Surprised with a new WSM

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by nygiant, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Wife got me the 18.5 inch for our anniversary. Just got into smoking about 1 year ago and had been using the webber kettle grill.  What a surprise, I'm really excited to have so much more smoking space and I'm assuming the temp is a little easier to control.  Been doing a lot of reading on this site and watching youtube vids and still have some questions.

    Can you rely on the built in lid thermometer?  I do have a Maverick dual probe if needed.  I figured if I'm doing 2 butts I should have a probe in each and that would leave me with only the lid thermometer.  Just not sure, hopefully someone can help.  On my WSM I see a rubber type plug on the side with a place to stick in a thermometer probe and a slit to stick in the digital probe which seems really cool.

    Just going back and forth on the sand, water, ceramic brick for the water pan.  So many opinions on that.  Also trying to figure out the best amount of charcoal to use and then which method of lighting is best.  Again, so much debate.  Any tips are appreciated!
  2. The installed thermometer on my WSM was off by 30-50 degrees. Since you have a Maverick, I would use it instead. Use one probe for the chamber and the second probe for the meat.

    Personally, I don't use anything in the water pan. No sand, no water, just some aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. On this subject, you'll get multiple responses and it comes down to personal choice and preferences.

    I fill the charcoal basket and add a few fist sized(4-6 depending on size) wood chunks for flavor. After I'm done smoking, I close the vents to snuff the charcoal and reuse again the next time I smoke something.

    Again, this is going to be answered in several ways. For me, I start 15-25 briquettes in a chimney and place them in the center of the charcoal with all vents open on the bottom. The top vent remains 100% open. Once I approach my target temperature(within 10-20 degrees), I close down all but one lower vent and let the temperature settle. You'll be seeing a white colored smoke escaping from the top vent. Once it slows and becomes less visible, you can get busy and place whatever meat you'll be smoking inside.

    Have fun with the new toy!!!
  3. fdannyw

    fdannyw Smoke Blower

    I run mine the same as sfprankster the best advice I can give is to play with it and see what works best for you and have fun with it
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    not much I can add to the 2 reply's above.. just try different techniques (search feature is awesome for this) and see which ones best for you....

    PS... I believe you might have a "keeper" Thumbs Up
  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow very nice gift,hope you got her something nice! When I started I used the water pan but now foil and run dry as well. Best way like already mentioned experiment only change one or two things at a time to find out how it cooks and you like your food smoked. Most of all have fun!
  6. lovethemeats

    lovethemeats Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So when can we all come over for dinner? Well bring our own forks.
  7. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Cool, thanks for that information! A little "trial and error" I guess. Can't wait to get started.

    Good info about being able to reuse charcoal. Seems like using half a bag or so for ribs (4-5 hours) and a full bag for a butt (12-16 hours) sound right? Seems like that minion method is most popular from what I see.

    Yeah, think you're right. She IS a keeper!
  8. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Oh yeah, got her a gift card to the spa so she can go and do one of those spa days and relax.

    Yeah guess j gotta see which works. Water, no water, sand......never knew something so simple could be so complicated. Like an old Ford vs Chevy debate!
  9. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Man that sucks. You think something as nice as a Webber would have a trustworthy thermometer!
  10. Weber has to maintain a price point and the WSM is more than worth every penny. [​IMG]
  11. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Get her off to the spa so you can spend your Saturday smoking some meat... well played!

    Congrats on your new WSM
  12. gomez93

    gomez93 Meat Mopper

    Just a couple thoughts to add to what has already been said;
    A new WSM will typically run hot the first few cooks, but once it gets "gunked up" it will seal better and be easy to control.
    Yes the lid thermo is off about 50°, but once you learn the correlation between that and the grate it is useful. If my lid thermo reads 300° I know my top grate temp is between 250° and 260°
  13. nygiant

    nygiant Smoke Blower

    Thanks for that info!

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