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WSM cold weather - Page 2

post #21 of 39

i live in Charlotte, NC.  Lately, it's been really cold here (for us).  Weather in the 30's.  I've used it very well, with no issue.  I've even used in in the rain.  The WSM is a solid tank, once it gets going, it'll stay hot.

post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Ordered mine from amazon yesterday as well as the maverick from Todd! Can't wait to season her up and start playing!
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk21 View Post

Ordered mine from amazon yesterday as well as the maverick from Todd! Can't wait to season her up and start playing!


Brother, you are seriously going to enjoy your WSM.  I got mine from Amazon a year ago and I've put it through some serious smokes.  There's a great website which is dedicated to the WSM.  I don't think that I can mention it here but I'll send you a private message.  If you have any questions on using it, just hit me up.  Heck, I can talk about the WSM for hours and hours...

post #24 of 39

I have an 18.5 inch WSM and tried it yesterday in relatively cold weather for the first time.  I use a BBQ Genie Party Q for temp control.  I used Kingsford Charcoal and Cherry wood chips mixed together for fuel.  The temp was in the mid 40's.  The hottest that I could get the smoker was 220 degrees.  What did I do wrong???

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humperdump View Post
 

I have an 18.5 inch WSM and tried it yesterday in relatively cold weather for the first time.  I use a BBQ Genie Party Q for temp control.  I used Kingsford Charcoal and Cherry wood chips mixed together for fuel.  The temp was in the mid 40's.  The hottest that I could get the smoker was 220 degrees.  What did I do wrong???

Wow...I have the same size smoker as you and i was cooking @ 350 with a 19 lb bird and could have gotten way way way hotter in 20* weather.  You're doing something wrong because weather wasn't a factor.  Did you use water?    Try it with out the Party Q also. 

post #26 of 39
If it is really cold out do not use water in the pan, it is just one more thing to absorb heat. I use the Minion method and don't skimp on the coals, they will snuff out when the vents are closed at the end of the smoke and you can re-ignite them on the next smoke.
post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRyan1877 View Post

If it is really cold out do not use water in the pan, it is just one more thing to absorb heat. I use the Minion method and don't skimp on the coals, they will snuff out when the vents are closed at the end of the smoke and you can re-ignite them on the next smoke.

Doesn't the water act as a heat shield? Does one need to out something in place of the water
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk21 View Post


Doesn't the water act as a heat shield? Does one need to out something in place of the water

Not really.  My mini smoker, jumbo mini and UDS all use this type of thing....and i can go with out it but it does "diffuse" spread out the heat.  You control temp with air not the water.

post #29 of 39

When it is really cold you can go with water, but, the water will try to keep the temps down when you are trying to get the temps to stay high. If you want to use any type of heat sink, use a terracotta dish in place of the water pan and that will hold the heat and your job will be to monitor the heat by slowly adjusting the vents until you get the perfect setting. Then your job will be to drink beer and agitate your spouse.

post #30 of 39

Here are a few things to consider when you cannot get the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker to run higher than 200°F:

 

 

Increase Airflow Into The Cooker
Open the three bottom vents fully to allow more air into the cooker. This increases combustion of charcoal and thus increases cooker temperature. You can also try propping open the access door to let in more air.

 

Weather And Wind Exposure Affect Temperature
Take weather and wind conditions into account when determining how much charcoal to use, how and when to adjust the bottom vents, and where to physically locate the cooker.

The WSM will require more fuel on a cool, damp day than on a warm, sunny one. Wind, more so than cold air temps, will rob the cooker of heat. Move the cooker to a sheltered location or install a wind break, start with more hot briquettes to begin with, and open the bottom vents more than usual.

 

Change Amount Or Type Of Fuel
The WSM will run too cool if too little fuel is used for the amount of meat being cooked. Especially during the early stages of cooking, the meat will absorb a lot of heat energy, causing the cooker temp to drop significantly. Firing up 1 chimney of charcoal to cook a 13-pound brisket plus two 8-pound pork butts just won't cut it—you've got too much meat, not enough heat.

Some people find that even with the charcoal chamber filled to overflowing, the cooker won't hold 225-250°F for more than a couple of hours. If this is your problem, try switching to a different type or brand of fuel. Some brands of charcoal briquettes burn much hotter than others. Kingsford seems to be the brand that burns hottest, longest, and most consistently, and it's readily available throughout the United States. If you're using a different brand, try a bag of Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquets in the blue bag and see if this solves the problem.

Lump charcoal can sometimes present difficulties because it does not always burn long or consistently. It generally burns hotter and faster than briquettes, but may drop off in temperature after a few hours, requiring the addition of more fuel. Try switching to another brand of lump to see if it provides a better result. Otherwise, try charcoal briquettes instead, which are manufactured to provide long, consistent heat.

