New to the forums/smoking

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by jerevil, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. jerevil

    jerevil Newbie

    Hey all,

    So as a belated Fathers Day gift, Mrs. Evil came home with my new Weber Smoky Mountain 18.5" smoker last night!

    I've been wanting a smoker for about the last 5 years so needless to say I am excited.

    Now I understand I should do a "dry run" or 2 first, right? Any tips on coal (briquettes vs lump)? Going to start with some leg quarters and turkey legs for the 4th.

    I live here in "Sin City-Las Vegas). Anything I should take into account as it'll bee about 3 months of 110+ degree weather?

    Looking forward to getting into the world of delicious smoked meatery!!!
  2. Welcome Evil! :devil:

    The WSM is a fine cooker. I've had mine for at least 5 years and still going strong. Both briquettes and lump will work fine. I prefer Royal Oak lump. Next is your choice of smoke wood. A single lump of a fruit wood is enough -- don't oversmoke with more than that (rookie mistake). Cherry wood is outstanding, as is apple.
  3. As to the high ambient temps question...needed to dwell on that one a bit since it is not familiar ground.  Here's my advice, FWIW:

    1) My WSM ran a bit hot when new, probably due to the shiny black interior surfaces.  This will change with time, but won't help you now.  Expect hotter temps and plan to keep the lower vents barely open. In fact, you'll probably wind up closing one or two and keeping the others open about 10%.

    2) Use lump charcoal. In my experience, Kingsford briquettes run a bit on the hot side. Lump is easier for me to control. Your mileage may vary.

    3) You want to cook poultry at slightly higher temps: 275-300, so a hotter running pit is in your favor, but you'll still need to watch those vents.

    4) Use a full water pan with COLD water.

    5) Keep your WSM out of direct sunlight.

    6) Use the minion method for lighting -- unlit charcoal in the ring.  Dump lit charcoal from a chimney on top. Use about 1/2 chimney to keep the temp from spiking too fast.  Hard to cool a hot WSM.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your first smoke!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  4. Hello and welcome to the forum, already got some good advice

    Gary S
  5. jerevil

    jerevil Newbie

    Thanks for the welcome! This is exactly what I was looking for! Keeping it out of direct sun will be hard in my back yard. Perhaps I can find a good spot on the side of the house. 

    I have heard to not trust the temp gauge on the lid. Sent Mrs. Evil to grab this guy from Home Depot:
  6. My WSM is a previous generation and doesn't even have a dome thermometer, but you heard right not to trust it. You want to measure the temp at the cooking grate using the thermometer you linked to. That thermometer looks like a rebranded version of my Maverick ET732 which many folks use. Good thermometer. You can see mine (barely) on the table in my avatar. Looks like you're all set for a good first cook. Thumbs Up
  7. jerevil

    jerevil Newbie

    Awesome! Thanks for the input.

Share This Page