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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 09-15-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
chambersuac
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Default Firing up the 22.5" WSM tips?

Okay, Brethren,

Yesterday, MrBill assembled my new 22.5" WSM with which the Brethren surprised me on Thursday. After church, my son will fire her up and cook the two racks of ribs and the pork butt that MrBill brought us. Thanks again, Bill.

I'm familiar with the 18" model and am wondering how differently the 22.5" is as far as charcoal setup and such. I'd like to have it run 275-300 degrees using KBB with some wood chunks. He'll be starting it with a chimney, as my weed burner's tank is MIA.

Any tips on amount of charcoal in ring and/or how full of a chimney to use?

Thanks in advance. Lord willing, pron will be forthcoming.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
LTG
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I use lump but I fill the ring up until its heaping. Use 1/2 chimney of lump or in your case with stinksford 10-12 briquettes.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
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Foil the water pan imo
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Unread 09-15-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Yeah ^^

I do just about the same. I use wood chunks that I bury high in the mass of charcoal. I use Kingsford too and follow the tightly packed idea of the minion method. The 18.5 is more of a fuelmeiser with longer burns but the 22.5 behaves the same. If you have a lid thermometer get the unit to about 250 on the dome and shut all the lower vents to just a crescent and leave the top wide. it should settle at 275 and run there 6-7 hours.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Remember it's going to run hot for the first few cooks.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Foil the water pan imo
+One.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Don't use lighter fluid
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Unread 09-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Foil the water pan imo

+one
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Unread 09-15-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Don't panic!
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Unread 09-15-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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My charcoal and wood set up on my 22.5 WSM is the same whether I use my Stoker or not. I generally use a full 20lb bag of KB for every cook. I fill the ring with one layer of KB, just enough for the coals to cover the grate (roughly 30 to 40 coals give or take). I then place 6 to 8 fist size wood chunks evenly spaced apart on the layer of coals. After that I dump the rest of the bag on top of the wood and charcoal. I then take about 10 pieces of charcoal from the middle of the pile, bunch them up to one side of the charcoal chimney and light them up with a Weber lighter cube. Once the coals are ready (roughly 10 min) I place the lit coals back in the middle of the pile. When I am not using the Stoker, I open all of my vents to about 3/8 of a inch to get the fire going. You can use the end of a 3/8" drill bit if you want to be exact. Then once I am 25 degrees from my target temp, I close all of my vents down to 1/8 of a inch. Then as the target temp is hit, I would use just one vent to control the temp for the rest of the cook. Now I will admit, that by using this process it takes about 45 min to hour to get the pit up to temp. But by starting off with fewer lit coals, you can slowly bring the pit up to the desired temp without over shooting. Once you over shoot the temp, it takes a lot longer to bring it back down, then it would if you were slowly bringing it up to temp. Congrats on the new WSM. They're great cookers.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #11
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I have a homemade expanded metal ring (14") for smaller cooks, because packing the coal tight is important. Either fill up the small ring or the large one to the top and tight. I hate trying to choke off a fire and save bricks, so I go with the amount I think I will need. I can get 13+ hours out of the big ring and about 10 out of the small ring. I normally use sand in my water pan as I find it makes for easy cleanup and stabilizes temps a little better than just lining my pan. I use 13 (nice lucky number) of lit bricks. Don't be too concerned if it goes past 300 degrees. This time of year in Texas... It will do that with a proper Minion and all the bottom dampers almost closed off.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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I use the entire 16# bag of KBB. That will get me a 12 hour cook, weather dependent, of course. I put the entire bag in the fire ring. Then I put 8 briquette in the chimney and lite just those (no lighter fluid!!!! ha ha ha ha).
When they're hot, I spread those 8 across the massive mound of charcoal.

Put something in the water pan. Whether it's water or sand, or whatever....
Use foil, it makes clean up MUCH easier.

Open the top vent 100%
Open the bottom vents the width of a bamboo skewer. Let the fire do its thing for an hour before you put the meat on. From there, adjust the temps as needed with the bottom vents.

Make sure the door fits as tight as possible, they aren't perfect.

If you're not using the bottom grate, just leave it out of the smoker altogether. It's one less thing that needs to be cleaned up.

Take pictures.
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