PDA

View Full Version : Tips for new WSM Owners


eplain
05-19-2012, 07:36 AM
OK, i searched for a while and couldn't find what I wanted easily, so I thought I would start a thread. If I am duplicating and existing one, please tell me!

I have been dealing with a cheap Offset Brinkman for a while but those days are gone, I have a WSM 22.5 today.

I thought it would be good to have some basic start up tips all in one place to help ME and any future person like me, to get started.

If anyone posting could use this format, answering all or as many as you can with some quick tips, that would be great!



1.) Anything in the manual you think needs to be addressed? or refuted? from construction to even the basics of the "Cooking Guide", or even care instructions?

2.) Advice / recommendations for a remote thermostat?

3.) Your thoughts on fans? such as a DigiQ DX or alike?

4.) Charcoal? What do you use? how much? how much wood? what size? do you soak it? Do you place it differently in there? Whats the deal with paraffin cubes that the manual suggests?

5.) Lighting your charcoal? Minion Method? How do YOU do it?

6.) Water, any tips on filling? how often do you really need to add?

7.) Attention! Do any of you leave it going over night? How much attention is really required?

8.) For those of us NEW owners, that have a BBQ coming up sooner that we would like (meaning before we can use it for a while to learn), can you offer some other tips to help get us going quickly? Things that haven't been covered in the above questions?

Thank you to anyone that can help!

Brian in Maine
05-19-2012, 07:58 AM
Use the manual to assemble your new WSM, then throw it away. The key to using your WSM is the minion method. Fill the ring with unlit charcoal with chunks of wood dispersed in it, then light 15 to n20 briquettes and put them on top. Assemble your cooker with the vents wide open. when the temp gets to 200* close the vents 1/2 way. When it reaches 230* close 2 of the vents completely, Then continue closing the last vent until it is stabilizes at 250*.
Once you have mastered temp control (And it is easy on the WSM) you can enjoy your new addiction. Good luck.

Smokin' D
05-19-2012, 08:07 AM
OK. I'll try. I have an 18.5 WSM, but I'm sure the techniques and advice are the same.

1.Manual? We don't need no stinking manual! Actually, on this one I do not know. I have no manual.

2. Remote therms are fine, any of them. The only issue I have with them is the wireless receiving units. None seem to work well for me and have given up on that part. The probe in the meat with the readout unit on a table will be helpful as you will not need to open the cooker to check temps.

3. I'm not a user of any draft control, so not help here.

4. Wicked Good Lump. Fill the ring with charcoal and mix in a few 1/2 fist sized pieces of wood. Never used the cubes. I use paper towel soaked in bacon grease to start mt chimney.

5. Add 10 hot briquettes or 1/2 chimney of hot lump into a depression in the center of the charcoal ring. Have all vents fully open and start closing them down when thermo indicates 200°. You want to get to your target temp slowly and not overshoot. Bringing the temp up is much easier than trying to bring the temp down.

6. No water here. Too much greasy mess at the end of a cook. A Terracotta planter base inside the water pan and covered with foil is your friend.

7. Yes on the overnights. Very little attention to ignore it is all that is required. Kind of like a daytime cook!

8. Practice and use the cooker BEFORE inviting people over. If you can't do that, have an alternate plan for food as things probably won't go on your schedule. Meat is done when it is done! Have Fun.


Hey. Brian. You are far more succinct and a much faster typer than me!

Jason TQ
05-19-2012, 08:09 AM
1.) Anything in the manual you think needs to be addressed? or refuted? from construction to even the basics of the "Cooking Guide", or even care instructions?

The instructions are perfect for putting it together. Nothing complex.

2.) Advice / recommendations for a remote thermostat?

Maverick ET 732. Not a lot of options here but there are others

3.) Your thoughts on fans? such as a DigiQ DX or alike?

I have the ique110, but learn to control it by the vents first.

4.) Charcoal? What do you use? how much? how much wood? what size? do you soak it? Do you place it differently in there? Whats the deal with paraffin cubes that the manual suggests?

The best part is figuring out what charcoal you will like so try a lot. You will get lots of different answers here from Stubbs to kingsford to lump.

