So Green getting WSM so many questions

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by buckwild43, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Ok so this whole water pan thing---I have heard people use water, some use sand, some just cover it in foil. To do a proper slow and low what works best for a true beginner----if I use water how often do you have to refill the pan and how exactly do you accomplish that? Also looking to get a Maverick wireless thermometer----do you just close the lid over the wires? And for those that have a WSM----work space----what has worked best giving you some space to work on like some of the shelfs of other smokers? Thanks for all the input
  2. For a true beginner I recommend Gary Wiviott's book Low and Slow and use of water. To refill it you can use a funnel or other scoop-like device to fill it from the door or you can pour it from the top if you remove the food. It doesn't need replenishment that often but having a plan is good. Once comfortable and a few cooks under your belt you can try other ways. I use a clay saucer.

    Some folks add a grommet for the wires. I cut a slot in the top of the center section. The new cookers come with a grommet.

    I built a table from scrap lumber and positioned it between my grill and smoker. Others buy tables.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  3. thanks so much I will get that book---so you think the WSM brand new now will have a grommet?
  4. It could if you are getting it from a high volume dealer. I've seen others on the virtual weber bulletin board get the grommet with their order.

    Be warned: Gary has an attitude in the book but it's just his schtick. Look past it, follow his directions, and you know your cooker after the five lessons.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  5. once again thanks
  6. I had planned on ordering mine through Walmart and have it shipped to the store---it would be nice to have grommet in place---fingers crossed
  7. Here's a photo of the grommet in the new cookers:

    And the slot on my cooker:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  8. av8tor

    av8tor Meat Mopper

    Having had the grommet and the slot I still prefer the slot. If you need to remove the top grate to get access to meat on the bottom grate it is so easy just to slide out and back in again. But everyone has there preferences so just think it through to what is best for you.
    I have been smoking with my WSM now this season and love it. Don't get so hung up on the water pan it's not that big of a deal. I have tried several methods and all work fine just subtle differences in maintaining temperature but I find it small differences. Just start cooking, enjoy it, try new things, report back and enjoy the food.
  9. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I would echo all of Avi8r's advice on the grommet/slot idea...also the water/clay saucer thing. I just wanted to show off my smoker cart with side table since you asked what folks do in that regard. If you click on this thumbnail , it will take you to the album with more pix.

  10. that is a nice cart---did you build that?
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grats on the purchase!

    For starters just foil the pan and fill it full of water - if you fill it all the way you shouldn't have to refill it unless your smoke goes over 15 or so hours. I have a plastic watering can with a long narrow spout that I can use to pour water in from the side door.

    Like Bama said you can do either the slot or grommets, if you look bellow my signature line there is a link to my orginal post about making your own grommets for about $5.
  12. bgray

    bgray Fire Starter

    Congrats!  I have a Napoleaon Apollo, which is basically the exact same smoker.

    I would use water.  Foil the pan and fill it completely.  Water is not necessary, but it helps to keep consistent temps.

    With your probes, you can go through the top vent if you want.  No problems there.

    I also recommend Low and Slow by Wiviott.  It was very helpful to me.  Like others have said, take him with a grain of salt.  There's a good thread here regarding this book....

    ....I would read through this so you will understand which portions of his "program" you can take lightly, and which parts are truly important.

    And if you have never cooked one of these, I recommend a couple of dry runs so you learn the ins and outs of how to control and maintain temps.  If I would have cooked with my first couple of attempts, I would have really messed up.  It took me about 3 attempts to really feel like I could control and maintain temps.  Now it's a breeze!

    Happy Cooking!

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