My iQue 110 finally came in today so I had no choice but to do a quick smoke to try my new toy out. I rubbed a four and a half pound chicken down with a basic homemade dry rub and while I was at it I did the same to a small pack of chicken breast strips. I placed the chicken on a can of ginger ale (beer can chicken style) and then I placed the bird in the fridge with the strips while I got the WSM and iQue 110 combo ready.
I used about 8 pounds of charcoal since this was going to be a short cook. I used the minion method and started with 15 lit briquettes. Before I continue I'd like to point out that I did everything the iQue's manual said to do. I closed both front bottom vents 100%, closed the third vent to 50% that the air manifold connected to and left the top lid vent just barely cracked. I then placed 2 small chunks of hickory on the coals and assembled the cooker.
I did not put water in the water pan, but I did foil it for easy cleanup. I ran the probe to the iQue through one of the cracked slots in the lid vent and attached it to the middle of the top grate. Everything was set so I plugged in the iQue and set it at 250. Off it went to get the WSM up to temp and this is where things went sour. Immediately I noticed thick white smoke bellowing out from everywhere on the cooker. The bottom section, under the lid, all around the door, both of the bottom vents that I closed 100% and even around the edges of the lid thermometer.
Seeing this pretty much through me for a loop as my first smoke on the unit (without the iQue) went great and I didn't have a single air leak anywhere. Needless to say both the strips and the whole chicken were extremely bitter and almost inedible. I might be turned off from hickory for quite some time now. Anyway, the iQue 110 did what it was supposed to do and overall I was impressed with the unit. With that said, what in the sam hell could have caused the WSM to be completely air tight the first go round and a leaky mess the second time out? This has got me confused beyond belief.