Just pulled the trigger on my WSM 22.5"...now what

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Nov 18, 2010
Gainesville, FL
i'm pretty darned excited about this!  i have a charcoal chimney coming as well!  what else did you purchase right away with your WSM?  i currently have a el cheapo brinkman vert. so i have the basics for general smoking.

what did you guys do to break in your WSM? smoke it empty at first for flavoring and learning heat adjustments? did you mess up your first couple smokes? how many times didyou fire it up before you learned how to properly use it (heat, amount of coal, etc...)
Grats! You will really like the WSM.

One thing you must have is a large restraunt roll of foil, Costco sells them for about $15.... other than that a bunch of charcoal and some wood chunks. You do not need to season the WSM it is ready to go as soon as you get it assembled.

The charcoal ring will hold approx. 16 lbs. of charcoal, if your outside temps are above 55° you will be able to run 18-20+ hrs. on one ring full of charcoal. If the outside temps are low you will go through your charcoal faster, but thats about it.

For your first smoke I would do some chicken or ribs (or both
). Normally I would load the ring only half full for ribs and chicken, but being your first time load the ring all the way, and after you get done with your ribs and chicken, just leave it running.... it will give you a feel for how long and steady the WSM will run for you.

Couple of pointers:
  • A new WSM tends to run a bit hotter than one that has been used a bit. It has to do with the smoke residue sealing up all the nooks and crannies.
  • Foil the water pan before each use! Much, much easier to clean up.
  • For long low smokes fill the water pan, for high heat smokes or smoking in cold temps leave the pan empty - still foil it, just don't fill it.
  • Get a good grate brush.
  • Enjoy! and don't forget the Qview!
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