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chingador
10-14-2012, 07:22 AM
I bought the kit a couple of weeks ago. Put the drum together last weekend, seasoned with lard and ran it through its paces. Made a brisket yesterday and it was awesome. It is still going to take me some work regulating temps but I will get there.

comments/observations:

1. I really like the kit, its components and the overall design.
2. Directions are easy to use and the video is very helpful. I am not a total spaz but am not what people would call handy.
3. The provided drill bit isn't the best. It took some work to punch through the steel. It ended up overheating and dulling out halfway through, so I had to run to Home Depot for a new bit. The new bit punched through like nothing. Not a real big complain though.
4. There is nothing ugly about this pit so calling it a UDS is a misnomer.
5. Yesterday, I used a 15" ceramic pizza stone as a diffuser. This really worked well, but I really went through the fuel and I had to open the bottom vents to keep the temp up. The food quality was awesome but it took some work. I might experiment with the metal pizza pan with holes. I do want some kind of diffuser. Not really after that "drippings dropping directly into the coals" flavor for long cooks on briskets and butts. For ribs, that is cool. I also don't like the idea of a hot spot in the middle and prefer more consisitent heat through the cooking area.

Overall, this product is a total winner. The flavor is great. It is very much easy to use. You cannot beat the price.

BTW, my other cookers are a Primo Kamado XL Oval and Weber Gasser. I have owned two different New Braunfels Banderas and have cooked plenty on the old school 55 gallon drum pits that you see everywhere (or did).

smokerdude
10-14-2012, 09:03 AM
Welcome :)
When I was putting my kit together I noticed on the first hole punch that the drill bit was going to take some extra physical force to push, so I decided to make pilot holes using 11/64 bit, this made the job much faster and allowed me to punch holes more accurately. On your point number 4... I can't agree more, I think the kit had set a new standard that maybe a new acronym is in order :D
The pizza stone is a good idea, I picked one up the other day for the exact same reason as I was going to smoke some chicken. Did you find that the metal pizza pan worked better?

chingador
10-14-2012, 11:06 AM
Welcome :)
When I was putting my kit together I noticed on the first hole punch that the drill bit was going to take some extra physical force to push, so I decided to make pilot holes using 11/64 bit, this made the job much faster and allowed me to punch holes more accurately. On your point number 4... I can't agree more, I think the kit had set a new standard that maybe a new acronym is in order :D
The pizza stone is a good idea, I picked one up the other day for the exact same reason as I was going to smoke some chicken. Did you find that the metal pizza pan worked better?

Yeah, that is a good idea. I wasn't as accurate as I needed to be and was a little sloppy on things, but it all worked out. I have not tried the metal pizza pan yet, but it seems like a good idea and plenty people on bbq-brethren seem to be doing it. I went with the ceramic pizza stone because it is similar to what I do with my Primo with the ceramic D plates.

The one problem I had yesterday was that I just about went through an entire basket of charcoal in 13 hours. I really did not have any big chunks in the basket, which is necessary for long burns in the Primo, so maybe that was it, or maybe the diffuser had something to do with it.

sheepdad
10-14-2012, 01:53 PM
Welcome Chingador,

I'm a noob to the drum smoking world myself and agree with all the points you brought up. I just seasoned my drum yesterday and have a smoke going as I speak for the soul purpose of getting a handle on temp control. I was thinking of using a setup like
meathead of amazingribs.com likes using a Weber Gourmet BBQ System Sear Grate Set but without the cast sear grate. Instead, he puts a stainless bowl in its place and uses it as a water pan. Diffuses the heat and adds humidity at the same time. Like you said, it would be ideal for long cooks.

Anyway, welcome aboard and just a hint...everyone seems to like pics of stuff here... food, smokers, smoked food, smokey smokers,did I say food??....stuff like that :D

Look forward to hearing from ya

scooter
10-15-2012, 01:31 AM
Welcome chingador!

chingador
10-15-2012, 04:23 AM
thanks guys.

Sheepdad. I would not be in a rush to use a water pan. I have read that there will already be plenty moisture in the drum as it is so you really do not need to add water. In 2 cooks, I really do not see a need for a water pan. Also, I understand that using a water pan will put a little strain on your coal supply meaning you will burn through it faster. I almost completely burned through an entire coal basket this weekend in just under 13 hours. Granted, I am most likely doing something wrong, but most others have said they get longer cooks in a basket.

Big Poppa
10-15-2012, 05:18 AM
Thanks for your comments...as for the charcoal usage...13 hours is pretty good...you are comparing it to a ceramic that burns forever and then some...but it also adds a flavor that drums and others dont add...cabinet smokers like backwoods go 6-7 hours on a load that is larger than the drum....we have a deflector system on the way...

as far as heat management goes my advice is that if you are having heat control issues light fewer coals and dont leave the top open while you are heating it up and keep it pretty chiked down...you have to anticipate it.

Patrick_CT
10-15-2012, 05:29 AM
Welocme to the group. Seems like most of us are learning and have the same comments.. I still have not done a long cook. Maybenthis week

Greatscott!
10-23-2012, 08:19 PM
Welcome Chingador! Can't wait to see some cooks!


...we have a deflector system on the way...

Say whaaaaaa????

jimsbarbecue
10-24-2012, 06:24 AM
I would wait for the Big Poppa Deflector. The issue is managing the hotspot without taking out what makes the Drum special and that is the open fire. Size thickness and distance from the coals all play a part. Easier to wait for one designed for your drum

Big Poppa
10-24-2012, 06:32 AM
my deflector does not allow for what Scooters does.....mine is a true deflector. One big thing to understand is as you build up seasoning the temp control gets much easier