WSM - Smoke leaking from lid seal normal?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by herkysprings, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    It seems like my WSM takes a while to "Seal up". When I start her, there is quite a bit of white smoke coming from the mid section / lid seal area. It takes a while for this to stop, and evertually I get TBS coming from the top vent only.

    Any ideas, or is this normal? I dont have any weird fuel usage or temp spikes. Infact she burns very efficiently. Its just this beginning smoke leakage I was wondering about.

  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Unless the lid is an air tight seal, it will leak, When I run my ECB, I'll wait until the billowing white cloud of smoke turns to TBS before adding the meat to the smoker. If I recall, the lids on the WSM don't seal very tight. I'm sure some of are WSM users will chime in here with their answers.
  3. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never had that problem. Did it get dropped or something to make it a bit out-of-round? Could've hapened in shipping.
  4. albeesmokin

    albeesmokin Newbie SMF Premier Member

    I know what your saying... it's happened to me on a few smokes.
    A) the lid sometimes appears to be sealed...if you grab the handle and turn it, you'll notice sometimes it gets hung up in the same groove as the top grate...
    So it's correct on one side and a bit tilted on the other.

    Lid is supposed to let some smoke out of the sides, as there is no top vent.

    Are you using chips or chunks? If your using the minion method you can lace some wood in with the chips and they catch slower. If you are just adding wood to the top of the hot coal bed... also try the "smoke bomb" using an empty (clean) 12 ounce soup can, add soaked wood (i use chips inside) to the can and place it on top of the coals. of course the can is open on one side. It will catch slower and give you a nice tbs. I do both, lace some chunks in the unlit coals and add the "smoke bomb." I like this a bit better than foil.. foil seems to heat up quicker and I get that bunch of smoke and charred foil.

    Either way on these ecb you gotta watch the wind and the door. If that door is opened several times you end up forcing air in spiking temp or cooling it down. The wind (at least in east Texas) will blow hard for a bit, then die out. I get a flare up when all that o2 makes it up the ecb's skirt... (open bottom)

    Hope that helps, These little smokers have a mind/agenda of their own.
  5. I think most WSMs leak a little bit, especially if the middle section is slightly out of round. Mine leaks a little, but it keeps a steady temp. Since yours is keeping good temps, I wouldn't worry to much about it.

    You can check if your WSM is out of round by checking the diameter of the middle section. If it is just slightly out of round, you can use folded HD foil as a gasket between the sections. Here's a helpful link from the Virtual Weber Bullet site:

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