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WSM 22.5 - How Much Wood?

maloff28

Smoke Blower
123
17
Joined Mar 21, 2011
My new WSM 22.5 just arrived on Friday.  I ran it once empty, just to see how it worked and play with the vents.  Then I had my first smoke on Sunday.  Came out ok.

Had some challenges managing the temperature and ended up adding fuel (started with half a ring).  I will run full from now on I think.

I started with about 3 fist size chunks in my half full ring.  I did use the minion method.

How much wood do you typically use in a full ring of charcoal?  I feel like I did not have enough in my half.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Seth
 

damon555

Smoking Fanatic
464
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Joined Jun 26, 2010
I typically use 5 or 6 fist sized chunks mixed in with a full ring of charcoal.

Here's how it looks.


When I wasn't using my BBQ guru I would open all the vents and let it get up to 200 degrees or so. Then the vents all get closed except for 1 (which one depends on the wind direction) which is cracked 1/2 open. This set up worked perfectly for 225-250. Depending on how air tight your smoker is these settings should be close.
 

jirodriguez

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 5, 2009
Yup.... what Damon said. Also after about 3 hrs. you can add another 2 or 3 fist sized chunks of wood every hour to hour and a half - if you want a smokier flavor.
 

pgsmoker64

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Yup.... what Damon said. Also after about 3 hrs. you can add another 2 or 3 fist sized chunks of wood every hour to hour and a half - if you want a smokier flavor.
10-4!  A lot depends on how much smoke flavor you are looking for!  I follow exactly what Johnny said - start with 5 -6 large chunks then add a few more after about 3-4 hours.

Bill
 

dougmays

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With my WSM it took about 3 smokes to "break in". after that ive had no issues with temp maintenance. When i initially fire it up i have my vents open full. When i get to around 200 i close them to half open. Once i get to the desired temp i'll close them to 1/4 open. This usually will keep the temp within 5-10 degrees for atleast 10 hours. if your doing a longer smoke i suggest adding the coal at hour 10...usually around 11-12 hours the temp will start to decrease and takes longer for new unlit coals to light.

in my Minion i usually have 3-4 chunks in the middle then another 3-5 around the edge...so around 6-10 total chunks. i'll sometimes add a couple about 4 hours in if i'm not getting a nice thin smoke line. 

Side note: i just noticed your in Orlando, you should check out our South Florida Gathering that we are going to have in Sebring in November. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/138307/2013-south-florida-gathering-3rd-annual-nov-8-10th

This will be our 3rd year and we are hoping to have the best one yet!
 

dieselaw

Fire Starter
35
11
Joined Jul 21, 2013
Just my two cents. I add my wood as i go. That why it is perfectly applied. If u put chunks in at random they will burn at random. Maybe to soon, all at once , or too late. I add mine as i go. Opening the side door on the WSM has not affected any of my cook times. And i get just the smoke i want when i want it. Just my two cents.
 

maloff28

Smoke Blower
123
17
Joined Mar 21, 2011
Thank you everyone.  This is very helpful.  I guess I didn't really know how easy I had it in electric land...  I'll get the hang of this thing in no time with the help of all of the great people on this site!
 

rp ribking

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OTBS Member
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Joined Oct 29, 2009
Maloff, I start with the top vent open all the way. The bottom 3 vents all the way open, 1 hickory split in the middle, filled with lump charcoal (cowboy brand) on the sides and on top of the split and lite with a looft lighter. I lite it thru the door with the top and middle on. Normally the WSM is filed with meat, I smoke a lot of meat and a little of meat and my practice is this same procedure. I can keep the temp where I want it using the bottom vents.  After a few years the inside of the dome will have a grease and smoke glaze that is like glass. Enjoy your new WSM!! RP

 

bama bbq

Master of the Pit
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Joined Sep 24, 2011
I don't use as much wood to avoid the astray effect. I only use 1 maybe 2 hunks of strong woods like oak or hickory. 2 or 3 for light tasting woods like apple, peach, or cherry. Less is more IMHO. Just me I guess.
 

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