WSM Melting?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by outspoken, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    I'm freaking out a bit here. Trying to do a seasoning on my new 18.5" WSM and I read to cover the water bowl in foil and just let it run for a few hours. So I did that, went to run a few errands and came back to find that in just an hour I had to pry the lid off because it's melting! There are burn marks on the outside of the opening and the gauge on top appears to have the needly pointing straight down so I'm guessing it's over 450 inside. I could see black goo sticking to the bottom of the lid where I'm guessing the inside coating has melted.

    Have I ruined the smoker? It's still out there and I have no idea what to do.
  2. griff

    griff Newbie

    I'm sure it's fine. You're probably just seeing some smoke residue. The coating on a WSM is pretty tough. I had my 22.5 up over 400 last night doing chicken. What kind of charcoal & how much?
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Should be fine. Close all the vents to snuff the fire. Check it in a few hours.
  4. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    Kingston blue and 6 pecan chunks, with everything in there was still room before it hit the top of the ring.

    I closed the bottom two vents now and it's down around 300. Covered the top grill with bacon.

    The grill trays are all a grayish color and the front opening panel warped a bit.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You had a grease fire. Which could've been a serious problem. You are lucky that the smoker wasn't near anything wood. You could've burnt down your house.

    Why did you put bacon on the grill? Not a good idea. The grease dripping into the dry water pan will flash and create a large fire. That's why you have black goo and marks all over your smoker.
    bigtrain74 likes this.
  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Geez. I know they are kind of set it and forget it. But WOW. Holy pay attention batman. It is nearly impossible to do anything to that ceramic coating Weber uses but...... I would never start a charcoal smoker, leave it full blast and leave. Hopefully lesson learned?
  7. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    The black goo was before putting the bacon on. The grease is dripping onto foil which was wrapped over the top of the pan.

    I'm going to take the bacon off now anyhow. The inside of the entire smoker is wet, but it doesn't seem like there is a potential for a grease fire.

    I made a mistake by starting the fire then leaving, that was my main problem. The directions I was following said to get the smoker up to 275 (using the lid thermometer) then put the strips of bacon in to help begin a coating inside the smoker. 

    I've shut all the vents and hopefully it will stop soon.
  8. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

  9. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    I'll have to wait until it cools down before I can inspect it but I'm thinking the coating has been damaged where the lid meets the middle drum.

    EDIT: It's definitely damaged, the middle drum is warped and there is a massive oval gap on one side.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I for one am just glad no one got hurt.
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    There is a WSM section of this website. I would recommend you not get your instructions from wherever you got that information from. I don't know if a total meltdown is covered by the warranty. But you might give Weber a call. Or check your homeowners insurance. Kind of sounds like a total loss. I will tell you for future reference the lid thermometer is for decoration not function. They are rarely ever even in the ballpark of being right.
  12. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    With how warped the drum is now there is no way that closing the vents is going to kill the fire. I'll just have to wait until it's all burned up then I'm going to take it back where I bought it and see if I can get an exchange.
  13. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't mean to point out the obvious here, but someone has to...

    remmy700p likes this.
  14. Using bacon to season the WSM is a common recommendation from Harry Soo. A very successful professional BBQ cook. I doubt he would approve of you starting the seasoning then leaving.

    I also doubt you melted porcelain enamel. You may have got it hot but I doubt you melted it. Porcelain generally can withstand very high temperatures. Weber fires it on at 1700°F. Possible but improbable for a charcoal fire to melt. That's why Weber uses it and can offer a 10 year warranty.

    The grease produced by the bacon collected inside the lid, dripped down the lid, puddled in the center section lip, and caused the lid to stick. It's common. Warm it, remove the lid, and wipe off the lip and outside. Clean the outside with degreaser.

    If it's warped give it a series of gentle bear hugs to get it back in round.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  15. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Me too
  16. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    I definitely learned a few lessons the hard/dumbest way possible. The new one is in hand now and I'll be taking good care of it.
  17. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you contact Weber? Get an exchange?
  18. outspoken

    outspoken Newbie

    I took it directly to the orange box store and got the exchange done.
  19. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's great you were able to exchange it! [​IMG]

    Good luck with your new WSM and don't worry about seasoning this one! Bring it up to 250-300F for about an hour to burn off any oils, then throw some food on!

  20. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I would suggest you spray some cooking spray in there and coat everything after you burn the factory oils off. Then you can just cook away.

Share This Page