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Got my new WSM 22.5" - Page 2

post #21 of 39

Hmmm...I know exactly what you mean by flaking. Better fuel economy too? That's a selling point, for sure. Maybe I won't need my apple juice jugs anymore!

post #22 of 39
I used to use water in mine. It definitely helps some with the temp control and keeps the meat moist but it was such a pain to clean I switched to sand. Put sand in the bowl and cover it with foil. Sand is a great heat sink and with the foil it's easy to clean. Just my two cents worth. I'll never go back to water in the pan.
post #23 of 39
Definitely no water in the pan
post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 
So would you guys be suggesting that I fill my pan with sand and foil it? I was going to use water, but I like the sound of all the pros a clay pot or sand has to offer. What kind if clay pot do you use? Do you have a pic of the setup? What kind of sand to use?
post #25 of 39
I use a terra cotta flower pot saucer. My last cook I got 17 hours on a full load of lump this way. I think I could have gone longer but the food was done. The bottom vents are barely open and the top vent is about 50 to 75% open. As long as the top vent is open more than the bottom you will still draw fresh air thru the bottom as the hot air exits the top (chimney). It is rock solid temps-wise. I graphed that cook with my iGrill and it averaged 230* but never went over 247*. I even slept (with alarms set - that never went off) and played golf (SWMBO was home monitoring it for me).

Oh by the way... I feel bad your thread got hijacked. You're gonna love the new cooker. The first few cooks will run hot but do some chickens cause they like higher temps and the chicken splatter will help build your seasoning. Pork butts are good to build up a seasoning as well. I remove the fat cap completely to get more bark but put the fat on the cooker so it will do its seasoning job.

I like Stubb's better than Kingsford as well. I get a clean burning fire faster with Stubb's. But best of all IMHO is lump. Very clean and long lasting in my set up. Since you got the extra charcoal grate to create the cross hatch you're ready to go.

Here you can see my foiled water pan and foiled clay sauce placed in the pan upside down.



Here is the clay saucer removed from the cooker


Edited by Bama BBQ - 8/18/13 at 5:39am
post #26 of 39

I wouldn't say hijacked...after all, it's a WSM thread. I surely appreciate the advice and the pictures. I'd bet that TwoBeanBBQ does, too!

post #27 of 39

Hey, TwoBeanBBQ: Are you smoking the pork butts today? I'm anxious to see some pictures, or at least hear how it went. But keep in mind that they say if there are no pictures, it never happened.

 

If you start a new thread for it, let me know. Good luck!

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
I put the butts in about an hour ago. Got off to a late start, might be a long night and morning ahead. I feel like I may have put too much wood, the smoke is thicker than I like to see. It's running a little hot, but it's pretty hot here in good ole humid New Orleans. I'll start a thread with the before pics of the butts and add to it as I go.

Bama, no apologies necessary. I love all of this information, what size is the terra cotta pot? I'm running water in the pan since the smoker is running hot. I will definitely start using lump, I read some things saying that its hard to do long smokes because they burn out so fast, but that doesn't sound like the case. So what does SWMBO mean? I need to go to the store and go to sleep so I'm wondering how I can do those things in the future and not lose temps. This iGrill sounds like the bees knees.
post #29 of 39
When you're running hot cut down air don't add water. Whose idea it was to do water pans needs to retire from the grill designing profession. Technically you could run your wsm with out anything.
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
I've been running it for two hours now. All vents are just about closed except for the top. The one facing away from wind is maybe 1/4 open, another is closed, and the other just smaller than 1/4 and it wants to stay between 285-290. I hope this doesn't mess the butts up. The bark was looking beautiful, I had to pull the top off to let some hot air it it shot up over 325 and that helped. No fire lit up, but I'm worried that I might not make the full smoke without adding fuel. They burned faster this time. Any suggestions or ideas? I'm probably going to foil the butts in a couple hours.
post #31 of 39
You're getting air leaks somewhere.. Could be your door or could be leaking by your vents. To start and as a temporary measure I'd take foil tape and cover your door frame.. If that didn't work I'd cover the vents you're not using until you can figure out where the worst leak is.
post #32 of 39
Also the vent that's 1/4 open close it to an 1/8 and see if it settles down.
post #33 of 39
Thread Starter 
It can't be the vents I have a box shielding them. It's starting to balance out, the dome reads lower than my thermometer by the grate, which is weird. Could be a hot spot, I probed the butt when I opened the lid and its reading 161 right now and it's only been 3 hours. That hot temp got it moving, the bark looks set so I might foil it. I did see a lot of smoke coming from around the lid, maybe it just needs to gunk up more.
post #34 of 39
Bean yes you can have vents closed and they can still leak air. You also need a accurate therm.
post #35 of 39
Thread Starter 
I used two different thermometers on the butts and they're both around 155. Opening the lid must've lit up the bed of charcoals more cuz now the dome reads 300 and I have. I adjusted the vents like you said and its slowly starting to drop so that's good. I guess whenever the butts read 160 I'll foil them. I'm not typically a foiler, but I don't want it to stall because of these fluctuating temps. I got the WSM specifically because of its easy and long temp control, but it has somewhat failed me today. I'm outside every twenty minutes like my old offset smoker. Hopefully this run seasons it well and closes up the lid leak.
post #36 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if it helps, but I've closed all the vents off and put the charcoals out before without any kind of wind shield. I hope my vents don't have a leak, I saw the mod for the door I should definitely look into that.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBeanBBQ View Post

Bama, no apologies necessary. I love all of this information, what size is the terra cotta pot? I'm running water in the pan since the smoker is running hot. I will definitely start using lump, I read some things saying that its hard to do long smokes because they burn out so fast, but that doesn't sound like the case. So what does SWMBO mean? I need to go to the store and go to sleep so I'm wondering how I can do those things in the future and not lose temps. This iGrill sounds like the bees knees.

I use lump successfully for long cook no prob.

I think my saucer is 16". Get the one that fills up the pan.

SWMBO = she who must be obeyed (aka the CEO)

If it runs hot the first few times don't worry. Close the vents more and don't be afraid to use the top vent to reduce the chimney effect. Until it builds up a seasoning it will leak and run hot.

Pork butt is very forgiving. Stick with the cook and do 9 more and of will seal up and be more predictable. I guarantee it's better than your other cooker.
post #38 of 39
I know you gotta be frustrated. I don't know what temp probes you used or how you started your fire but this is what I'd suggest.

1) Don't trust your dome therm use a Maverick or igrill
2)Start with 12 lit coals or less and choke down on air when you're 25-50 degrees of target temp
3) look forleaks
post #39 of 39
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to have to grab an iGrill. I got a master forge thermometer with the wireless receiver. I should do the boiling water and ice water test on it, but I have a brinkmann instant read that's pretty accurate. That's my back up for the meat, I need a better grill thermometer.

Bama, I'm loving thy acronym I'll have to pad that one on to my gf. She'll be keeping an eye in my temp when I go on a beer run.

I may have started with too many lit coals. When it was smoking heavily I saw smoke come from the lid and a little bit from the door but not an alarming amount. I certainly believe its better than the other cooker. I just have some learning to do. I don't think I'm going to foil the butts at all, should I spritz or is the water in the water pan good enough?
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