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Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by deannc, Aug 1, 2010.
lookin good dean,i love my uds
Lookin good, I am still amazed every time I fire mine up. Its pretty dang cool the way they heat up and hold the temps.
As far as the zinc hardware, now this is myself, but I either wash them with muriatic acid or burn them off with a torch. (mapp gas or oxy act).
BTW I think the handle is a great addition.
ballagh - Thanks.. I know, I'm always lerking over in the reserve flow and other build section wishing I not only had the welding skills, but the equipment to be able to do that stuff. At first I was concerned about building the UDS due to not owning a welder, but found all the no weld information from various post here and far. I'm keeping my eye on CL for a little cheap one just to be able to do some spot welds.
SMC - Thanks...yeah, I hated to pinch it under the lid and almost ran it out of the exhaust stack but didn't. Think that's a great idea you have with the magnet and hole to passed the probe cable. I was also thinking of maybe notching the barrel lip just enough for the probe cable to sneak under the lid but haven't decided yet.
kaveman - Thanks...I'm loving it already and haven't even cooked on it yet! LOL
Tom - Thanks...I couldn't believe how steady she held. A minor tweak here and there but for the most part she settled right in with relative ease. Hummm...now I'm wondering on my steel/zinc selection. Everything except the fire basket is stainless. I'm planning her maiden voyage for tomorrow with a 7 lb butt and I don't like to take chances so I'm off to the store to get some muriatic acid. Thanks for the advice, I was concerned with this safety issue. After all my grandchildren will be eating this stuff so I'm not into taking any chances and would rather err on the safe side.
Found the following on how to use muriatic acid to remove zinc at my old stomping grounds caswellplating.com
To strip off all the zinc, mix up a 25% solution of muriatic acid and water (always add acid to water when mixing!).
Dip the part into the above acid bath.
When the part stops fizzing the zinc will be stripped off. Should take no more then 2 minutes.
Don't leave the steel part in the above solution longer then necessary as it will start to pit the steel (will look almost as if it where sand blasted or worse).
Rinse well with water, scrub the part with Dawn dishwashing detergent (the blue liquid type), rinse again and dry the part.
The part will start flash rusting quickly. The best way I have found to prevent this is to lightly wire brush the steel part with a fine wire wheel (or a blue Nylox) brush. EDIT - (To add to this, I didn't wire brush, after rinsing in a bucket of soap water, then clean water, I dried the nuts and bolts with a towel and done as Tom suggested and sprayed them with cooking oil. Worked out great!)
I sort of failed at my seasoning because I passed out about 11:30, (dang hops and barley) only 3 1/2 hours into the burn. Thought my adult son and his buddy, who decided to hang out and party here all night would have been my fire tenders since they were so interested in it all! LMAO Of course they wouldn't have known to shake the fire basket when she started to dive in temps. They aren't awake yet to ask what time the fire died out but I know they were tracking with the Maverick I left them with on the deck.
I woke up at 6 a.m. and ran outside (thinking she may still be going) only to find that at some point during the night the basket needed a good shake to keep the coals going. As you can see in the picture, there were still plenty of coals to burn.
Won't have to worry about rust inside anymore!
Now I'm off to get some acid and disassembly the fire basket to acid bath the bolts...arrrrrgh!
Good deal dean, I wish you the best on the maiden voyage. I hear what ya are saying about the grand-kids and all. I used to work at a swimming pool installation and repair business when I was in high school, not sure if it was right or wrong but we always used the acid full strength. I have dipped parts at home using a pair of channel locks to hold the part. Let me tell ya, the acid took the channel lock brand pliers and made it like there was never a finish on them at all.
P.S. I should have oiled the pliers afterward too, there pretty rusty now.
Maybe after the bolts are out of the acid and washed off, you could lay them out on a shop towel and spray them with cooking spray to help prevent the flash rust. After they are installed and fired once, the rust should not be a problem any more.
Dean, your last post came up after mine. I'm not sure what happened there, but with charcoal I may only have to shake my basket once in a 24 hour run. And I am not sure that you would honestly call it shaking since most of the time I walk by the drum I give it a tiny little kick right at the bottom. What brand coal are you using? And have you given any thought to using lump?
When I use the lump I dont have to kick or shake at all. I do try to make sure that I dont pack the lump of briquettes in the basket to tightly.
