Turning my WSM into a stickburner

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Nov 8, 2012
Llewellyn PA aka God's Country
The winter break left my WSM a bit funky inside.  I thought I'd do a good hot burn to clean it out.  I got everything ready and then realized what I thought was an almost full bag of charcoal was actually only a few briquettes.  So I figured I'd just use wood.  I have piles of cherry and oak splits getting ready for the upcoming summer smoking season.  

Anyway, I sprayed some newspaper with vegetable oil, piled on small pieces and then 3 good sized splits (probably 6" round) into the bottom of the WSM.  Lit the paper and let it burn for about 30 minutes disassembled.  After the flames got going good, I put the middle section with racks and cruddy water pan on and left it burn for about another hour without the lid.  The flames were rolling pretty good as the grease warmed up and dripped down.  I put the lid on and the temp gauge was buried so I figure it's running somewhere around 450.

As all this was going on I thought it would be a waste if I didn't actually cook something so I have wings defrosting to make as a snack for the Daytona 500.

No pics of this process as it was pretty mundane.  More so just posting this as advice for folks who are bad planners like me and run out of charcoal.  As long as you have wood, you can definitely smoke in the WSM.  I actually like this method with these wings.  If I keep feeding it wood, it should be easy to keep it around 400.  Might get some good crispy skin without having to fire up the fryer?

More to come....
Great ingenuity!  Let us know how the wings turn out!
I did this same experiment a while back on my WSM & it will run on just wood.

The only drawback being you have to feed it.

No set & forget like the minnion method with a mix of charcoal & wood.

I had wondered "why not" about doing this before and came to the same conclusion.  Fully lit hardwood will not last as long as brickettes, but the flavor may be worth the trade off on shorter cooks.  Not so much on a 22 hour pork butt smoke IMO.
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