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Rusty Kettle
10-06-2015, 09:04 PM
So I ran it for maybe the fourth time ever. I don't care for it very much. It's just a pain. So I tried something new. I ran it with no water in the water pan. It was less of a fuel hog. Why? What's the science behind it? I was impressed without water. Yet my 14.5" WSM runs great with water and so do all my kettles.

Why is the 22.5" WSM so much better without water. Temp was easy to control and I have loads of fuel left over to relight.

Just curios if anyone knew why neither is alike.

The 14.5" and the 22.5" WSM look the same but act totally different.

I understand no smoker is exactly the same but the difference between the two is unreal.

They look the same but that is where the similarities end.

bvbull200
10-06-2015, 09:16 PM
The water is a big mass that won't go above 212*. Factor the bigger water pan and the bigger cooking chamber and you have an environment that takes a little more fuel to keep a target temperature than what you find in the 14.5".

It isn't a linear progression from one size to the next, so, similar as the two may be in design and proportions, they are still different animals.

yakdung
10-06-2015, 09:22 PM
When I first started to run my 22" WSM, it was a pain to maintain in my view. Others on this site recommended to ditch the water and I did just that. Went Terra-cotta foiled saucer and never turned back. I will tell you, with the Guru driving this thing, it hums like my Cummins on the highway.

Decoy205
10-06-2015, 09:42 PM
As others have said heating all that water is burning up all your fuel. Also it's a pain to clean greasy water. Foil it or put some sand and foil it and it will act as a better heat diffuser. I've seen amazing food some out of those cookers here. Keep practicing you'll get it. Keep in mind it is bigger so it will use more fuel than a 14.5.

Fwismoker
10-06-2015, 09:51 PM
Yup what they said...

I'll tell you this though the ENTIRE purpose of water smokers is so companies like Weber sell more. If you make something fairly idiot proof you'll keep more customers and sell more.

No need for water and in fact imo you do much better without.


Oh and as far as size goes I know my little mini turns out a little better food than the bigger similar cookers I use. I just tell myself the smaller size is concentrating the flavor. :becky:

PaulstheRibList
10-06-2015, 09:58 PM
What I found is that the more I cooked on it, and the better notes I kept, I got to love love love my 22.5 wsm. So much so I bought a 2nd one.

The water works great, unless you want to cook at higher temps, like 300. I like cooking 225-250 on mine, and I don't need but a half a pan of water. With my setup I can keep it at 225-250 for over 18 hours on a whole bag of KBB. For a rib cook, I use the fuse method, and a little over half a bag I can cook a 7 hour pork rib cook, every time.

I've cooked a few hundred racks of ribs on my, now, two 22.5 wsm's in the last 2 years. I don't put a ton of water in. It definitely helps produce the moist environment that brings about the beautiful smoke ring.

Keep cookin!

Jsnow
10-06-2015, 11:01 PM
What everyone else has said. I have ran my 22.5 with no water for over 4 years I just wrap in foil. Runs great and hold temps for a long time. I have a number of other smokers but love to use the WSM for the weekend smokes.

DetTigersFan
10-07-2015, 01:16 AM
Loved my 22.5 the first time I cooked on it and every time since then... Even in 10 degree weather with a stiff breeze. In that kinda environment without a wind block it can be a bit of a pain, but other than that I'm not sure. I just run it with a foiled pan, no water.

cheez59
10-07-2015, 05:33 AM
I agree that the 14.5 cooks better than the 22.5. The 22.5 is just difficult to cook over 250 with water in the pan even with the Guru. I get the best results on the 22.5 with the water pan completely removed.

Enrico Brandizzi
10-07-2015, 05:44 AM
Rusty
My opinion is it depends on quantity.
If you use the weber water pan which you can fill with 4 gal then You have great fuel consumption.
BUT if you use a pizza stone + a drip pan in the lower rack + 1 lt of water in it then you got a really super steady smoker.
It's what I do with great success for me

swamprb
10-07-2015, 06:00 AM
I'll agree that out of the box the big bullet is a rock solid 225-250* no brainer smoker, but when I hear folks lamenting that its not a good 300*+ cooker, then they aren't doing their homework.

When I was cooking hot on 18" WSM's I had done this door prop mod on all of mine.

http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?14163-Door-Prop-Mod-W-Pics&highlight=door+prop+mod

I've got a Gen1 with the rectangular door opening that I had done the door prop mod to the stock door, but I have the Pellet Pro Cajun Bandit Stacker mod on and don't need it.

