first smoke / UDS build

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first smoke / UDS build

Postby ScottishSmoker » 14 Jun 2016, 14:04

Hi All,
Looked at ProQ's and WSM's but decided to build me a UDS instead. I'll not take you through the build as there are plenty examples out there. Instead I would like to post my first experience cooking on it. It a cheap 3 pound pork shoulder and I'm looking for some feedback from you experts and hear what you would do different.

Firstly here's a photo of my pride. The wife bought me a maverick for my B-day so I can track smoker and food temp.
Hmm ok can't add photo due to the board attachment quota having been reached??

Ok so I injected with apple cider, apple juice and spice mixture yesterday, then this morning rubbed with spice and brown sugar too. I'm hoping the result will be sweet, savoury and spicy!

Lit charcoal chimney 11.45.
Added hot coals to the unlit coals in the washing machine drum at 12.05. They are just cheap aldi ones 3 quid for 5 kg. I know that's not great but didn't order the good stuff yet.
In 10 minutes it's already fairly stable at 235 so put the pork shoulder on.
Since its a test run its just a tesco piece of 3 pounds at 4 quid. After I added the meat at 12.15 it spiked to 244 (because of lifting lid??) but then at 12.25went down to 235 fairly suddenly so I decided to open the back vent (3/4 pipe) in full and also the two front valves a bit more open. At 12.27 it was still sitting at 229 but going up again so closed two front valves a bit more.
12.31 read 236 so closed bit more.
BTW the pork temp. probe started reading at 60 and at 12.31 reads 70.
I'm gonna try and smoke for two or three hrs till 165 degrees then foil and leave till 195.
That's the plan anyway we'll see how it goes...

12.38- 232 and 77. Left settings at 1/3 and 1/3 open
12.47 - 229 and 87. Left settings
12.59 - 231 and 99. Left settings
13.07 - 233 and 107. Left settings
13.31 - 228 and 118. Left settings
13.44 - 229 and 131. Left settings
14.00 - 227 and 139. Left settings but wondered if I should open valves up a bit?
14.13 - 224 and 144. Opened valves to 2/3 open and 2/3 open. Hopefully it will go up again in the next 15 minutes?
Went to 226 in next two minutes so closed first valve to 1/2 open, kept second at 2/3.
14.37 - 235 and 149. I may have too much airflow so closed valves again to 1/2 and 1/2.
14.57 - 230 and 153.
15.10 - 221 and 155. Opened to 2/3 and 2/3 open, as I do t want it to go down in temp further.
I'm not sure what just happened as temp went up and down and I changed valves quite a bit but decide to leave it as I expect to take it off in the next wee while to wrap. I read that you should not smoke or leave on unwrapped for more than 3 hrs for bitterness so I worry a bit it may go bitter now but it didn't reach 165 yet???
15.29 - 229 and 157. Decide to wrap it now as it has been in for well over 3hrs now and I don't want to risk bitterness.
15.35 - wrapped and probe back in. Didn't look as dark bark as I hoped! suggestions anyone?
15.40 - temp shoots up to 273 so freaked out and closed valves to 1/3 and 1/3 open.
15.46 - 263 and 159.
15.53 - 244 and 162. Think I'm happy to keep it around 240 to have it at 195 sooner so opened valves to 1/2 and 1/2 open.
16.08 - 236 and 170. Temp seems to go down so opened valves to 3/4 and 3/4.
16.22 - 238 and 177
16.35 - 236 and 183
16.45 - 235 and 189. Getting there!
16.58 - 227 and 195. Decide to let it go to 198.
17.05 - 222 and 198. Gonna unwrap and put it back on to baste.
17.10 - unwrapped and basted, 224 and rising.
17.20 - basted again, gone back up to 226
17.28 - basted again, gone back up to 226
17.35 - basted again,
17.42 took it off and wrapped in foil to rest.

All in all quite chuffed. My wife made her BBQ sauce to go with the pulled pork on some brioche buns. Wish I could post photo's of both my smoker and the results. but obviously something's not working there. I was well impressed with the flavour but I expected it to be a bit more moist / tender. on it's own. It was definitely pulleable but a bit dryer than I hoped. The homemade BBQ sauce resolved that though!

