UDS Temperature Control / Fire Management

Discussion in 'U.D.S. Ugly Drum Smoker' started by smokey tex, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. smokey tex

    smokey tex Fire Starter

    Good morning,

    I should be able to finish up my first UDS by this weekend.  Keep in mind that this will be my first time ever to use charcoal rather than gas or electric.  Can someone give me the basic idea of how you manage the temperature.  I get that opening the valves will allow for more air and hotter temperatures; and that restricting air flow will do the opposite.  What about the lid exhaust pipes?  Do you always run these wide open?  Or do you ever close any or all of them during the smoking process?  Would this choke out the fire or just hold in more moisture and smoke?

    Sorry, I know it's a loaded question.  Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    1) Take a large soup can and cut out the bottom. Put it in the center of the charcoal basket then fill in charcoal around the can.  Use a charcoal chimney to dump red hot coals into the soup can, then use pliers to pull out the can leaving the hot coals in the center.

    2) Keep the exhaust open at all times during the cook

    3) Open your intakes completely then when you get close to the temp you want little by little close off the intake till your temp stabilizes where you want.

    4) Don't put your meat on until the smoke is nice and thin blue in the sunlight.

    5) Don't open your lid during the cook unless you have to because oxygen gets to your coals and the temp will go up.  If you do have to open the lid during long cooks temporarily close off the intakes then open them back up after.

    These are just some basic tips to get you started off on the right foot.
    stuarty84 likes this.
  3. smokey tex

    smokey tex Fire Starter

    Thank you!  This is great and very helpful.  I've seen the open can in a few pictures, but never knew what this was for.  But this makes sense.  Since I've been using electric for so long, I wouldn't have thought about number 5.  Thanks again...


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