 

Check Location Of Water Pan
Make sure the water pan is placed in the middle cooking section on the lowest set of flanges, right beneath the bottom cooking grate.

post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 
Man I can't say enough good things about this forum! Thanks for the help everyone! All to often you end up dealing with snobby people on these things, I've especially noticed that with outdoor forums because people want to keep their secrets. Everyone here has been awesome thus far and I sincerely thank you all!
post #32 of 39

Thanksgiving morning, 11 degrees F, two eight pound turkey breast. Used the water pan. No trouble maintaining 240, even peaked at 270. One vent 25%, one vent 10%, one fully closed. Top vent 100% open. Used Royal Oak lump. Biggest thing was no wind. May want to verify your temperature gauge. It does use more coals at lower temps.

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humperdump View Post
 

I have an 18.5 inch WSM and tried it yesterday in relatively cold weather for the first time.  I use a BBQ Genie Party Q for temp control.  I used Kingsford Charcoal and Cherry wood chips mixed together for fuel.  The temp was in the mid 40's.  The hottest that I could get the smoker was 220 degrees.  What did I do wrong???


I think you probably didn't have enough lit coals to start the fire with. I light up a half a chimney and let it get glowing red, then dump in the middle of my ring of lump charcoal. Drop some un-lit on the top just to be sure and give it at least 30 mins. Check the temp and if it's running too hot, stir up your fire and see if that will slow it's burn, if not use some welders gloves and pull out some lit charcoal and put it back in your chimney.

 

So far I've always ran with all vents open on my WSM and have had no problems with controlling temps. Starting off with the right amount of lit coals for your cook has been one of the best methods of having and maintaining proper smoker temps.

post #34 of 39

agreed, the colder the temp is outside the hotter you need to start the fire. I cook butts and briskets overnight while I sleep. Difference in temp outside changes fuel. For example: Summer i load charcoal in a tight packed ring with an opening where you can see the bottom grate.  Light 5 briskets of charcoal in chimney get them red hot and place them in the opening, making sure atleast one red hot piece touches an un-lit one. All dappers open. When smoker get to 200, I back dappers down to where they are all barely open. Place my meat on, and watch temp for 2 hours and make SMALL adjustments every half hour to dappers to get temp where i want it then I go to sleep. Wake up 8 hours and temp is within 10-20 deg lower than where i left it, Meat temp is 150-160deg, at this point I foil both with liquid then rake coals as i wont need to add fuel to get meat to reach 195-205deg. Now in the winter everything is the same except 2 things, 1. The number of lit charcoal in chimney starter, instead of 5 I use half to 3/4 full chimney. 2. Wind. Cold wind makes me have to mess with the dappers more before I go to sleep.  In the summer they are barely open, in the winter they seem to be half open (except the dial facing the wind thjis one i leave barely open) when i wake up i barely have fuel left and need to add more. I have bought a welders blanket with will act as a wind shield but haven't used it yet.

 

Tips to get the fire hotter once smoker is doing its thing:

-open up fuel door, this will add air as you see lit charcoals glow hotter once you have opened it, but keep an eye on this can make everything light and temps can shoot to 300+

-Add wood to fire, this will catch on fire and shoot temp up

-load up chimney starter and add more lit charcoal to other lit charcoal, try not to dump it anywhere use tongs or a shovel to direct it to be placed on top of lit fuel.

 

biggest problem i had when i started was leaving the smoker alone. The key is small adjustments with WSM using dials or dappers at the bottom as I call them. Remember every movement with those dials will take atleast 15 mins to change temp, make the movements very slight and wait or you will be chase down temps which is a pain. 

post #35 of 39

I lived up north for years.  I remember smoking in -20 below several times.  You really rip through the fuel...key is staying out of the wind.

 

Today it 73.  I don't miss winter at all.

 

My new motto is: you can't shovel sunshine!

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk21 View Post

Man I can't say enough good things about this forum! Thanks for the help everyone! All to often you end up dealing with snobby people on these things, I've especially noticed that with outdoor forums because people want to keep their secrets. Everyone here has been awesome thus far and I sincerely thank you all!

What part of MN are you from?

 

I lived up near WIlliams close to Lake of the Woods...

post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk21 View Post

Ordered mine from amazon yesterday as well as the maverick from Todd! Can't wait to season her up and start playing!

Maverick was on sale for 47.99(still is) maybe Todd will pricematch that for you....

post #38 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmofo View Post

What part of MN are you from?



I lived up near WIlliams close to Lake of the Woods...

Not that far north but I do spend a fair amount if time up that way! I live on the good old iron range near Eveleth.
Edited by bk21 - 12/3/13 at 1:54am
post #39 of 39
Thread Starter 

Well just did my first overnight and woke up to -21F and dead calm wind conditions. Wsm hovered around 230 all night long with a full load, I just replenished the fire to finishe the cook. Around 8.5 hours on a full load of fuel in -21, I'll take that any day! I just can't say enough good things about this smoker!
Edited by bk21 - 2/8/14 at 3:18pm
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