View Full Version : WSM Tip

04-10-2010, 03:24 PM
I've been cooking with a WSM for quite some time now and learned something today that might help someone else out, so I thought I'd share it.

I've been working on my competition ribs now for quite some time and have been struggling. After a lot of practice and talking to some other cooks, I was beginning to wonder if I was cooking at too low of a temp. While I was wondering about the temp, I had an idea and it turned out to be true. Here is what I learned.

I had been cooking 2 racks of ribs on my 18 1/2" WSM with my DigiQII Guru attached near the edge of the rack. I did this to keep it out of the way of the ribs. Although the Guru was set at 250º, the temperature at the center of the grate was about 225º. It seems obvious now why that is happening but at the time, I didn't realize it. I should mention that my setup has a water filled water pan.

So, at least with the way I've got it set up, I can see 25º temp difference on the top shelf between the edge of the grate and the center of the grate.

Anyway, thought it might help. Ribs are in the smoker and the full experiment should be complete in about 4 more hours. :pray:

04-10-2010, 05:25 PM
Yep, I knew that, but thanks for sharing because there are people out there who may not know that. The heat comes up along the edge of the WSM, and food placed on the edge of the grate will cook faster, or even burn if you are not careful.

04-10-2010, 08:02 PM
Yep, temps at the edges are always higher than those in the center, even when you don't have water in the pan. As Chris said, that's how the heat circulates in a WSM...

04-10-2010, 08:40 PM
Ditto - that's something worth remembering.

Jeff Selle
04-10-2010, 10:10 PM
Thanks watertowerbbq... I usually put the rack thermometer in the middle and put my meat probe in the middle of the ribs too... I was thinking about moving them to the outside, but now I won't...

The problem I have been trying to solve is overcooking the ends of my rib racks. The bones are falling off the ends before the racks are done in the middle... this seems to occur more dramatically when I use my Stoker.

I bought some ribs today and I plan to wad up tinfoil and press it between the waterpan and the wall of the smoker just below the ends of my ribs ... my theory is the tinfoil should divert the intense heat away from the ends of the racks and I hope this will give me a more even cook...

Anyone else having this problem? Anyone have a solution?

04-10-2010, 10:23 PM
And it worked!



Jeff Selle
04-10-2010, 10:28 PM

04-10-2010, 10:51 PM
Probe holders RULE!


04-11-2010, 12:00 AM
Cool device swamp!

I too have singed the edges from time to time. Especially when I load it up too full (which I always seem to do)

Nice tip!

04-11-2010, 12:27 AM
Day-um Matt, you've got some serious pull-back going on. Those are some nice lookin' bones right there!

04-11-2010, 09:07 AM
nice looking ribs, I drillled a hole through one of the screws that hold the upper grate and stuck a 12" deep fryer thermometer through that. I'm not sure how accurate it is.