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Any advice appreciated - UDS Temp Control Problem

 
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kveld3
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 6:29 am    Post subject: Any advice appreciated - UDS Temp Control Problem Reply with quote

Well, I thought today would be a great day to season my new UDS before I smoke for the first time. Great opportunity to test out controlling the temp.

Well, I loaded in an 8 lb bag of Cowboy charcoal (I know, the horror stories, but it was easy to get and I thought it would be alright for just a seasoning) and started it up. Once it got going, I closed the vents and started to work on temp control. No matter what I do, I can't get the thing to 250, even with all the vents closed and the top of the Weber kettle lid open, it still sits around 350, way too hot! So, pardon the newbie question, but any advice on how to lower the temp on this thing?

Should I drill some holes in the top of the kettle lid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What size and number of air intakes?

What size and number of exhausts?

How much charcoal started?

How tight does the lid fit?

Does your weber lid fit or is it off the edge all the way round?
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading your other thread about the upside down lid on the bottom, the chances are that there is an air leak on the base and the extra oxygen in the system is the cause of your problems.
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kveld3
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two 3/4" intakes (with caps)
one 1" ball valve intake
Standard exhaust on the Weber kettle lid
Since I don't have a chimney starter, I just started the charcoal from beneath the basket, I am starting to think this might be the reason it is so hot, too much charcoal burning at one time

Lid is a good fit all around, and not sitting on the edge at all (lid is a bit bigger than the barrel, meaning I can slide the kettle lid around about 1/4", but still a good fit.

Removable bottom has a locking ring, could a small airleak still lead to such a high temp?

Thanks for any help SoEzzy
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 4139
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO you got to much charcoal going from the get go. I fill my basket and dump only 1/3 to 1/2 a chimney of lit coals in the middle and can hit 225 to 235 in 10 mins. It don't take much Wink

SoEzzy posted a thread with the amount of lit charcoal to dump in the basket and the target temp you are looking for. I think its a stickey now.

As long as you have no air leaks it is eaiser to gain temps than loose them by choaking things down. When you get close to target start closing intake vents down.

Good luck the UDS is a proven machine.
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erniesshop
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
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Location: Grants New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teleking is right.....To many coals burning would also be my guess.
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kveld3
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Teleking,

I think that is what the problem is, also a case of me rushing (funny I want to smoke! - low and slow!!).

I want to season it AND get the right temp all at the same time.

You and SoEzzy were right on, I have too much charcoal lit, which is great for seasoning, but not so great for finding that perfect temp.

Sorry for the stupid question, if I would have just taken the time to stop and think about it (instead of thinking the sky was falling!) should have been clear to me.
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue May 26 09 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's all good, ain't nothing but a thing Wink Get the Weber Chimney its worth the extra couple bucks on quality alone.

Remeber its Q, not rocket science. Look at the bright side, with temps a little higher than that (350) you can do pizza and bread Very Happy
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Wed May 27 09 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one of the non-Weber chimney starter... It's a little smaller than the Weber, maybe 2/3rds the size.

With 1/2 chimney my UDS hits 250
With 3/4 chimney my UDS hits 275
With 1/1 chimney my UDS hits 300
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kveld3
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Wed May 27 09 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to pick up a chimney starter tonight, hopefully I won't coming screaming during my next burn!

Thanks everyone for the help!
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marcb



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Wed May 27 09 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to get really consistent temps with 16 briquettes dumped into the middle of a ring of mixed charcoal and wood hunks. I had 2 small slivers from the wood hunts (parts that split off) fall right where the lit coals went and just dumped instead of trying to get them out.

Managed a fairly decent 270 because I started with the vents too far open and it settled to a good 240-250 once I got the vents tuned and the burn settled in.
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