My other is a Gen2 WSM and they have the arched door openings in the center, so you are unable to do the door prop mod, but you can still prop the door open and easily get the nuclear blast!

Ground magnet and a length of wire hanger (Mommy Dearest Mod)

Easily adjusts door opening at the top

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Ugly%20Drum%20Smoker/Weber/IMG_0678.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/user/swamprb/media/Ugly%20Drum%20Smoker/Weber/IMG_0678.jpg.html)

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/Ugly%20Drum%20Smoker/Weber/IMG_0679.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/user/swamprb/media/Ugly%20Drum%20Smoker/Weber/IMG_0679.jpg.html)

I also have the same magnets with a 3" bolt through them if I want to turn the door upside down, but it requires 2 magnets to support the weight of the Cajun Bandit door.

Either way it gets me HOT where I want dry pan or wet!

ITBFQ
10-07-2015, 07:39 AM
I want to echo that water is not needed. Wrap the pan with a couple of layers of HD foil, and you'll be good to go. The more you use it, the more you will like it. It's only your 4th time... by the 10th or 12th, you'll have the hang of it. There are many reasons you see lots of WSMs at contests - one of them being they turn out some great bbq.

sliding_billy
10-07-2015, 08:28 AM
I liked (I don't own a 22.5" anymore) to use sand instead of water. IMO it helped stabilize the temps a little better than an empty pan but without absorbing all of the heat like the water does (and not needing filled during the cook). About 2/3 filled with sand and then covered with foil also made cleanup easy. Unless you accidentally dumped oil in your sand, it would last pretty much forever. I was able to cook at 300+ or 225-250 with no issues at all.

2 Bones BBQ
10-07-2015, 09:39 AM
Full chimney of lump minion method and let it come up to the temp you want with all cents open, then close two and leave one open....275 as long as you'd like.

krex1010
10-07-2015, 09:47 AM
The last few cooks on my 18 wsm I haven't used water and I haven't used a heat deflector/shield of any kind and I can still run it down around 225-250 if I choose to do so. The only difference I've noticed is there is more of a temp spike when I open the lid. The only reason I'd use a heat deflector at this point is if I wanted to keep the fat from dripping on the coals, which is a taste I like for some cooks and not for others.

THoey1963
10-07-2015, 11:47 AM
I did my very first cook with water. Never again. For a while just foiled and then with a Terra Cotta planter base also foiled inside. I have stable temps and can run anywhere from 230* to 350*. I remove the water pan for high heat cooks.

Rusty Kettle
10-07-2015, 01:29 PM
I think it's a matter of just working with this smoker to get the hang of it.

I like it much better without water in the pan. It seems to cook better just an empty water pan.

The 14.5" cooks great with water. The 22.5" it makes it run like garbage. So water for the 14.5" WSMs and no water for the 22.5" WSMs.

I can't wait until next year when we go pro with this one.

I will probably do my chicken and ribs in the 14.5" WSMs and the brisket and pork butts in the 22.5" WSM. I wish the 22.5" WSM was a little wider as half pans don't fit 2 per rack without bending them a bit. It can be done but it's a bit tight. Which is funny for me to say as I usually cook on 14.5" WSMs. I don't pan in the 14.5" WSMs. I do for pork butt put a pie pan to catch the juice on the bottom rack.

It's going to add a nice tool to our lineup once I get the hang of running it.

Right on Q
10-07-2015, 03:16 PM
One of the reasons a 22 is a "fuel hog" is because it is exponentially bigger than a 14.

A 14 WSM has 286 sq in of cooking space. A 22 WSM has 726 sq in of cooking space. That's 2.5 times more rack space. It would make sense to use 2.5 times more charcoal to cook on it. (assuming similar temps on both)

I've never cooked with water in my 22. I did it twice on my first 18 and didn't like it. I foiled my pan and never looked back.

Give the 22 some time. Work with it more. Remember, you reap what you sow. If you sow a lot into the 22 it will reap you great BBQ.

yakdung
10-07-2015, 03:34 PM
I run a custom charcoal fire ring in my 22" WSM to increase the burn capacity.

