Finally got the 22.5 WSM in the mail yesterday, it's BIG. First smoke will be some rids and a boston butt. I've read most of the WSM threads but if anyine has any WSM tips let know. I'll let you know how it turns out. First time smoking a Butt. Plan on following the instructions on the sticky and using the finishing sauce. Thanks for all the advice, GREAT website
got the 22.5 WSM yesterday
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Here is a tip, if you have not ever had a water smoker. If you see your temps start going really high then check your water pan, it may be low on water. To verify the grate temps use a temp probe thru a potato or a block of wood.
Got it at HomeDepot because I had a couple gift certs to help pay for it and they give a 10% Mil discount. But it was cheaper at http://www.aimtofind.com/category/grills-and-smokers/barbecue-smokers/weber-22-5-inch-smokey-mountain-cooker-pn-731001-2010-model.html by a little. Thanks for the tips
Trial run, 2 racks beef rib on the smoker right now. Followed the advise and foiled the watrer pan, thanks. Quick question for WSM users -Temps been rock steady at 220 for 2 hours and then the temp started slowly creeping up to 250. The water bowl still has water and I had to close all 3 bottom vents all the way to bring it down to 225. Is it normal to close the vents all the way down. (top vent is full open) All is well and is been SO much easier than my chargriller, just curious.
Yeah.... I usually have them 1/4 open to start (once I have the fire lit), then a lot of times I end up closing either all 3 or at least 2 all the way. That usually keeps it running around 200-210° for hours, and hours on end. Check it after about 8-10 hrs. if the temps start to drop gently kick the bottom of the smoker with your shoe to knock some ash down and open one of the vents about 1/2 way, temps should come back up just fine.
Also for some reason they seem to run hotter when new, and also they do run hotter if you use lump.
Just got my 18 1/2" WSM. Reading through the doc's indicated lump charcoal is not recommended.
I'm going out this afternoon to get some supplies.
What's the consensus on charcoal type? Brickettes or lump?
You can use lump, just fine and a lot of people prefer it. With lump just make sure you load the ring 1/2 way then rotate back and forth a bit to settle it and help it pack in better, fill the rest of the way and rotate it some more. When you light it keep a real close eye on it, it will come up to temp much faster than briquets, and if it gets away from you it is really, really hard to get the temp to come back down. You will also run with the vents closed down a lot more than if you had briquets. I like to use lump when I am doing chicken because of the higher heat.
Briquets burn slower and more uniform, and pack into the ring in a more uniform manner as well. I use briquets when I do brisket or big pork shoulders, anything taking over 8 hrs. to cook. With my 22.5" WSM I can get 18-20 hrs. on one ring of briquets with it running at 200° on the lid therm. If you use briquets try to get the Royal Oak red bag briquets, they have less binders in them then the kingsford blue bag and burn cleaner IMHO. If you cant get the RO the Kingsford blue bag works fine as well.
You can also do a mix of briquets and lump at the same time.
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Suggestion to all new WSM owners.
Get another Charcoal Grate (doesn't have to be Weber, just about the same size). Lay one grate on the other with the rods running at right angles. Put the charcoal ring on top and wire the whole mess together (I use rebar attaching wires, $5/100 at HD) Now your charcoal basket is all one unit and less unburnt will drop thru.
Edited by stl-rich - 9/3/10 at 12:06pm
smoking a boston butt on the WSM and can't keep the temp below 245-250. all the bottom vents are closed, the acces door fits pretty good, and the water pan is full. started it with only about 15 pieces of charcoal. Top vent is full open. Any thoughts, I've hear always keep the top vent full open. Will cloing it down a little decrease the air available to the fire and cool it down a little. I've heard WSM run hot the first could of run.
smoking the B Butt as per the forim sticky, I'll let you know.