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Norm62
05-23-2014, 08:53 AM
I've been reading a bunch of reviews about these and it seems to be a common complaint (in the reviews anyway), that it is difficult to get temps below 275. I know many of the Brethren use this model and love it, soooooo... Is this true or do these reviewers just not take the time to master this model? What do your average temps run in your WSM 22.5? Are there tips to make keeping lower temps easier to achieve? I'm picking one of these up early next week, mainly because of the added space (and the deal I'm getting!) over the 18.5, but I don't want to lose the ability to cook "low and slow".

Thanks for your input!

Boston Smoker
05-23-2014, 09:04 AM
I've had no trouble running low and slow on mine. It's all about the vents. I use a BBQ Guru, so all of the bottom vents are typically all closed except for the fan adapter. Never had an issue.

Ron_L
05-23-2014, 09:09 AM
Not just the vents, but also how big your fire is when you start. If you can't get below 275, use less lit charcoal to start it up.

But...

There is nothing wrong with cooking hotter. If your WSM really wants to run at 275, why fight it. Cook at 275.

USMC
05-23-2014, 09:10 AM
It will want to run hot the first couple cooks when the insides are still nice and shiny and before everything starts to seal up. After that, it will hold low temps no prob.

DaveAlvarado
05-23-2014, 09:27 AM
Yeah, 225F is easy. Really, any temp is easy. The key is for low temps, use water. For higher temps (275+), no water.

The WSM is *very* water-sensitive. My last cook, I had water pooled in the bottom of the ash bowl. I struggled to get my temps over 250F using lump, until all that water had boiled off. Once it did, temps shot up to 300F where I wanted them.

Grimm5577
05-23-2014, 09:33 AM
Not just the vents, but also how big your fire is when you start. If you can't get below 275, use less lit charcoal to start it up.

But...

There is nothing wrong with cooking hotter. If your WSM really wants to run at 275, why fight it. Cook at 275.

I think thats one of the most important parts of trying to cook at any certain temp. Only light enough fuel to get you to that temp.

JDM46
05-23-2014, 09:34 AM
No trouble getting below 275. Use less coal and adjust vents accordingly. Use to to smoke sausage. Works great.

nmayeux
05-23-2014, 09:40 AM
yeah, I ran mine for the first time right out of the box at 225 at the grate for 8 hours. it was so easy, it almost took the fun out of the cook, and the only reason it ran 8 hours is that I had to go to bed.

K-Train
05-23-2014, 09:43 AM
Easy to get what ever temp you want. Just follow the advice above

Bludawg
05-23-2014, 10:26 AM
Why would you want to cook Below 275 and why fight the pit???

SuburbSlicker
05-23-2014, 11:42 AM
I learned my lesson too -- use a 1/2 full chimney instead of a full chimney

THoey1963
05-23-2014, 11:46 AM
Lower temps are doable. Higher temps like 350* are what I struggle with...

Norm62
05-23-2014, 12:33 PM
Why would you want to cook Below 275 and why fight the pit???

It's the rookie in me asking the questions based on what I'm reading. I tend to overthink and WAAAAY over research things. The same folks who say that it's difficult to get it under 275 are the same folks that say 275 makes the meat tough. Lower and slower doesn't mean more tender? I guess I need to quit reading so much, eh?

Thanks for the responses everyone!

DaveAlvarado
05-23-2014, 12:39 PM
Why would you want to cook Below 275 and why fight the pit???

It takes a while to come around to hot & fast cooking. I wasn't really a believer until the first time I tried product cooked hot & fast.

Fwismoker
05-23-2014, 12:43 PM
The big difference between cooking at 225* vs 275* is that 275* is gonna be better smoke for your food.

275* is the new L&S imo.

vinoaddict
05-23-2014, 01:33 PM
I experimented quite a bit and now use an even mixture of charcoal and lump and throw in wood chunks as needed. I also usually keep all vents closed except one, which I tinker with throughout the cook to get my desired temp.

THoey1963
05-23-2014, 04:12 PM
All vents closed except one? I have the dome vent open all the way for all cooks. I use the bottom three to control cooking temps.

If I am doing chicken, I remove the water pan, open the top vent all the way, and open all three lower vents and I fight to get 325*. If I am slow smoking something (Brisket or butt), I have the water pan in (empty), top vent wide open, two bottom vents closed, and use the third to control my temps.

vinoaddict
05-23-2014, 04:42 PM
Yeah, all closed except one on the bottom-- otherwise, it runs too hot.

Happy Hapgood
05-23-2014, 04:48 PM
After I first got my 18 and broke it in had no trouble maintaining 225* with a full ring. Now I let it run between 250 & 275. It's just a matter of getting it gunked up and learning how it rolls.

Shiz-Nit
05-23-2014, 04:51 PM
No problem on my 22.5 WSM

jrstout
05-23-2014, 05:22 PM
I haven't tried for 225 in a long, long time. Mine settles in around 260 with all 3 vents set to a sliver and I stay fat, dumb and happy for 8-10 hours.

pbe gummi bear
05-23-2014, 05:46 PM
My 22.5" WSM runs pretty hot too. I think it was a series of things, leaky door, leaky vents. It used to settle out between 275-300 but since I replaced the door with a Cajun Bandit, gunked it up a bit, and close the lower vents except for one it will settle between 230-260F. This is with or without water although with water it will stay around 230 much more solidly with less vent fiddling.

2 Bones BBQ
05-23-2014, 06:38 PM
All vents open until it's about 15 degrees of your target temp then shut two of the three bottom vents and use one to lock in the temp. Top open. Half of a chimney, or the new little chimney is really nice.

10-8
05-23-2014, 06:55 PM
Running the 225 temp. Isn't an issue as already stated. I myself love cooking towards the 300 degree mark. Let it run happy and clean with excellent results

Blanton
05-23-2014, 07:53 PM
As said by many... Fire size and vent control. But I will also add to bring it up to temp slowly. A fast moving freight train is hard to slow down

pbe gummi bear
05-23-2014, 08:15 PM
As said by many... Fire size and vent control. But I will also add to bring it up to temp slowly. A fast moving freight train is hard to slow down


This is great advice. Usually I'll minion with 12 lit coals or so to get it not to overshoot the target temp. Getting it down from 300 is pretty difficult once the fire gets going.

THoey1963
05-23-2014, 08:33 PM
Yeah, all closed except one on the bottom-- otherwise, it runs too hot.

I am still confused by this. When you say "all", does that include the top? :shock:

Happy Hapgood
05-23-2014, 08:58 PM
I am still confused by this. When you say "all", does that include the top? :shock:

Always leave the top vent open 100%.

THoey1963
05-23-2014, 09:01 PM
Always leave the top vent open 100%.

Oh, I know that. I was just not sure the OP knew that.

There are those that partially close the top, Like harry Soo...

Happy Hapgood
05-23-2014, 09:04 PM
Oh, I know that. I was just not sure the OP knew that.

There are those that partially close the top, Like harry Soo...

Harry has 18 temp control devices/computers hooked up to his rigs.

THoey1963
05-23-2014, 09:19 PM
Something like that. :wink:

Norm62
05-23-2014, 11:18 PM
Thanks again everyone for all of the tips and advice. Much appreciated!