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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 06-09-2011, 07:42 AM   #1
mykz26
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Default Offset smoker vs WSM

Question, is there a difference in the cooking techniques of offset smokers like mine vs the cooking in a WSM or alike?
I only bring this up because I've noticed the majority of post are from members using WSM's. I realize heat is heat but just wanted to know. Do I keep meat further away from the box as that will be the hot spot and not be an accurate measurement of temp? Do I go less on smoking wood as the whole chamber fills up with smoke and at least to me seems like it would be engulf the meat for longer then the smoke rising from the bottom and right out the top?
I want to try some of these recipes you guys post and just wanted to get clarification on this so I'm not disappointed that my meat didn't turn out as expected. Thanks.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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I went from a Binkmann Offset to a WSM 22 and really haven't found that I do much differently in terms of technique. I used foil below the grate in my offset as a baffle so the chamber only had about a 10 degree variance from the side closest to the firebox to the other. That still makes a difference where/when you put the meat on, but in the WSM the lower rack can be 10 Degrees (give or take) higher than the top rack.

As for the smoke that is really all a thing of personal taste. Some folks put smoke to meat the entire time and others don't. Do whatever you like. The main thing is to not over think smoking too much. If you are newer find a few recipes you like and just go with them. That is what I did. Everyone's pallet is different so you may find you don't like a recipe you cooked, but that is how it rolls. I liked experimenting and cooking different ways in the beginning. I doubt there are many people on here who haven't screwed up before :). I'll be the first to raise my hand there.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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the cooking principles are the same..cooking on one or the other is a completely different experience as far as fire control
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:04 AM   #4
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The WSM is much more economical to use in terms of charcoal and wood (chunks). After a short learning cycle they are very easy to control for temperature. They are low maintenance due to the baked finish and are backed by a good support and parts system.
A decision to buy other than a WSM is usually based on perceived need for more volumn or a love of playing with fire!!
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
The WSM is much more economical to use in terms of charcoal and wood (chunks). After a short learning cycle they are very easy to control for temperature. They are low maintenance due to the baked finish and are backed by a good support and parts system.
A decision to buy other than a WSM is usually based on perceived need for more volumn or a love of playing with fire!!
Great point here. How did I forget this. While my offset would run for about 4-6hrs fairly steady on charcoal it ate up about 2-3times more than my WSM. I actually didn't feel like my offset was that hard to tend, mostly because I didn't know any better. Sometimes ignorance is bliss :). But after working with a WSM it certainly is much easier. But some people like playing with fire and is half the fun.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
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Can you burn sticks in a WSM?
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Unread 06-09-2011, 08:36 AM   #7
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when I had an offset & WSM I used the WSM mainly for overnight butt cooks because of how well it retained temp..other than that I personally preferred the bbq off the offset..
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Unread 06-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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I have a cheapo bullet smoker that is in need of mods and and a Chargriller offset heavily modified. The modified offset is a joy to use now. I get about a 10*F temp differential from one side to the other when stabilized and it stabilizes quickly. I can cook with about 1/3 the charcoal as when i first got it and gets to much higher temps when I want it too. Thinking about putting together a kit for it for all the others like me that have one and have found out all the weaknesses of them from the store. mine has removable baffle plates, stack extension, improved charcoal grate. Those are the main ones. Soon it gets new wheels!
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Unread 06-09-2011, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Can you burn sticks in a WSM?
Nope. Well, you could but then you would not reap the control benefits of having the WSM. It's built for charcoal. Using wood chucks give you the plus of using really good long-lasting smoke.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
....or a love of playing with fire!!
Roger That!
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Unread 06-09-2011, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
A decision to buy other than a WSM is usually based on perceived need for more volumn or a love of playing with fire!!
Love me some WSM, HOWEVER it would be a ***** to try to cook 6-9 20lb whole pork shoulders on one, or two, or three... And 12-14 racks of ribs, that would be a little much for one. MBN can be such a ***** to compete.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #12
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I used to have a chargriller offset before I bought the WSM. It's not that I didn't like the food that I made with it,it's just that the WSM is so much easier for me to run.The CG does need to be baby sat some while cooking which has it's own reward, but sometimes it just gets to be a hassle mess'n with the fire trying to keep a constant temp on a long burn. I did all the usual mods to the CG which helped me in selling it to get the WSM. Because I don't have a truck or trailer I couldn't transport the CG where as I can break the WSM down to fit in the trunk of my car and I do use considerably less fuel with the WSM. The water pan can be a pain with the WSM but there are ways around useing water for a heat sink.So I guess what it comes down to is just what floats your boat and what can you afford.The CG is cheaper than the WSM,but the WSM is cheaper than the BGE. Once you learn to use the smoker you're grub will taste great no matter which one you use.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
Love me some WSM, HOWEVER it would be a ***** to try to cook 6-9 20lb whole pork shoulders on one, or two, or three... And 12-14 racks of ribs, that would be a little much for one. MBN can be such a ***** to compete.
Yep that's why I have a Kingfisher stick-burning rotisserie, an electric smoke box, a five burner gasser with IR, a WSM, a small Weber kettle, AND a Bandera smoke chamber without door or shelves to be used for a yet to be determined project.
You just never know what the next challenge will be!!
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Unread 06-09-2011, 02:21 PM   #14
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LOL. That is a few. I really just use the Lang now for smoking and one or the other of the Weber's for grilling. I've got a little gasser, a 2nd Weber 22, and a very heavy (and rare, from what I'm seeing) Brinkmann Stillwater offset that sit collecting dust...

The one big-kahuna takes care of us nicely. A few weeks back I cooked for a friends party (half-*** caterer if you will), cooked 6 9.5lb butts, 2 15lb briskets, and 4 racks of ribs. He came over 1/2 through the cook and wanted to peek inside. I had 'em all on the smaller top rack; nothing on the bottom... He was like "HOLY COW, THIS DIDNT EVEN COME CLOSE TO FILLING IT UP". Nope. Size matters!

But, the WSM is a great bullet smoker. This guy will really begin to understand smokin'.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
Using wood chucks give you the plus of using really good long-lasting smoke.
I was wondering how those things tasted when they were smoked!!!!
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