New WSM (no TBS)

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bryce, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I finally purchased an 18.5 WSM. I'm supposed to happy and super excited right? Well, I'm pissed! I've had about 4 smokes on the thing and I can't figure out how to get the thin blue smoke that I used to on my crappy $50.00 grill. And, as result, my food is coming out bitter tasting. Nothing like putting in 5 hours smoking food, totally starving, then digging in only to find the meat taste like crap - yuck!

    For those WSM owners, did you experience the same while learning how to use the smoker? I don't know what I could be doing wrong as I don't think I'm using too much wood.

    Other than that, the smoker seems to be a good one.

    Thanks,
    Bryce
     
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How are the vents set ?
     
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  4. Pics would be good

    Gary
     
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    MORE INFORMATION MANDATORY
     
  6. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Well, that's a good question. I'm finding myself being reactionary to whatever the temp is doing. I'm unable to answer because I don't know what the vents are at until I dump my charcoal in there. If it's too hot, I shut them down a quarter turn. If it's not hot enough, I crank them up. After thinking though this, I'm guessing this is probably most of my problem, eh?

    Thanks,
    Bryce 
     
  7. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry, yes. Here's is what I have done.

    I don't use the water pan.

    I lasted tried the minion method which burned well but still produced white, billowy, smoke.

    When I need to add coals I just toss some in there on top and around the other coals.

    I never use more than 2 small'ish chunks of wood at a time.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not regulating the temp correctly as I can't seem to get the temp to hold long.
     
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Your top vents should be all the way open and you control the heat with the bottom ones. Yes, that is your problem. Read the post that was posted above. It really is quite simple if you start out right. Please let's discuss this so you don't get discouraged and sell it on craigslist. 
     
  9. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    That's awesome, thank you JackDanls. I guess I could have searched better. At this point I'm chalking my failures up to my lack of knowledge about the smoker.

    Thanks,
    Bryce
     
  10. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Gary,

    What should I take pictures of?

    Thank you,
    Bryce
     
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You should not have to add coals unless you are doing a long long smoke. You may have to shake the ash out of the fire pan now and then to get the airflow going again. sounds like you are not using the bottom vents like they are supposed to be used and the minion method as it is supposed to be done.
     
  12. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks timberjet.

    I do keep the top vent open at all times. I will study the post above and keep getting after it. I have no intentions of selling this smoker just because I'm a dummy! From what I've read, and the for the price, it's definitely the best or very close to it in it's class.

    Thanks for your help!

    Bryce
     
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Next time you do a smoke, share it with us. Take pictures and post along the way so that we can help you to get it right. Lots of us learned that way. It is fun too.
     
  14. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bryce,

    First off, don't be so hard on yourself learning a new smoker as each one is different ! As you have seen, this is a great forum with folks wanting to help each other.... Most of us on here have learned by trial & error ! We learn from each other & then just pay it forward when you see someone needing the help ! This forum is second to none IMO !

    Glad ya got your problem straightened out ! Thumbs Up
     
  15. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The biggest thing (for me) is to not start out to hot.. it's much easier to take temps up rather than try to bring temps down... FOR ME,,, it means don't start out with charcoal that is screaming red hot from the charcoal chimney... about a dozen or more of briquettes that are only half lit...

    Also.. it takes a good 10 minutes or longer for any intake vent adjustments to start showing up on the thermometer....
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  16. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    OK will do. You're right, that would be a good way to go. I just did some sausages, chicken thighs and a pretty sirloin tip roast tonight so it will be a little while before I smoke again. Thanks timberjet
     
  17. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    smoke will be ugly white smoke while temps are climbing (all vents wide open).. when you start getting close to target temp start closing the intake vent down (1/2 -3/4 closed).. it will take a good 15 minutes or so for temps to start leveling off.. once things get settled down smoke should/will have turned light blue with the best aroma in town ...
     
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    The best value for a vertical like that rests here. haha.. same, but different. I use my weber kettle more than anything but this right here kicks some butt.


     
  19. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks waternhole... You're right. This place has really served me well and helped me produce some incredible food. I know once I figure out how to use my wsm my food will be even better!

    Jackdnls - thanks for the tip, I've kind of wondered that. When you need to add more charcoal do you use the chimney to light it or just toss it in the smoker unlit on the lit charcoal?
     
  20. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you load it up with unlit and wood chunks... full basket with a hole in the center for the dozen or so lit pieces .. you should never have to add anymore... that will burn for a good 10 hrs or more.... If you do need more than I just shake ashes from spent coal and add unlit coal on top ... with more wood chunks as well ...
     

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