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First Smoke


Joined Oct 8, 2016
Ok, I'm brand new to smoking,just bought a 22.5 WSM. Have probably read too much for my own good.

Smoking a 8lb Butt today, I've ran 2 smokes in WSM, first was a dummy run of 1 full bag of Kingsford. 2nd was some sausages.

Setup: About 14lbs of Kingsford Blue, 20 briquettes pulled out of center for minion method. Three chunks of Hickory. Outside temp about 78 degrees F. Full water pan, half foiled.

Question: How long should I wait before putting meat on. It's been about 1hr and smoke is pretty white and thick. Temps running at 255 with all lower vents closed except 1/8" opening in 1. Top vent open .

How much should I be concerned about reasonably thick white smoke?

I've read this thing can run pretty hot. I was hoping to be around 225, but don't think that's gonna happen first few smokes, any other suggestions would be awesome.

We'll see just how unforgiving this chunk of hog is...




SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
The smoke will thin out quickly.

I would go ahead & put the meat on now.

Don't be too concerned about the temps, I run mine at 270-280 with good results.

Just let it settle in at what ever temp it likes.

Just keep the top vent wide open.

Last edited:


Joined Oct 8, 2016
Thanks Smokin..

I put it on and the smoke went blue and then basically disappeared.   I think this is ok, right??  Anyway, I have temp around 239F with only a sliver opened on the bottom.



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
What are you smoking?

When the smoke is really thin you won't see it at all. That's where you want to be.

Like Al mentioned I wouldn't be too concerned with your current temp. Are you using the stock therm or a remote therm? The stock therms are usually not correct. My new 14.5" WSM's stock therm is off by 20-25 degrees.


Meat Mopper
Joined Sep 4, 2015
  A good practice is to stick your snoot into the stream of exhaust exiting from the top vent, even when you think there is no "smoke." If it smells really good, all is right with the world, or at least your little part of it, and the smoking wood is doing it's job.

  If it ever smells not-good, something needs to be changed, stat!, as your meat will soon taste just as anti-delicious as the exhaust smells. If heavy white smoke is the problem, it can often be cured by opening the intake vent and allowing the fire to better consume the wood, even at the cost of increased pit temperatures.

   Smallish, hot-burning fires tend to produce the desired results.

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