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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
bo_gator
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Question 18.5" WSM and Royal Oak chunks

When aiming for a low and slow (225* F) Boston Butt or brisket cook on an 18.5" WSM using Royal Oak chunk charcoal, how much RO do you put on the charcoal grate and in the chimney starter

I have been having a hard time keeping RO under 300* F in the WSM, what am I doing wrong
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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How new is your WSM? If it is new, it will run hot the first few cooks. No need to worry.

Hot & Fast works just fine. Try Kingsford Blue first to see if that helps with temp control.

Lump does burn hotter.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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use water in the pan. it will help keep the temps down.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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I use a mix of kingsford blue and RO lump. I am not sure what chimney starter you are using but I use a weber and fill it about 1/3 of the way full when starting my fire. I put a layer of kingsford on botton to prevent the small pieces of of RO from falling through into ash pan.

Mine seems to want to cruise in the 275-300 range so I would say 300 is normal.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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How much coal you put on the grate depends on how long you plan the cook to last.

When using lump, make sure you pack it in as tight as possible. It helps to limit air flow, thus increasing control over temp.

To get to your temps, I'd start with about a half a chimney of lit.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #6
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I always fill my charcoal ring to the top, with 4 or 5 fist sized chunks of wood mixed in the charcoal. I light it in 3 places with a high output propane torch and let it burn for a bit before putting it together. I then let it slowly come up to cooking temperature before I put the food on.

I do not use water, I use a foiled clay flower pot base in the foiled water pan. I have no problem running it low or high.

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Unread 12-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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Excess heat usually means too much air is getting in. This is pretty normal on a new WSM. Something else to check is how even the joints are. There is often some out of round in the middle, bottom and lid sections. You can try to straighten them out or just rotate the sections until the gap at the joining looks the same all the way around (matching the out of round of the different parts.)

Also check that the door lies flat to the middle section.

I usually start with one bottom vent half open in warm weather or fully open in cold weather once I close up the smoker.

The other cause would be lighting too much charcoal to begin with.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
Excess heat usually means too much air is getting in. This is pretty normal on a new WSM. Something else to check is how even the joints are. There is often some out of round in the middle, bottom and lid sections. You can try to straighten them out or just rotate the sections until the gap at the joining looks the same all the way around (matching the out of round of the different parts.)

Also check that the door lies flat to the middle section.

I usually start with one bottom vent half open in warm weather or fully open in cold weather once I close up the smoker.

The other cause would be lighting too much charcoal to begin with.

I totally agree on the airflow and not overlighting at the beginning.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatAttack View Post
How new is your WSM? If it is new, it will run hot the first few cooks. No need to worry.

Hot & Fast works just fine. Try Kingsford Blue first to see if that helps with temp control.

Lump does burn hotter.
Exactly, after a few cooks my 18.5 WSM is dialed in.
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