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WSM Question

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone here has ran the WSM using sand instead of water? I was thinking of giving this a try but figured I'd ask around first.
post #2 of 17
I have a couple times.Did not notice a huge difference in finished ribs,butt except you have to get good at replenishing water on longer smokes.If you re-fill a near empty water pan 3/4 into a smoke it can be hard to get temps up if fuel is low....The sand is a continuos heat sink..I run mine with empty pan on poultry for higher temps.I think i figured it out once that a full water pan will take 30-40 degree of heat off a probe on top grate....

I still have not tried the clay pot either...

My bro swears by beer in his pan
post #3 of 17
I've never done sand. But I do love beer and/or fruit juices in the water pan. I've thought of doing it dry or with sand for my ribs as they sometimes are a little too tender. But for most of the things I smoke, I like the moist environment, especially beef and poultry.
post #4 of 17
I've done sand and it works great. Make sure that when you open fire door, spritz apple cider/water mixture into upper cooking area on meat to add some moisture.

The sand needs to be sterile play sand. Do not use construction or leveling sand. The bag must say sterile play sand on it. Also cover the sand with foil for easy clean up. Don't let meat juices drip into it, or you'll be replacing it more often.
post #5 of 17
I always use juice in my water pan. Never open to spritz but if I have to open up for something I will spritz. I've not used sand but I have filled the water bowl with lava rock for drying jerky and it seemed to work great.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
On a some what related note; what brand, type, of charcoal do you fellows find runs best in your WSM?
post #7 of 17
I always use Seven Oaks Lump. It's a local charcoal, so it may be tough to find. But I'd recommend a good quality lump charcoal. I've used Kingsford Charwood Lump before with pretty good results. You should be able to find that.

Check out this site
and see what they recommend that you can find in your area.

edit: I just saw that you're in Illinois, so you may be able to find the Seven Oaks. Call around and see if you can find it. It's made in southern Iowa by a couple of sisters. At least that's what the guy told me where I buy it. Apparently they load up pallets into a truck and deliver it themselves. Capitalism at work.
post #8 of 17
I run natural briquetts or natural lump i can get cheap thru a comp source.Humphreys brand out of pennsylvania.10 cents on the dollar so i run the highest quality....

It makes a huge difference IMHO especially if minnioning.I use the kingsford comp if nothing else available.The blue bag kingsford compared to the kingsford competition brand is shocking if you light a funnel of each-side by side.The blue bag is cheap,but full of fillers...Have you ever seen the Virtual Webber Bullet web site...they have alot of compaerisons- techniques,not that i am promoting it..
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, I have read both sites listed. There are a lot of folks over at the virtual bullet that swears by the Kingsford blue bag. I've tried it and it's ok. Today I tried some RO bricks and I'm on the fence with those.

There's not much available around these parts other than Kingsford and RO.

I take that back, there is also Cowboy lump and Stumps bricks.
post #10 of 17
I've nver tried Cowboy, but lots of people swear by it. It gets good ratings on Naked Whiz too. Where in IL are you?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm in Wilmington, about 60 miles south of Chicago right off I 55.
post #12 of 17
I've never used briquets. Always been told that the more natural the better. At least then you know there's nothing added that could impart some flavors to your cook. But then again, Kingsford Blue bag proabably sells more charcoal nationwide than any other. So what do I know. LOL Guess I just feel better using a little higher quality product. Plus I like the way the lump burns using the Minion Method.
post #13 of 17
If you really want to try the Seven Oaks, these guys will probably ship it to you.

post #14 of 17
I have a bag of cowboy half full from 3 years ago if you want iticon_wink.gif

I used to use blue bag before i got an excellent source.People always told me at comps certain judges could smell it/taste it...Then again myron mixon started his charcoal with lighter fluid the other nite on the comp bbq show and won the thing...PDT_Armataz_01_03.gif

My sisters comp team loves wicked good charcoal(natural) from maine.Once again expensive,but they buy it by the pallet.....

I am always experimenting myself.I do think a natural briquett with no chemical fillers burns cleaner-longer though...
post #15 of 17
I use naturaly pressed briquett.The same company Humphreys makes my lump.The briquett allows me to pack more evenly with same clean burn-like lump and less temp spikes when opening lid-Man i am anal.....However i have a UDS style fuel basket i made for my WSM....lots of cool mods on our rigs....
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think I'll pick up a bag of the different brands I can find and see what works best. I do want to be able to get the charcoal locally.
post #17 of 17
I use Cowboys Charcoal. Available at Lowes.
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