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WSM with Stoker runs hot

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been having some problems with my 18" WSM running hot and getting away from me.  I do have a stoker and it works great for a few hours, but whenever I need to open the lid for more than a few seconds it heats up to around 300+ and has a hard time cooling down.  Yesterday I was doing ribs 3-2-1 and temps where perfect until I had to pull the racks out to foil them.  By the time I got all 8 racks off the temp on the smoker went up to 300 and it never cooled down.  I think the lowest the temp got was around 230 and held for the rest of the cook.

 

Not sure if i'm using too many coals or if it's the wood chunks that's causing the problem, but I basically use 1/2 of a chimney of lit coals and around 2 chimney's of unlit coals.  I push all the unlit coals to one side and drop in 3 softball size chunks of soaked wood on top.  Then I pour in the half chimney on the side that doesn't have any coals as at. 

 

On a side note where is the best place to put the temp probe from the stoker to get accurate readings. 

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Although I got several views I didn't get a single reply so I thought I would post my finding for others.

 

Basically I've only fired my WSM a hand full of times and it didn't seem to have a good amount of seasoning built up on the smoker so I was dealing with the heat reflection problem.  A good amount of PAM sprayed on the smoker before the last 2 long cooks seemed to have helped quit a bit.

post #3 of 6

I didn't see this post unitl now.   I think you've found that seasoning is your issue.  Henry Soo has a really good seasoning routine. Your PAM idea sounds like a good one as well.  I recommend some fatties or some bacon for a nice greasy smoke ...or trim a brisket and put the fat on the top grate with the brisket on the lower rack to baste the meat while building up a season.  As it ages it will be rock solid for hours.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

No worries I actually got a tip from Benny who was Harry's assistant for many years.  Ironically I actually sold their old comp smoker they used before getting WSM's in order to purchase my new WSM.  Small world.

post #5 of 6

Outstanding!  I sent Henry an email with a question a while back and he responded the next day.  Great competitor and just a regular guy.

post #6 of 6

I don't have a Stoker, I have a BBQ Guru for my WSM, but I may have some info that will help.  Does your power draft fan run at all while you have the smoker open?  If so there is the cause of your heat spike.  The temp probe at the grate senses the lower temp due to the lid being off and thinks the fire is choking out so it pours on the air via the fan stoking the coals hotter and hotter. I've had it happen with a Guru before even though it's "supposed" to be able to sense the lid is open and not think the temps are crashing.  If I know I'm going to have the lid off my WSM I will also pull the lead from the Guru to the fan. 

 

Just don't forget to plug it back in when you are done.

 

And as to having problems getting the WSM to tame down after a heat spike, are you running an empty water pan or a flower pot base?  Both of those are harder to pull back down after a spike than a water pan full of water.  Water moderates the temps as it takes a lot more energy to change water from it's liquid state to a vapor.  Once a clay flower pot base heats up there is not much to pull it back down.

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