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Unread 09-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
Orygun
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Question WSM question

I finally did my maiden cook on my new 22.5 WSM and I have a stupid question. I loaded up a full load of Kingsford Competition briquets and used my MAPP torch to get a couple of spots lit on the top of the pile of briquets. Temps came up fine and it was a charm to control. Chicken came out great. I then shut down all of the vents and called it a night. 11 hours later the briquets were still cooking away, I double checked the vents and all were closed. That evening I checked (24+hours later) and the temps were still at 100 degrees. In the aftermath I was left with maybe a dozen or so briquets left.
From talking to Weber I had too many briquets in the fire ring. The competition briquets cook hotter according to Weber as well. Is it not possible to choke the fire out and reuse some of the briquets? I asked if I could purchase an 18.5 WSM fire ring and was told no??? Why wont they sell me a smaller fire ring?
I did have two grommets that were open and I am running a stainless steel door, but it seems to fit much better than the original. Would either of these upgrades cause me problems?
I have some learning to do!!
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Air flow somewhere. I've never used that K comp, but on my UDS when I close off all vents, the coal, or lump goes out, and I do use them on the next cook. One night, I had finished cooking some ribs and had closed all vents except one. I quickly(half arsed) put the cap on the last vent--barely on. The next day it was still smoking @ 135*. It doesn't take much. Capped it, and it was snuffed.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:10 PM   #3
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It's probably an out of round issue if all vents and the door were tightly closed. It got more air than just the grommet holes somewhere.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
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I agree. Definitely some air leakage somewhere. The door is often the culprit or possibly sections out of round. The amount of coals you use will have no effect. If there is no air, there is no fire.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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Will this "tighten up" as I cook on it more. This was the first cook and I have heard that after a few cooks the WSM's get better as far as smoke leaks.
I have had two people at Weber tell me "too much charcoal" and I don't understand why they are saying that. If you choke the air the fire is extinguished.....I am going to go take a close look and see if the middle section appears to be out of round.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob S View Post
I agree. Definitely some air leakage somewhere. The door is often the culprit or possibly sections out of round. The amount of coals you use will have no effect. If there is no air, there is no fire.
Exactly. At the few comps I have done, I will shut down the bottom and top vents after I get through with the turn-ins. By awards time, the thing is out and usually cooled off (18.5 WSM). My door doesnt fit perfectly; but I have it seasoned well enough to where the leakage has been minimized. I dont recall if the amount of time to squash the fire has lessened over time. I never used to pay attention to it. I do now.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 06:26 PM   #7
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Interesting....how much "slop" should I have in the lid fit? I have about a half inch of slop. Seems like a lot to me.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orygun View Post
Interesting....how much "slop" should I have in the lid fit? I have about a half inch of slop. Seems like a lot to me.
That doesn't necessarily sound like too much to me. I'd get a light and put inside it, or you could fire it up and put a bit too much wood on to check where the smokes escaping.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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I wouldn't worry about it. Either don't use so much next time or know that it will probably burn on.

Why didn't you just tell Weber that you needed a new charcoal ring for your 18" WSM???
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Unread 09-14-2010, 10:21 PM   #10
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It's got nothing to do with the amount of charcoal.
When you said grommets, you talking about the holes you can slip thermo probes through? I would try to close those off for sure. Also check it for out of round.
As you use the WSM more you'll get a grease build up where the dome sits on the center section and that will lessen the amount of leakage there.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs on Fire View Post
I wouldn't worry about it. Either don't use so much next time or know that it will probably burn on.

Why didn't you just tell Weber that you needed a new charcoal ring for your 18" WSM???
I would worry about it but I would also call and ask for a new charcoal ring for your 18.5. :)

What do you mean you had grommets?
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Unread 09-15-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
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Surely they'll sell the smaller charcoal ring, but if it's pricey, just go to a Metal Supermarket or such and ask for a small section of expanded metal. If they have it in their "drops", it'll be cheap. Cut to size and use four fender washers, two bolts and nuts to connect the ends. At least, that's how I made mine for my uds.
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Unread 09-15-2010, 08:51 AM   #13
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1/2 inch seems like waaay to much play for the lid. mine fits very very snugly, no wiggle at all.
i have 2 grommets for temp probes.
if i shut all the vents, the fire goes out.
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Unread 09-15-2010, 09:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
1/2 inch seems like waaay to much play for the lid. mine fits very very snugly, no wiggle at all.
i have 2 grommets for temp probes.
if i shut all the vents, the fire goes out.
^^^^
Absolutely! a half inch is way too much. likely the "barrel" is out of round. you can correct that by laying it on it's side on a firm surface (like a wood deck) If you roll it a little you'll see where the high sides are. Position it so the wide parts are straight up and down and push it into shape. Our 18 and 22 WSM's occaisionally get out of round from being squashed in transportation. Doesn't take much to get them back into shape.

Yes, it will seal up some with use, but a 1/2" space is too much. That can also cause temp control problems as well. The center barrel should seal snugly with both the bottom and the lid.
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Unread 09-15-2010, 12:34 PM   #15
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I've got a 22.5" WSM with three grommet holes for thermometers. I always fill the ring with 1 and 1/4 bags of Competition Kingsford and I use the Minion method. When done, I close the bottom and top vents but leave the grommet holes open. The next day at clean up time, the coals are stone cold dead (never checked earlier), and I reuse them, typically when grilling.

I agree with everyone else who said the amount of charcoal is not the problem. It's got to be air getting in somehow.

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