WSM 22 Over Night Cook

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by danbono, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All I did my 1st over night cook with my WSM 22". I started at 11 pm with 3/4 bag of Weber Charcoal, it's now 9 am and the smoker is still going.
    Smoking a 3 1/2 lb butt and a 3 lb flat.
    Here is my problem I was looking to smoke at 225, nice n slow, temp right now is 279. All night long I couldn't get the temps down too 225.
    I'm using lava rocks in the water pan, got all the bottom vents closed, top vent 3/4 open..So why are my temps much higher then I wanted? Maybe next time water in the pan.

    The Weber charcoal did past the over night test as far as time goes,just have to get the temps down next time.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use lava rocks in the water pan too, but I also fill it with water.

    It sounds to me like you just started with too big a fire, I can usually keep my WSM down around 210 for an all nighter.

    BUT, I have a BBQ Guru set up too.

    I would open the top vent all the way & basically shut all the bottom vents except 1, & just crack that one open.

    Also make sure if the wind is blowing that it's not blowing right at the open vent.

    Good luck!

  3. zinner

    zinner Newbie

    How many lit coals did you put in last night?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  4. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I never thought about using lava rocks--just have my pan filled with sand. Do lava rocks heat up faster than sand?? Probably do. What about heat retention using them as a heat sink??

    With the sand I have to store it indoors during the winter. Not sure about that with lava rocks.

    Why am I asking YOU about winter???? Your biggest problem in winter is staying dry.

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  5. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like the lava rocks better than sand, because sand seems to get moisture in it & if you let the smoker sit for a couple of weeks without using it, you start to get mold growing on the sand. But of course that's in Florida, where if you stand in one place too long you get mildew growing on you. [​IMG]  

    Yes the lava rocks seem to work better as a heat sink than sand, and when you add water to them you get a moist environment for a few hours then the water evaporates & you can either add more water or just let it finish in a dry environment.

  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm a bit of a contrarian when it comes to using the top vent.  Don't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers, but I use the top vent to drop temps if I've done everything I can with the bottom vents and my controller.  You can't use the top vent at the beginning of a smoke though.  The smoke exiting the top vent has to be extremely thin blue or clear.  By clear I mean you can't see anything, but when you whiff your hand through the exhaust toward your nose you can still smell smoke. 

    Once I'm at the proper smoke stage, and I've shut down the lower vents with no results, I'll close down the top vent to about 1/4 open to drop temps.  They start coming down over the course of about a half hour.  Then when I'm at the temp I desire, I'll open it a little, say 2/3rds open, and watch the temp.  If it starts to climb again, I'll close it a little, to say 1/2 open.  As long as you are at the TBS or clear smoke stage, you won't get a stale smoke taste on your meat.  I've used this method on everything from jerky to brisket with absolutely no issues. 

    BTW, I have nothing in my water pan.  It is completely empty. 
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Dan I have the 18.5" with the BBQ Guru like Al bottom vents closed,just using the Guru for air I maintain low temps fairly well.

    I had problems when I first got it,so I clamped the upper part to the base,sealed the door and lid.No water pan in mine I use a deflector 

  8. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Dan I think the posts above have you covered. I never do overnight cooks because I would be waking up every hour on the hour worrying about something(my personality). Even though I know I can run it all day long without big temp swings. BTW I have the WSM 22 and only use a hand full of lit coals to get her started. All vents wide open to begin with then close two down and adjust with the third vent. If more air is needed then I open a second. I have had to use the top vent once or twice to control the temp, but that usually only happens when the wind changes direction on me and I slow to react. 
  9. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All I only lit about 5-6 coals to get started..Gotta be air leak coming into the smoker,with "ALL" the bottom vents closed the temps kept raising. Going to order some gaskets and see if that will stop the air leaks.

    Thanks Dan

    PS I did see a couple of tiny pin holes when the bottom vents were closed, maybe start there?
  10. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Al , Rich What BBQ Guru do you guys have.? Will it still work if there are air leaks?

    Thanks Dan
  11. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Just ordered the DigiQ Dx 2..It was on a holiday special. Would it still work good with some air leaks?
    Thanks for all the info.
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The DigiQ will still work with air leaks, but go ahead and pick up the gasket kit, or have Santa bring you one for Christmas (still time with Amazon).

    My WSM was out-of-round when I received it way back when. Plus the door was bent almost flat. I received another free door from Weber after about 6 weeks, but by then I had worked with the damaged door until I got a decent seal. I used my out-of-round WSM for 6 months, hoping it would seal. It didn't. No matter what I did it settled in about 270-280F.

    I picked up the Nomex gasket kit for $25-$30. Cleaning the barrel of six months of smoke buildup so the gasket adhesive would work (about an hour) took longer than installing the gasket (15 minutes then a 24 hour cure). Then I could regularly maintain 225-250F. There was a HUGE improvement in temp control. I added the DigiQ because I had some bonus money burning a hole in my pocket.

    I have those "pinholes" in my bottom vents too. As long as the vent metal is "tight" against the bottom section, they don't impact temps enough to worry about.

    I smoke with nothing in my water pan. Since I switched to RO Ridge charcoal, a denser charcoal than KBB, I can maintain temps from the mid 100Fs to anything I want, up to 350F+. The DigiQ makes a huge difference in maintaining hot temps, plus is peace-of-mind insurance against dropping temps on overnight, low n slow smokes.
  13. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Yup That is why I got the DigiQ for over night cooks.
    Thanks Dan
  14. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Questions.
    1. With the DigiQ DX 2 how do you handle the top vent..Read something in the manual saying just keep it open a little?
    2. How do you set the ramp option?

    Thanks Dan
  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dan, I'm sure everyone has their own techniques for vent control, especially with the WSM. Most say always leave the top vent full open. I do that on 250F+ smokes, but for less than 250F, I do use the top vent to keep temps low, but only after I have TBS.

    I've never bothered with the ramp option so I can't help you there. I also don't set alarms on my Maverick, or use any of the fancy features. All I want to know is temp. If anything needs adjusting, I do it.

    It is 9 AM my time as I type. I'm 15.5 hours into a 17-20 hour low n slow start / hot n fast finish of an 11.5 lb pork picnic using Royal Oak Ridge. Outside temp started at 47F last night at 5:20 PM, got down to 32F about 5 AM this morning, and is now headed back up. Used the Guru as a chamber temp drop catcher during the night. Worked like a charm to keep the fire stoked during a relatively cold night for NorCal.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  16. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds good..About the cold weather,here in New Jersey the temps have NOT reached of 25* for the past few days with no relief in sight.
    THanks Dan
  17. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All Got my gaskets.The gasket is going on door & barrel where the lid sits.
    Now on the barrel/middle section, where would be the BEST place for the gasket,on the lip where the lid sits or the out side lid part, that goes around the barrel?
    Thanks Dan
    PS Still to cold to do anything here 21* right now.
  18. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I put mine on the barrel where the lid sits.
  19. worm304

    worm304 Smoke Blower

    Thought this was a good thread to ask a question. I have used my digi q on 2 overnight smokes. I did a brisket with the water pan 3/4 full. It held 225 great for the first couple of hours I was awake. When I woke up the temp was spiked to 275. I am assuming because the water pan depleted. I decided to go no water on the 10 lb.pork butt I did last weekend. This time I had trouble even getting it to 225. It sat at 190ish with the digiq on full blast attempting to get it going. I had all the bottom vents closed and the top fully open. To get it to 235 I had to open another bottom vent. When it hit 240ish I closed the bottom vent back down. I figured it would hold from there but nope, it dipped back down to 190. Any ideas on why? Thanks!

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