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Old 07-27-2015, 08:41 PM   #12511
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
Join Date: 07-26-15
Location: Oregon

OK. I read thru 405 pages of this thread, constructed a UDS with 3 1" intakes with 3/4in nipples and one ball valve on an 18" riser. I have 4 3/4in outlet vents on top. Burned out the barrel (which was unlined but i didn't know what was in it.....the lining was silver and got some light surface rust just sitting out overnight), seasoned it with spray vegetable oil. It burned hot (450-500) for 7 hours and had a hard black coating on the inside after it was done....no residue on a finger swipe.

Hooray, i thought. Yesterday I put on a fatty and 10 chicken thighs to break it in. To make a long story short, they came out terrible. Waaaay to smoky. I used a half basket of charcoal with 3 fist sized chunks of hickory and a few smaller slivers. Started about 15 briquets in the chimney and then dumped them on the firebox. The UDS held a steady 250 the entire time with one of the intake caps on. I waited for the smoke to die down before putting the meat on, but it never got to the point I would consider TBS. Once I put the meat on, the smoke got very thick for a while. I checked the meat at 2hrs, and never opened the lid until that point. At 2.5 hrs I pulled everything as both the chicken and the fatty were near 180 degrees. The chicken was good without the skin, and the fatty was good with the bacon removed. The skin and bacon were so smoky we couldn't eat it.

It's obvious I have a problem with smoke control, but how do I fix it? I've come up with several possible fixes but I'm not sure which apply, and I don't want to make more work for myself.

Add 2 more 3/4" outlets to the lid

Wait until there's nothing but TBS before I put the meat on

Use less wood

Scrub the barrel back to bare metal and reseason

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Old 07-28-2015, 04:15 AM   #12512
is One Chatty Farker

ebijack's Avatar
Join Date: 08-23-13
Location: warren, mi

IMHO you should at least double your exhaust.
Chicken I prefer higher temps like 315, not 250 to get crispy skin.
You can use less or no wood to get the smoke profile your looking for.
After dumping on the hot coals you should wait till you get the drum stabilized or close to the temp you want to cook at.
It's all about air management.
Michigan Custom 'Que Team
Always modifying my smokers, just another addiction.
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." -- Will Rogers
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