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cullenbranson
09-30-2015, 04:09 PM
I'm only about 8 cooks into a new (to me) 22" WSM. Learning and reading a lot about temperature variance at the lid, and top & bottom grates. I've monitored temps with the stock Weber therm and a Maverick ET733 at top grate level. Both therms have been checked against boiling water and come to within a couple degrees. The lid averages almost 30 degrees cooler than the top grate. Ranges from 15 degrees cooler to almost 40 degrees cooler.

My issue is this - I'd like to ditch the maverick altogether and get more into the "zen of bbq" (great phrase picked up on this site). But I'm reading some folks experience higher temps at the lid than at the top grate. Some folks that do, say the pan's filled with water, some don't specify. So, what gives, how can that be? I personally ditched my water pan altogether and use a foil-wrapped 18" terra cotta saucer, which could be a major variable vs the water. I like to target about 270 for almost everything but don't mind ranging from 225 to 290.

Anyone else with a WSM with these (perceived) issues that got over this hump and into the zen phase?

Cliff H.
09-30-2015, 04:21 PM
A long time ago I tried to monitor the grate, the lid and the differences between the middle and the sides. There is a lot of convection going on inside. The temps vary widely in the beginning.

At some point after the meat warms up, the grate temp and the lid temp will come together.

I decided to just pick one and worry with that one temp. I chose the lid.

Cliff H.
09-30-2015, 04:23 PM
Do not pick the stock thermometer

cullenbranson
09-30-2015, 04:25 PM
At some point after the meat warms up, the grate temp and the lid temp will come together.

I've seen some strange behavior here . . . temps narrow to within 15 well after meat heats up, in the middle of the cook, and then spike to 35+ diff again, with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

yakdung
09-30-2015, 04:26 PM
I ditched my water pan early on, and went with a Terra Cotta saucer. My Maverick died after three cooks, and ditched that as well (chicom junk IMHO). I simply ignore the lid temp, and use a digital thermometer monitored at grate level next to the items being smoked (drilled a hole into a chunk of smoking wood to hold the probe). Somewhere along the way, I decided to run my WSM with a BBQ Guru for the longer cooks, because I had other things to do than managing a fire. Works great for me and I love the setup. I would not put too much energy worrying about the lid temps as they are a ball park guide at best. Hope this helps. Happy smokin...
Option I use without the Guru:
http://www.thermoworks.com/products/alarm/chefalarm.html

Guru:
https://www.bbqguru.com/StoreNav?CategoryId=1&ProductId=22

Bebe
09-30-2015, 04:27 PM
is normal to get some temp. variation, especially when using lump... nothing to worry about.
Your cooker is rather new, it will get more stable as you use it. I'm using clay saucers too, i didn't use water for years now and i'm pretty happy with it. If you want constant temp (kinda) get yourself a Guru, worth every penny.

cullenbranson
09-30-2015, 04:34 PM
I should probably clarify that I expect temp variations, even up to 35-40 degrees. But my issues are: 1) wanting to ditch the leads and 2)some folks have higher lid temps than the grate and some folks have lower lid temps than the grate.

So, I'm thinking even a better lid therm might not be reliable, even I accept a certain range of variance. Lid therm could read 230, so i'm thinking the food level's got to be 245 to 270, but based on others' experience, it is actually 200 at food level?

Yes, I realize everything I'm saying is the opposite of going "zen". But like I said, I'm trying to get over that hump.

yakdung
09-30-2015, 04:51 PM
Type of fuel, and the size of the smoking wood can cause swings in temps. I found if I use a larger piece of smoking wood, and when it starts to ignite, temps will swing up. Try using briquettes and cut the smoking chunks approximately the same size as the fuel. I intermix the smoking wood chunks with the fuel not simply placing them on top.

Harbormaster
09-30-2015, 05:05 PM
All of my WSMs are the older variety that did not come with a stock thermo.

I drilled the lids and added my own. I cook everything based on what those thermos tell me. Mine like to run in the 270-275 range. I don't care what the grate temp is. I know when I have 4 butts on the WSM and the dome is reading 275 that I have a 12 to 14 hour cook on my hands, and start probing for tenderness accordingly.

Experience (ie: Lots of cooks) is more important than any temperature gadget.

It's barbeque folks. Don't let the minutiae get your panties in a wad.

grantw
09-30-2015, 09:09 PM
I did a lot of research on what happens in a weber and this is the best answer I came up with:
http://youtu.be/amR6Ee9QQf4

nickmv
09-30-2015, 09:18 PM
Experience (ie: Lots of cooks) is more important than any temperature gadget.

It's barbeque folks. Don't let the minutiae get your panties in a wad.

After cooking on an 18.5" for almost 4 years, then switching to a 22.5", I somewhat disagree. Sure, we all get used to our setups and "know" them, but after purchasing and using a HeaterMeter on my 22", I'll never go back to a non-controlled setup again on the 22.5".

Whereas the 18.5" WSM was very controllable and rarely had issues with fluctuations at the grate, the 22.5" is very difficult to keep at a steady temp at the grate. Simply put, it wants to take off like a rocket if at all possible. The built-in probes, while accurate and relatively precise, pretty much are 100% unreliable as the environment above the grate is ALWAYS changing. I've seen +/- 30F variations, all the while the grate temp never exceeding a +/- 5F change (mainly on the 18.5, def not on the 22.5). With my HeaterMeter, a 5F swing after dialing it in is a rarity, even when opening the side-access door.

Obviously everyone should try several cooks before investing in a controller, but when it comes to a 22", using an electronic controller makes a huge difference in reliability and consistency in your cooks.

cullenbranson
10-01-2015, 09:44 AM
I did a lot of research on what happens in a weber and this is the best answer I came up with:
http://youtu.be/amR6Ee9QQf4

That's great! The only thing missing is old boy holding a cigarette and three fingers of scotch.

thanks

Sevengoals
10-01-2015, 12:44 PM
I did a lot of research on what happens in a weber and this is the best answer I came up with:
http://youtu.be/amR6Ee9QQf4


Oh yes!
Oh yes, oh yes!

That is it.

:-D

Swine Spectator
10-01-2015, 03:12 PM
When I ordered my Klose I asked for multiple thermometers. David Klose told me, "You don't want that. It will just drive ya nuts."