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My UDS Build and first use (Two chuck roasts)

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by motown-n00b, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. motown-n00b

    motown-n00b Fire Starter

    This is what the paint looked like post burnout, half ground off the outside.

    Here's my charcoal basket, sans legs and ash pan.

    I used box-store expanded metal (12" x 24"). I cut the top 4" off each and used it to bridge the gap (17" Weber replacement charcoal grate x Pi = More than 48"). Then I used stainless steel zip-ties to hold the expanded metal to the grate. Got a baggie of 10 at Lowes for about $2.

    Here's what I used for an ash pan. It's the bottom (charcoal pan) from an 18" tabletop grill.

    Here's the basket with legs and ash pan attached.

    My "handle" design from above:

    Barrel finished:
    From the Front:


    Top Rack:

    Bottom Rack:

    Here's the thermometer I mounted between the two racks. It's adjustable so I boil tested and adjusted it slightly. I know I need to rely on internal temps when smoking meat but I wanted something that would at least give me a ballpark.

    What I read for setting up a dual rack was that the bottom rack needs to be 24" above the bottom of the charcoal basket. I think this is close enough.

    These pictures were taken before the seasoning burn. For the seasoning burn I did about a 8 lb basket of charcoal with a few chunks of hickory mixed in. I left both valves all the way open. Note, I have only two holes, both piped and valved. After about 45-60 minutes temps stabilized just above 300 degrees. I checked on it a few times over the next 2-3 hours before I went to bed and it stayed at the same temp. When I woke up in the morning (7 hours later, 10 hours total) there was no more smoke flowing out of the vent but the temp was still 175. Not bad given the air temp on my deck was around 45 degrees.

    This is my first smoker and the next post will contain the results of my first ever attempt at smoking meat.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  2. motown-n00b

    motown-n00b Fire Starter

    I cannibalized the lid, bottom rack, all three wood handles/spacers, and top ring from an old 22.5" Weber kettle grill knock-off I received as a wedding gift, in 2001. It served me well but has been replaced. So it was fair game. The top ring allows the lid to fit without having to stretch out the lid, which would undoubtedly chip more of the enamel off. You can't really see the inner ring in the pics but it's there.

    My sister donated two chuck roasts for me to break in my smoker. Her in-laws raise beef cattle in northern Wisconsin. Everything I've eaten from there has been fantastic quality. They have large bones in each one. I originally wanted to do a pork shoulder but cash is tight and these were free. I'm working off recommendations I found here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/107734/twin-chuckies-with-my-new-amnps-pellets . I washed each in cold water, paper towel dried, rubbed in worchestire sauce, and seasoned with some stuff I had on hand. I read to stay away from sugary rubs with beef and I didn't have ingredients most recipies called for. So I improvised and sprinkled some pepper along with a little of these two:

    I also read most store bought seasonings are high in salt, both listed it high, so I didn't add any more on my own.

    Here they are, one wrapped in celo the other about to be. They were put in the fridge overnight and were put on the UDS when it was at about 250. I loaded my UDS basket up with normal Kingsford blue with chunks of apple (trimmed & cut from my own trees) and a little hickory.

    The OP of the thread I linked foiled both when IT reached 165 or so, then added:
    4 ounces of Apple Juice.
    1 ounce of Ken's Teriyaki Marinade.
    2 ounces of BBQ sauce.

    I did something similar using 2 ounces of Worshteshire rather than the marinade. I planned on draining this at the end for an Au Jus.

    I put them in at 8:35 AM then left for church. Took this picture right before I wrapped them in foil (about 12:30 PM).

    Here's the larger of the two after a long rest in the cooler. Took them off around 4:00 PM. Rested until after 7:00 PM.

    And the smaller, post rest.

    Larger one pulled with "Au Jus" bottom right in the bowl

    Smaller one pulled, closeup.

    Overall I am very happy with my first try. Great smoke flavor, both were tender and juicy. The Au Jus was good but I had problems with my bottom foil ripping and letting a lot of it get away. Might need some aluminum bread pans for the next chuck roast attempt. The rub wasn't as good as I hoped. Given I was improvising with storebought stuff due to lack of basics needed to make my own, I guess it could have been much worse.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  3. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Nice looking UDS and Great looking chuckies too!!!
  4. motown-n00b

    motown-n00b Fire Starter

    I've since done an 8lb brisket with a proper rub that I similarly foiled around 165-170 IT. Except I had to cut it in two prior to smoking so it would fit into my aluminum pans and I didn't let it go all the way to 205. I pulled it right at 200 and sliced it. I wasn't going to take the chance losing the juice to foil failure. I lost almost 75% of the "Au Jus" from my chuckies. The brisket came out even better but I didn't get good pics.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Nice not so Ugly drum! For chuckles and beef in general I like to keep the rub simple. SPOG, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, I usually add paprika or chipotle in the mix too. I do like to marinate the chuckles in worchestershire prior to rubbing. I don't foil, but I do make Chef JJ's Smokey Au Jus (you'll have to use the search I can't link it from my phone). I place the foil pan on the lower grate to catch all the good drippings. Smoker roasted veggies are good too (search smoker roasted veggies).
  6. Nice UDS I see many years of great Q in you future.

    I sure do enjoy mine.

    Happy smoken.

  7. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Very nice drum and Q.
  8. motown-n00b

    motown-n00b Fire Starter

    Thanks for the compliments. I'm eagerly looking for the next meat or snack I can smoke. I'm definitely hooked. I love smoked meat and I love the process of doing it. I recently received a Maverick ET-732 as an early Christmas gift from my Mom that I'm looking to put to use. However, money is tight, so I'll have to wait for the next opportunity. I'm hoping I can arrow a deer soon to help bolster my freezer and smoking options.
  9. Turkey and yard bird are cheap and tasty.

    Happy smoken.