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UDS temp issues

murdermode

Fire Starter
54
12
Joined Mar 1, 2015
Built me a UDS and well I cannot keep it below 255. I have the ball valve BARELY open, I mean like an 1/8th inch gap. I also have the exhaust in my Weber grill top almost all the way closed. If I do anymore than what I have now I won't have any flow. Luckily I'm not actually smoking anything just seeing if I can keep the temps and it seems I can't.
 

stokensmoke

Smoke Blower
86
13
Joined Feb 6, 2016
How much charcoal are you lighting to start with? I fill my basket up except for a small hollow spot for the lit coals. Then light about 12-15 briquettes to dump on top of the unlit coals.
 

akdutchguy

Meat Mopper
265
36
Joined Mar 30, 2013
What kind of charcoal are you using.? I have found that lump will like to run hotter in my uds. I normally use kingsford and light about 8 or 10 briquettes and let her build up to 225. If it's cold outside I will light more. I did a early morning smoke on thanksgiving. It was 9 degrees outside. I ended up lighting about 30 briquettes up. It ran at 275 for 8 hours. I didn't think it would stay that hot. Everything got done way early. Better than late. I would suggest lighting fewer like stokensmoke recommended
Jason
 

murdermode

Fire Starter
54
12
Joined Mar 1, 2015
Thanks for the reply guys. I finally just closed everything on it until the temp dropped and and then opened the ball valve back up a tiny bit at a time until I got it where I wanted it. I think my issue was that I got it too hot to begin with so it just stayed hot. I lit about half my chimney full of charcoal and dumped it in there. I'll probably go with a bit less when I actually smoke something and let it build itself back up to temp instead of starting so hot.
 

pete mazz

Smoke Blower
100
23
Joined Oct 15, 2011
I always leave the exhaust most of the way open. With the exhaust shut down you're just trapping heat in there. Temps should only be controlled with the intake. I can run 250 all day with just a finger width on a round intake cover.
 

murdermode

Fire Starter
54
12
Joined Mar 1, 2015
Yeah once I thought about it I realized the top exhaust only regulates flow and not temps so I just opened it all the way and only started messing with the intake.
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
25,735
3,188
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Yeah once I thought about it I realized the top exhaust only regulates flow and not temps so I just opened it all the way and only started messing with the intake.
You've got it now....   BTW, how tightly sealed is the top on the UDS...  it should be air tight to eliminate air infiltration....  You want the exhaust going out the designated exhaust ports.. not the lid.....
 
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