Originally Posted by Harbormaster
Well, the first glaring question I have is are you starting with hot water in the pan? It takes a lot of BTUs to get cold water to boil.
Have you tried w/o water? Wad up some foil into balls, put them in the water pan, cover with a sheet of foil.
Also keep in mind that when you get the WSM lit, it will take a while to heat up. Give it a while, watch your temps, when you get to say 220, then shut down your intake vents to 1/3. Always leave the top vent wide open. When you put cold meat on, you can guess what's gonna happen to temps too.
Sounds like you have the stock Weber thermo too. I don't have any of those so I can't speak to the accuracy.
Originally Posted by Bluesman
I've done about ten cooks since getting my WSM and had some of the same issues. The one fix I tried worked very well. Try foiling the water pan and keep it empty. I do this and have run the two bottom vents closed, one 50% open and the top 100% open and can hold 250* for hours. Vent adjusting will allow me to go to 275*-300*. Your lighting method and fuel seems to be okay. Smoke On
Hmmm, it seems you two may have answered my math question. 400 degree coals - x = low temp at the grates. X may be the crapton of cold water that I put in the water pan w/ my garden hose.
I'm cooking some chicken now and have removed the water, I'll keep an eye on the temp and report back.
Originally Posted by Spydermike72
Is the top vent open all of the way ??
You may also want to close the bottom vents about half way and let you smoker come up to temp slowly. Filling the charcoal ring up should not restrict airflow at all, you will also want to make sure that the ring is centered in the bottom so as not to restrict the air flow.
Water in the pan will also help control the temps. I will also recommend that when lighting your chimney that you only have about 12-15 coals in there, this will allow better temp control as well.
I hope that helps.
How do I let the temp come up slowly? once the coals in the chimney are red hot, I dump the coals and I build the grill. Once I have the lid on, the temp shoots up to around 300 - 350 immediately (i.e. about 2-3 minutes) and then starts dropping (probably from the cold water). Should a jump to a temp that high in the beginning not be happening?
Thanks guys. I feel like I'm making progress in a few minutes after fighting this thing for weeks. Glad I found these forums.