WSM temp management

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Mar 3, 2024
Hi all from New york,this is my first post,very happy to be here.
I've been using my trusty Weber kettle 22" for years a d its never failed me.
I've always wanted a WSM and my 18" came today, I was wondering now you guys manage the temp
on these smokers,I saw on guy on YouTube who leaves the top vent fully open and the three bottom vents are left a pencil width open,then the temp is adjusted from here,always leaving the top fully open,would you guys recommend this method ?or is there another preferred method,
also,is it necessary to completely fill the charcoal ring for every cook?,or do some cooks require less charcoal?,thanks in advance.
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
I keep the top vent open and adjust the bottom vents to control the cooking temp. I used dowel rods. Different size dowel. I don't recall the exact size of the dowel ( someone on another site had done the math ) you can see I've got the different size dowels marked in percentages for how far they open the vent.

  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
And yes, the amount of charcoal used will vary with the cooking temp and length of the cook.

Are you using the Minion Method ?
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
This is to be taken with a grain of salt, but I aways completely fill the charcoal basket using the minion method. I also leave the top vent wide open, and control temps with the bottom vents. Brand new WSM's leak a lot of smoke, and it takes few cooks get a good seal around the barrel, lid, and side door. Hang in there. I was pulling my hair out the first few times with my WSM, but once I figured out what to do, it's been no problemo!
Good info above .
I would say fire it up an hour or so before you want to cook , and let it settle in before you add any meat .

Also , run it dry a time or too before the first cook .
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
Thanks guys,appreciate the info,Smoking Okie,yes I will be using the minion method,can't wait to fire it up. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads