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Wood to use for Boston Butt and whole Briskey on 22.5 WSM

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

New to the forum but been smoking for a while and come here to read quite a bit.  Just got a 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain and am doing a 8lb Butt and 13.5 whole brisket...trim my briskets quite a bit so probably 11lbs or so when I put it on.  I've smoked both meats separately but never together on my offsets.


From what I've read the Butt is better on the top grate.  Main question is what wood or wood combinations work best for pork and brisket together?  I'm in TX so have used a lot of Mesquite and some Hickory for briskets.  I have some Pecan and Apple chunks and have heard they make a good combo.


Also, anyone w/ experience on the WSM that has any tips to keep in mind would be appreciated.  I've ran a couple dry smokes to get familiar w/ temps and looks like lower grate stays just a little cooler than the upper.


Appreciate any replies!

post #2 of 12

I'm a hickory & oak guy. I use it on everything. 


I also smoke my butts & brisket in pans sitting in their own juices.


IMHO they come out more juicy that way.


I'm sure your going to get a lot of opinions on this.



post #3 of 12
hickory or pecan would be fantastic for both. Pecan is just a step above hickory for my tastes though.
post #4 of 12

Im a big of using a pan on the WSM but instead of just a pan i use a rib/roasting rack with a pan underneath it which allows the smoke around the entire piece of meat. the pan keeps the juices off the other piece of meat. i would trim the butt a little and brisket quite a bit(sounds like you have) and put the put in the roaster rack with a pan underneath on the top rack and the brisket on the bottom straight on the grill grate.


here is a link to the rib/roasting rack made by weber (which is also great for when you want to smoke 5 racks of ribs and something else on the WSM 22!)





Happy Smoking,

phatbac (Aaron)

post #5 of 12
I personally like oak or hickory for butts and brisket. I would put the butt on the bottom rack with a full pan of water under it. The brisket is going to finish faster than the butt most likely and it would be easier to check it and take it off if it is on top rack. There is also going to be a lot of grease coming off that butt and dripping down on your brisket if you put the butt on top.

Your smoker will cook a long time on a full bed of charcoal using the minion method. If your heat drops down late in the cook, sometimes you can tap the cooker legs with something metal and it will get your coals to drop the ash and heat up more.

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post #6 of 12

Both at the same time?  Hickory.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies and apologies on the delayed follow up.  Meat came out great...brisket I'm pretty consistent with but haven't done a butt in a while and was please with the results.  


Ended up putting the brisket on lower rack of WSM and butt on the upper.  Will definitely change next time as butt took longer and drips much more than the brisket (thought did put on rack on top of a pan to prevent dripping all over brisket).  Used both hickory and some cherry...went a little light on the wood since 1st time w/ meat on this smoker and didn't want to over smoke. Had a little smoke flavor but could have used a little more for my taste.  Liked the mix and definitely not as bold as when I've used mesquite.  


WSM held the heat great w/ simple vent adjustments for about 5hrs after which I jostled the remaining coals a bit and got another hour out of it before adding a handful or two of briquettes.  


Thought a bit odd that the lower cooking rack had the highest temp followed by the upper cooking rack followed by the temp gauge in the lid.  I realize the lid gauge may be off but seemed fairly accurate based on other thermometers I'd place on the racks as well as through the side insert.  Guess makes sense since lower is closest to coals and, since this is a vertical and not an offset, the heat will be greater at the lower levels.


Sorry no pics and I'll get better w/ the replies.  Appreciate the info and y'all have a great Easter weekend!



post #8 of 12

Glad it all worked out for you!


Next time get your camera out & take some photo's!


We all like to see whats going on with your smoke.



post #9 of 12

Did you use the water pan with water in it?  That really helps regulate temps a lot and keeps the beef more moist.  

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
No water with this one. Read a few articles of the opinion they couldn't tell a difference and thought got a better crust w/out water...also less clean up. Doing another now and taking pics. Will be posting soon. Thanks for touching base!
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by JonBoysBBQ View Post

also less clean up. 


I'm assuming you DO still leave the water pan in even though you don't put water in it?  It does work good as a baffle between your coals and meat.  I always just line mine with a new piece of foil before the cook.  When done, just throw it away.  I've also filled water pan with sand and covered with foil to help stabilize cooker for longer cooks.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I used it.  Wrapped in double layer of foil.  Had a cheap Brinkman's bullet smoker back in the day so I'm familiar w/ the setup.  Never thought about sand.  Smoked a brisket yesterday and heat got higher than I wanted early on and couldn't get it down enough so added water about an hour in to the smoke.  Seemed to help regulate a bit.



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