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Unread 05-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
Tim Campbell
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Default WSM Vents

I leave all my bottom vents open just to keep 250. Do you think that is just encouraging updraft because I have the top vent open and thus burning fuel? If I close the vents will I lose temp or save fuel?
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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if you are running with all vents open and can only hit 250 your temps are really going to drop if you close any vents so yeah you'll save fuel but your food isn't ever going to cook, so is your concern fuel consumption or temps?
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Wide open just to keep 250 while using lump?

I just did sausage, baked beans and veggies using all lump, including a 3/4 chimney of lit.

When the temp hit 250 I closed 1 bottom vent and left the other 2 open ~1/8".

Half hour later (or sooner- I didn't monitor) it was 270, and stayed there for 2.5 hours. I removed the veggies and opened the closed vent a 1/4" and when I checked 30 mins. later it was at 325, when I pulled everything else and shut it down.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
volfan411
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I have to believe your thermometer is off if you can only get 250 with vents all the way open.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Need more details about coals, quantity, and lighting procedure...
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
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What they said.
3 vents open would have my WSMs in 375-400 range.
Top vent should always be open, and the three bottom vents used to control temps. The lower the temp you're cooking at the longer your fuel will last.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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You may want to check your thermometer. Mine is about 50 degrees off on the low side. So if it reads 225 it is actually closer to 275. I would also make sure you don't have any foil overlapping from the water pan or something else blocking your air flow.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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Are you using the water pan, and if so, are you foiling the outside of it?
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Unread 05-09-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
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I had that happen to me on my last cook. Was using RO briqs on an absolutely still day. Got the temp up to 325 with a full ring and 1/2 chimney of lit, but then when I put the meat on I couldn't get above about 265 with all vents wide open. Using just foiled pan. Not sure what the deal was but I'm switching to lump to see if I can maintain higher temps since I can't keep the temps up there with briqs.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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Better yet are you using water. That would explain wide open and 250.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 05:44 AM   #11
Tim Campbell
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Sorry, need more info
Lump, 12 lit KBB Briqs on top. I can get it to 275 but it settles at 250. Water pan with foil on the inside and a pizza stone laid inside. I can keep this temp fairly well, It seems everyone else can keep this 250ish with most of their vents closed. My last couple of smokes have been on calm days. I am using a Maverick ET-372 with my probe in the center of the top rack. My ultimate goal is to extend my cooks. I have worked with the fire door to shape it better.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 07:07 AM   #12
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The only time I ever had a problem with keeping the temperature up was when I tried foiling the outside of the water pan. I wrapped the foil over the top lip and it came down far enough so that water was traveling by capillary action up around the outside between the bowl and foil and was dripping on my coals. I didn't figure this out until I was cleaning up and found a puddle at the bottom of the ash pan.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 07:33 AM   #13
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I run w/ an empty foiled water pan only. Suggest losing the pizza stone.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
What they said.
3 vents open would have my WSMs in 375-400 range.
Top vent should always be open, and the three bottom vents used to control temps. The lower the temp you're cooking at the longer your fuel will last.
I have a hard time getting mine much higher than 325° What's your setup? Empty foiled water pan? Clay saucer? Using lump or briqs? How do you set up and start your fire?
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Unread 05-10-2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffR View Post
Better yet are you using water. That would explain wide open and 250.
THIS. I used water on my first cook. Cook 2 I couldn't get it barely up to 250°. Dumped out the water and it solved all my problems.
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