UDS-Learning Curve

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by coachin&smokin, May 11, 2009.

  1. I added a second rack to my UDS and cooked chicken and ribs for Mother's Day (Sorry no Qview). I had the Chicken on the bottom rack and the 3 racks of BB's on top. I noticed for the first hour that the temp differences from top rack to bottom were 50-60 degrees off. I had about 10 chicken leg 1/4's on the bottom rack and had them spaced with room in between and couldn't get the top rack to get above 200...at that rate we wouldn't have ribs. So I took off three of the 1/4's and freed the middle of that rack up completey so the heat would rise to the top. At that point the temps evened out and were within 2-3 degrees from then on.

    Does this sound about right when using 2 cooking racks? I also don't think I'm going to foil ribs ever again on the uds. The foil created more pullback but it's not worth the hassle. It seemed just when the UDS was in the zone I had to open the lid again. I had temp spikes over 300 when trying to get all that done and even worse when I had to move the chicken.

    By the way the ribs and chicken were good. It was the best chicken I've cooked. I used the Travcoman's Slaughter House brine, I think that was the deciding factor. It cooked for 5 hours and was still moist. Sorry to ramble just thought I would pass along my experience. I love the drum just got to cook on it more to learn the tricks. I'll be doing some butts for memorial day and will post pics of that cook. If you've read this far down, Thanks.
  2. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What you describe is what I found to be the short coming of dual racks on the uds. I stated in another thread the uds NEEDS air movement to work right. To much product and things just doesn't work the way it is suppose to.
  3. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll second that. The UDS works on induced draft. You've got to have that column of rising air exiting the exhaust and pulling fresh air in through the intakes to keep the temps up.

    I did my first dual rack cook last Saturday. Two butts on the bottom and (when the time came) 3 racks of BBs on top. Plenty of open grate area on the bottom but the top rack was pretty full especially after foiling. I was running at just the valve 1/2 open all day but when I put the ribs on, I had to take another cap off. Part of it was the extra mass I am sure. The ribs came right from the fridge. Within 20 minutes it was chugging along in the zone again.

    You're right about ribs on the UDS too, C&S. It's hard to keep the temps down when you're lifting the lid to do things to the ribs. I have a pan that I can set the whole grate on so when I have to do something, I lift the lid, take the grate out and set it on a table and put the lid back on while I am messing with the ribs. I also have the intakes closed during this. I didn't have too much trouble foiling and unfoiling but I was glazing every 15 minutes (maybe a little too often)[​IMG] and the temps wanted to creep up and not come back down. I could go with a longer glazing interval I suppose.

    As far as foiling goes, I think I will try a few times without it. The drum seems to be a really moist environment anyways. I don't even spritz or mop briskets or butts anymore on it because it never really looks like it's needed.

    Definitely a little learing curve involved with the UDS though but it sure is worth it.

  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm having a reverse learning curve going from a drum to an offset [​IMG]
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL, I can imagine that must be quite an adjustment.

    How is that heavy guage offset at holding temp when it is windy? My SnP is awful at it but it is so thin, there's no mass to hold the heat.

  6. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I really haven't had it fired up enough to make a good call on that one Dave. I will say; once the temps are up and the smoker is warm, which takes some time compared to the uds, it holds temps very well.

    Come hell or high water I'm doing some cooking on it this weekend!
  7. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been waiting for your Qview on the new toy Rick. I bet it holds up good in the wind being heavier guage steel. Keep us posted!
  8. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I did do a small Qview on my first smoke using the Horizon.
  9. Thanks for the feedback guy's...Do you all think it makes more sense to just load the top rack with all that will fit and leave the bottom rack fairly light. The reason I ask is that I'm doing 4 butts for memorial day and neeeeed to have it go as smooth as possible due to 20 or so guests. Will 2 butts on each rack work or should I go with 3 on top and one on the bottom...oh the quandary of where to put my butts[​IMG]
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would try 2 on each rack.
  11. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Exactly what Rick said and try to leave the middle of the grates open as much as you can to allow air flow. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

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