Tin can in WSM charcoal pile for TBS?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 2, 2009
Eugene, OR
Does anybody use a tin can stuffed with their wood in the WSM charcoal pile?

I'm finding it hard to get TBS in my WSM now. I'm pretty sure my wood is too dry (sat inside my appartment for 2 years) but I was wondering if anybody tried doing this?

The only way I can get TBS with this wood is on my propane burner in a can. Luckily its almost all gone, so I just ordered some new stuff.

Hmmm... never tried that, but seems like it might get to hot in the can if it was in the middle of the pile. I still have the best luck burrying 7-10 chunks in the charcoal as I load the ring. Not sure why you would suddenly start to have problems getting TBS.... keep us inoformed if you find the cause, it would be nice to know what to watch out for.
I think it is the fact that the wood is very dry. When it was in my appartment during the winter the heat goes on and the air gets very dry. So much so I used a humidifier at night to avoid a dry throat.

I've soaked the chunks a few times but that only helped for a bit. When I use these chunks vs new ones on the propane burner they definetly smoke white for a bit longer and need less heat to get TBS.

I'll let you know when I get my new shipment of wood.
Hmmm... not sure, usually the dryer the better for getting to TBS quickly. My understanding is the bad white smoke is coming from all the saps and any moisture that has not dried out of the wood. Of course any wood will have a start up period of white smoke, but it should settle down within 2-5 minutes.

Sorry Herky, not sure on this one.... definately be interested to see what the differance is with the new batch of wood.
Well I finally got a chance to test this out.

Before loading my last 2 smokes up, I did take some time to clean the charcoal pan of my WSM. It was a bt built up and I wanted to remove that as a problem.

Eventually I was 2 different smokes. One with some of the old wood hunks and some new stuff (layered new on top old on bottom) and one with all new.

I can say this: I believe there was somethign wrong with the old wood. 1/2 way through my smoke on the first try,  got quite a bit of white smoke for 30 minutes, and no TBS. If I added a piece on top of the fire it would burn up white smoke, no TBS and then nothng. When I originally started the smoke and the new wood lit I got TBS almost right away.

The second smoke I also got good TBS with new wood. Now I can't discount the fact that when I had ths original issue, there was quite the heavy / sdeways rain going on, and its possible I got some water inside through the vents... maybe. Maybe also the built up caked on ash was choking the fire.

Either way I'm using new wood now, there wasnt much left of the old stuff so its gone, and I'll be cleaning the smoker more often. :D
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