Have a quick question. I have a ECB and the wife bought me a 22.5 WSM. In the past I have always used Lump charcoal. The manuel for the WSM advises not to use lump, but another site advises that is all they use on the WSM. Is there any reason why one say not to and the other says it is ok??
New WSM 22.5
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First of all congrats! Sounds like you got a mighty fine wife to give you such a nice present!
You can use lump in your WSM no problem, I have used both in my 22.5 WSM. Couple of pointers if you use lump:
- Load the ring about 1/2 full then rotate the ring back and forth a bit to get the lump to settle and fill in the gaps. Finish filling the ring and repeat the rotation process. If you don't get the lump to pack tightly you start to run out before your longer cooks are done.
- Lump comes up to temperature a lot faster than briquets, so make sure you put the midde section on, get water into the pan, and get the lid on about 10 minutes after you dump your lit chimney. Then watch it like a hawk and start closing vents down to 3/4 closed as soon as you hit 200° on your lid therm. Otherwise the lump will get away from you and shoot up over 300° real fast, then it is really, really hard to get it back down.
- Watch for temp flare ups when you open the lid or the door. Lump seems to take off better when it gets a big burst of fresh air mid-smoke then briquets.
I personally have taken to using RO briquets, they have less filler than Kingsford Blue Bag. I find with briquets they keep a longer steadier low heat than I can achieve with lump - especially when doing a brisket or big pork shoulder. But I do keep a bag or two of lump handy for chicken and fatties, or anything that needs higher heat. Try a long cook with each one and see which you like best, everybody has a preferance.
You will be quickly spoiled! When I switched from my Char-Griller to my WSM I almost felt guilty at how easy it was to do a long 12-18 hr. smoke, bout the only thing you have to do is check the water pan around 8-10 hrs. into the smoke. Also I highly sugest you foil the water pan, it makes clean up sooooo much easier, I take two pieces of heavy foil about 2 1/2 to 3 feet long place one on top of the other then double fold the long edges together on one side to form a seam, that gives you a piece of foil big enough to fit in the water pan. Other than that the set up is really simple.
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They have a contract with one of the biggest briquette makers.