bbq guru setup on WSM 22?

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by jerseydrew, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    going to use it tomorrow and need to know how open do i need to leave the adjustable damper on the fan and i though i read somewhere to close down the exhaust wheel on the dome some but i cannot find that info again.

    what do you guys do?
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Install the fan adapter into one of the holes of one of the lower vents.  There should be aluminum foil tape to cover the other holes in that same lower vent.  Close all the other lower vents all the way.  You want one hole with the fan in it as your only possible source of air for the fire.  The dome vent will be 100% open all the time when using a GURU fan.

    There is a slider door damper on the fan housing.  When you need to choke back the fire that is the one you will use and it should close off the only source of air to the fire.  Also sometimes in windy conditions you need to partially close it as the wind can blow through the fan intake.

    Usually I close my fan damper about 80% of the way when I first start the WSM to choke back the freshly lit coals.  My typical start is full chimney of lit dumped over about 1/2 to 2/3 ring of unlit (basic classical minion method), close the fan damper about 80% to get those fresh lit coals under control.  Then once the pit stabilizes at 225 for about 10 or 15 minutes, on goes the food and open the fan damper to 50% or more depending on weather conditions (wind, temp).  I usually run it at 50% for the first part of a smoke as I have a 10cfm fan on my 18.5" WSM so it's a little overkill.  Basically as long as the fan is not running most of the time, leave it as is.  When the fan starts running more, I open it up.  If you use less lit to start your WSM you may not need to close the fan damper at all.  Just watch the temps on the Guru and if it starts running higher than you want, then choke it back by closing the damper.  And yes, I have closed it all the way before on a really hot fire and a hot day.  When you make a damper change give it at least 5 minutes to settle down and fire temp changes are not instanteneous.  10 minutes may even be better, then look at where your temps are.  If they are swinging down and close to or below your desired temp, then open the damper slightly and wait again.  If you fiddle with the damper too often you will be chasing the temp like using regular dampers.  Let the fan and computer do the work for you and use the damper to cool down a hot fire only.

    Top vent is open all the way and never needs to be touched.  Short of a grease fire in a WSM I have never seen any need to touch the top vents - 100% open 100% of the time.

    You will see the WSM will run rock solid for hours at the set temp with you not needing to fiddle with any vents or anything.  A Guru is a great addition to a WSM and you will soon be wondering how you ever lived without one.  Since I got mine, I get a full nights sleep on overnight shoulder smokes.  Basically as long as you have fuel, it will hold temps. Think of the Guru as your little helper minding the pit while you sleep.

    I do know the 22.5" model burns through fuel faster than the 18.5" model I have, but after one or two smokes you will know the pattern and at what point you need to reload fuel on a long smoke. The greater fuel burn is due to larger pit size and more food mass if fully loaded.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  3. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    perfect thanks a lot! i'm looking forward to using this for an overnight. 
  4. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    so far so good, easy to set up and get running. it is now rockin at 225 deg and the fan comes on every little bit at about 40% power according to the guru. since i have the bigger WSM and it's in the high 20s tonight i left the adjustable damper wide open and its working great.
  5. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    after some minor adjustments last night it ran rock solid at 225 till i woke up this morning at 8 am. when i went back to check on it at about 10 it had dropped to 214 so i opened her up some more. 
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Once it's been running stable at 225 for a while, I usually open up mine all the way and leave it.  The frequency the fan comes on will decrease to make up for the larger air opening.  Once it's fully open you can get the maximum run time per load of fuel as the computer is in full control and has the ability to max the fan out if needed.

    But it sounds like it went great.  

    Sure is nice to get a good nights sleep on an overnight smoke and not have to worry about the pit isn't it.  After a few more smokes you will become confident in how the Guru responds and sleep even better.

    Actually from looking at the post times, it appears you started your WSM around 10pm so running a load until 8am at a steady temp is about right.  The 22.5" WSM goes through fuel a little faster than a 18.5".  I'm sure some others with 22.5" models can give you more insight on the run time.
  7. You mentioned that the 10cfm is a little overkill... I was thinking that it might be.

    I am looking at the various models, and notice that Guru has a 4cfm fan available.

    Would 4 cfm's be enough, for an 18.5" WSM?
  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes...It would be just fine..
  9. Thanks.  The 10 cfm Pit Viper seems too large for an 18.5".

