps you are describing and the fact that you can't bring it down, I would bet that you probably started too much fuel or your lid is not sealing well. If you built the lid (which looks good by the way) you have to be careful and make sure it seals really good where it meets the drum lip. If air is leaking in around the drum lip, the fire will continue to creep. Also, if you are running the drum completely empty (with no meat) there is no heat sink so the temp will creep up also.

    When you light it, you only need to light about 8 or 10 briquettes. Let the temp come up slowly and try to catch it (by closing the intakes) on the way up. It's a lot easier to bring a UDS up in temp than to get it back down.

    It is normal for there to be a 30° to 40° difference between the edge of the grate and the center.

    The UDS is differnent than most smokers in that they want to run hot and will sneak away on you if you're not careful. But they are very efficient smokers and once you get used to them are awesome in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.


    On Edit:

    Oh, and you don't want a drip pan. You want the fat dripping into the hot coals and vaporizing thus adding to the flavor. Once you get the air control and from there temp control down, you won't have to worry about flare ups. Unless you're doing chicken and that's only when you lift the lid.

    Here is another post you might find helpful in the future.
  11. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is a beautiful drum you have built there! Quite impressed with some of the extras you've added.

    As to you temp problems, the nipple the probe is in is definetly a air leak, need to do something about that.
    Lose the riser on your intake, don't work for chit.
    Other than that, is your lid tight?
    Check those items and you'll be in good shape!
  12. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i was waiting for your

    and in a week or so i will be asking the same questions... just finished reading the uds bible and got a line on unlimited drums around
  13. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    About farken time you built a real smoker! [​IMG]
  14. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all the input.
    My lid seems to fit pretty good. I've got a lip on the inside that it sits on then it hangs down the outside 1/2" and the O.D. is only 1/8 bigger O.A. can't say if air is coming in or not. Think maybe I should buy me a gasket to help seal it?
    I didn't think the ball valve up high would hurt, thought it was a good idea so I wouldn't have to bend down. That's an easy one to fix.
    This was just a trial run so there wasn't anything in it for a heat sink, I didn't think about that affecting the heat.
    As far as lighting I had charcoal basket not quite 1/2 full with premium wood briquettes then I use a full chimney of R.O. lump. It didn't take 3 minutes for it to hit 200 degrees. I closed both bottom nipples and about 15 min. later turned the ball valve shut about 1/2 way but it just kept climbing. topped out at 333 degrees before I got it to start dropping. Now for the last 3 hrs its been hanging in around 210 on the outside therm. and 245 on the inside therm. I can't believe after spiking like that (it took dang near 2 1/2 hrs to get it back down) its been 7 hrs now and still going strong. And I only had maybe 2/3 of my charcoal basket full. I can see where a 12 to 14 hr smoke won't be any problems.

    Thanks for all the help.
  15. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    yah i know it

    i built a filing cabinet smoker that i can do some sausage and fish in the fall in. once its complete and tuned properly i am going to post pics of it
  16. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And there lies your problem!

    Start with about 10 lit briquettes and catch the temp on the way up.
    I still think that thermo hole needs to be sealed up but sounds like your good now!
  17. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    I also tend to use briquettes and no lump in the UDS. Lump seems a bit too hot and burns too fast compared to briq's.
  18. cajunsmoke13

    cajunsmoke13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a nice looking smoker. Need me one of those
  19. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    Going to try re-smoking a ham for dinner tomorrow. I'll try a few different things at a time. Going to close off the nipple ,use just briquettes, and only start with 8-10 lit at the start. Figured ham would be a good choice, as it calls for cooking at 350 in the oven, so if heat gets out of control it won't hurt. Plus now I've got some kind of heat sink going on. No need to wasting good charcoal on another trial run.
    Thanks again,
  20. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a good plan.[​IMG] It sounds like you have a deadline (dinner) so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to let the drum warm up and get settled in.

    Have fun with it and post some pics.


Share This Page