WSM Clay Pot Base Mod Question - Temp variances

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by indyadmin1974, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    I did an awesome smoke this weekend (not many pics so I guess it wasn't that awesome!).

    I tried doing the clay pot base mod and for the most part I was happy with it.

    However I noticed something strange.

    Most of the time the WSM therm and my ET-73 were dead on.

    When I started losing temp on both and we adjusted the vents to allow more air, the grate level temp would skyrocket (300°+) which took a long time to even out.

    What was strange was the lid therm (factory) stayed lower than 200°.

    Once things were back to normal, both therms would be the same again.

    I'm going to run my 2 WSMs side by side and do some testing with water pan vs. the clay pot and see if I get the same thing.

    Anyone else noticed this?
  2. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    Ok so I posted on the TVWBB and one of the members mentioned that I could have had the probe too close to the side of the WSM.

    I'll try to move it next time.

    For those of you who have a probe that you put on your grates, where do you put it?
  3. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    How big of a clay pot base did you use?  Got a link?

    I planned to put a probe somewhere in the middle of the top grate.  I just received an ET-73 today but, I used an oven thermometer on the grate over the weekend, just to double check against the lid therm.  I did notice that sometimes they were dead on with each other, and other times they were around 30 to 50 degrees off from one another.  Unfortunately, I don't remember where the oven therm was located in relation to temp differences between the two.  I kept moving the oven therm.

    I smoked a few hot dogs while doing a rack of pork spares this past weekend (twice actually, once Saturday, and once Monday) and  I noticed that the end ribs cooked much faster than the middle section.  (I have the 18.5 WSM, so a rack of spares barely fits on the grate.)  Sounds logical to me.  Why wouldn't the ends cook faster?  However, I noticed that a couple hot dogs got really cooked while the other couple didn't really do much in an hour.  I noticed the well done dogs were right on the edge of the grate.

    It occurred to me that most of the heat from the fire comes right up the sides, around the water bowl (I said "DUH" to myself).  So, anything on the grate that is hanging beyond the edge of the water bowl is gonna cook fast....or show a higher reading if it's a probe.

    This seems to agree with what you were told about your probe possibly being too close to the side.

    I'm also curious to see where others mount their grate probes.

  4. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter


    Just curious, where do you guys mount your grate probes?
  5. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Drill a hole in a block of wood and run your temp probe through it and set it on your grate.  You can also do this with a potato.  Just run the wire out to the digital reader.  I also have a couple of thermos designed to hang or sit on the grate; cheap, but you have to open the rig to check temps -- hardly optimal.

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