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Lump charcoal in the WSM


Joined Feb 24, 2014
I just bought a new WSM, and the day it was to be delivered I went to Lowes and bought some lump charcoal.

To my surprise the manual supplied with the smoker said they did not recommend lump charcoal in their smoker.

So I emailed them and asked why. Their response was short and sweet. It burns to hot!!

So I'm thinking, it would either damage the smoker (which I doubt) or because of the design of the smoker it would be difficult to maintain a lower temp while cooking. Can anyone offer anything further. Maybe your own experience's.

I would also like to find the mod to seal the door and lid. I read a post with pictures, but didn't find a parts list to do the job and where to find the parts.

Thanks Richard
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Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012
I don't have a WSM but I have used lump in a lot of smokers with good results. I would say give it a try.

Happy smoken.



Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jan 4, 2014
I don't have a WSM, but I've been regularly using charcoal for several years now for grilling.

Lump burns hotter and provides much less ash, which is good for long smokes.

Charcoal briquettes don't burn as hot and produce much more ash, but provide a very consistent heat and burn a lot longer than lump, which is also good for longer smokes.  When using the minion method, briquettes may be better since they're consistent and burn longer.  Just my opinion.

So you can pick and choose what benefits you want, because both have their own benefits.
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Smoking Fanatic
Joined Dec 7, 2012
you can use it but it burns a little hotter, little faster and less consistent then briquettes. you can somewhat fix some of these issues with some work. first you can mix the lump with briques or you can hand pack the lump to have less gaps in the pack. then you have to cut back on the vents earlier on initial startup. otherwise if you get lump too hot it is harder to bring back down. good luck and experiment. i will say that lump has a good flavor and has a lot less ash when done.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I have a WSM and use both Kingsford Blue Bag and lump.  With the lump I picked up a bit of good advice here on SMF but you don't say what size WSM you have.  I have a 22.5".  Here's the advice for using lump; buy a charcoal grate that fits a 22.5" Weber Kettle.  It EXACTLY fits inside the 22.5" WSM charcoal ring.  It is actually a little smaller than the charcoal grate that came with the WSM.  Then turn it 90 degrees to your WSM charcoal grate.  It prevents the little pieces of lump from falling through the WSM charcoal grate.

When I'm going to cook poultry or pork loins or tenderloins and run a 300, 325, or 350F chamber temp, I load the charcoal ring with lump.  I always use KBB in my chimney because I start the chimney on the side burner of my gas grill and it makes less of a mess than the lump (I have three of the old chimneys that have 1" holes at the bottom of the chimney, not the mesh that is in the newer chimneys).

If I'm going to run 250-290F, I load a mix of briquettes and lump with my wood.  Briquettes alone will work, but I like lump.

If I'm going to smoke under 250, briquettes and wood only.   
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