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Basic WSM charcoal guidelines

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I just finished putting together my shiny new 18.5" WSM. I'm brand spanking new to charcoal smoking and am curious whether anyone could help me out with some general guidelines for how much charcoal I will need for different meats (baby backs, pulled pork, whole chicken). I know it can be dependent on the size of the meat so maybe it's easier to ask for how much charcoal I'd need for various length smokes (3, 5, 10, 20)...

I apologize if this has already been summarized somewhere but I'm using an app on my iPod to look at the boards and I can't figure out how to conduct a search.

post #2 of 5

I usually fill mine up and then close all the vents when the smoke is done.


Save what's left for the next smoke.


Congrats on the 18.5.


I have one and love it..


Just started an all nite smoke for the first time a few minutes ago. 



post #3 of 5

Same here, when you close all the vents the fire goes out & you can use the charcoal & wood the next time.

post #4 of 5

Like the others said. I fill it and I don't have to worry about reloading if I didn't put enough. I noticed tough that when I close all vents and let the WSM cool down, I get rust like residues on the side and lid . Removing CAREFULLY the water pan before closing all vents seems to take care of the problem.

post #5 of 5

I basically have two load methods for my WSM: Full, and Half Full. Half full load is for any smoke less than 10 hrs., Full ring for the rest.

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