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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
Kevin Garceau
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Default WSM not running to temp - any suggestions?

Well, not the most experienced Q'r - but all night long I have fought with my WSM to maintain heat.

Its not warm out but its in the upper 30s. I keep finding it settling in at 175-190.
I just pulled the top two portions off and added more charcoal from my chimney, but what was in it was not burned out. Just didnt seem to have any heat nor would it burn all the charcoal up.

I stoked it a few times with no avail.

I will say I just now switched out temp probes and maybe that was it. But I dont think so, its a mechanical one I had in it. I havent bumped it or dropped it etc.

Any helpful thoughts........ stoker looking like a good investment right now.

thanks folks.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
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Check your temp probes in boiling water for 212*. Do you have the bottom vents open or closed? You should be able to open the bottom vent all the way and the top vent as well. When you get to the temp you want close the bottoms and keep the top wide open. Also how much fuel did you start with?

Try this site. Everthing you want to know about a WSM

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/index.html
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #3
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What type of charcoal are you using? The only time I had this happen is when the charcoal had been in a moist atmosphere.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
Kevin Garceau
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Thanks...sorry I guess I forgot some details.

All vents wide open.

15lbs of kingsford is what I started with. Same as always one medium sized bag.

Hmmm.....good point smokeaholic

Its 38 degrees, bunch of snow on the ground and its raining. So its very damp, foggy, etc with all the rain and snow melting.

Smoker is not in the rain.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeacholic View Post
What type of charcoal are you using? The only time I had this happen is when the charcoal had been in a moist atmosphere.
Where do you store your charcoal? I've had this be the problem a few times, usually when I have used moist charcoal it gives off a ton of smoke but no heat. Also what do you have in your waterpan? Just a thought but maybe warm the bottom of a clay pot up to desired temp in the oven and place that in your waterpan instead of water, it would atleast serve from trying to keep getting water up to temp...
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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Sometimes in colder months I have the same issues when i use water in the pan. Most of the time, I have sand in the pan, wrapped with foil for easy cleanup, and the temps stay between 228-240 for 10 hrs. A bag of charcoal that is opened, in the garage, out of the weather can still pick up quite a bit of humidity and moisture, making it hard to get the temps up. I would guess that after you dumped more lit on top it settled down.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
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Did you let it get up to 250* or so before adding the meat? I'm smokin' a 5# butt right now on my Weber Performer and it is 40* degrees and raining here is Wisconsin. Holding at 250* with some careful watching. Your WSM should hit temp and hold with 15# of coal.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
Kevin Garceau
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Im in Wisconsin, - Near the Dells..... I probably didnt let it get all the way to temp before adding meat.

Kingsford was new as of yesterday, it sat in my truck overnight, in the cab not in the back under the topper.

It seems to have settled into 225 now. Im going to really keep my eye on it, continue to stoke if needed etc.

I have never had this issue before. Usually if anything its the opposite. I guess these conditions arent helping and one reason a stoker could be an advantage. I will keep on it and keep you all updated.

Thanks for the tips, its probably like you all said and I figured. But thought I might as well seek help where I know folks have been through this before......hey Coz. I see you lurking.

You going to do the dells bbq bash? Need a hand?
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:52 AM   #9
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Kevin,try this foil the water pan then make a bunch of foil balls about the size of baseballs and load the pan with them.No water.This has worked well for me in the winter before I got guru powered.I would think maybe the damp air is hurting and if the charcoal is damp it isnt helping either.If you have any lump put a little lump in to maybe help it take off.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #10
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Kevin,If you want to hang out at the Dells contest your more then welcome .I will be doing setup on friday am solo so if your availabe I could use a hand.We are entertaining a bunch of folks on friday nite there so it may get a little crowded in the evening but you are welcome to hang out.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:58 AM   #11
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Default Wisconsin Bretheren Cool

Hi guys,

Nice to see some Wisconsin Brothers on the site. I am located Fond du Lac. We will have to hook up at State Comp, this year. Keep Smokin'
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Unread 01-24-2010, 09:59 AM   #12
Kevin Garceau
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My family would like me to enter my brisket....dont know why. But they like it. But I cant see paying 225 to enter (if thats what Im reading correctly)

Keep in touch, I should be able to help out friday. Im only 30 mins from there. Was there yesterday for their flakeout festival. Thats where I saw the signs.

I havent been very active on this site lately - just again realized what I was missing :)
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Unread 01-24-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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Yup sounds like damp charcoal to me also. If you have unburned coals and no heat that would be the direction I would be headed.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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There is a contest in Montello this year called Poor Que that is an $80 dollar entry .It is being held at Wilderness Campground .While there isnt any real cash payout to speak of there will be a great group of people having a lot of fun.If you want more detail let me know and I will try to help you out.
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Unread 01-24-2010, 10:31 AM   #15
Kevin Garceau
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Well all seems to be running well now. I think a combination of the new charcoal and letting the water pan go dry was hopefully enough to kick it up a notch. Hopefully it will maintain, I gotta get some sleep.
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