5.) Lighting your charcoal? Minion Method? How do YOU do it?

I don't know many that don't use minion

6.) Water, any tips on filling? how often do you really need to add?

Another to mess with on your own and see what you like. I have used both and both work great. Right now I foil the pan and no water.

7.) Attention! Do any of you leave it going over night? How much attention is really required?

Not much attention once it is set. I've done cooks without my ique and the biggest temp change from when I went to bed to waking up was 25 degrees. So went to bed at 11 pm and woke up at 7 am and it went from 240 to 215. So no big deal.

8.) For those of us NEW owners, that have a BBQ coming up sooner that we would like (meaning before we can use it for a while to learn), can you offer some other tips to help get us going quickly? Things that haven't been covered in the above questions?

all your questions have been discussed in other posts so definitely use the search feature on the site. It is what got me going when I got my wsm. Have fun. :grin:

Wyley
05-19-2012, 08:37 AM
I don't own one but if you are going to use water in your pan make sure you fill it with boiling water so that your smoker doesn't have to use the energy to heat it up. If you refill it use boiling water again.

Ron_L
05-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Here are some similar threads that you can look through...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=118992

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=102647

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77644

And here are some tips that I wrote up a while ago...

Minion Method Start - Named after Jim Minion. Fill the charcoal ring with unlit charcoal (your choice of lump or briquettes, briquettes will typically last longer). The amount to use depends on how long you are going to be cooking. Arrange the charcoal so that there is a depression in the middle Some guys stick a coffee can in the middle and then pull it out. You want a sort of donut of charcoal. Then pour some more charcoal into a charcoal chimney (go buy the Weber chimney if you don't have one). the amount in the chimney depends on the temp of your cook. About 1/2 chimney (maybe less) for a typical low and slow cook. Light the charcoal in the chimney (use a wad of newspaper, a starter cube, a paper towel soaked with cooking oil, your choice) and when the charcoal in the chimney is fully lit (covered in white ash) dump it in the middle of the donut in the base of the WSM. Then assemble the WSM.

Catch the temps on the way up - Start with all of the vents wide open and watch the temp at the dome (if you don't have a thermometer in the dome you can stick one through one of the top vents. A digital thermometer with a probe on a wire is great for this. As the temp climbs towards your desired temp (say 240 for low and slow) begin closing the bottom three vents. You really don't want the temp to go higher than your desired temp if you can help it because it takes a long time to come back down. If it does get too hot just close the bottom vents more and it will evventually come down. Make small adjustments and give the WSM time to react. Once you have it at the right temp you probably won't have to touch the vents for hours. BTW, I leave my top vent wide open all of the time. Others will use this for fine tuning the temp.

Put your meat on - Have it seasoned and ready to go. Don't worry if the WSM temp drops when you put the meat on. You just stuck a large, cold objec in there. it will recover.

Check your temps in a couple of hours - Just to make sure. i usually check it 30 minutes after putting he meat in and then again in a couple of hours. Resist the temptation to lift the lid. If you're lookin' you're not cookin' :grin:

Check again in 8 hours - This is the real beauty of the WSM. You can set it and forget it. Of course, if you really want to you can set a chair next to it, grab a cooler of beer and pretend to have to keep an eye on it :grin:

That's really it. Go cook something! chicken is good since it is cheap and is a relatively short cook (two to three hours for awhole bird). If you want to attempt something longer a pork butt is great because it won't care if your temperature control is sloppy. Invest in a remote thermometer hat you can stick in the meat so you can monitor the internal temp without lifting the lid. cook the pork butt to an internal temp of 195 - 205. Test it with the thermometer probe. it should lide in likeit is going into butter.

Oh yeah... Post some pictures!

