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Please help! Weber master touch

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by HeyBlinkin, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am a new owner of a 22” Weber Master Touch which is very different than my old smoker/grill. I’m having trouble achieving an ideal smoking setup. I’ve watched a couple YouTube videos and am currently using one of the side baskets and have the remaining surface of the bottom grate covered in heavy duty foil. I use natural lump coal. My main problem is creating even heat distribution. Any ideas?
  2. maineac

    maineac Smoke Blower

    Hey, Hey. Welcome. I can't believe nobody has answered this post. All I can do is show you what I do for high heat cooks to create an even indirect zone. I do basically the same as you I think. I use a Slow N Sear as opposed to the baskets and I took an 18" pizza pan and cut it down to fit leaving the SNS portion open. The pan is a nice fit but I cover it with foil and try to keep it tight to the bowl around it. I cook everything this way and I can do 10 chicken thighs and not have to juggle them to get them to finish at the same time. I did check out the indirect area before cooking with it and was amazed at how uniform it was. I don't recall the temp differential but it was less than 10 degrees. I would think that this would apply to smoking as well.
    HeyBlinkin likes this.
  3. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    What are you trying to cook?
    Are you looking for high heat or low temps?

    To many variables to really give you an direct answer. If your just trying to smoke ribs, chucky or something similar then use both your charcoal baskets. One on each side of the kettle. You should be able to dial in 250* w/o any issues. If your looking to do a butt or brisket then go with the snake method. If you have the coals only on one side of your kettle then your kettle is naturally going to be hotter the closer you are to the lit coals. When I do fatties, pork shots or moinks I only use one basket and start the food away from the lit coals and slowly move them closer to crisp up the bacon. Let us know what your trying to accomplish and we'll be more then happy to help you out. BTW lump burns allot hotter then normal briquettes. So you may have a harder time controlling the heat.

    HeyBlinkin likes this.
  4. SlickRockStones

    SlickRockStones Meat Mopper

    It’s really important to know your bottom vent position to control your temps. Make marks with a Sharpie on the ring above the handle for 1/4 and 1/2 open vent. I run top vent full open.
    HeyBlinkin likes this.
  6. Thank you for the warm welcome! That’s a wonderful idea about the pizza pan, I’ll definitely be doing this. I recently switched from my natural lump coal to hardwood briquettes, and that seems
    Thanks Chris! I’m mostly aiming at a steady 225-250 smoking environment. Mainly for smokes at <6 hours, as I use my Weber Smokey Mountain for longer cooks. I’ve used both baskets before and it was nearly impossible for me to keep it below 300. My vents are usually 1/3 open on bottom and completely open on top. I use a similar method as you, slowly moving the food closer to the coals as needed (I smoke a lot of bacon wrapped meats) and it seems to be working better with switching to briquettes. Just can’t quite dial in that ideal temp and hold it there. Thanks for your help!
  7. Thank you! I think I still need to get a better handle on the bottom vent positions. I believe it’s one of the biggest issues I have. Cincinnati weather can be insane (60 one day and 30 and windy the next). Not blaming the weather, it just makes it a little tougher for consistency. What would you recommend for vent position and coal quantity to achieve a steady 225-250 temp? I had my last smoker/grill for 13 years and it’s like I knew what was happening in there without looking and always knew exactly when to add more coal. Like having a new girlfriend after dating for 13 years and none of the old tricks work haha
  8. By the way, I love your grates! I love cooking on cast iron grates. I purchased the cast iron sear plate that fits nicely in the center of the master touch, but I gotta say I like yours much better. May I ask where you found those?
  9. maineac

    maineac Smoke Blower

    They are Craycort grates. I wanted to mention that a pan of water in there has a good moderating effect. I use the water receptacle in the SNS. Also, I've been experimenting with an ATC blower in a kettle and have discovered that it doesn't take much air to keep a smoking temp. With your lid vent wide open your bottom vent is only going to be open a crack. I would use something like nails or drill bits to adjust the crack size so you can repeat it.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    HeyBlinkin likes this.

    5GRILLZNTN Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are "smoking" food, I would stick with the WSM for your smokes and shut the vents down when you are done. WSM's are for smoking low and slow, and the Kettle's are for grilling high and fast.
  11. Thank you. You’ve been very helpful. Great idea with the bottom vents. I’ve got about 5 grilled and 10 smokes out of her since I got her. Less bottom vent airflow has proven favorably. I’m just not used to the vents being minimally open. Seems to just be a learning curve I’m slow to pick up on. She’s great for a seared wood fired ribeye or chop, just have had inconsistent results smoking. Getting much better though! I am thankful for your and everyone’s input
  12. I do my briskets, butts, etc on the WSM. I purchased the Master Touch to replace my old grizzled vet, to have a grill for steaks, burgers, and chops as well as the capability to do short smokes that are under 6 hours (ribs, chickens, fish). Wanted a dual purpose grill/smoker
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To control the temperature, leave the bottom inlet wide open... Adjust the temperature using the lid vent....

    Written by

    Sean Mathy

    How do you control the temp on your charcoal grill?

    Many people think it's the amount of charcoal you use, but the answer lies with the air dampers. Adjusting the air dampers will increase or decrease your temperature. The more air going into the grill, the hotter the grill will get. The less air going into your grill, the cooler it will get.

    Most of our charcoal grills have two dampers - a top lid damper and the dampers on your bottom bowl.

    We suggest leaving the bottom dampers fully open and using the top lid damper to control the temperature. Factors such as the temperature outside, how windy it is, how clean (or dirty) your grill is and even the food you are grilling can affect the temperature of your grill, but these are the top lid damper settings we suggest to achieve different temperatures on your grill:

    Damper Settings:
    High heat (450-550°F) – Fully open

    Medium heat (350-450°F) – ½ open

    Low heat (250-350°F) – ¼ open

    Low and slow/smoke zone (225-275°F) - 1/4 - 1/8 open

    Off – Fully closed


  14. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

  15. maineac

    maineac Smoke Blower

    To control the temperature, leave the bottom inlet wide open... Adjust the temperature using the lid vent....

    I can agree with that if just cooking. But smoking with a kettle is a different matter. Personally, I don't want to choke the smoke to control temps. Weber seems to agree when smoking. These directions for the WSM indicate the temps should be controlled with the bottom vents.

    But as with all things cooking, it's whatever works for YOU.
    HeyBlinkin likes this.
  16. Thank you for your input. I tend to find when intake vents are wide open
    Thank you for your input. I tend to find when the intake vents are wide open and output vents are restricted, the air/smoke flow kind of becomes stagnant. I think a common ground between this and the opposite has been working better for me recently with more fine tuning required to achieve that perfect balance. I’m enjoying the process of perfecting this
  17. I’m finding the two are more similar than I thought. It’s been right in front of me the whole time haha. Combine this with switching to briquettes and only using one side basket have been proving favorable. Really appreciate the input
  18. Sorry for partial posts. Using mobile version and whenever my internet cuts for a second it just automatically posts.