How to increase WSM heat? All vents open.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by kargov, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

    On my first long cook (pork butt) and the temp is at 221 with all vents open. Been cooking 5 hours now.

    I'd like to get it hotter in case of another dip, and also because the meat's taking a while in the mid to high 140s.

    Do I add in a bit more unlit charcoal through the door? A chunk of wood? What?

  2. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    You could try adding charcoal thru the door.......did you start with a full charcoal ring? I mean really full? Like heaped up? How much lit did you add? What was the hottest the fire got during the 5 hours? Is your top vent wide open? Do you have water in the pan?
  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    221 is A dang good temperature if you ask me. Pork Butts are well known to stall and it can happen at any temp. As long as you hit 140  in 4 hours with A reliable tested thermometer you are all good. Also if you are going by the one on the lid that came with the unit, they are notoriously inaccurate. Hope this helps and happy smoking. tim. 
  4. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

    I used lumps, which seemed to burn out pretty fast. Added a couple handfuls of unlit Kingsford Briquettes which did the trick.

    IT of meat steadily rising again. Cheers guys.
  5. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

  6. Do you have water in the pan? Water keeps the temps down that's also the reason you're burning so much Lump.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  7. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

    Filled it from the start. Just refilled it again.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Empty the water pan and be ready for the temps to shoot up past 300 deg......   Water sucks up all the BTU's trying to convert the water to steam...  It's called  "phase change".....  "water to steam".......
  9. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

    I'm at a consistent 240. It's a 6.8lb butt and it's been 7 hours. It's only at this normal? I was expecting it to be ready in 12 hours max, but it's climbing ridiculously slow.

    I set the probe at the centre of the meat. Should I try reinserting it elsewhere in case it's somehow placed wrong?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  10. Spot on. Ditch the water and save fuel and run better temps with a clay flower pot saucer.
  11. georgia boy

    georgia boy Newbie

    I smoked a 6.2 Butt last night and today it took 15 hours with the stall
  12. The butt I smoked was only 5lbs (boneless) and took over 13 hours... and I did also "tent" it in a foil pan @ 168* to speed up the stall... 15 hours for a 6+lb butt sounds reasonable.

    On a side note, I smoked mine at around 245* using Stubb's brand 100% natural charcoal briquettes. The ambient temp locally was around 82*F with no humidity for reference, and for me to hold that 245* temp on my 22.5" WSM I had 2 bottom vents completely closed and the third vent was less than half way open... smoker was still holding above 215* (with no further vent adjustments) well after removing the butt (about 15 hours after lighting), and I never did have to add additional coals. I did use my water pan "dry", just lined with foil for easy cleanup... still looking for the correct sized clay saucer to put on top of the water pan for future smokes.
  13. kargov

    kargov Fire Starter

    Hmm...will look into this. I've heard of the "great debate", as well as if the water pan actually ads moisture or not, but never have read further into it myself. Thanks.

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