Joe Black
10-07-2015, 03:50 PM
When my 22 WSM was new, I used water for about 2 cooks, then a clay saucer for several times. After that I went naked for about 3 years until I sold it. I much preferred it without anything and ran it about 275*. Good luck, Joe

Rusty Kettle
10-07-2015, 07:10 PM
One of the reasons a 22 is a "fuel hog" is because it is exponentially bigger than a 14.

A 14 WSM has 286 sq in of cooking space. A 22 WSM has 726 sq in of cooking space. That's 2.5 times more rack space. It would make sense to use 2.5 times more charcoal to cook on it. (assuming similar temps on both)

I've never cooked with water in my 22. I did it twice on my first 18 and didn't like it. I foiled my pan and never looked back.

Give the 22 some time. Work with it more. Remember, you reap what you sow. If you sow a lot into the 22 it will reap you great BBQ.

I think it will grow on me once I get the hang of it completely. The 14.5" I hated the first time I used it. Even had one heck of a grease fire. It was ugly. It took forever to get it clean and reseasoned. It's one of my favorite cookers.

As much as everyone loves these I think there is still a learning curve. I think by next bbq season this will be a great tool to have.

THoey1963
10-07-2015, 11:18 PM
RK, there are learning curves with all of them. It took me almost 10 cooks before I got a good one from my LSG. I was so used to the WSM, that trying to run a stick burner was so much of a change, no matter what I read here. You'll get there, just keep trying it. Change one thing each time (not many things). You'll figure it out.

robert-r
10-08-2015, 09:13 AM
No 22.5 here, however I never use water in the 14.5 or 18.5. Sometimes a diffuser.... sometimes not.

I really like the 14.5. It sees most of the action these days.

redhawk
10-08-2015, 09:33 AM
I always use water in my 22.5 and can hit and keep any temp between 200 and 290 pretty easy.

Dmakkk
10-08-2015, 09:49 AM
make sure the water is hot before you pour it in so it does not have to come up to temp and waste fuel or change the temp of the pit.

Jeff H
10-08-2015, 09:57 AM
I split the difference and bought the 18". It has been working perfectly for me. No water and not a fuel hog.

Next cook this weekend (Turkey) I'm experimenting without even using the water pan at all. Just cooking the bird directly over the coals. I don't anticipate any issues.

Petee_c
10-08-2015, 10:07 AM
It's a bit of physics, and also a bit of chemistry.....

You are changing the state of water, and this takes a lot of energy.... I'm metric so I'll try to stick to Celsius vs Fahrenheit

Water can take 3 forms that we see... ice (solid), water (liquid) and steam (vapor).

An ice cube takes X amount of energy to move from -1C to 0C,
An ice cube takes approximately 8X energy to go from solid to liquid at 0C,
once in liquid form at 0C, it takes X amount of energy again to go from 0C to 1C, and X amount of energy to go each degree C all the way up to 100C.

However, at 100C/212F (boiling point for around sea level), the water will absorb about 8X the energy before it goes to 100C temperature steam,

It's this phase transition between liquid and steam that is absorbing all the fuel energy,... and takes a lot of energy to get to your desired temps of 225+(107+C)F in a WSM scenario.... the water is absorbing a lot of energy at the 100C mark as it is working to boil off.

That said, I don't believe putting in hot water is going to change this equation that much... it uses a lot more energy to go from water to steam.....

https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110315071128AAynL0r

Swine Spectator
10-08-2015, 02:24 PM
It's a bit of physics, and also a bit of chemistry.....

You are changing the state of water, and this takes a lot of energy.... I'm metric so I'll try to stick to Celsius vs Fahrenheit

Water can take 3 forms that we see... ice (solid), water (liquid) and steam (vapor).

An ice cube takes X amount of energy to move from -1C to 0C,
An ice cube takes approximately 8X energy to go from solid to liquid at 0C,
once in liquid form at 0C, it takes X amount of energy again to go from 0C to 1C, and X amount of energy to go each degree C all the way up to 100C.

However, at 100C/212F (boiling point for around sea level), the water will absorb about 8X the energy before it goes to 100C temperature steam,

It's this phase transition between liquid and steam that is absorbing all the fuel energy,... and takes a lot of energy to get to your desired temps of 225+(107+C)F in a WSM scenario.... the water is absorbing a lot of energy at the 100C mark as it is working to boil off.

That said, I don't believe putting in hot water is going to change this equation that much... it uses a lot more energy to go from water to steam.....

https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110315071128AAynL0r

Is it reasonable to assume that this is the same thing that happens during "the stall"?