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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Wichita Falls Tx
    Posts
    70

    Default fluctuating temps

    I'm not sure if this is where I should post my question. If not I apologize.
    My question is this. I just built my uds. Got a bbq guru for it. I seasoned my drum yesterday and the temps were steady at 250 for 9 hours. I was thrilled with how it kept near perfect temps all day. So today I decided to do some chicken quarters. I set my fire at 250 and had a clean burn. Thin blue and was looking good. As soon as I added the chicken though, my temps were all over the place. The guru was set at 250 but temps would drop to the 220s and spike to the 280s. Is this normal? Seems excessive seeing that yesterday it only had maybe a 5 variance.
    Thanks for the help
    I won't say that I make the best BBQ, but you will

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pattison, TX
    Posts
    6,964

    Default

    I would say that's not unusual. During your seasoning burn, I assume you had no meat on it. Therefore no fat dripping on the fire. So your temp held steady. With chicken on the grate you had drippings which initially cause a flare up and temp spiked as you said. As long as it's only a spike, and not a long term out of control high temp, it's not going to hurt anything. A temp swing from 250 to 280 is not a big swing. Your kitchen oven will vary more than that.

    High or low temps that stay high or low even when you adjust the vents are a problem. Now I have no experience with a Guru or any other such gadgets, but doesn't that solve temp issues?
    "Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."
    Tom, smoker of meats and fine cigars
    UDS, Vicking grill


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    2,326

    Wink

    Normal drum activity. When you open the lid the temp drops a the heat escapes. The extra air causes fire to increase raising temps when the lid is reinstalled. Then it settles back to normal. Usually! A lid left open for too long will cause temps to rise to the point that they won't settle. I close my intake completely while the lid is off. I have a guru but seldom use it on the drum. Only when very cold.
    Master Cabinetmaker,KCBS Certified Judge,Student of the smoking arts,All around gear head
    Ugly drum smoker,Chargriller,Custom Backwoods Chubby,Bellfab backyard model

    "I love what mine cause, whats mine is all mine. Gives me a reason to go get more"- John Popper, Blues Traveler.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    Chicken under 325 is Goodyear skin clucker parts. I never saw the need for a Pit BJ device especially on a UDS mine is naturally aspirated & runs pretty steady up or down 10-15 deg until it runs out of fuel. Sounds like it don't work to well to me for the cost of it.
    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    *
    *
    MY Blog:Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Carthage, MO
    Posts
    10,055

    Default

    Double check the damper on the guru. Sometimes, especially if windy, you can get drafting through the fan. Should be about 3/4 open. Also the placement of the exhaust can have an effect on temperature. Don't sweat it too much, but consider letting that drum run on it's own and see how it goes.

    Don't let one swing case get ya down. Also if you must eat chicken parts, run your temperature in the 300 325 + area for the skin.
    Plank Owner ..................
    I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,735

    Default

    Any poultry should be cooked at 300 to 350. No reason to do "low & slow". Get your temp. up and keep that bird out of the danger zone.
    And you will get great crispy skin.

    Keep playing with that drum, you'll get it figured out. If it is windy orient the intake away from the wind.
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Wichita Falls Tx
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Thanks for the help everyone. I adjusted the damper on the guru, decided against lump and went back to kbb, and added a pizza pan as a diffuser. Today it is holding temps amazing. I got 2 racks of St Louis cut ribs on, set it at 240 and it is holding steady.
    Yes the skin on the chicken was a little rubbery. Or a lot rubbery lol. I knew that going into it. I was going to crank the heat up at the last to crisp it up but with the temps fluctuating, and the sleet and wind and stuff, I was just ready to call it a day. But hey, it wasn't terrible, and even mediocre bbq is better than no bbq hehe. Lesson learned and better Q to come!
    Again thanks for so much help. I really appreciate it
    I won't say that I make the best BBQ, but you will

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