New WSM owner

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2020
Hey guys

I just bought a wsm 18.5 last week and had an awesome smoke yesterday. Held temperature beautifully.

I was just wondering what are your guys’ tips on owning a wsm. I noticed it leaked around the lid and door (which I knew the door was known for). I am going to cook a couple times to see if it seals at all but I’m probably going to end up getting a gasket for the door. Does everyones cover have to be forced down? I feel it gives it a better seal but it may be because the drum isn’t completely round maybe?

What does everyone clean? I planned on just cleaning the grates and foiling the water pan.

Anyways just looking for everyone’s tips!

Thanks guys!!
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I am going to cook a couple times to see if it seals at all but I’m probably going to end up getting a gasket for the door.
I have a 14 , which doesn't leak as bad . Keep using it , it will seal up .
Put the lid on the body and spin it . That may tell you if something is out of shape .
You may be able to flex the door some , so it's a bit past where it needs to be . Then when you clamp it down it will pull tight . Just be careful not to use to much pressure .
I say just keep using it and see where it ends up .

Oh . The best thing you can do for a WSM in my opinion is to attach the charcoal ring to the grate . That way you can lift it all together and shake the ash and small pieces out without losing the bigger pieces to be reused .
Post up a pic of it .
Welcome. As long as you can control temps don't worry about leaks. You can get a clay saucer, think it 14" and just foil it and sit on top of water pan. Makes a good heat defuser and easy clean up. Also if you run wires can notch the top ring on body so wires don't crimp.
Man I need to do that!
Makes taking it apart a lot easier . I used a machine thread eye bolt with a washer on the bottom . Some guys wire it on , but I wanted to make sure it was good for a long while . Another thing some do is add a second charcoal grate on top of the other one . Turned 90 degrees to the first one . Catches the smaller pieces . I never did that though .
Don't worry too much about smoke leaks, they will get less and less with use. You can adjust the door fit by hand as described by chopsaw and make it fit a lot better, just go easy. When you say 'cover' and 'drum' I assume you mean the lid and middle section. I once dropped my lid and knocked it out of round. Afterward it didn't fit quite right but was easy to correct. Knowing it didn't take much to knock it out of round, it also didn't take much force to get it back round again. If you look at the fit of the lid to the middle section from above you will see if the lid is out of round and know which way to adjust. I just set the lid on edge on a soft towel and pushed down and it easily bent back round. Go easy, it won't take much.
As for what I clean I foil the water pan and brush the cooking grates, that's about it. I do use drip pans that help make clean up easier.
Congratulations on your new cooker, you're going to love it.
Hope these suggestions help.
Hey guys thanks for all the tips. I’m going to try and curve the door some tomorrow but not too much.
Wish me luck I’m cooking two beer can chickens for the first time on Sunday! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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