wsm cooking hot!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jerseydrew, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    i bought the thing in the fall and got used to cooking in the fall and winter. well now it is summer and i cant get this thing to cook low and slow.. i cannot keep this thing under 260-275. but i have to be on top of it every 15 minutes to keep it there. i am basically closing the vents completely to cool it down then when i just barely crack it open it goes back up to 275 ish. 
  2. my 2 cents - I have been playing with my WSM to get used to it as well.

    -start with a small amount of charcoal and build the fire as needed. (keep a chimney or extra grill on the side with some extra) --I added some handles to my  smoker - so I can easily lift it to play with the coals as needed.)

    -make sure the water pan is at least half full 

    -keep it out of the wind. (I use a wind break - just some boards around the bottom. )
  3. You have air leaks. If it will keep going with the bottom vent closed. That may be what you need to do. If not Just barely open it. Play with it untill you find the sweet spot. Look for any air leaks.

    Happy smoken.

  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  5. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    it's just hard to maintain low temps. when i close the vents the fire cools but when it goes down i then just crack the lower vents and then it goes right back up. i know the obvious answer is to open the wheel less but it is barely a sliver i open it. it is amazing how little oxogen a fire needs to get going. i have now closed down the top wheel to 3/4 and it is much easier to control and is now able to maintain a lower temp. luckily i want to cook at 250 today but if i wanted 225 it would be very difficult. 
  6. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Like mule said you have air leaks....on another Weber i have but it's the same concept just foil tape on the inside of the leaky vents and control with the other ones.   Foil tape can be the smokers best friend. 
  7. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    I have a 22.5 WSM. To maintain a 215-230 range, I start out with a ring of of unlit charcoal then pour a full lit chimney in in the middle, then close all bottom vents til the temp drops to 200 or 205 and crack open the bottom ones til I get the temp I want and keep opening them til they are all open and the temp is dropping. Then add a 3/4 to full chimney and start over with bottom vents closed again. Also keeping the water pan full helps with temp too.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  8. Are you controlling temps using all three vents? I use an 18.5 WSM with no water and a flower pot saucer instead of water similar to fpnmf's setup. With no water the name of the game is keeping the temp down. I orient the base of the smoker so that one vent is on the leeward side of the smoker, this puts the other 2 vents quartering into the wind. I close windward vents and control temp with the leeward vent. At the beginning of the smoke this vent will be almost closed. As the smoke continues I gradually open this vent, after it is fully open I start opening the other 2 vents as needed.
  9. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    for whatever reason it was tough at first about 3-3.5 hours in it regulated out and was much easier to manage. i think i was used to colder weather and didn't throttle back early enough on the initial heating phase. 
  10. It is hard to come down......once you get up


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