Sledneck
05-19-2012, 11:24 AM
Get a stoker

TomB
05-19-2012, 11:32 AM
Remote: maverick
Charcoal: Kingsford blue with a mix of limp, usually wicked good. 70% KB.
Lighting: 3/4 chimney of KB. Minion method. Put metal coffee can with no bottom in middle of rack. Pack charcoal around can with about 4-6 fist sized chunks or wood (no need to soak). Pour charcoal from chimney into the can and remove can with pliers. Open all vents. Start closing bottom vents when 50 degrees from target temp. I normally have them almost all the way closed for 275.
Pan: No water just foil. Makes for easy cleanup.
Overnight: wsm keeps temp real well. Check when desired temp reaches on maverick.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

mwmac
05-19-2012, 11:47 AM
Lot's of good advice so far... One suggestion, when using lump pack the ring tight. Yes your hands get dirty but your burn time and temp control will improve and be consistent across cooks.

Bartstop
05-19-2012, 12:17 PM
I've had my 22" WSM for more than 2 years now. I use K blue almost exclusively. I've tried using water in the pan but sand covered with foil works best for me. You'll notice the outside edges of the cooking grate will be hotter than the center. My first cook on it was whole chickens split in half. I still haven't had better chicken than what my WSM makes. You're going to be suprised at how stable the temps are compared to your old offset. There's really no comparison. Offset smokers are a horrible design IMHO.



Dave

K-Train
05-19-2012, 12:45 PM
*Use the minion, coffee can in the middle (lids cut off both ends). Pour lit coals in then take the can out
*No water. I use a clay saucer from a big flower pot (home depot). wrap it in foil for easy clean up
*Cajun bandit door

caseydog
05-19-2012, 01:05 PM
We all have our favorite ways to use our WSMs. But, the Minion Method is probably used by virtually all of us for fire management.

I use a cheap Polder probe thermometer. It works fine.

I also use an iQue 110 temperature controller. It is often windy where I live, which creates headaches without the temperature controller.

Lump or briquettes? Whatever you like best. I use KB, but some people won't touch the stuff. To each his own.

As for the water bowl, there are many theories about that, too. I line my bowl with foil and fill with water. That usually lasts all day. Some people use sand instead of water. Some use clay pot bases. Again -- to each his own.

CD

El Ropo
05-19-2012, 01:53 PM
Don't know if it was user error, but have read of several people chasing temps when using the coffee can method of lighting coals.

If it were me, I'd just fill up the ring with charcoal of choice along with half fist sized wood chunks of choice (no more than 6) buried within the unlit coal. Then light 10-12 briqs or briq sized pieces of lump in the chimney starter, when they're blazin dump on top of the unlit pile. Spread them evenly so everything is burning from top to bottom.

You want the wood chunks to be pre heated and giving off their magic during the cook, not while cooker is coming up to temp.

After the hot coals are dumped, put it together right away with all intakes open. Wait 10 minutes and check it quick, so temps don't get past target temp. Say the desired temp is 250 (nothing lower if you value your sanity) When it hits 210 or so, close off all but one intake. When it's 5 or so degrees lower than target, start closing that last intake. This whole process should take less than 20 minutes.

Toss on food and relax. And remember, just because you can't see smoke doesn't mean it's not smoking. Thin blue to invisible coming off exhaust is ideal. Smell the exhaust, it'll tell you.

eplain
05-19-2012, 05:20 PM
If it were me, I'd just fill up the ring with charcoal of choice along with half fist sized wood chunks of choice (no more than 6) buried within the unlit coal. Then light 10-12 briqs or briq sized pieces of lump in the chimney starter, when they're blazin dump on top of the unlit pile. Spread them evenly so everything is burning from top to bottom


Dump on top of pile, then spread evenly?

Meaning- not just on top but stir it all up so the hot coals are mixed entirely?
hard to do if you are packed tight no?

BTW- What are you stirring it with? just wondering.

eplain
05-19-2012, 05:24 PM
The water is there to help keep temps down i thought, not to moisten meat as some beginners may think at first. So is the sand doing that as well? .... interesting!

eplain
05-19-2012, 05:28 PM
You're going to be suprised at how stable the temps are compared to your old offset. There's really no comparison. Offset smokers are a horrible design IMHO.

