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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
Handsome Jack
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Default How do you reload your WSM's ?

I've only had an 18.5 WSM for a short time. On my first long burn I felt clumsy reloading the charcoal a double handful at a time. Whats a better way? Any special tools or tricks?
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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I have a small steel shovel that came with a wood stove. It fits easily through the door so i can add lit coals in a practical manner.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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Use the minion method. That way you shouldn't need to reload. You should get 12+ hours easily on the 18".
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
I have a small steel shovel that came with a wood stove. It fits easily through the door so i can add lit coals in a practical manner.
This.
I have an antique ash shovel I got from my grampa's estate after he passed. Works perfect.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsome Jack View Post
I've only had an 18.5 WSM for a short time. On my first long burn I felt clumsy reloading the charcoal a double handful at a time. Whats a better way? Any special tools or tricks?
I see from your location that you are Q'ing in a cold climate. The 18.5 with a FULL ring of charcoal will last me about 16 hours with an average outdoor temp of 70*F. That's maintaining a temp of approx 250 to 275*F on the top rack.

Do you use water in the pan? Consider wrapping the water pan in foil and using a substrate such as a ceramic flower pot saucer etc.

We see these questions a lot. With the WSM, outdoor temp and wind are big factors. You can make a lot of adjustments with your vents too.

It will take some experimentation.

To answer your original question, I mounted Stanley garage door handles on my rig so I could lift off the upper part and and add hot coal if needed.



Can do the "Hot Squat" if required. Good Luck!
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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With the smaller 18.5 I just lift the main body & cover off of the bottom, set it on a couple of boards, refill, and then place them back on.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you reload your WSM's ?

I use an old garden trowel.

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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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A old ash shovel, I'll find one.
I did use the Minion Method but maybe because I'm a new operator or maybe because of the blizzard I needed to add after about 10 hours. Although I could have been premature. I think it was about 15* F.
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Last edited by Handsome Jack; 02-21-2013 at 10:56 PM.. Reason: incomplete
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Unread 02-21-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothsmoke View Post
Use the minion method. That way you shouldn't need to reload. You should get 12+ hours easily on the 18".
Well, sometimes a man doesn't get his timing right. I hate to overload my WSM, and because of that, every once-in-a-while, I have to add fuel, because the meat is taking longer to cook than I planned for. And, I haven't developed a good plan for that reload.

I share the OP's interest in reloading. I use my hands, a pair of welder's gloves and some old tongs. It works okay, I guess. i think the problem for me is knowing when to add fuel, and how much at a time.

I'm thinking about getting an ice scoop for the hardware. But, I still haven't figured out when to add fuel, when I need to.

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Unread 02-21-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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While the door was open and the smoke and steam rolled out it was hard to see the charcoal level, a bright flashlight helps a lot.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 11:38 PM   #11
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Toast
That's a nice looking piece of meat. I would gladly share some with you.
That's funny, I just bought handles today but I'm getting old and i'm full of replacement parts. No hot squats for me.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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I made a chute out of a piece of aluminum I had. Bent 90 degrees and tapered on the end that goes into the wsm. Then I take a fireplace shovel, push the coals in the wsm to the rear and add the new lump on the front side by pouring down the chute.

Do not do this if you have unfoiled meat in the cooker as you will have dust. You really shiould do what they call the hot squat. That involves taking the lid and center section off and adding right on the coals in the ring. You need welding gloves as the cooker is hot and mounting Genie garage door handles on the middle section helps to do this.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alane View Post
With the smaller 18.5 I just lift the main body & cover off of the bottom, set it on a couple of boards, refill, and then place them back on.
+1 on that...the garage door handles would make it easier, but even with mine running around 275°, I've found I can lift it to move aside with just a normal pair of leather work gloves without my hands burning at all.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post

I'm thinking about getting an ice scoop for the hardware. But, I still haven't figured out when to add fuel, when I need to.

CD
I have an ice scoop and it works great. I add when the temps will no longer stay were I want them. My method is to use the scoop to redistribute the hot coals and then add some fresh on top.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
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I have an ice scoop and it works great. I add when the temps will no longer stay were I want them. My method is to use the scoop to redistribute the hot coals and then add some fresh on top.
Excellent idea. I usually don't need to reload on my Cajun Bandit - the 22.5 width helps quite a bit - but I do have to redistribute sometimes. I'll check out the ice scoop!
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