My UDS build! (Need a few pointers/tips)

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by davey6, May 1, 2016.

  1. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    So I've only run this the once yesterday, and it was cold here, alternating snow and sunshine anywhere from 0-10 degrees C (32F-50F).

    I got it up to around 225, and it didn't stay there for long, dropping off until I took the lid off, and then spiking up fast.

    I've got to put the ball controls back on but I only painted it yesterday and did my burn in to seal the paint.

    The pipes are 22mm (3/4 inch)

    I woke up this morning went to have a look and the barrel was cold to the touch, I only used half a basket full, and opened it to find unburned coals, and a small set of embers. I've taken the lid off now and it's burning well, enough to cook some bacon on...yeah I stopped for breakfast before posting.

    My main question and I think I know the answer, do I have enough air? I'm thinking I probably don't. Tempted to put one hole/pipe in at the bottom with no riser and leave it uncapped.


    ADDITIONAL INFO: Got some ribs on now, I'm only using a crappy old thermostat that is dropped in via the air vent but it won't stay hot, so lid off for a couple of mins, smoke going etc. pretty sure it's lack of air now, debating 2 more intakes no valves at the bottom, and keep the 2 with controls on as, well, controls. It burns away at 210 ish and then drops, when I open the lid it is obviously suffocating the fire.

    This last one was this morning ten minutes after the lid was off!
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  2. I would get a thermometer at grate level you can trust before making decisions about temp control. Your basket needs legs to raise it up a few inches off the floor, ash can also suffocate the fire. Not uncommon to give a UDS a swift kick after a several hours burning to clear ash. That's a nice clean looking barrel.
  3. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    That's a good point,I was debating some probe and a grommit with which to input it with. The idea of a turkey probe etc puts me off I would prefer a digital read, maybe a maverick or the like. I really would love a wireless one. I.e. clip the probe to the grill and it feeds out to my phone or something like it.

    Where's the best place? Dead centre just below the grill? I assume the temp is a bit lower off to the sides?

    I added legs to the grate yesterday before it's first use, it just struck me that it might choke itself on ash so I'm glad I got that one right! Didn't think to give it a boot/shake though.

    Thanks, I debated the high rise vents in red but ended up going matt black all over. Looks great in sunlight.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have (3) 3/4" valved inlets & a total of 3" exhaust.

    Your charcoal basket needs feet and I'd recommend a built in ash catcher too.

  5. On Amazon "Weber #85037 Replacement Grommet for Weber Smokey Mountain"

    This is what I did instead. Silicon cut from a $3 spoon rest, copper ring and pop rivets.  Time-wise, I probably didn't come out to the good, just in the habit of making things. After all it is a UDS.

  6. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    The basket now has feet. the ash catcher is on the to do list. Thinking pizza pan or simialr onto the legs!
  7. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    Works for me! Thanks
  8. Haven't built one yet, but I think the lack of an exhaust vent on your lid is causing your problems.
  9. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    I've now got 4 of my exhausts on the top, and the other day I added 2 more intakes so 4 of each in total, bit harder on my last burn to manage the temp so adding in a grommet and better thermo is on the next list. The ribs were a combo of amazing and shocking, some like butter some rubber! Not sure if 5 hours of smoke was too much. Next time I'll go 3-2-1 on them instead of pure smoke I think!
  10. davey6

    davey6 Newbie

    Right it's update time.

    4 x 22mm exhausts on the top.

    2 x 22mm intakes always open

    2 x 22mm intakes on the up pipes with ball valves.

    So far I have no issue maintaining heat, debating getting another ball valve on the bottom now as it sometimes flares up when the lid is off.

    I've smoked a few racks of ribs and some pulled pork the other day which was brilliant.

    Next thing is a grommet for the temp gage.

    Thanks for all the advice, only thing left to do is a bit of a clean up and pain the additional bits I added, weathers not been amazing recently and my first coat of pain suffered in a few spots due to the wet weather and not sealing. 
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

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