Also, from the 1,5 bags of briquettes it didn't even use 1/3!

So...What would you do different? Hints & tips are very welcome!

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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby BraaiMeesterWannabe » 14 Jun 2016, 14:41

Sounds a good first effort.
A few ideas as requested:
I would leave longer for temp to stabilise before putting meat on. Temp will fluctuate after lifting lid so give it a while before rushing to adjust valves and only make small adjustments and see what happens.
You won't get bitterness if left unwrapped. I did a pork butt recently that was unwrapped for 17 hours. Just don't add more wood chunks after the first couple of hours as the meat won't take on any more smokey flavour.
Wrapping is done to help the meat through the stall. If you wrap, you will not get a nice 'bark' but the meat will cook quicker. With a cheap supermarket joint there may not be as much fat in the meat so wrapping will help it stay moist. With a good quality piece of meat it should not need wrapping.
You seemed to open and close the lid to check and baste etc a lot. If you want to baste do it quickly maybe once every hour or two. The pork butt I did for 17 hours was left unbasted the whole time. I lifted the lid twice, once to put it on, and once to take it off. If you're opening and closing the temp will be fluctuating all the time and this will lead to the meat being tougher.
If pulling I tend to leave the meat for an internal temp of 203 Fahrenheit.
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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby Tiny » 15 Jun 2016, 08:03

Sounds pretty good , but would offer the following ad vice -

STOP BLOODY FRETTING! realistically you are going to see variations in the temp, a gust of breeze and your temps will go up a degree or 2, I suggest if you are between 225 and 250 it doesn't matter a flying fruit whereabouts you are.

Echo the bitterness thing doesn't matter if you wrap or not but I always do because I am not cooking 15lb shoulders, a small shoulder will dry out, even if you wrap it, and if you don't wrap it it will be dry.

Personally not sure what the last basting stage was for, I smoke, foil, unwrap and then pull. As you are pulling and keeping the juices in the pan then I don't tend to rest equally basting for me will just let some of thf the juices evaporate away.

Would also take to 203 for pulling
Sounds like you have a great bit of kit and you need to just chill a little next to it and keep pumping out great Q

Top work
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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby essexsmoker » 15 Jun 2016, 09:35

Pretty much what was said above.

Relax about the temp.

You can wrap at any time, adjust time to your smoke taste.

Personally I would wrap such a small bit of meat after about an hour, maybe 2.
Injecting is good and will help with moisture. Most meat will dry out after cooking that long.
I cooked a 4.5Kg 9lb butt a few weeks ago and it was dry in some places. I didn't inject or foil though.

Over all it sounds like a good cook!

Be interested to try your wifes bbq sauce recipe!
Last edited by essexsmoker on 21 Jun 2016, 09:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby MikeB » 15 Jun 2016, 15:56

Out of interest did you build with a new drum or recycled? Where did you get it from?
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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby essexsmoker » 16 Jun 2016, 13:06

Recycled I think. Got mine from a local company that just happened to have one kicking around.

Ideally I'd buy new or clean oil only.
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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby ScottishSmoker » 18 Jun 2016, 08:50

Hi all,
Thanks very much for your feedback.
OK i'll try to relax a bit more next time, maybe enjoy some cocktails on the side :P and just not forget to keep it between 225 and 250.

Great advice on the wrapping, i'll take that in account. Next sunny weekend I intend to do a larger pork shoulder, maybe from butcher, and invite the family.

The basting I did on purpose after it reached the internal temperature I intended it to be, so only for additional flavour and for 45 min or so, indeed lifting the lid three times. Up until that time I did not lift the lid but for putting it on.

The drum is a new one, from a company in the midlands. 45 quid delivered. It's a shame I can't post a photo, others seem to be able to and I was hoping to show of my UDS. Does anyone know why I can't?

I'll ask for the BBQ sauce recipe and post it on the recipe's threads.

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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby derekmiller » 21 Jun 2016, 08:51

Hi Bjorn.
Try reading this.

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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby ScottishSmoker » 24 Jul 2016, 07:40

Took me a while to reply, see if this works:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo Smoker photo_zpswvf2l3tx.jpg"/></a>

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Re: first smoke / UDS build

Postby ScottishSmoker » 24 Jul 2016, 07:41

Got Wood!
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