First Smoke on WSM, 17lb Brisket

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Original poster
Dec 27, 2022
Humboldt, California
Hello all! There is a local U.S Chef Store that was selling choice Brisket at $2.8/LB. I picked one up for my first smoke in the WSM. Learned a lot and can't wait to do it again!


  • 12pm: Trimmed Brisket, (need to learn how to do this better)

  • 1pm: Seasoned heavily with Ted and Barneys and started the smoker
  • 2pm: Placed on Smoker at 225
  • 4pm: played with vents for a while and settled with bottoms closed and top wide open, smoker staying at 225

  • 5pm: Rain is drizzling
  • 6pm: Smoker is dropping temp, added more charcoal and a couple wood chunks, opened 2 bottom vents

  • 7pm: temp 158F, rain is picking up
  • 8pm: Added more charcoal and wood, smoker dropping temp. Opened all vents till 225 and closed. Rain settled for a bit then,major winds. Smoker dropping temp so I opened 1 bottom vent
  • 9pm: temp 160F, smoker up to temp closed bottom vents

  • 10pm: 170F, raining pretty hard, pass the stall bark isn't crazy dark so no wrapping (8)
  • 11pm: 180f, smoker up to 250F, adding more water to tray
  • 12pm: WSM staying at 250F, Brisket up to 190F
  • 12:45pm: temp 195F, pulled from smoker, wrapped in foil, resting in large Coleman.

  • 5am: removed from Coleman and into foods saver bags

Congrats on your first smoke on the WSM! And wow! You jumped right in on this one! Sounds like you where playing too much with the bottom vents. Top vent (lid) is always left open for me. Also, I highly recommend to not add water to the WSM pan. You are just wasting fuel (charcoal) to heat the water. I never use water. I just cover the pan in aluminum foil, like a lid. And for the charcoal, I use one full bag, take 10 briquettes out of the pile, light those in a chimney starter and when gray pour on top of the unlit pile of briquettes. It sometimes takes up to 60-90 minutes to get the WSM up to temperature. I usually start closing down the bottom vents when my set pit temperature is within 25 degrees. I never fully close all vents.
You said it was raining. Was it really windy out? Because that can effect temperature changes. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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