Looks great Dean, im with Tom that your fire shouldnt have went out unless not enough air intakes open or not enough air under the basket, did you make it so the basket bottom is about three inches up for air flow? I did mine at like 2 inches and it would not burn right so i raised it up to three inches and that made the difference.
I found out she burned until 3:30 a.m. before going out so that was about 7 hours. I used the Kingsford Original briquettes this time around. I'm going to have to pick up some lumps and give them a try too. I think I seen the Cowboy(?) brand at the local Wally World.
Looked at the 1/2" SS bolts and just the nuts alone would have been $20, not counting the 2" flat washers, bolts etc. The muriatic acid was less than $7 for a gallon at Lowes (in the paint section), so for this build that's the route I'm going and it will render the zinc bolts safe for cooking.
Tom - great idea on spraying the bolts with cooking oil to prevent the flash rust...lol on the pliers! I also picked up a piece of 1/8"x1 1/4" flat steel to mod the basket a little. Thought I'd cut it and use it to join the expanded metal a little cleaner (not really needed though). Just thought I'd give it a try.
pandmonium - Thanks! Glad you mentioned the coal grate height...I did use 3" bolts and only have 2" of clearance using the pizza pan. Back to Lowes before I acid bath these for some 4" bolts. Should be enough to get me to 3".
Thanks again everyone for all your encouragement and input!
stay away from the cowboy lump, ive never heard anything good about it on here.
I am on my fourth smoke on my twin UDS smokers and I am amazed on how they hold a temp. Out of all my smokers besides my electric MES they are the easiest to operate. I am already planning on building a few more and handing these down to family members. I find the Frontier lump from SAM'S to be good just feel the bag before you pick it up I am on my second bag and one was full of tiny pieces and the other had nothing but good chunks.
Well, the acid bath went smooth and everything is reassembled getting ready to do another test run this evening in preparation for my maiden voyage early in the morning. No sauce tonight (I don't think) so I may be able to comprehend a little more clearly and stay awake tonight!
pandemonium - thanks, I'll steer clear of the cowboy lumps, thanks!
ECT - Thanks for the tip on the Sam's Club stuff, I'll check mine and see if they carry it. I'll probably end up building a couple more as well. This one was actually intended for my son-in-law but I'm liking it a little to much! LOL
Couple quick questions on loading and spritzing.
When do you load the racks? After all the smoke and temps settle? I tried that during my dry run tonight but then I of course got a wicked spike in temp. Then I almost killed the fire trying to calm it. So I'm just wondering, what's the best method? I was a little concerned if doing it before the smoke thins out it may cause some creosote?
Secondly, do you spritz with a UDS? I'm asking only because like I mentioned, if you open the top you get a wicked temp spike and after nearly 3 hours I still haven't gotten back down to the 225* area. The only open value is the ball valve I've almost closed again but don't want to kill the fire. When I did my trial spritz, just a quick lift of the lid to simulate spritzing I got a temp spike up to 285* and still fighting to cool it off without killing the fire.
She's seeming to be cooking hotter and a little more unsettled compared to last night but then again, last night I didn't raise the lid to simulate putting meat on or spritzing.
I dont have to many problems mine so long as I don't keep the lid off for more then a minute at a time. It seems like there is something funny going on if just lifting the lid for a quick shot causes a high spike. Now ya got me thinking.
For the spritzing issue, I have been toying around with the idea of taking a couple old spray tips, like off a pressure washer or paint sprayer. Then modify my pump up sprayer so that it has a rubber tip on it that I could press up against the spray tip. That way the lid does not come off, all I will have to do is pump up the sprayer and hold it against the tip and wa-la the meat has been spritzed.
Well, the maiden voyage is underway. Got things started about 8 a.m. Still wasn't sure about when to put the meat on, after the smoke settled or what...but I went ahead and got the coals going, inserted the rack with my 7 lb butt on it and closed her up. Just hope the heavy smoke doesn't create to much creosote.
About 30 minutes in I began closing 2 caps and cranked the BV down to half throttle when she hit 220*. My thought was I could settle nearer 225* but with this setting she still climbed upwards of 261*, so I closed the BV completely about 47 minutes in. After about 20 minutes she finally started to drop and I waited until it hit 245* before cracking the BV just a hair because I was afraid of killing the fire completely. It's been 30 minutes since I cracked the BV and she seems to have settled at 245*. My meat temp is up to 100* so we're looking good there.
Think I'll go close the BV for another 20 minutes or so to see if I can get her to settle a little closer to 225.