Dave


Yeah, my Brinkman is a nightmare. can't wait to leave it over night the first time, I wonder if it will keep me waking up every hour with worry! HAHAHA

Bartstop
05-19-2012, 05:34 PM
The sand will act as a big heat sink. It helps to stabalize the temps and allows it to bounce back faster after you open it up for a peek.

eplain
05-19-2012, 05:35 PM
8. Practice and use the cooker BEFORE inviting people over. If you can't do that, have an alternate plan for food as things probably won't go on your schedule. !

Annual 20-30 person BBQ, Mid July, I used my Brinkman last year but spent 12 hours standing next to it tweaking the heat...ugh...at least I was able to drink and smoke an occasional cigar!

i should be able to learn this by then, maybe get at least 3 attempts in at Brisket, pork as a rider.

eplain
05-19-2012, 05:38 PM
The sand will act as a big heat sink. It helps to stabalize the temps and allows it to bounce back faster after you open it up for a peek.

Great, how much do you put in? no one stated that yet. BTW- thats all greasy sand afterwards, some of us don't live in/near the woods to toss that!

I am near the beach though! HAHA

Bartstop
05-19-2012, 05:50 PM
The water is there to help keep temps down i thought, not to moisten meat as some beginners may think at first. So is the sand doing that as well? .... interesting!

Yes, the water is there to keep the temps from getting too high. As long as you start closing the vents down at around 200 or so, you probably won't have problems. Mine tends to creep up to 275 after 6 hours or so. Probably because more briquets are burning. If I close all the lower vents I can get it back down to the 250 sweet spot. I should probably splurge for the stainless door. The stock unit doesn't seem to seal too well.


Have you seen this site? http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/
If not, check it out. You won't be dissappointed.


Dave

Bartstop
05-19-2012, 05:54 PM
Great, how much do you put in? no one stated that yet. BTW- thats all greasy sand afterwards, some of us don't live in/near the woods to toss that!

I am near the beach though! HAHA

I use playground sand from homedepot and cover it with foil. Fill it up 1/2 to 3/4. It doesn't really matter. I used to replace the foil after every cook. Now I don't even bother to change it. I'm sure it's got a ton of carbon build up. I call it well seasoned. LOL.



Dave

Porcine Perfection
05-19-2012, 06:03 PM
Have you seen this site? http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/
If not, check it out. You won't be disappointed.
Dave

X2 on the website. It will have the answer to any question regarding the WSM.

eplain
05-20-2012, 10:39 AM
I figured I would try the WSM today for the 1st time, using some pork ribs. I followed the lighting instructions you folks offered up and it went swimmingly!.

A bit smokey on start up, but not bad.
Up and running, maintaining a dead 250 on the built in thermometer and for 2 straight hours now.

Only went up 10 degrees early on, so i tilted the lid a half inch and brought it back down to 250, gave the vent a slight tweak and it held, half hour later it went to 245. Slight vent tweak and back at 250 and holding firm now....amazing.....simply an amazing unit.

smokehausbbq
05-20-2012, 11:06 AM
Any suggestions on foiling the water pan on the newer deeper WSM's?

superlazy
05-20-2012, 11:38 AM
wire the charcoal ring to the grate & put some handles on the body

BobM
05-20-2012, 12:10 PM
1 ) The Weber manual: Use the manual for assembly only.

2 ) Remote thermometer: I use a Maverick ET-732, works great.

3 ) ATC: Look at a BBQ Guru DiqiQ DX2 or CyberQ WiFi.

4 ) Charcoal: KB or RO lump.

5a ) Charcoal method: Minion method with wood chunks mixed in.

5b ) Charcoal lighting: I use a high output propane torch to light the charcoal in a few different places in the pile, then bring it slowly up to my cooking temperature.

6 ) Water: I don't use water, I use a foiled clay flower pot base in a foiled water pan.

7 ) Overnight: I wouldn't leave it unattended over night without an ATC.

8 ) New: BBQ is not just a way of cooking, it's an attitude. Take it slow and enjoy yourself. You will do fine!

Any suggestions on foiling the water pan on the newer deeper WSM's?In the 2009 18 1/2" WSM, the water pan is so big it blocks full access to the charcoal chamber. I use a Brinkmann charcoal pan. I put a foiled 12" clay flower pot base in the pan then foil the whole thing. 18" wide foil works great.

