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Theresa B 10-25-2011 07:21 PM

New WSM..any tips/trips you'd like to share with me?
Fairly new to BBQ and planning to start competing. We just got our new WSM and are wondering if anyone has tips/tricks that would be helpful.
Bellwood BBQ:mod:

Pyle's BBQ 10-25-2011 07:54 PM

Only use the bottom vents for temp control.

mbshop 10-25-2011 07:55 PM

for sure use it a lot. the more you do the better it gets.
mucho info here also

Boshizzle 10-25-2011 08:00 PM

My best advice is keep things as simple as possible and learn to maintain temp in your smoker and you will do fine.

Smoothsmoke 10-25-2011 08:02 PM

no advice
WSM Power

swamprb 10-25-2011 08:05 PM

Start cooking on it and learn to control it. What size did you get?

There are simple mods I have done to mine that make my life easier at comps.

Take a look at this post:

Guru/Stoker/Cajun Bandit probe eyelets are helpful.
I made some of my own here:

I would make a smaller diameter charcoal ring for the 22" WSM for short cooks.

Or if you intend to do long unattended low temp cooks a Cajun Bandit stainless ring holds a whole 22lb bag of Kingsford.

Universal garage door handles from Lowes/HD are an easy bolt on mod for the 18" bullets.

Harbormaster 10-25-2011 08:08 PM

If it's brand new, the thermo may be suspect. Put an oven thermometer on the grate and see.

A second charcoal grate turned 90 degrees from the original keeps smaller pieces of charcoal in play.

Turn the center section upside down to keep rain out if you'll be storing it outside.

The WSM is the greatest invention since the Saturn V rocket.

cameraman 10-25-2011 08:09 PM

Keep a lid on it. Don't take it off to baste, mop, flip, poke or oogle. Get a wireless thermo and check for doneness when you have good reason to believe it's done.

rookiedad 10-25-2011 08:21 PM

foil the water pan for easy clean up.

Theresa B 10-25-2011 08:29 PM

I'm lovin all this info! Swamprb- it's a 22, we also have 18 & 22 kettles.

azken 10-25-2011 08:32 PM

All excellent suggestions/advice...I've only one to add and that is: Have Fun!!!!

Jaskew82 10-25-2011 08:32 PM

1. It will run hot in the beginning.
2. It was built for charcoal but lump will work.
3. Season it well with a few light cooks (wings, fatty, etc) or dry runs (no food)
4. Consider a BBQ Guru. It may be somewhat costly but makes overnight cooks a breeze.
5. Get the eyelets from They are very convenient.
6. Always keep the top vent wide open.
7. Use water in the pan for low and slow (my opinion, others will differ)
8. Use no water but foil wrap for hot and fast.
9. Consider metal tape around the door. You won't need to open it during cooking anyway and this will seal any leaks.
10. Enjoy it. It is a great smoker.

Use the minion method for any cooks over 4 hours. It should hold temps well with this method for at least 9 hours. Others have reported as much as 13 or so on the 22.5 and longer on the 18.

kennedyma 10-25-2011 09:15 PM

My tip. Cook, cook, cook. I love my 18.5 WSM. Now I do have a Backwoods Gater on order but my WSM has done me well.

Enjoy it they are a great cooker.

Tips: I got the guru eyelets and love them for getting probes into it.

I've gotten 16 hours on a load of fuel with my stoker on a 40 deg. night. Funny thing was my stoker fan didn't turn on at all overnight, only towards the end of the cook.

NorthwestBBQ 10-25-2011 09:36 PM

Ron_L 10-25-2011 10:33 PM

Here is a post that I did a while ago on using the minion Method in a WSM.

Also, there is a Google search lower down on the page. Search for WSM and you'll find a bunch of info right here on the good old BBQ Brethren. The Virtual Weber Bullet site is great, but why leave here until you have exhausted all of our resources? :-D

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