Does anyone use a WSM 18.5 to smoke their Bacon?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by exromenyer, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. I have an MES 40 that I haven't really enjoyed because the temps seem impossible to stabilize. That being said about 4 yrs ago I purchased a WSM 18.5 and I feel like I could smoke anything. I use the "minion" method with a can in the middle, heat the coals, dump them in the center and pull the can which then smokes from the inside to the outside. I've been able to dial this smoker in to temps around 220 - 240 degrees and maintained that overnight and smoked some of the best pork butts and brisket I've ever had. I'm wanting to do bacon now. I'm going to follow Bear's instructions and do that. I've bought a Maple Bacon Cure for 15lbs of bacon which has ALL the ingredients one needs to successfully begin this process.

    So long story long, has anyone or does anyone use their WSM 18.5 to smoke bacon and been successful? Or even something similar?

    Thank you in advance.....
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You certainly can. You can either cold smoke it without any heat or hot smoke it. If you hot smoke it try and keep your temps as low as possible. If you can keep your pit temp at or below 180° that would be the best.

    There's quite a few over on the Virtual Weber Bulletins Board that smoke bacon ion their WSM's. I have cold smoked bacon in mine using the AMNTS smoke tubes from AmazeN Smokers. I have not hot smoked as I prefer to cold smoke bacon.
  3. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I used 4 pieces of charcoal and a chunk of apple to keep temps below 100 for hours. Just add a couple pieces of charcoal at a time to keep the temps going low. Don't use water in the pan on low temps because you'll end up with water in the lid and it will drip down.. stinks too.
    You should be able to keep under 150 if you just use a few briquetes at a time.
  4. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I cold smoke jerky on my WSM 22.5 all the time. I put a double ring around the edge and use the snake method (light 2-3 charcoal pieces and put them on the end) then i burn an AMNPS in the middle with piece of charcoal at the end to light the pellets. I keep the bottom vents open and i can maintain around 130-150 degrees for 6-10 hours.

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
  5. Phatbac,

    I've never tried that method but I think I just might. I have the same AMNPS with the Pit Master Blend (my personal favorite) so I think that is a great idea. So you just like a piece of charcoal as stated to get the AMNPS going on each end then you put a few on one end of the snake ring and that just catches probably a couple at a time to burn really slow until the bacon is done smoking which from I read varies. I've looked at Bear's instructions and you really want it for a 5lb slab which I will do at about 145-146 degrees before you pull to let cool.

    Thanks for the help, when I get this going I'll post what happened.

  6. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I couldn't do that in mine.. I cold smoke 80-95 ° and a snake would have it at 180- 200.
    Smaller area .
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've read you can cold smoke with 2 hot coals and a couple pieces of wood the hot coals. Never tried it. Might have to now. I can't get pork bellies in my area without buying a case, but I hot smoke buckboard and Cabackian bacon. I can dial in low temps, 145-175F, but usually smoke in the 165-175, up to 200F range. That won't work with bellies.

  8. I gave this a test run last night and I'm convinced I needed to dry my pellets more. They seemed to go out after about an hour even with charcoal on the ends. As for the snake method it worked pretty well. When the AMNPS was working and smoking, I was able to get my temps around 140's which then I had to close two of the bottom vents and the third vent only crack a little. At that point I got the temp to stabilize around 127 degrees. I do think if the AMNPS was working as expected I would almost have had to completely close all three vents which shouldn't be necessary. I will have to thin out my "snake pattern as that may be the culprit.... I just really hate my MES 40 so I want to figure out the WSM so I can use that. Also I can't have temps like you mentioned for your jerky, I'm doing bacon so I need those temps between 100 and 130 degrees for about 11 hours.

  9. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Closing the vents put out your AMNPS. yes a thing snake helps lower the temps. even when the snake runs out the WSM will hold that temp for an hour or two more. you can even add charcoal to the end about 3/4 of the way through just add a little though. keep at least two bottom vents open at all time or you choke your AMNPS. I found the AMNPS only goes 4-5 hours if you light both ends around 8 if you light one end.
    Good Luck and

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
  10. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    May not apply here, but when I smoke cheese in my 22 wsm I have to take the charcoal ring out to keep the AMNP's lit. It allows for a more direct airflow.

    exromenyer likes this.

  11. I did another test run last night, made the ring more like a domino's affect, put a small amount of pellets in the AMNPS after I microwaved them for 3 minutes to dry them out. I then took the propane torch to the pellets, got them burning hot, blew it out and put the charcoal right on top of each end just to test. I think I will just do one end when I am ready to smoke my bacon. All that being said, I had to just crack two of the bottom dampers leave the top wide open as always and my temps sat between 117 and 124 for about 2 + hours.

    I appreciate those who chimmed in and helped. I think I got this now...
  12. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Great! That is what SMF is for (and of course pics of finished meat we can drool over!)

    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)

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