Originally Posted by Tim Campbell
Not cooking anything now. I read somewhere that you should fire up the smoker once without food.
I never did. <shrug>
With no food and no water there is nothing to soak up the heat.
Normally when I close up my cooker, I close two of three bottom vents. (Top vent remains open all the time until I shut down after a smoke.)
A new smoker may not seal as well. My 18.5 held temperature with food and water in the bowl with all bottom vents closed (in summer.)
Did instructions come with the smoker? You may do well to follow them the first few smokes. I know you will get a lot of information that conflicts with that on this site and I won't say that any of it is wrong. However Weber has written instructions that are as bulletproof as they can make them for someone who has never fired up their WSM. That would be a good place to start.