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krex1010
08-07-2015, 09:06 AM
So after a decade of bbq'ing in my weber kettle I finally pulled the trigger on a wsm 18". The kettle is a great vessel but as I'm getting older I value sleep more. Cooking big meat overnight and having to get up every 4 or 5 hours is taking its toll. So I figure the wsm will let me get a decent night sleep, plus for as much as I BBQ there's no reason for me not to have a dedicated smoker.

Planning my first cook this weekend, Im not a noob so I understand fire control and I'm well versed in the minion method etc. but is there anything else particular to this smoker I should be aware off? If I fill the coal ring and drop 12-15 lit coals on top, how long will that burn? For a 4-6 hour cook how full of a coal ring do I need?

pjtexas1
08-07-2015, 09:14 AM
Congrats on the new cooker! You will love it. Waking up every 4 or 5 hours...I would suggest you never get a stick burner.:wink:

ITBFQ
08-07-2015, 09:22 AM
The WSM will run hot when it is out-of-the-box new, and you may find some temperature fluctuations. After the "patina" builds up inside, you will notice that pretty much goes away. I would just fill up the charcoal ring and use 12 lit briquettes. That's what I typically do, and that will last long enough to cook 2 butts at 225 for around 11 hours. I love my 18.5" WSM, and you will too!

KevinJ
08-07-2015, 09:47 AM
With a full basket and pulling 15 Briquettes out of the middle to start the fire, you should be able to get around 10 hrs easy and possibly 12hrs plus if you are running around 250 or below. That has been my experience anyways, from someone who started Smoking on his Performer you are going to love the WSM.

Right on Q
08-07-2015, 09:54 AM
Honestly the WSMs made me feel like a seasoned pitmaster right out of the box!

You shouldn't have too much trouble if you already understand airflow and the minion method.

VoodoChild
08-07-2015, 10:01 AM
Congrats on the New Cooker ! Your going to Luv IT :becky::clap2:

yakdung
08-07-2015, 10:25 AM
Congrats you will like it.

krex1010
08-07-2015, 10:27 AM
Yeah I'm looking forward to not having to fiddle with rocks and firebrick and all the little tricks you have to learn when smoking on a kettle.
I figure I will definitely use water in the pan the first few times to help with the dulling of that shiny new porcelain. I'm stoked to stoke this puppy up lol. So when it comes to the vents, do you find that you end up leaving them in one general setting to hold around 250?

PatAttack
08-07-2015, 10:48 AM
I don't like pimping other sites but this one has everything you've ever wanted to know about the WSM.

http://virtualweberbullet.com/index.html

Hope this helps and congrats on your purchase!

You're gonna love it and wish you got the bigger one down the road like me!:laugh:

thesemicullen
08-07-2015, 10:52 AM
With a stuffed ring of KBB and about half a chimney of lit, I've gotten 15+ hours out of my 18.5". That's with water in the pan and running around 225.

yakdung
08-07-2015, 11:06 AM
I replaced the fire ring in mine to increase capacity and air flow. It was fabricated by rolling piece of #9 flat expanded metal and tack welding it. Actually it was a left over when I was making my UDS.

krex1010
08-07-2015, 11:14 AM
I thought about modding the coal ring to make it taller, I have to see how close the stock one is to the water pan though

Big George's BBQ
08-07-2015, 11:22 AM
Congrats and enjoy

yakdung
08-07-2015, 11:37 AM
I thought about modding the coal ring to make it taller, I have to see how close the stock one is to the water pan though

I do not run a water pan. Got tired of messing with it. I use a large clay saucer that is used to catch water from a large flower pot in its place. Picked it up from a nursery.

krex1010
08-07-2015, 12:33 PM
I plan on going that route eventually, I figure some steamy grease circulating will help season the internal surfaces faster.

I keep seeing people mentioning dry runs to burn off manufacturing residue......but this thing is clean as a whistle inside, I wiped it down and there wasn't even any dust on the damp towels I used....I never worried about doing that with a weber kettle grill, or any other grill for that matter. Maybe a serious pit made of raw steel but this thing looks spotless inside. I'm not planning on a dry run, I'll light it maybe an hour before I put food in just to see how the temps stabilize....should I really worry about manufacturing residue if this thing is squeaky clean inside and out?

PatAttack
08-07-2015, 01:19 PM
Don't worry about that stuff.

Light it off and throw something on there!

D.D.P. 'Cue
08-07-2015, 02:15 PM
Nice. I've been cooking on kettles for two decades...great setups. I also have a WSM 18. You didn't go wrong.

yakdung
08-07-2015, 04:19 PM
I plan on going that route eventually, I figure some steamy grease circulating will help season the internal surfaces faster.

I keep seeing people mentioning dry runs to burn off manufacturing residue......but this thing is clean as a whistle inside, I wiped it down and there wasn't even any dust on the damp towels I used....I never worried about doing that with a weber kettle grill, or any other grill for that matter. Maybe a serious pit made of raw steel but this thing looks spotless inside. I'm not planning on a dry run, I'll light it maybe an hour before I put food in just to see how the temps stabilize....should I really worry about manufacturing residue if this thing is squeaky clean inside and out?

Try not to over think it. Just fire it up and let her rip. The other items are down the road and really aren't necessary for a successful cook.

Happy Hapgood
08-07-2015, 04:56 PM
Being a Kettle guy the WSM will be a breeze. Welcome to the never ending debate as to whether to put water in the pan or not. I think your doing the right thing going with water to start.

Good Luck!

Pocchampion
08-07-2015, 05:06 PM
No need to burn off prior to first cook. It's ready to go. Use water the first few times until you get a nice layer of seasoning to seal it up. After 6 pork butts I quit using water and just foiled. The wsm gets easier to control the more you use it. Mine is stock and it runs an easy 12 hours at 250 to 275.

I came from a kettle as well and you will be very happy.