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Unread 03-27-2011, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default WSM and trouble with temps...

NEVER had any trouble keeping my temps where I wanted them with my WSM. Tonight, I used stubbs for the first time and my temps aren't doing right. It took a while to get them to move from 210 at the beginning and once they got to 235-245, I regulated it and they hung there for a long time. I went out a few minutes ago and noticed that my temps were at 200. Opened the door and saw that the fuel was pretty much gone on most of one side and had SOME on the the other side. I added more fuel and watched the temps hang around 210 again for the longest time and decided to open the door again and they went up to where they were soI shut it...been good ever since, but I haven't had those kind of problem with Kingsford. Could it be the charcoal or the fact that I had the water pan full with two butts on bottom rack and two on top, making the two on the bottom act almost like a heat shield in itself? Im perplexed.

Any help?
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Unread 03-27-2011, 02:23 AM   #2
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That's a tough one alright. Obviously you're an experienced WSM cooker since you know to keep it out of the wind . . .

Once I experienced strange temperature fluctuations with my WSM it was due to a different charcoal than I had been using. But other than obvious changes like that - it's difficult to tell where the problem may be. It may be the water pan or the fact that you have it loaded up more than normal. Those are good thesis propositions . . . but without accurate measurements of all variables and controls it will be difficult to say . . .
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Unread 03-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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I've used stubbs with good results before. Did you shake your charcoal to make sure that it was tightly packed in the ring? I've done several cooks with 4 butts in a WSM, and not had a problem
When using water in the pan, it is a good idea to start with hot water, so that you are not wasting fuel heating it.
I hope this helps.

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Unread 03-27-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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...or try using an EMPTY water pan.
I stopping filling the pan early last year and haven't had a problem since.
Now, I simply foil the top of the pan to make clean-up ez.
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Unread 03-27-2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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Sounds just like a bag of Stubbs that I used a couple of months ago.

Assuming you used two bags, did both do the same thing? I've used a lot of Stubbs in the last year and a half with my 18.5" wsm, and I've only had one bag do like this, and I noticed a lot more ash than usual as well.

Hopefully, the Stubbs will be more consistant in the future, but since Lowes didn't run the "two for one" sale around here, I might just order more of the RO chef's select (big briqs) through I did a test cook yesterday and got over a twelve hour burn with breezy cool weather with no windbreak, and water in the pan. Temps were very steady, 250 or so at the top vent for about eight hours or so before I finally needed to knock the ash off the coals by tapping the cooker legs with a rubber maul. These RO briqs burn a little slower than the Stubbs, but probably don't have much more ash, so I'm pretty impressed with 'em, at least for smoking.
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