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Mooner
05-02-2007, 01:50 PM
Well boys, I went and did it. Bought me a Weber Smokey Mountain today! :biggrin:

First question: The thing didn't come with a thermometor so which one should I get and where do you mount it?

Second question: I have heard you guys talk about switching out the water pan, which one should I get and why do you do this?

Third question: How do you cook on this farkin thing? Load it up with coals?, vents at what placement? Top draft at what placement? Meat fat up or down? Does the bottom grate cook hotter than the top grate?

Thanks fellas!!

bbqneo
05-02-2007, 01:58 PM
Congrats!! I found my new WSM a great addition to my collection of toys. First, you can use any remote thermometer or long candy thermometer by running probe (or wires) through top vent. Second see my post in "Overloaded WSM" thread on the water pan. Third check out the virtualweberbullet page for tips on firing up etc.

Harbormaster
05-02-2007, 02:07 PM
Jordan
Welcome to the WSM. You will be a huge fan in no time.
First, the thermo. I bought the 3" face with 2.5" stem from TelTru. Pricey. I read here you can buy the thermos used by Spicewine at their site. I drilled a hole in the dome opposite the vent, some prefer them at grate level. Go to The Virtual Weber Bullet site at www.virtualweberbullet.com (http://www.virtualweberbullet.com) (home page) or http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve (forums page) and look at the WSM mods section. Plenty of ideas for thermo mounting.
Second, the water pan. Lots of guys replace the original Weber water pan (1 gallon cap) with the Brinkmann CHARCOAL pan. Increased water capacity, about 2 gal. At the above link there is also info on what is called a "Piedmont Pan" that uses 2 Brinkman charcoal pans spaced about .5" and no water. Also info on using a clay flower pot base.
Third, how to cook on it. I fill the charcoal ring almost full with lump, taking care to arrange it so it is really tightly packed (with wood chunks mixed in). Light about a half of a Weber chimney with lump. When it is all lit, dump it over the lump you have in the ring. Vents wide open. This is called the "Minion Method". Assemble the cooker (no meat yet). When the temps get up to about 200, close the bottom vents ONLY to about 1/3 open. When you reach desired cooking temp (250 to 270 at the dome) put your meat on. The lump in the ring will burn anywhere from 10-16 hours and you'll keep solid temps.
If using water, make sure to keep water in the pan, otherwise dreaded temp spikes.
This is a very brief and abbreviated tutorial. More info at the above link from people smarter than me.
Enjoy!

Mooner
05-02-2007, 02:31 PM
Thanks Harbormaster, you da man!~

DeanC
05-02-2007, 03:01 PM
Congrats, I love all of mine. I cooked with the "standard method" when I first started with it and switched to minion with lump. Harbormaster is right, I learned to cook on the thing from TVWB.

Ron_L
05-02-2007, 08:10 PM
Congrats on the new toy! Just a few thoughts...

For the Thermometer, you have a few choices. The cleanest solution is to mount on in the dome as Harbormaster suggested. Here's a link to the Spicewine Thermometer...

http://www.spicewineironworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=swiw&Product_Code=thermometer&Category_Code=acc

If you do this you have to remember that the temp reading will be at the top of the dome, which will be higher than the grate temp. As long as you adjust for that, you;ll be fine. The difference is normally about 30 degrees.

You could also replace one of the bolts that holds the grate brackets with this...

http://secure.thebbqguru.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=36&idproduct=136

This give you a hole to feed a remote thermometer probe through and you can measure grate temperature.

Finally, The Virtual Bullet Site is a great site, but we have a lot of guys who are pretty good with a WSM here, too!

sterlingsmoker
05-02-2007, 08:25 PM
Great choice!! You will not regret your decision!!

FatDaddy
05-02-2007, 08:30 PM
I love mine. i went with the bbq guru probe inserts. safer and cleaner lookin then drillin a hole through my pretty black smoker. I too use the minion method for long cooks. and standard method for shorter cooks like ribs i can hold 230-250 for 6 hours or so.

Yakfishingfool
05-02-2007, 08:59 PM
Water pan...Take water pan and fill with water, take out by WSM and pour into flower bed, fill water pan with sand, cover with several layers of heavy duty foil, place in WSM, never worry about it again, change foil after each cook to rid it of grease. Water messy, spills, adds no value in my opinion. Continue with rest of suggestions. Start the fire with all grates open, then when to temp, close bottoms to crescent opening and let settle in around 225. S

Mooner
05-02-2007, 09:05 PM
Thanks for all the help guys. I'll post pics of my first cook!
Fatdaddy, I sent you a myspace friend request just FYI.

Mooner
05-02-2007, 09:06 PM
Water pan...Take water pan and fill with water, take out by WSM and pour into flower bed, fill water pan with sand, cover with several layers of heavy duty foil, place in WSM, never worry about it again, change foil after each cook to rid it of grease. Water messy, spills, adds no value in my opinion. Continue with rest of suggestions. Start the fire with all grates open, then when to temp, close bottoms to crescent opening and let settle in around 225. S

What does the sand do?

FatDaddy
05-03-2007, 01:30 AM
What does the sand do?

It is just a heat sink just like the water only less messy. the water vs. sand vs. whatever else u wanna stick in your pan debate has been beating like a dead horse around here.

Yakfishingfool
05-03-2007, 06:50 AM
Yup, what fatdaddy said. Just another option to consider...'course those of us in the know are sure sand is the way to go :)

DaChief
05-03-2007, 07:04 AM
Welcome to the WSM group. You'll enjoy it!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
05-03-2007, 07:05 AM
This may have been covered in other threads, but isn't there an advantage to using moist heat, vs dry heat with some cuts? Air with moisture in it can carry more heat than dry air, I believe.

Perhaps the foiling stage makes it unnecessary? Although I rarely do it, I have always suspected that a pan of water, even in an offset, helps for the moisture, not just as a heat sink.

VitaminQ
05-03-2007, 07:09 AM
To my mind, the idea of moist heat makes perfect sense. But after cooking with water in the pan and with nothing in the pan, I can detect no difference. My last two cooks in the WSM have been with an empty stock water pan, and I've had better temp control, as well as a better final product. YMMV. At this point, I can't imagine ever going back to using water.

That being said, enjoy your new toy! Experiment until you find what works for you.

ThomEmery
05-03-2007, 08:01 AM
I have my first one still Dont use it but I dont want to let it go
We cook on the FEC 90% of the time

Yakfishingfool
05-03-2007, 01:30 PM
The idea of moist heat was something I thought about often...until I was actually smoking and saw the amount of moisture coming off the meat in the cooking process. Want humid? Move to florida :) I too find my meats moist and tender without ever adding water. Lo temps, heating meats, makes it's own humidity. S