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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 02-03-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
Que'inKC
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Default Heat temps on my WSM

I've been experimenting with different ways to use the water bowl instead of adding water to it...The first time I used my WSM I added water, but got tired of filling the water bowl and almost putting out fire once with the Water bowl tipped.

Yesterday I attempted Sand, I like the stable temperatures but couldn't get them below 300...I even closed all the vents (except the top one) and it held there for almost 3 hours.

Today I'm trying foil balls, the temps are lower 250 but still not where I want them to be 220ish...

I've yet to try the clay pot base, maybe thats the answer...Jeff
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:17 AM   #2
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I've played with layers of hd alum foil, leaving a bout 1/2" of space between the layers using about 3 layers to create 2 air baffles. It worked well and made for easy clean up.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Mine is full of sand and covered with foil to catch the drippings. Once the fire gets away from you it is often very hard to rein it in. Would you mine walking us through your fire starting and loading technique as well as vent settings? My WSM is a rock steady 225 cooker for 14-17 hours. So it could just be a technique issue. Scott
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:55 AM   #4
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I also use sand in my water pan like Scott suggests. I double wrap it with heavy duty foil, leaving a small indention in the middle of the sand where the drippings accumalate. When Im done and the sand pan cools, I remove the outer layer of foil with the drippings and refoil a second new layer for the next cook. I used the same sand all last summer. I can lock my WSM at 230-235 (after the first 45 mins) by setting the bottom three vents less than 1/4 open and the top vent about 2/3 to 1/2 open. With a half load of rancher, she will hold 7 hrs, plenty time to cook butts and ribs. Try using a little less fuel. Let us know how it goes.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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I've been using the 14" clay pot base with no problems at all. I think the WSM behaves about the same with sand or the clay pot base. I agree with Yak that you may need to tweak your fire control a bit or try to eliminate any air leaks in the WSM. Leaky doors and an out-of-round condition are two common causes of leaks that lead to unwanted temp increases.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:04 AM   #6
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Flower pot mod for me...been using it now for months and my temps are always 225-250 at the dome all day long...

Flower Pot Mod...
http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x...t=6df8a022.pbw
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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You have to control your temps on the way up, once they get past your target temp it takes awhile to get them back down. I load up my cooker with meat, put the lid on and light a small amount of coals in the center with a hose torch. Put the door on, leave all vents 100% open until the dome temp hits 150*. Then I shut the bottom three vents down 3/4 of the way shut. The temps will initally drop a couple degrees, but will then slowly increase and stablize between 245*-260*.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:28 AM   #8
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Well I basically do what is desribed above...I fill my coal ring up with charcoal and chunks of hickory, then I light a chimney half full of charcoal..Then pour it on, I then open the vents 1/2 way then once it gets about 200 I shut them down to 1/3, but my temps still rise to around 275...I must have several leaks because I can shut all my vents and it will still hold temp...Maybe I'm using too much fuel.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD McGee View Post
Flower pot mod for me...been using it now for months and my temps are always 225-250 at the dome all day long...

Flower Pot Mod...
http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x...t=6df8a022.pbw
What size is that flower pot base?
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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Que,
where are you dumping the lit chimney full of coals in relation to the coal ring. I put the charcoal from the middle to the back and dump the lit 1/2 chimney in the front that way the lit coals burn and slowly feed to the coals in the back.
If you dump the lit chimney right on top of the piled coals, the pile will all light and it will get hotter quicker with more coals burning.
Did that make sense?

Scott
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:46 AM   #11
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You could be on to something Scott..I always just dump them on top of the existing ones in the charcoal ring...Next time I will try what you suggest.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #12
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A half chimney of lit coals to start sounds like a lot to me. I usually start with 20 - 30 lit coals, then let the heat build gradually. Brian
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Unread 02-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #13
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If you find the water gives you the required temps, but just don't like topping it up... get a larger water pan.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 11:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Que'inKC View Post
What size is that flower pot base?
14 inches...
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Unread 02-03-2008, 11:28 AM   #15
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yup sounds like to much hot coals in the beginning to me. i start out with about 20-25 briqs of kingsford. i have my ring full of kingsford and chunks. i put the coals over the top spread evenly. i then open everything up and watch till it hits about 195 or so then i start dialing it in. i usually run mine with the top vent wide open. 2 lower closed and the third one 1/4 open. it will hold 230-250 for about 12 hours. i also run with the piedmont water pan set up( 2 brinkman charcoal pans bolted together with a 1/2 spacer between them. and it will hold enough water to cook a brisket for 12 hours. w/o having to refill.)
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