First Smoke

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I brought home my 22.5" WSM smoker this past Friday, seasoned it yesterday and put on a 5LB pork butt this morning before I went to Church. The temp was 205 F when I left and when I got back a little over 3 hours later it was still at 205! I added 3 slabs of spares on the top grate and as I assumed the temp went down to about 195 F.


This is my first smoke and I'm totally thrilled but I don't want to screw it up. I checked the heat source and my wood is gone and all coals are ashed over. I added about 3-4 more small wood chunks.


Any suggestions? Dinner is at 7 so I got about 5+ hours until soup.

post #2 of 13
Don't trust the therm in the lid!!! The one I have reads hotter than it is when I cold smoke and is 30 to 50 degrees off, on the cold side, when I hot smoke...

I don't know how you keeping track of your temps so I can't give you anymore advice.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a Maverick remote thermometer that I'm about to insert in the pork butt since it has been in the s'more over 4 hours. I guess I will just worry about getting the IT to 190 F
post #4 of 13
I've done tons of ribs but I've never done a pulled pork in any of my smokers. So, I am not an expert on this! Hopefully someone will pop in and offer better advice than I can give.

Having said that I'd bump your temps up to 225 or 230. Also, from what I've read here 190 for a butt is for slicing. You're probably going to go to 200 to 205 for pulled.

I'll be following your smoke. Good luck! I hope it turns out awesome...
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
It's up to about 212 F now, I have all the vents open; do I just add more wood to get the temp up? I don't want too much smoke (the wife doesn't like too much smoke).
post #6 of 13
Don't add more wood! If you need more heat light half a chimney of charcoal and add to your basket. You could add some unlit as well and then regulate the heat using the lower vents. Don't be afraid to put more charcoal than you are going to need! After the butt and ribs are done you should be able to shut down all the vents and put out the fire. Whatever charcoal isn't usef will be for your next smoke...
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Awesome , thanks. I filled a chimney 3/4 full and am waiting for them to heat up; I will also add some unlit coals.

Thanks a ton!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

First smoked turn out awesome, what an amazing smoker. Sorry I didn't take any pics but will the next time. The pork butt and the ribs were the best I ever made and the wife is now a believer of smoked meats (wasn't until now). She is now asking , "what's next?".

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I forgot my daughter took some pic of my first smoke - here is pork butt all pulled apart and ready for consumption.


post #10 of 13

Looks good... out of curiosity how were you setting up your smoker and how much lit charcoal did you start with?


I usually take a 20 lb. bag of charcoal, fill up a chimney starter, then dump the rest into the charcoal ring, once the chimney is fully lit dump that on top of the charcoal ring in a pile. That should run for a long time at 250° with no input from you other than adding wood for smoke. My longest run to date was approx. 22-23 hours on one bag of charcoal, but that was on a warm/hot summer night with no wind. I usually can go at least 18+ hours without any problems at all.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 



I did a little research before making my first smoke (did a dry run the day before) and I used the Minion Method where I filled up the charcoal ring about 3/4 fill with my extra chimney in the center and added 4-5 apple wood chunks on the top of the unlit coals. I then filled my other chimney about 3/4 full and fired up those coals. I removed my 2nd chimney and  dumped the light coals in it's place. I used a (1) 16 LB bag of Kingsford competition briquettes and added another 3/4 full chimney of lit coals at the 9 hour point. So I only got about 9 hours of consistent temperatures around 215 F before I had to refuel (Keep in mind I started in the AM when it was around 38 F outside and through the afternoon when it got up to around 56 - 58 F.)


What kind of charcoal did you use? I should be able to get more burn than I did.

post #12 of 13

I use Kingsford Blue Bag mostly. I fill my ring half way, put 4 or 5 chunks of wood on, then dump the rest of the charcoal on top of the wood. Then I dump half a chimney of fully lit charcoal on top, keep it sort of piled in the middle. Cold isn't to much of a problem with the WSM, but wind is your enemy! For winter smoking I wrap my WSM in a 6 ft. x 8 ft. welding blanket - that lets me run with two vents closed one vent open and a 20 lb. load of charcoal will last approx. 18 hrs.


post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am smoking my first set of birds today (I bought the dual whole chickens from Costco). This will be the second time I have used my 22.5" WSM. I plan on using the beer can method which I have successfully done several times on my Char-grilled charcoal grill with indirect heat without wood chunks. This would be the first time I have ever smoked beer can chicken. I would appreciate advice on the type of wood, temperature, prepping the chicken, anything to make it moist and flavorful.