Smokers, Grills, Pitts & More => BDS & UDS Smokers => Topic started by: Mike P in Tucson on May 24, 2012, 10:17:42 am

Title: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: Mike P in Tucson on May 24, 2012, 10:17:42 am
I won this smoker at the Arizona BBQ Festival in Scottsdale.  Built by "Crazy Pig" Dan and David & Eddie at AZBBQGRILLS and raffled to benefit Cancer sucks Chicago, it is magnificent.  Can't wait to try her out.  But, having never cooked on a UDS, I am going to have to pick some brains around here for some help.


Really well built, she is, and heavy.  I need help lifting the body off the base.  She should hold heat really well.  Here is the link to the thread where Dan described the build: (

Dan figures, with the charcoal basket completely full, she should go for a good 40 hours ??? but I doubt I will have cooks that long.  But, first questions:

What to do about drippings getting down into the base?  There is a diffuser, but obviously it can't go all the way to the sides.

The diffuser is concave / convex, depending on which way it is flipped.  Should I have the concave side up and line it with foil to catch most of the drippings?

I am going to do a dry run next week, start with 5 pounds of charcoal and start it using the Minion method, keep exhaust wide open and fiddle with the intake to see how stable she is.  At least that is the plan right now.  But I would appreciate any advice from you UDS gurus.
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: AZBBQGRILLS on May 24, 2012, 05:51:15 pm
Hey- Congrats on winning the smoker. I am sure Dan and all those UDS users will chime in on proper use and set up. Let me know if you need anything.
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: Mike P in Tucson on May 24, 2012, 05:55:10 pm
Thanks David,  It sure is a beauty.  I will let you know how the trial run works out.
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: shortbus_35 on May 31, 2012, 08:48:25 am
I am sure if you are reading up on UDS cooking, but  "seasoning" the cooker is an important step. 

Try not to be too ambitious with your first cook and remember to have fun.

Congrats - that is a great looking cooker!!
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: Mike P in Tucson on May 31, 2012, 09:45:58 am
I must say, I am REALLY impressed with this baby!!!  I have never cooked on
a UDS, so there is going to be a learning curve, that's for sure.  But the
test went really well.

I put a heaping chimney full of unlit K-blue in the basket, then a dozen lit
coals and sealed her up, with intake and exhaust vents wide open.  After 15
minutes, she was at 200, so I shut both vents down to about 1/4 open.  The
temp kept climbing, so when it got to 235, I shut down to just a crack open.
The temperature settled in around 235.  I put on some sausages and burgers,
since I didn't want to waste all that good heat.

I did have to fiddle with the vents a bit, but I'm sure that will be less as
I learn more about how to operate it.  I was amazed at how fast the
temperature shot up whenever I opened the vents all the way.

Oh, length of the cook -- after 5 hours running anywhere from 225 to 250,
the coals were about spent.  With vents wide open at the end, it was down to
215 after the 5 hours, so I turned off my thermometers.
Five hours on one chimney of charcoal --- WOW!
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: Mark on May 31, 2012, 01:15:15 pm
That's terrific, Mike. It sure is a beauty. I think you should start referring to it as a BDS! ;)
Title: Re: My New UDS-Inspired Smoker
Post by: Mike P in Tucson on May 31, 2012, 01:44:23 pm
BDS it is, Mark.

The other day I didn't really do a seasoning, just lit the coals.  Since it is "virgin" steel, I didn't figure there was anything that needed to be burned out.

Today I seasoned her.  I coated everything inside liberally with vegetable oil. I put maybe 7 pounds of unlit in the basket, a couple of chunks of hickory, and about 1/2 chimney of lit charcoal.  Left all the vents wide open.  It got to 300 within about 15 minutes, so I shut the vents part way.  It held right around 320 or so for about 30 minutes, then I opened them up again.  Got to about 450 and I left it there for about 30 minutes, then shut the vents.  When it got to about 240, I opened the top vent all the way and the bottom one about 1/4 open.  She krept up to 280, so I nudged the bottom vent back down just a bit.  I want to see if I can get her to a constnt 275, which is where I have been trying to cook recently.

Question for you experts:  Should the exhaust vent always be wide open, like it would be on a WSM?  Or do you use a combination of the top and bottom vent for controlling the temperature?