Wish me luck! lol
The beast won't die! LOL I've had all valves closed for 1 hour and the temp drop to a whopping 240*. Figure I can live with anything below 250* but would like to tame this down closer to 225*. After all valves were closed for an hour I figured I'd just barely crack the BV about an 1/8" open and she quickly bounced back up to 245*! So I've closed all valves again and we'll see what happens.
For the butt, it's doing great at 135*, 3 hours in, so the danger zone won't be an issue. I'm afraid to raise the lid to spritz because I know the second I do this beast is going to rocket to 260* or higher. So we may not spritz or foil today.
Seems since raising the coal great from 2" to 3" she's burning a lot hotter. Of course now my cooking rack is an inch closer to the coals at 23" so that would only make sense. At 2" I didn't have any trouble getting lower temps but that could be skewed a bit because my probe placement the first burn was not directly over the coals as it is now and was last night. And after reading some other SMF threads on the topic I seen where its common for a wide temp range of maybe 40* from the outer edge of the rack than directly over the coals. Makes perfectly good sense.
Getting a wif of some meat cooking once in a while and this butt is smelling pretty darn good! lol
4 hours in and we've got a meat IT of 152* and chamber temp, well, at about the 3:15 mark I decided since the wife was outside sitting by the smoker I could get her to snap a quick picture while I spritz! Of course when I walked outside and pull the camera out of my pocket and said, will you snap a picture of my meat when I open this really quick to spritz, I got the monster sigh! LOL But hey, she did it! LOL
I wasn't going to spritz because of my fear of spiking the temp and even though we done this as quick as humanly possible, had to be less than a minute....when I closed her back up of course she spiked up to 270* with all valves closed (all closed about 2 hours now) and about 50 minutes later (now) we're settling back down to 262*.
There won't be any foiling today and the butt is looking really good! Won't open her back up until she rocks on at 200*, then I'm going to pull it, foil it and wrap up in the towels and to the cooler for an hour or 2, depending on when we hit 200*. With these grilling temps, it probably won't be much longer.
Puzzles me why the fire hasn't burned out with all valves closed for 2 hours and 20 minutes now with the exception of about a minute an hour or so ago. Oh well, on with a quick peek for you of what we're smokin' up today!
I've beat the beast! Puzzled by how the fire was so hot with all valves closes, knowing fire needs air to burn, knowing there are no holes in my barrel...the only area that could be the culprit was the lid. Not previously seeing smoke come from around the lid and only of the stack, I decided I'd try sealing the lid mid stream.
My solution dropped chamber temps, which spiked again to 276*, all the way down to 240* in about 18 minutes! The lid seal was the culprit and was allowing enough air to continue to feed the fire!!! arrrggg After the first 10 minutes I opened the BV about 1/2 throttle because it appeared the smoke had almost completely stopped. I just throttled it back to about 1/8 throttle because the temps after 50 minutes now have crept back up to 255*.
Ain't she cute with her little penguin bandanna?
Woooohhhoooooo at 5 1/2 hours into the smoke, we've got smokin' temps! An hour after implementing the lid wrap when the temp it 221* with the BV at 1/2 throttle, I opened up one screw cap, full throttle with the BV and with a nice breeze today, she bounced right up to 225*! Closed the SC and throttle back the BV 1/2 throttle and she seems to have rested at 230*!!!! Now we're smokin'!!
Wonder where I can find about a 2" wide rubber band to fit a drum....hummmmm the search is on!
It is possible to spritz without wicked spikes! Just decided to give it a try again after temps dropped to 221* and it appeared the fire was dying. Thought it'd serve 2 purposes, one reignite some fire and spritz. Temp spike after wrapping the blanket back around the lid was only up to 240* and we're already back down to 228* after about 35 minutes.
For the butt, she's looking incredibly tasty and has been in a little stall here at 166*/167* for about an hour now. Sorry, didn't take the time for picture because the wife wasn't around to help out and I didn't want to leave the lid off to long. EDIT - my first time not foiling a butt at 165* so we'll see how long this stall takes without foiling.
Dean the spikes should not take long to come back to temp just dont open the lid longer than it takes to spray the meat, dont readjust anything and it should right its self in a few mins, as far the high temps maybe you lit too many coals? I just realized that on my last few smokes where i was having that problem it was because i lit too many and when you get too many lit its a constant battle to keep temps down. but if you light too little its alot easier to let more in to get temps up rather than down.