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Dmakkk
03-15-2015, 09:42 AM
I did a lot of research and picked up all of the essentials for the new smoker.. Did a run all day yesterday and this morning to burn off all the factory gunk and to figure out the configurations of the 4 vents to get the correct temp.. Going to hit the butcher for some pork trimmings and chix parts for the seasoning of it. My question is how often do you add wood chunks during your cooks depending on what your cooking and what do you look for when adding (temp, smoke).

Thanks in advance.

THoey1963
03-15-2015, 09:52 AM
I have the 22.5, so I am not sure home much different they run. I run with the top vent wide open all the time. I use the bottom vents to control the temp. I can get 275* with two lower vents closed and the other between a 1/4 to 1/2 open depending on the outside temp. I try to catch the temp on the way up by starting to shut the vents when I get to about 25* from my target temp.

I get my coals started, the temp stable, and TBS before I start putting wood chunks on. I use very little if any wood for chicken. Maybe one tennis ball chunk of cherry. For other meats, I will go more. Two or three pieces for ribs and butts, maybe 4 or 5 for briskets. I will put one or two pieces of wood on after I get TBS and right before I put the meat on. For the larger hunks of meat, I will add more an hour later.

I am sure others do it differently, like strategically burying the chunks in the coals. This is what works for me.

Big George's BBQ
03-15-2015, 09:55 AM
Congrats and enjoy

falconer
03-15-2015, 10:14 AM
Hey Dmakk... dig your avatar...
I got my first WSM 18.5 a few months ago. I also got the CyberQ controller to go with it. The first few smokes I did, I put a few chunks of wood as well as some chips, thinking the chunks wouldn't make enough smoke. I also added more chips an hour or two in.
I was wrong.
I now put 2-4 chunks (maybe 2x2 inches) nestled down into the coals. For a brisket, I'll add a couple more because it's a long cook.
I put down a layer of KBB, then put the chunks evenly spaced at the outside of the coals, about halfway between the center and the ring. Then continue to add more charcoal until I have the amount I want. I then hollow out the middle, maybe a 6-8 inch depression back down to that first layer. I dump the burning charcoal from the starter into that depression. That gives me all the smoke I need for anything from chicken to a brisket.
For ribs, I might add a half-cup or so of apple chips on top, near the depression, to give a quick smoke infusion as they start cooking, but I don't add any more after that.
Especially with the controller, this thing is almost set-and-forget. I LOVE it.
The results will steal your face right off your head... ;-)

Charlie
Kingman, AZ

Meatguyver
03-15-2015, 09:50 PM
I have an 18.5 and use the minion method. start with one weber chimminey full and unlit into the charcoal grate. Strategically place 3 or 4 fist sized wood chunks (about 3") amongst the unlit pile. Fill a chimminey to 3/4, light it up and dump on top of the unlit pile . Top vent open always and open bottom vents. Check the temp after 30 min and adjust vents by a quarter turn until temp stabilizes and you get blue smoke. I've also used hot water in the pan on really cold days and it helped bring everything up to temp quicker Dont know if you checked out the bullet site, but that really helped me when i got my wsm 6 years ago. Enjoy and keep a log to help dial it in. http://www.virtualweberbullet.com

SGH
03-15-2015, 10:15 PM
I just wanted to say congradulations on the new WSM and enjoy.

Rusty Kettle
03-15-2015, 10:24 PM
The 14.5" is well a pain to learn but once you do it's not a bad smoker. Only use one wood chunk and don't add as it will add way to much smoke. One piece of wood for the whole cook. Also get lump charcoal as it has less ash. Ash is a problem in this one. Lump solves the problem. Royal oak is good and it is easy to find. Get an oven thermo as it will get you the grate temp as the lid thermo is junk on all grills and smokers. Once you get the hang of it you will be fine. It takes practice but once you get the hang of it you will be fine.

pjtexas1
03-15-2015, 11:05 PM
I made a mini and it is so easy to use. I don't know about everyone else but I just put a couple of starter cubes under the charcoal and 3-4 wood chunks. As long as the fire is burning clean it should be good. Add the wood at start up not during the cook. Congrats on the new cooker!

charrederhead
03-16-2015, 12:36 AM
After using 18.5s for a couple years, I bought a 14.5 last fall.

I haven't used it for cooks longer than 8 hours, so I've never had to add fuel, but there is little room to do that via the door because the water pan is so close to the fuel grate.

I load the charcoal ring (w/lump, except for experimenting w/ those Coshell coconut briqs a few days ago) and fire it w/ a weed burner, just like the 18.5

I may be wrong, but it seems like there is less smoke absorption because of the tight quarters. This is good, if true, because I can get the meat on sooner. I use cherry chunks and use about the same proportion as w/ the 18.5

It's no more difficult to use than the 18.5 and I like being able to set it on a table to have easy access to all the vents....

...and it's so darn cute!