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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
charrederhead
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Default Runaway temps on WSM picnic

Hey y'all.....still a newbie here.....decided to throw an 8.5# picnic on tonight for some pulled-pork BBQ burrito bites for an appetizer at my sister's Christmas dinner (1 pm) tomorrow.

This is my 2nd go, last one was on Columbus Day. (Long story, including stint in hospital).

It's 30 degrees and calm. My temp held at 270 (target) for 20 mins, 2 hrs from fire start, so I thought it was relatively stabilized, then it jumped to 300 in 10 mins. I cranked down the vents from 1/4" to 1/8th and watched the temp rise to 325, so I closed all bottom vents (dome full open), and it's been sitting at 327 for the last 15 mins.

I followed the same procedure as last time, (which cooked at ~ 300 the entire 8 hrs.) but I may have allowed the lit briqs (K-Blue) to get hotter this time, compensating (i figured) for the lower ambient temp. Oops?

Anyway, I'm not sweating this thing....told my sister don't count on it due to it being first cook below freezing (w/ a touch of snow coming overnight) and if it fails for some reason, the back-up plan is pizza.

My digital therm is good, and it's in-step w/ my installed dome therm.

So, I'm gonna wait til the thing drops to 285 or so and open 1 vent a smidge and see what happens.

Meantime, the Celebration Ale and Bailey's are going down easy...Merry Christmas to all.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #2
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WSMs don't respond instantly when trying to lower the temps.
Don't sweat it. You're fine.
325 may be hotter than where you wanted top cook, but your still in good shape.
Let the temp come down, and open the vents just a little.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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I fought my WSM at first too until it became good and broke in. Don't sweet it the pork will be fine it will just be done a little sooner then what you had planned.

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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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I only have to open one of my vents a little to run at 275 so I think you are on the right track to getting it settled in.

Sorry forgot to mention that I do rotate vents through out the cook to try and get an even burn in charcoal.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
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Listen to Clark, he is the Undisputed Wisconsin WSM Guru. At this time with the outside temp at 17 degrees my 18,5 wsm is cruising at 240 with all bottom vents about 1/4 open and the exhaust fully open. My question is did you have the top off for a while doing something or did the temp just spike? If you have the top off too long it floods the basket with air and it takes off, doesnt take long for this to occur.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Your sucking air around the door.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapbeer View Post
Listen to Clark, he is the Undisputed Wisconsin WSM Guru. At this time with the outside temp at 17 degrees my 18,5 wsm is cruising at 240 with all bottom vents about 1/4 open and the exhaust fully open. My question is did you have the top off for a while doing something or did the temp just spike? If you have the top off too long it floods the basket with air and it takes off, doesnt take long for this to occur.

Good point. I took the top off after the spike, to check the probe situation. So, that may have extended the spike.

Down to 284 now. About to go open 1 vent 1/8th.

Love the WSM!
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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It took me several cooks to get my WSM figured out and dialed in. I recently bought a pitmaster IQ 10 and have done 2 overnight cooks with it. The first night I got up once to check temps, next one slept like a baby all night with no worries and woke to great BBQ.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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You just need a few more cooks on it to get it sealed up better and broken in then it'll cruise for you.


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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Your sucking air around the door.
AND did you use partially spent fuel with new?
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Your sucking air around the door.


Right. Forgot to foil the door.

But let me say, this is not a brandy-brand new WSM. It's probably had 10 cooks on it.

Just to update, @ 284* I opened 2 vents a _hair.....holding 271-273.

Thanks for the input.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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It will take several cooks before it settles in an you don't have air leaks. I always use the minion method, open the top vent all the way and close the bottom three to a 1/4 or less. It will run about 210-225 with very little tending.
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Unread 12-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #13
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I started shutting all vents for a few minutes just prior to opening lid to do anything to prevent the spikes. If you are going to be doing anything that will take a little time, consider taking grate out and putting lid back on while wrapping, etc.
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