Clay saucer with WSM(vent control)

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Mar 31, 2010
Upstate new york
Question for the WSM guys. I have done 2 smokes using the clay saucer on top of the water pan(water pan empty). I find that i am shutting down 2 bottom vents completely and controlling the temp with just the one vent(top vent wide open). Now i am getting good temp control just cant be leave i am getting these temps with 2 vents closed. Do you guys run your WSM this same way ?


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Feb 7, 2009
Pamatai, Tahiti
Hey Ty, ...Yep!

Welcome to the wonderful world of the WSM, now you know why we rave so much about them, after you learn how to dial it in you will be able to sleep all night and wake up the next morning and the temp will be the same as it was when you went to sleep the night before,

have fun with your WSM.



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 22, 2009
Central Florida (Sebring)
I almost always have 2 bottom vents closed & the 3rd one barely cracked open. It holds temp till the charcoal runs out. Their just unbelievable smokers. 


Smoke Blower
Apr 29, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
Same for me on a smoke in the 225 range. A high heat smoke, say 325, needs more air then one vent can produce though. You control it the same way but it's highly sensitive and somewhat unstable, but it works.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jul 19, 2010
I have used the saucer dry since new.

I also use the guru all the time now..

Makes things very easy.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Nov 24, 2011
McDonough, GA
You will also get a longer burn time on a given load of coals with the clay saucer.  My only complaint about a saucer is if you let the temp spike too much, it takes longer to get back down than with water.  But if you run a power draft (Guru, Stoker, etc....) that is usually not an issue.   A lot of people use only the clay saucer, but I seem to flip flop back and forth between the saucer, water pan with water, and two stacked empty pans depending what and how I'm smoking.

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