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Unread 02-06-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
Chef Jim
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Default WSM Fire Control

So I got this new Mavrick 372 from 5-0 BBQ. It is fantastic, the range is more than I will ever need.

However, I got ribs on and want 250 or less, but it's soaring to 300.

So I go out and pull everything off to see if I could figure out just what was happening. Dumb Jim, the back vent is wide open!

But I remember closing it! NO Dumb A$$ you opened it. You all need to know that I am just slightly handicapped (not mental) and I can't bend over to see what position the vents are in. Let alone move one.

To me, then look like they are open when closed and versa-visey.

I am going to have to make some king of a mod that will enable me to reach the vent and tell just what position the darn thing is in. At least until I can afford to buy a guru or stoker of whatever strikes me when the time comes

But, the darn thing is still running at 280 with all the vents closed except for the dome being wide open.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Unread 02-06-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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Don't know your set up exactly , but a few things I would look at/consider might be: (a) waterpan (b)avoid lump (3)don't overstart/overshoot target temp at beginning (4) minimize lid opening (5)check for leaks. Can't think of anything else. I'm not too familiar with webers, having recently got my wsm22. Hope this helps.
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Unread 02-06-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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As a machinist, I suggest the old mirror on a telescoping rod trick.

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Unread 02-06-2011, 05:18 PM   #4
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I'm with you Jim. I have bad knees and a bad hip. I reach down, and quickly feel if the vent is opened or closed. In the beginning of the cook it is easy, as the bottom hasn't really heated up. later on it is much more tricky.
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Unread 02-06-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
As a machinist, I suggest the old mirror on a telescoping rod trick.


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Unread 02-06-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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My wsm has tabs sticking out on the top and bottom of the vent, when the tabs are parallel to the ground it's closed, when they're not, it's open...
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Unread 02-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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The mirror is a nice trick, but then I would have to have something else around to loose.

Didn't think about the lump. Good point.

It's the position of the tabs that gets me confused, I've tried the touch method a few times and that does work. Hmmmm, burnt fingers. Mirror, no burnt fingers.

Thinking of putting a handle on each tab so I don't have to bend to move then and then painting open and closed so this dummy can figure it out.

Thanks guys for the help.

BTW the ribs were good, not at ten, but good enough.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Jim View Post
So I got this new Mavrick 372 from 5-0 BBQ. It is fantastic, the range is more than I will ever need.

However, I got ribs on and want 250 or less, but it's soaring to 300.

So I go out and pull everything off to see if I could figure out just what was happening. Dumb Jim, the back vent is wide open!

But I remember closing it! NO Dumb A$$ you opened it. You all need to know that I am just slightly handicapped (not mental) and I can't bend over to see what position the vents are in. Let alone move one.

To me, then look like they are open when closed and versa-visey.

I am going to have to make some king of a mod that will enable me to reach the vent and tell just what position the darn thing is in. At least until I can afford to buy a guru or stoker of whatever strikes me when the time comes

But, the darn thing is still running at 280 with all the vents closed except for the dome being wide open.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Be patient, I have noticed that mine takes awhile to adjust once it gets up that high--especially if you are using water in the water pan. That is what I think is the best part of the WSM (holding temperature), but it can also be the most problematic when you want to take it up or down quickly.

Incidentally, I had my first temp problem with my WSM yesterday on my Superbowl cook. Got it fired up to 250 put on my pork butt at 9:00 am, then added ribs at about 11:30 am. It was holding fine. Had a whole circle of charcoal using the minion method like I always do. I had the bottom vents all about half closed. About 2:00, just prior to foiling my ribs, my temp started dropping semi-dramatically--from 250-200 in about a half an hour. I opened up vents during the process and it continually dropped. I checked the charcoal to see if it could have possibly burned out already, and there was plently left. Finally I just opened the feeder door for about 5 minutes to let it get some oxygen. It began to climb back and then would slip a little. Somehow, I don't think it was getting enough oxygen. I decided to add another chimney of hot coals and stoke the fire a little and it came back to life and held nicely. Just didn't understand the way it was acting. Let me know if you have ever had problems like that.

Thanks, and good luck.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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As an after thought with the cook yesterday, my problem was just the oppoisite. It ran hot all day. Couldn't keep it down.

My guess is the lump burns hotter and faster. Next time I'll try "K" and see how that does.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 01:58 PM   #10
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My guess is that just having that one vent open allowed enough air in to your charcoal bed to let your temps get away from you. I've used lump for years in the 18.5" WSM and it's usually not a problem holding temps where I need them.

I know we have all been taught that you should never close down the upper dome vent, but don't be afraid to just to close it down to 1/4 open as opposed to wide open. Creosote development doesn't happen as easily when charcoal is used as a fuel compared to wood (I no evidence to prove this, it's just my opinion).
There is a video that Rock BBQ has put out that shows how to load a 22" WSM for use with a stocker. In the video they use lump, and they recommend closing the upper dome vent to 1/4 open for easier temp control. The video also has some great information on using lump in a WSM:
YouTube - Rock's Barbque Fire and Cooker Setup

Direct link to the Rock's BarBQue Page:
https://www.rocksbarbque.com/Basic_Use.html
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Unread 02-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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I was going to guess the charcoal also. I've used lump a few times and it does seem to run hot.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 04:25 PM   #12
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Lump WILL burn faster than most briquettes, especially K blue. However, too much oxygen is always what create temp spikes, whether it's open vents, lid/door off too much, or loose door/section/lid fit, and plenty of folks, myself included, have used lump in the wsm for low-n-slow with great results.

IMHO, the best forgiveness for too much air is a water pan full of a 212* heat sink, but not nearly necessary, especially if you're cooker has good fit and you're around to occasionally make vent adjustments. (I still use water if trying to stretch a cook out over 12 hours and cooking overnight.) Regarding vent adjustments, if you think that the 212* water makes the cooker slow to respond, try getting the temp to come down from a 350* spike with a pan full of sand. Anyway, one good thing about lump is that it is significantly faster to respond to vent changes than K blue. Chef Jim, I use a short piece of 2x2 to make adjustments, and I think the mirror is a great idea.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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Thanks Mr. Saiko, My big smoky thingy runs away sometimes and that video should be a help for those of us that are learning.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Jim View Post
Next time I'll try "K" and see how that does.
Don't be in such a big hurry to give up on lump. Master temp control using it, and master temp control using briqs.
I would use lump all the time if I could find a reliable inexpensive source for quality lump.
You gotta catch those temps on the way up, once too high they are harder to bring down, regardless of fuel type.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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On the vents the way I remember to let myself know if they are open or closed is if your right in front of it closed is always counter clockwise vice versa for open. I also have a long sturdy pigtail type flipper I use to stoke fire and its great to also use to turn vents AND if your good enough you can use the pointy pigtail to kinda poke the vent hole to see if its open or closed or what. Thats my big complaint about the weber 22.5 is to adjust the vents you need to be nose to nose on them to adjust them. PAIN IN the ARSE. But that pigtail makes for a nice arm/finger extension.
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