First smoke on the UDS

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by salmonclubber, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. salmonclubber

    salmonclubber Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i decided to try out the new UDS that i just got done building i fired it up and threw on some ribs chicken and a pork roast i lit it and the temp gauge said 250 the first 3 hours i figured that it was going good so i did not check the meat in the smoker for 3 hours when i did the ribs were rock hard and black i checked the roast temp it was 203 and the chicken was 185 i pulled everything at 3 hours into the smoke
    the chicken and roast was good but a little on the dry side but it tasted good the ribs were a total loss dog wont even eat them LOL
    i need to learn how to get the temps under control but i think my temp gauge on the smoker is bad its a cheapo from wal mart it read 250 the whole time will check it later on the intakes are 3/4 inch one cap on two off and the ball valve half open temp was way to hot will work on this on the next smoke
    i have mixed feelings about the drum so far

  2. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I plan on building one myself.I am sure the first time will be a little sketchy.I have read it can take some tweeking.

    Thanks for your observations.Will follow post and make a note...
  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry to hear that the 1st try was bad for the ribs, glad to hear you salvaged the chicken. Hopefully next time you have the heat under control.....
    I realy need to make and try a drum myself.
  4. blackened

    blackened Meat Mopper

    I know the temp in the middle of my drum is about 50 degrees higher than it reads on my dial thermo...

    So if your drum's anything like mine, you were cooking at 300.

    I try to keep my dial at around 180-200, but rely on the et-73 for the true temp..
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There is the problem ^^^^^^^^ my drum is the same as I believe all are.

    You should also check your method of cooking the different meats.

    Make sure to check the accuracy of your therm too.
  6. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hang in there. You'll love it soon enough
  7. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is your answer SC. If your side therm is reading 250° your middle grate is running probably 300° or higher. As Blackened said try to keep you side therm about 190°. I also rely on an ET-73 for my mid grate temps.

    The drums also cook the meats faster than other types of smokers. Once you get that thing dialed in you are going to love it.

    I usually only need to run with one 3/4" intake either wide open or 95% open.

    Don't give up!
  8. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    This is the case for almost every UDS out there. However, there are things you can do to help tighten down this temperature range. Using a Clay pot base on a secondary tray 6-8 inches below your first rack to act as a diffuser will help force the heat to spread out more as it rises. Or simply wrapping the second tray with HD Foil and punching holes through it, or spreading out your lit charcoal when you dump it in to the basket.

    I personally have started cooking by time and forgetting about temps. It's helped me produce a super juicy and moist, tender High Heat Brisky, excellent ribs and other foods. It's all about personal preference tho, just some things to consider.
  9. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    Adjust the airflow on the bottom vents to adjust the temps.

    Get a turkey fryer long stem dial thermometer, and drill a small hole in the side to position the tip of it in the middle under the grate.

    Measure the temp under the meat, not on the side of the drum, and adjust the air flow at the bottom to get desired cooking temp.

    You can pretty much leave your top vents alone.
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Using a heat sink, I tried it, pretty much ruins the drums efficiency that they are so well known for. When I did it it took a lot more coals than it did before. All ya have to do is adjust your cooks to the drum and have at it.

    They are great cookers as they have been designed.
  11. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I personally don't use a heat diffuser in my UDS as I think it cooks just fine without it. However, I have started cooking at much lower temps, 210-215 range and it has made a very noticeable in my end product. Just my own observations tho.
  12. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is that middle grate temps?
  13. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    That's temp taken at the middle and outside of the grate. I don't pile my ashed over coals in one spot, I spread them as evenly as I can around the entire basket to more evenly distribute the heat.

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