The 22 1/2" WSM water pan is perfect. I use a foiled 16" clay flower pot base, 18" foil covers it in one piece. To cover the water pan in one piece, you would need 24" wide foil. I just do it in pieces.

Note, you don't have to foil the bottom of the pan, just the top to keep grease out.

I also use an 18 1/2" charcoal ring in my 22 1/2" WSM. It seems to use less charcoal and gives better temperature control.

Bob

eplain
05-20-2012, 01:15 PM
1 ) I put a foiled 12" clay flower pot base in the pan then foil the whole thing.

Bob

So again, the clay pot is for getting hot and maintaining heat up top for the few times you may remove the lid? same as the sand?


I foil lined the water basin and thats all. pinned at 250 degrees 4 straight hours now. never lifted the lid.... again, amazing unit.

Harbormaster
05-20-2012, 01:50 PM
1.) Anything in the manual you think needs to be addressed? or refuted? from construction to even the basics of the "Cooking Guide", or even care instructions?
I have never looked at a WSM manual, so I can't help with that. The last one I scored came with one, but I have not looked at it.
2.) Advice / recommendations for a remote thermostat?
The Maverick lineup of remote thermos have worked for me. I don't use them much anymore because I have cooked on the WSMs enough to have a good idea of when meat is getting done.
3.) Your thoughts on fans? such as a DigiQ DX or alike?
If you are talking about an automatic temp control system, save your money until you have cooked on the WSM a few times. You may find it to be unnecessary. I cooked two butts overnight Friday into Saturday. One for 12 hours, one for 15. I did not touch the vents at all, and did not add charcoal. No Digi Q or nothin'. The WSM does not need them.
4.) Charcoal? What do you use? how much? how much wood? what size? do you soak it? Do you place it differently in there? Whats the deal with paraffin cubes that the manual suggests? Royal Oak Chef's Select briquettes with 2 - 4 fist sized chunks of smoke wood placed throughout. Not soaked. Don't know what the paraffin would be fore.

5.) Lighting your charcoal? Minion Method? How do YOU do it? Minion Method.

6.) Water, any tips on filling? how often do you really need to add? If using water, I have found using a piece of PVC pipe though the access door and a gallon jug is the easiest way to refill. But I don't use water anymore. It's now either a Piedmont Pan arrangement or crushed aluminum cans in the bowl covered with a layer of HDAF.

7.) Attention! Do any of you leave it going over night? How much attention is really required? Get your temps dialed in and stable for an hour or so and it should burn with out attending. Like I said earlier, 15 hour burn without doing anything.

8.) For those of us NEW owners, that have a BBQ coming up sooner that we would like (meaning before we can use it for a while to learn), can you offer some other tips to help get us going quickly? Things that haven't been covered in the above questions?
Don't over think it. It's just fire. Leave the top vent open all the time except for when the cook is over. Think about logging your first few cooks. Notate what works and what doesn't. Makes for a good reference in the future. Make yourself some wind breaks in case you have to cook in less than perfect weather. PM me or any of the Brethren if you find yourself in a real pinch.

BobM
05-20-2012, 01:55 PM
So again, the clay pot is for getting hot and maintaining heat up top for the few times you may remove the lid? same as the sand?Yes. Sand and a clay flower pot base both act as a thermal mass.

Greg1911
05-20-2012, 02:53 PM
Sand or a teracotta planter base work as a heat sink. I like the foiled planter base.

I don't know how you guys can do the minion method with KBB. That stuff smells like hell when it is lighting off.

FWIW I like the idea of a Stoker or Guru for overnights but if you're awake you'll have very little to do to keep the temps where you want.

El Ropo
05-20-2012, 02:57 PM
Dump on top of pile, then spread evenly?

Meaning- not just on top but stir it all up so the hot coals are mixed entirely?
hard to do if you are packed tight no?

BTW- What are you stirring it with? just wondering.

Sorry, guess I wasn't very clear. When I dump the hot coals, will use tongs to place them so they are all in contact with the unlit below. strategically arranged would be a good term. I don't spread them all over, yet I don't pile them all right in the center. Just a nice tight single layer grouping that is centered.

