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Unread 06-30-2007, 11:06 PM   #1
Cliff H.
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Default Buildup on WSM

I have posted this pic on other forums and I am suprised to see how many people have not seen anything like this.

The picture below shows build up on the lid of my wsm. The black shiny coating on the inside dome becomes somewhat soft after long exposure to heat and humidity. ( At least that has been my experience ) and forms a heavy thick coating on the lid and the lip of the center section.

At first I thought not cleaning the inside after each cook was the problem. I have been scraping this crude off the lid every time I have taken the lid off for the last couple of cooks. Each time I replace the lid for a while a new layer of crude forms and makes the lid sticky when I remove it from the center section.

I burn lump charcoal. It happens with water or sand. I only burn a few chunks of hickory at a time. The wood I use is not kiln dried but it is at least one year old.

I know folks have posted about the lid being welded shut the next day after a cook. This is the same build up. I am just curious as to why some people have no trouble with this at all.

When this coating cools and dries it becomes hard and will flake off if scraped. When the smoker is hot it changes consistency to what you see in the pic and looks like roof tar when scraped. I don't think I am using enough wood to justify calling this creasote.

I am starting to wonder if my fuel is playing some part in this problem.

This topic is open for discussion.

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Unread 06-30-2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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wow. I know this doesn't help you at all, but I've never seen that kind of buildup before.

I've had the next day experience where the lid doesn't want to come off, but never that bad.

The WSM needs no seasoning, but maybe you were out of oil and decided to season yours with tar???? That's the only thing I can think of...
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Unread 06-30-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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Haven't experienced anything like that with mine.

Quote:
I am starting to wonder if my fuel is playing some part in this problem.
I have no idea, but one sure way to rule it out would be to switch fuel on your next smoke. For example, run an all Kingsford burn and see the problem disappears or recurs.
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Unread 07-01-2007, 12:39 AM   #4
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Geez! I've never seen anything like that.
I 'spose I should check my dome next time I cook. They both have a really nice shiny hard seasoning in them, but I never get drippy goo like that.
Are you sure your not using Royal Railroad Tie charcoal?
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Unread 07-01-2007, 01:09 AM   #5
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Cliff,

This won't help, but I have "flaking" issues, and others do too.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...hlight=flaking

But I have a few variables I want to ask you:

Do you spray through the top vent?

I am weather naive. Is Arkansas relatively high humidity?

Next, what temps do you normally smoke at? Are you a 220-240 person, 250-270, or a high heat cook of 300 or more?

Lastly, do you cover the WSM when not in use? Wondering about water build up around the ring, mixing with fat and chit on the other side of the lid
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Unread 07-01-2007, 03:47 AM   #6
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I have never seen such a build up either, but that sure looks like creosote which is a product of incomplete combustion in wood stoves.

Some more questions.

What color is the smoke you usually see?
Are you soaking your chunks/chips?
How much wood do you use?
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Unread 07-01-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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You been smoking possum again havent you?

It has to be fuel related cause I aint never seen anything like that before. I used to cook on a WSM for a few years and I never seen anything like that. I bet you had some smoky flavor!
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Unread 07-01-2007, 07:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help folks.

Here are a few FYI's:

I use Ozark Oak Lump and run my wsm between 250-260 in the dome. I burn about three fist size chunks of hickory that have not been soaked. I use the Minion method on all cooks.

I use a torch to set off the pile rather than adding lit coals from a chimney. The wood is on the pile from the beginning so it burns white at first but turns clear/blue after 30 min or so.

I am guilty of using very small logs ( equal to two chunks ) from time to time which I am going to discontinue.

I also am guilty of placing 19lb briskets on the wsm which really don't fit good right at first, so I have to battle the meat touching the inside of the dome. It seems that ribs and such are very close to the edge a lot so I know some fat is getting to the lip of the mid section.

I think I am going to fire it up today with some kingsford and no wood for a few hours just to see what happens.

I will let ya'll know.
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Unread 07-01-2007, 10:37 AM   #9
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Looks to me like excessive moisture, afterall what else can cause this????

Perhaps those huge briskets? Maybe you just use the heck out of it and it is natural. How many cooks have you done total? I read where you get it every time.... that is the odd part.

I would probably just change my method...unless you are happy with your final product, if so, don't change a thing and continue to scrape after each cook.
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Unread 07-01-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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I am burning a ring of lump right now ( no wood ) and no food. I scraped the inside of the dome down real good. All the way back to the original finish close the edge.

Vents wide open with water in the pan.

I think my wood is the culprit but this will tell me something.
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Unread 07-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #11
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Hey Cliff how did it do with the burn? When I use water in the waterpan I get some sticky stuff but nothing like that.

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Unread 07-01-2007, 10:39 PM   #12
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I burned a pile of the same lump I have been using all along with water in the pan and the result was no sticky gunk.

The problem is creosote. I was in denial at first because I just don't use that much wood. However it got there, be it from snuffing out the fire, all of the white smoke at start up or burning wood that had taken on humidity the problem ceased when I did this test burn with no wood.

From the pics posted you can see what looks like more of the goo oozing/dripping down. As stated earlier I scraped the inside of the lid real good close to the edge but hit and missed higher up the dome. I also scraped the rim of the mid section. The runs you see were not there when I started the test run. As a matter of fact there were straight lines from the scraper right were the drip lines are.

This tells me that when I was cooking the dried gunk/creosote was heating up and dripping down the lid onto the rim of the mid section. If I hadn't scraped the inside I might not have noticed the drip line. I am going to modify myself a curved scraper and clean the entire surface of the dome.

I am going to have to adjust the size pcs of wood I use and how much.

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Unread 07-01-2007, 10:45 PM   #13
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Do you use anything other than water in the water pan?
That dont look like a wood problem
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Unread 07-01-2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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That is a years worth of build up. I only used water for the last two cooks. I have been using sand. I don't know what else could do that. The wood I use is not kiln dried for what that is worth. It is over a year old though.
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Unread 07-01-2007, 11:01 PM   #15
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You might try some simple green (full strength) and a scotch brite pad. Just dont scrub real hard with the pad.

Just a thought.

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