WSM Problems

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bryce, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    So I've been having some issues with white billowing smoke and poor tasting food since I purchased my WSM. I'm certain the smoker is good so I just need to learn how to use it at this point.

    It was suggested I post pictures of my process so i'll do that now.

    Starting the charcoal. 1/2 full with Stubbs natural

    With charcoal around and wood (cherry and apple) All vents fully opened

    Put top barrel on and lid. Temp rose to 270 so I shut all bottom vents to a 1/4 opening. Still shot up to 300 so I fully closed one.

    Difficult to tell but this is full white smoke.

    Just went back out to check and I've seem to have gotten temp to level off at 250 so I opened the vent I fully closed back to 1/4.

    This is what I'm cooking. Ribs, legs, boneless thighs

    Will check back soon.
  2. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Smoke seems to be thinning out a bit now. 40 minutes into this.
  3. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Here's where my Maverick is located. Is this a good spot? Mav says 257 and grill lid therm says 215 - big discrepancy.

    I found a mod to help run the therm line through

  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You need to learn the Minion Method of building your coal bed. that is where you place wood at vairious points and depths throughout the charcoal basket as you load it. I use my charcoal chimney upside down and all you need are about 10 coals to start it going. You should also let it get up to temp for a good 45 minutes before you put the meat in. That way the wood has a chance to burn that bad stuff off when it first get's going. Hope this helps. The search bar at the top of the page is awesome and just type in Minion Method and you can read all about it. It is normal for the lid therm to be off on most smokers. I got lucky and mine is pretty close. Trust the Mav. If you need any more help fire away.
  5. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Grill temp 225 - Maverick temp 250

    Smoke settling down and I believe turning more blue.

    So, what do I do now? What if I need to add more charcoal? do I progressively open the vents?

     I will need to add some wood chunks in 30 min or so.
  6. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Excellent thank you. Yes, I didn't realize I had so long to wait to put the meat on. It's funny, I feel like I'm in a race since the charcoal is burning down. I'm not confident, at this point, to be able to maintain a steady temp.

    I will read about the minion method again. I didn't add too much charcoal to the chimney or the basket since this isn't a long smoke. Is the minion method the only way to build a fire in the WSM?

    Thank you!
  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You can get a 20 plus hour smoke out of a load in that smoker Bryce. You are just cooking some chicken it looks like so you shouldn't need to add any charcoal for a 2 hour smoke. Next time load that baby up. When your cook is done just close all the vents and it will go out in short order and that well seasoned leftover wood and coal can be used next time. Just shake the ash out of the bottom and add some coal and wood and you will be ready to go again. There is an easy mod you should do to the WSM to make it better and it is really the only mod you need to do. You would need a charcoal grate from weber that fits the charcoal ring. I think it is 14 inches or therabouts. Any way it can be had for a few bucks at HD or lowes or true value or wherever they sell Weber stuff. Then attach that to the bottom of the charcoal ring with some tie wire or bailing wire. On long smokes there will be some ash buildup that will choke the fire and it will be hard to keep the temp up. So this way you can reach in with some tongs and shake the ash down once or twice in an all nighter. Makes it work so much better. You won't have that problem today though. You are just cooking for a few hours.
  8. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Great idea. Ok, I'm getting the feel for this now after reading your posts. I'm simply too light on the charcoal. I didn't realize it would be "ok" to choke it out and reuse it. Basically never even thought about doing that - as simple as it is.

    Thank you for the grate mod idea. I will be sure to do that. Do you happen to have a link or picture of this? Thank you!
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    super simple.[​IMG]  
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  10. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Got it. Exactly what I had envisioned.

    Smoke looking good now the WSM. Probably the best I've ever seen out of my 4 smokes on it. Ribs and chicken should turn out pretty good.
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Oh I didn't see the ribs. You actually may end up having to reload. Or you could just take the cook chamber off right now and top off your basket with wood and charcoal. The ribs will as you probably know take a lot longer than the chicken. In fact those ribs look pretty meaty and might take 5 to 6 hours. How do you plan to do them?
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  12. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Timberjet!

    I'm about to foil the ribs so I will add some more then. I'm planning on just throwing some cold charcoal on top of what is left and go from there - bad move?

    I use a little Costco rub, and a dash of chili powder and cumin actually. I typically roll 3 - 2 - 1/2 including wrapping. I have brown sugar and a little honey in the foil and pour in some apple juice for moisture.

    Here is the chicken. Legs rocked. Thighs overcooked. Nice snack before the ribs though.

  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Man you do your ribs exactly like I do. Yes you can add coal like that and it will be fine. You might lose a little temp at first but it will catch up in no time.
  14. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Ok cool. I just foiled and added some more charcoal.

    Ribs had a pretty dark look to them. Hoping they're not over smoked.
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Oh I doubt it. Did your rub have any sugar in it? sometimes sugar will turn pretty dark but you can't hardly burn it at those temps. Now if you happen to have sauced early sometimes that will overheat. NO PICTURES?
  16. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    You're right, they weren't over smoked, in fact, they could have used more. No picture - ugh, how lame huh [​IMG]? I'm solo tonight trying to manage this with 5 kids at my house. It's just too difficult..haha

    Anyhow, I used cherry wood but not sure I liked it that much. I was very surprised how much I actually tasted cherry. I haven't mastered the different flavors from woods so this was interesting to me. I'm pretty sure I just like apple and hickory for ribs. I haven't tired pecan - have you?

    Yes I the rub has sugar. I'm sure that's all it was. I only had a small smoke ring but they did turn out good. I'm full and happy. Sounders and Kentucky need to win!
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Cherry adds a lot of color. It is my favorite wood for Beef. It really makes things red. I am an apple wood on pork kinda guy myself and I do want to try pecan one of these days. Sugar maple is pretty darn good on pork too and you can really taste it. And..... go Bulldogs!
  18. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the tip. I have a whole bag of it so i'll use it on some beef. Problem with that is I rarely smoke beef since I can't make a good brisket, well, I've only tried twice a very long time ago.

    Sugar maple sounds interesting. I haven't seen it in the stores before.

    Yes, go Zags! Should be a good one tomorrow.

    Kentucky is really in a fight. They go out and my bracket is toast!
  19. krubby

    krubby Smoke Blower

    I own the 22.5 WSM.  My weber dome thermometer is never very accurate.  I say this after some testing where I had two probes on a duel probe maverick 733 and a third on a single probe maverick (older model) and they were all within 5-6 degrees of each other and then the dome was 30-40 degrees lower.

    I am at a point now where I completely ignore the dome thermometer. 
  20. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    That looks just like mine! ;)

    Ignore the therm in the lid! Even if it's correct you don't need to know what's happening in that area; you need to know what's going on where your meat is!

    You've had some great advice so far! I've read that others use a coffee can minion method for their WSMs...


    Just put a coffee can with the bottom cut out in the middle of your charcoal basket and surround it with unlit coals. Then put the lit coals from your chimney into the can and take the can out. I also put whatever flavor wood on top of the chimney to get it hot as well to get thru the white smoke phase faster...

    Do you see any smoke?


    I also second that you shouldn't worry about putting to much charcoal to start because after the meats done just shut everything down, close every vent, and it should cool off pretty quick and the leftover coals will be the start of your next smoke!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share This Page