New UDS coming online...

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by saltbranch, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. saltbranch

    saltbranch Smoke Blower

    This morning I figured out my side fire box fell victim to rust as the side box was hanging off the side when I checked it before going to work.. I have not used used it in several months, work has been crazy etc.So this AM I have a pit pretty much good for grilling only once I cut the remaining piece of the side fire box off and close it in.

    SO here I am with 2.5 days off and no smoker and pissed off. Wife and I had made plans for ribs and brisket.

    While I had her pricing smokers. I remembered the UDS I read about here. So at break time I pull up the forum and start reading on the UDS. I had 2 big drums come in with chain in them, which we sold the chain and still have the drums :). I grab them both, and start a UDS project with 1.

    The end results were a charcoal basket 22.5"x 8" tall, the drum is 24" wide on the inside, cooking grate 7" below the top. I drilled 4      3/4" intake holes @ 2" above the bottom rim, I drilled 8   1/2" holes in the lid for exhaust. My new temp guage does not work, which I mounted about 1" below the cooking grate. I plan on magnets for the intakes and adjust them as needed for intake. Will be getting a new temp guage in the AM. I am in the process of seasoning/burning it in right now.

    I have never used a UDS, so any advice is appreciated.
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like lump over regular old briquettes. With the lump I have zero need to shake the basket, mine holds well over 10 lbs by a long-shot. I have yet to let mine run full term with a full load of lump in it but full of briquettes I can run 22 hours plus a little on 10 lbs.

    I would suggest making small adjustments in the beginning just to see how its going to run. I made the mistake of trying to be to exact on my temps, they all have a different sweet spot where they like to run well.

    Remember if Your Lookin You Ain't Cookin!!!!   Leave the lid off to long and you will have the temps off the charts in record time.
  4. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    yes i have to get used to the lump, but so far its aggravating me too many temp fluctuations, but if it saves the shaking then i like that!!
  5. saltbranch

    saltbranch Smoke Blower

    From what I understand I only need to light a few coals on top of the pile of charcoal. Is this correct? If so approximately how many to light? Is there a thread already on this someone can point me to?

  6. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    yes you only need to light about ten briquetts and either throw them on top or in the middle
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  7. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry for leaving out that tiny little detail!!!! Opps.

    Yes, I light my lump with a weed burner torch and only light one side right at the top of the basket.

    When I light briquettes, I light one briquette per pound of charcoal. It sounds crazy but it works.

    Pan, I had alot of troubles trying to regulate to an exact temp at first. Now, I spend a little less time to worry and a little more time to enjoy the set and forget. If I want 235 then on light up when I hit about 180 or so I cut the air back to only one vent about 3/4 open. Most of the time I level out right about 230 ish.

    I don't fuss with it until I hit say 250 for the high side and probably 200 on the low side. Most of the time I make 1/4 turn adjustment on the ball valve. I know its not exact but its what works for me.

    I used to fuss with it every time I changed 5 degrees, almost wore myself out.

    I want a guru or stoker to play with, just not sure if I want to spend the money for a toy.
  8. saltbranch

    saltbranch Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the advice! I plan on firing it up in the AM and put on some ribs. Going with charcoal it looks like 20 lbs would fit easily in my basket.Do I reely need to fill the basket up? Or would 10lbs work for ribs using the 221 method,
  9. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    no you dont need anywhere near 20 lbs, for ribs probably 5lbs is what i put in half of a ten lb bag i think but remember it doesnt matter if you putt too many coals because just close the air off after the smoke and it will save the fuel for next time, well if your drum is sealed good
  10. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Sorry I'm not laughing at ya man, I am laughing since I thought the same thing myself when I started. And I was sure susprised when I ran the drum for 23 hours on 10 lbs of briqueets. Well now that I think about it, maybe I had 12 ish lbs in it but when I use lump it is a solid ten lbs.  

    You can shut the air off and cover your top exhaust vents and snuf the coals out to use next time. I often leave coals in mine, but I have a dome lid and it stays under a roof when not in use.
  11. saltbranch

    saltbranch Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all info and advice everyone. I am looking forword to playing with it tomorrow.
  12. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    i just looked at a bag and its an 18lb bag that i use half of so 9lbs i usually use then not 5

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