    So now I have to figure out if the wi-fi function is necessary, or if

    the standard Digi Q is just fine?  I wonder if people who own the

    wi-fi model actually use the wi-fi function much, once the novelty

    wears off?
  10. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    The PartyQ with the 5cm fan would work fine.  Personally i would make sure there are Energizer lithiums in it because it is solely battery powered. 
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have the DQ..Dont need the wifi stuff...

    The smoker is on the back porch..

    I got it to keep the smoker temp set and let me know when the meat is about done..

    It works great for me...

  12. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mine is also a Digi-Q model.  I thought about wifi, but for the price since I already own the Digi-Q, I can't justify the upgrade.

    Also once you get a couple of smokes with a Guru behind you, you will be fairly confident in how the smoke will go as the combination of a WSM and Guru is about as consistent as it comes.  I've done so many 4 shoulder smokes in the 18.5" over the years, I know if I light the chimney starter between 1:30 and 2:00pm, I will add fuel at around 11:30pm and sleep all night (you can often do it on a single load of fuel, but fuel is cheap and I like to sleep at night).  In between, once I'm satisfied it's running 225* (which is at the first part of the smoke), I usually don't even think about the pit and there is nothing to fiddle with once it's running steady. 

    You are going to love the Guru....
  13. Thanks for the advice.

    Do you 'not' use a Maverick any longer now that you use a Guru?

    (Is there any need to ever use the Maverick?)
  14. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use the Mavs all the time..

    Sausage temps and when I have more than one piece in the wsm...

  15. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I occasionally use my Maverick unit, but usually do not.  I'm telling you once you get the hang of using a Guru it's that reliable and repeatable. Once you learn how a certain meat type and quantity runs, it is pretty much the same every time.  Only difference is size of meat mass may vary your times a little and I usually just end up using the Guru food probe in one piece of meat. That predictability and repeatability is golden.

    I do use the Maverick for a countdown timer at my computer desk when smoking hams, ribs and other stuff that I want to spritz with juice mix every so often.  I think it's been over 2 years since I used it as a remote read thermometer though (I have the old model and range is rather limited.  I have not done the antenna mods as I use the Guru.  My Maverick will not reach to the other end of the house where the bedroom is.  I have found through years of use that if I top off the charcoal ring in my WSM I can let the Guru tend the pit and it holds 225* all night long so I can sleep just fine.  My WSM is under a porch with a 13' ceiling so I'm not concerned about rain, snow, etc...).

    The only times I really load the WSM up is on 4 shoulder smokes for the office and at holiday gatherings.  The rest of the time one meat probe is usually enough as I'm only using the top grate of the WSM anyway (and remember I have the 18.5" model which has about 1/2 the volume of your 22.5", so your fuel burn will be a little quicker due to keeping that open volume at temp.  Flip side is you can do a lot more meat than I can if you want also).

    Ultimately the use of a Maverick is up to you.  But you have options.

  16. This is our setup.  Two 22.5" WSMs with 2 Pitmaster IQ110's.  We didn't use the foil tape, and I don't know if you can see it clearly in the above pic, but we bought special gasket tape to seal the doors and between each layer of the WSM to make a tighter pit.  We hardly leaked any smoke, and the blower had the pits running at 250 within 10 minutes of turning them on after starting the fires using the method described in the pamphlet that came with the IQ110.  Using the gaskets let us smoke for almost 14 hours with only one refuel.  Can't recommend the IQ110 or the gasket tape highly enough.
  17. imjesse1

    imjesse1 Meat Mopper

    I'm on the fence about buying the iq
    Or the nanoQ
    What is pros and cons?
  18. kerstingm

    kerstingm Smoke Blower


    That is an awesome setup, to be able to run those temps for that long with only one refuel. I am using a Brinkman now but moving to a WSM 22 for father's day. Temp and technic have been my only issues learning how to use the vertical smoker. 

    are you using the digital probes also? Any other mods you recommend for the WSM?

    Again awesome jobe
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    BBQ Guru customer services says to put your top vents like you would do otherwise.... i just asked them last week and it doesn't matter what smoker you use.   The only thing it is controlling is the air in at the bottom which makes sense.  
  20. kerstingm

    kerstingm Smoke Blower

    After reading through post again I see where you mentioned using the gasket tape? If I am looking at the pics right is that is around the doors and where did you purchase it from? I more than want to do your setup once I move into the WSM, only big question is which size to get the 22.5 or the 18.5, do I want to pay $399 or $299???? Either way 250 for 14 hours on ONE refuel is so impressive....

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