• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

smoking in cold weather with a WSM

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
Quick ? When you guys smoke in cold weather with a WSM do you run it with or with out the water in pan? Its going to be around 20 degrees I am think no water but not sure..
 

rp ribking

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
990
26
Joined Oct 29, 2009
Ty, I still use HOT water at the start of the smoke. To get the temps up quick I only put in 1 gallon and add from there and normally I have the smoker full like today 6 butts it is 28* here.

 My next smoke in cold weather I am going to experiment with sand instead of water.

Good Luck, was that quick enuff.
 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
Ty, I still use HOT water at the start of the smoke. To get the temps up quick I only put in 1 gallon and add from there and normally I have the smoker full like today 6 butts it is 28* here.

 My next smoke in cold weather I am going to experiment with sand instead of water.

Good Luck, was that quick enuff.
Thanks rp i will start with hot water.
 

rp ribking

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
990
26
Joined Oct 29, 2009
Ty, I still use HOT water at the start of the smoke. To get the temps up quick I only put in 1 gallon and add from there and normally I have the smoker full like today 6 butts it is 28* here.

 My next smoke in cold weather I am going to experiment with sand instead of water.

Good Luck, was that quick enuff.
Thanks rp i will start with hot water.
Ty, I am not sure why I typed " I still use hot water", It should be "I always use hot water".
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Ty, I still use HOT water at the start of the smoke. To get the temps up quick I only put in 1 gallon and add from there and normally I have the smoker full like today 6 butts it is 28* here.

 My next smoke in cold weather I am going to experiment with sand instead of water.

Good Luck, was that quick enuff.
If you use sand will the meat be as moist?
 
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,653
138
Joined Jun 5, 2009
The meat will still be moist even with sand, the water doesn't really add much moisture to the meat, it is primarily a thermal mass. With sand a takes a lot more energy (fuel) to get the thermal mass hot, but once it is hot it holds the heat much better than water and takes longer to cool down.

Personally I don't like the idea of using sand due to the possability of it getting contaminated with drippings if the foil tears, and here in Oregon there is a lot of moisture in the air that would get absorbed by the sand. So every time I lit the smoker I would have to use a lot of fuel to heat and dry wet cold sand.

Tyotrain - I just cut back on the amount of HOT water I start with in the water pan, or just foil the pan and leave it dry - for sub-30°'s I would probably just leave it dry. Also make sure you have extra fuel handy, cold weather really uses your fuel a lot faster. To add fuel I get a full chimney of charcoal about 1/2 to 3/4 lit, the I use the door as a slide to CAREFULLY dump it into the ring, then spread it out a bit with a stick or fireplace shovel. You will get a temp. spike when you add like this, but it isn't to bad and if you damp the dampers down before you add it will controll the spike much better.

Good luck!
 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
The meat will still be moist even with sand, the water doesn't really add much moisture to the meat, it is primarily a thermal mass. With sand a takes a lot more energy (fuel) to get the thermal mass hot, but once it is hot it holds the heat much better than water and takes longer to cool down.

Personally I don't like the idea of using sand due to the possability of it getting contaminated with drippings if the foil tears, and here in Oregon there is a lot of moisture in the air that would get absorbed by the sand. So every time I lit the smoker I would have to use a lot of fuel to heat and dry wet cold sand.

Tyotrain - I just cut back on the amount of HOT water I start with in the water pan, or just foil the pan and leave it dry - for sub-30°'s I would probably just leave it dry. Also make sure you have extra fuel handy, cold weather really uses your fuel a lot faster. To add fuel I get a full chimney of charcoal about 1/2 to 3/4 lit, the I use the door as a slide to CAREFULLY dump it into the ring, then spread it out a bit with a stick or fireplace shovel. You will get a temp. spike when you add like this, but it isn't to bad and if you damp the dampers down before you add it will controll the spike much better.