Didn't mean to infer that you mix the hot coals within the unlit. I do mix the unlit wood chunks within the unlit charcoal though.

eplain
05-20-2012, 04:02 PM
1.)
8.) For those of us NEW owners,.....Things that haven't been covered in the above questions?
Don't over think it. It's just fire. Leave the top vent open all the time except for when the cook is over. Think about logging your first few cooks. Notate what works and what doesn't. Makes for a good reference in the future.



well....

7 hours now pinned at 250.
Since I never used this unit before, at about hour 5 I decided to open the door and peek in at the coals. They appeared almost spent, so I carefully prodded around (again, just to see whats going on since its my first time on a WSM) I was wrong! MANY coals still not touched on the sides and I didnt want to start tossing ash around so I closed the door and recovered my 10 degrees, back to 250. As is well.

BTW- you say the top vent (exhaust) wide open the whole time huh?
I had top about 1/3-1/2 open and one intake the same, other 2 closed. This is how I maintained 250.

All is well!

eplain
05-20-2012, 05:07 PM
8 hours and off came the pork ribs. Too much time I think, as they seem to be TOO tender. I was so involved in working the grill i never checked the ribs!, but just did a temp check and my digi Thermometer reads 187.

OK, well things went amazingly well, thanks to the WSM being a champ and all your help!


bon appetit!

El Ropo
05-20-2012, 05:29 PM
Yeah, ribs cooked in the 250 range should done at around the 5 hour mark. Never go by temp when cooking ribs. Use the bend test or toothpick test.

Also remember the temp at the cooking grate may not be the same as the temp where the thermometer is positioned.

eplain
05-20-2012, 05:51 PM
Yeah, ribs cooked in the 250 range should done at around the 5 hour mark. Never go by temp when cooking ribs. Use the bend test or toothpick test.

Also remember the temp at the cooking grate may not be the same as the temp where the thermometer is positioned.


I havent cooked ribs in a long time, but my wife asked for them for my test. I am exclusively Beef Brisket with Pork Shoulder added usually. Been a LOOONG time since I did ribs and they were baby backs then, these weren't. They were too tender for sure. Good thing they werent baby back and had all that fat or they would have been dry. Anyway, WSM holding firm at 225 at the 9th hour.

eplain
05-20-2012, 06:14 PM
Over done, but good...



http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7104/7236941374_d3442bfd38_c.jpg

eplain
05-20-2012, 06:15 PM
Over done, but good...


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8156/7236941580_90db9b60ea_c.jpg

eplain
05-20-2012, 06:25 PM
Yeah, ribs cooked in the 250 range should done at around the 5 hour mark.

Seeing as im not use to this unit, what does a 10 lb Brisket usually take at 225-250?. Obviously there are different meats and other things like thickness and such, but...basically how long on the average? not ever opening the lid? 8? Where it still holds together and not fall apart?

eplain
05-20-2012, 06:36 PM
Seeing as im not use to this unit, what does a 10 lb Brisket usually take at 225-250?. Obviously there are different meats and other things like thickness and such, but...basically how long on the average? not ever opening the lid? 8? Where it still holds together and not fall apart?


I usually went 10-12 on that old Brinkman, but heat loss and fluctuation may have caused that?.

El Ropo
05-20-2012, 07:18 PM
I wouldn't cook brisket any lower than 250, at that temp, you're looking at around an hour, maybe slightly more per lb. Invest in a wired thermometer probe, so you can monitor temp of the brisket without opening the cooker.

When Internal temp hits 190, start checking it with the poke or probe test. Insert a sharp object into the middle of flat, when it goes in with very little resistance, it's done. May happen close to 190, may not happen till 210, every cow is gonna cook up different. Don't forget to rest it for minimum one hour before slicing and serving.

FYI those ribs look fine to me, maybe back off on the sugar in the rub and pull 'em off a bit sooner, but I'd still hit them hard.

eplain
05-20-2012, 07:37 PM
I wouldn't cook brisket any lower than 250, at that temp, you're looking at around an hour, maybe slightly more per lb. Invest in a wired thermometer probe, so you can monitor temp of the brisket without opening the cooker.....Don't forget to rest it for minimum one hour before slicing and serving.....FYI those ribs look fine to me, maybe back off on the sugar in the rub and pull 'em off a bit sooner, but I'd still hit them hard.


