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Unread 01-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
inv3ctiv3
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Default WSM on the way looking for advice!

So my 18.5 WSM is on it's way and I've never used a vertical smoker so please help me out! I've heard the thermometers are no good so what thermometer should I get? Any mods I should do? How much wood do you put in for a smoke? I'm used to my old offset so this is all very new to me. I'm sure this has been covered before bu thanks in advance!
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Unread 01-31-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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The best advice I got for mine but it being a 22.5 i don't know how much diffrence but the Minion method for lighting the tutorial on the virtual weber site is gold i have had good luck with the 4 wood chunks put in this forum is like a goldmine of information! SMOKE ON!
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Unread 01-31-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inv3ctiv3 View Post
I've heard the thermometers are no good...
don't know where you heard this... the stock therms work just fine.
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Unread 01-31-2011, 02:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat View Post
don't know where you heard this... The stock therms work just fine.
+100
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Unread 01-31-2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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Someone posted the stock thermos are no good in my thread "return my offset for a WSM"
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Unread 01-31-2011, 02:59 PM   #6
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perhaps his stock therm was defective.
i know many, many WSM users that have absolutely no problems whatsoever with theirs.
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Unread 01-31-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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I think the stock thermometers are accurate, but what it reads on the dome is a little lower than what you'll get on the rack. I have an 18.5 WSM and my dome reads about 25 degrees cooler than my rack. I don't use a thermometer on my rack anymore, I just know to add 25 to the dome reading.

Personally my advice would be to go check out this site. There's plenty of information on this website but the FAQ on that site should answer all of your basic questions in one place.
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Unread 01-31-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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The stock thermos are ok...just check it in some boiling water to see how close it is to 212 degrees before you use it. There are really no mods needed to use it right out of the box.. I would wash the grates with hot soapy water to remove any mfg oils then fire it up!

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Unread 01-31-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Congrats on the cooker. I love both my wsm and my kettles, and the chargriller's just a rusting and beggin' to be put on craigslist.

Regarding tips and paraphrasing what someone recently told me, because of the often unseen variables, you'll learn a lot more by "doing". I'll give you one example of what I mean. If you read somewhere that you can cook bbq cuts as fast as you want (even without wrapping in foil along the way) the tip might have came from someone that only uses the top rack or doesn't really understand what is meant by the term "burnt ends". That said, try everything you hear and have fun. Just don't experiment on the inlaws.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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You'll love it first of all.......buy the Maverick ET 73 as a thermometer, as the stock gauge is just OK. Minion method to start the fire, relax and enjoy. They are great.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #11
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I just ordered 45lbs of hickory chunks for my first smoke, gonna try and fit some spares and a butt on this weekend if I get it all before friday!
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Unread 02-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatguyputter View Post
You'll love it first of all.......buy the Maverick ET 73 as a thermometer, as the stock gauge is just OK. Minion method to start the fire, relax and enjoy. They are great.
If you're going to look at the ET73, check the ET732. It's better made, you don't have to remove the battery door on the transmitter, and then make sure the o-ring fits right after when you start it, AND, it's got better range. I've gotten a lot of use out of my 73's, but they are officially back-ups now

Enjoy the WSM, they are a great product!
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Unread 02-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inv3ctiv3 View Post
I just ordered 45lbs of hickory chunks for my first smoke
That's enough hickory for your first 100 smokes.
In my experience the thermo on the dome is going to show a higher temp than the grate, and the top grate will be warmer than the lower grate.
3 or 4 fist sized chunks of hickory placed in the charcoal so they all don't burn at once.
If you're looking you ain't cooking.
Catch the temps on the way UP!
When I first started cooking on WSMs I logged all of my cooks - when I added water, charcoal, adjusted vents, dome temps, ambient temp, time started, etc... It was very helpful in the long run to learn how the WSM reacted to change.
Have a great cook.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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I recently stopped using water in my pan - I use foil balls in the pan and then cover the pan with a layer of foil for easy clean up. When I get around to it, I'm gonna try the clay plate mod. Many use sand. I find that it's easier (for me, anyway) to get the temps I want and to keep it steady without water.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #15
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Yea see I don't even know what you're talking about with the water/foil balls because I have never seen a WSM in person so I'm not sure what parts are in it. I've seen pics of sand in a bowl though.
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