Good luck!
Thank you for the info. That is a great way to put fuel in using the door thanks for the tip. I have a ?  for ya when you are smoking a pork butt and its warmer weather and you have water in the pan how often do you have to real fill can you get some sleep before refilling it say 4-5 hours ?
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,653
138
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Well I have the 22.5" WSM and I can go for approx. 12-14 hrs. without worrying about the pan going dry, and I know the newer 18.5" ones have a bigger pan as well. I would be supprised if you couldn't go at least 8-10 hrs. on a 18.5" WSM.
 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
OK that's good to hear i do have the new water pan i think its 2 gallon's
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Hey Johnny, That's a great tip to use the door as a chute for the charcoal. I've been just kinda throwing it in with a small shovel. Thanks
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,653
138
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Hey Johnny, That's a great tip to use the door as a chute for the charcoal. I've been just kinda throwing it in with a small shovel. Thanks
LOL.... yeah, I do drafting for a living so always take the analytical approach to everything. I have been kicking the idea around of having a sheet metal shute made that would reach the middle better.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
That's even a better idea. I have some galvanized roof flashing in the garage. I think I can make a chute real easy. As a matter of fact I'm gonna go out there right now & look for it. Thanks for the idea.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Hey Johnny, I just thought of something I used to keep squirrels off our bird feeder. It is a piece of stovepipe around a 4x4 post. The stovepipe comes in different diameters, but they come as a flat sheet & the edges clip together to form a tube. I think they come as large as 6" dia. They are very inexpensive & will easily form a chute, I think they come 3' long which would be perfect. I'm gonna check it out at Home Depot tomorrow. I'll let you know what I find.
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,653
138
Joined Jun 5, 2009
I  believe they make 6" & 8" diameter stovepipe, I would use the larger diameter just to make it a tad safer and esier to pour the hot coals into.

Smart thinking Al.


You could make a little handle using a 1" diamter chunk of dowel about 4" long. Poke a hole near one end of the stove pipe right in the middle of the bottom of the chute, then use a screw to fasten the the handle to the chute.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I couldn't wait. Went to Home depot & got the 6", it was too big. Water pan in the way. So this is what I did. Here it is right from the store.



I cut the crimped end off so it would lay out flat easier.



Then I had to make it a little smaller to clear the water pan, so I bent back each side a couple of inches. I didn't want to cut it to size because those bare edges are really sharp.



And here it is ready to go. You can leave the door on, I just took it off while I was working on it. Total cost $4.16



Your handle idea sounds like a good one, I think I'll work on that tomorrow. Thanks again for the idea Johnny!  
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,653
138
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Woot! Nice job Al!! That is exactly what I had pictured a long, wide, shallow chute. I figured the handle would make it easier to hold it rock steady while you dump the chimney starter full of lit charcoal onto it... lol.

That's a slick looking pair if shears you have there in the first picture. What type of cutter is that called? I just have tin snips... lol.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I really don't know what you call them. I've never seen another pair like them. They are probably 60 years old. I got them as a kid when I was working as a mechanic. An older guy I was working with was retiring and was selling some of his tools I bought these from him & they were old when he sold them to me. They make a very straight cut & they never seem to get dull.
 
Woot! Nice job Al!! That is exactly what I had pictured a long, wide, shallow chute. I figured the handle would make it easier to hold it rock steady while you dump the chimney starter full of lit charcoal onto it... lol.

That's a slick looking pair if shears you have there in the first picture. What type of cutter is that called? I just have tin snips... lol.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,649
6,303
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Ok Johnny, I was thinking of putting a handle on, then decided why not put the chute on the chimney? It works great. I thought maybe I would have to use a regular sized one for my Weber Kettle, but this works fine, actually it's a little easier, because you stand back & can direct the coals to the center. Any how here's a couple of pics.



 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
wounder if this will work on the smaller WSM i am going to have to see that is a real good thing u got going there. The door on my wsm is mush smaller so might have to do some more playing around with it.
 
Ok Johnny, I was thinking of putting a handle on, then decided why not put the chute on the chimney? It works great. I thought maybe I would have to use a regular sized one for my Weber Kettle, but this works fine, actually it's a little easier, because you stand back & can direct the coals to the center. Any how here's a couple of pics.



 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
2,407
19
Joined Mar 31, 2010
Looking at the pic i think if i put the chute on the inside of the chimney that will make it small enough to go throw my door.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.