Yeah, planned on a wired thermometer probe for sure. But wanted to try on my own for the hell of it first time. Especially since I didn't purchase one yet! HA!

I really didnt care WHAT was in the cooker today as I was interested only in working the WSM, but no sense wasting $30 worth of meat!

I'll compare, my rub to other recipes, see how heavy I am on that sugar in comparison.

BTW- do you folks fill the ring to the top with charcoal? or mound it up high? I wonder if that mound is what will get me to the 12-15 hour mark.

its down to 200 now my wife said, I could run out and open the vent and get it back to 250 but I really think I can shut it down now, I have a pretty good idea whats going on, and that is the damn thing really maintains and its amazing compared to that Brinkman.


Thanks much!

cgwaite
05-20-2012, 10:03 PM
If it were me, I'd just fill up the ring with charcoal of choice along with half fist sized wood chunks of choice (no more than 6) buried within the unlit coal. Then light 10-12 briqs or briq sized pieces of lump in the chimney starter, when they're blazin dump on top of the unlit pile. Spread them evenly so everything is burning from top to bottom.


^^^ Good advice! The thing I learned the first time I used the WSM 22.5 was that if you light too many briq's you will definitely have issues controlling your temps, even with the water pan.

As for the foiled-sand in the pan, it becomes a heat-sink that helps even out the temps across the majority of the grill area. I don't use the sand, just a foiled pan, for easier clean-up. Do watch out for the edges of the grill area, as those do get hotter than the rest of the grill surface.

Also, a new WSM will tend to run a little warmer than normal. This is attributed to the shiny walls inside. After a couple of cooks, as they are seasoned a little better, you will find it much easier to control your temps.

Enjoy and if you have any other issues, check the site. Tons of information here already and plenty of people to repeat it, if needed. You shouldn't have any problems with the WSM. Go make great food (and if you get a chance, post some pron so we can see how well you are doing)!

cafolla1
05-20-2012, 10:11 PM
so i see some people recommending using a mix of lump and briqs im wondering why, what you get out of it vs just one or the other.. had my first smoke today using just KB but would like to move to just using royal oak as it is my standard grilling charcoal and id rather not have to stock 2 at home

Harbormaster
05-20-2012, 11:50 PM
BTW- you say the top vent (exhaust) wide open the whole time huh?
I had top about 1/3-1/2 open and one intake the same, other 2 closed. This is how I maintained 250.

All is well!

Yep. Top vent all the way open when you're cooking. Control the temp with the bottom intakes. I think I had one open and the other two closed. Held a pretty steady 275 (I think) for 15 Hours.

If you were checking cooker temp using the stock Weber dome thermo, take it off and verify it's accuracy in boiling water. I don't have any of the new models with Weber thermos, but lots of guys have said they are off, some by 30 degrees or more.

Bebe
05-20-2012, 11:58 PM
but lots of guys have said they are off, some by 30 degrees or more.
yeap... even 50 degrees, they're decorations!
Tel-Tru seems to be better but a digital probe is best.. Once you know the by how much is off you can use the stack thermo to get an idea but i wouldn't rely much on it.

Harbormaster
05-21-2012, 12:06 AM
so i see some people recommending using a mix of lump and briqs im wondering why, what you get out of it vs just one or the other.. had my first smoke today using just KB but would like to move to just using royal oak as it is my standard grilling charcoal and id rather not have to stock 2 at home
I used to be a die-hard lump user and used a lot of Grove lump. Then the quality (IMO) started to slip and sources for other lump were inconsistent.

Royal Oak Chef's Select is now my go to fuel. It's a 100% natural briquette, has a great aroma, and is very consistent and low ash. (A couple of years ago when HD had Rancher for $2.00 for a 20 lb bag, I bought 1,000 lbs. It was an all natural briquette too and I loved how it worked in the WSM.)

To your point, there is no need to blend lump and briqs, but it won't hurt.