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WSM vs Pork butt


Joined Dec 27, 2016
I've heard a pork butt "needs" indirect heat. My question is, those with WSMS, are you guys just filling up the ring all the way with charcoal since it's generally a very long smoke, or are you "halfing" the ring and adding fuel as you go and putting the butt on the opposite side of the fuel?


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Well, I fill the ring and reuse old charcoal for the next smoke.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 24, 2011
I've got an 18.5" WSM.  I fill the ring and either will run a water pan with water or a water pan dry, but with a clay pot base sitting it it for thermal mass to moderate the temp.  I run butts at 225* so it's going to be an 18 hour or so smoke.  I generally run for 12 hours and top off the fire ring again so I can sleep without worrying about running out of fuel.  I use a BBQ Guru for pit temp control.

Yes, I know you can "probably" do the entire smoke on one load of charcoal, but charcoal is cheap and I like my sleep.  If the guru has fuel, it will hold the set 225* so I make sure it has fuel and sleep soundly (I generally start my butts around 1PM with a target of serving them for lunch the next day, adjust your start according to the service time.  This lets me pull them in the 7 to 9am range depending on how the meat stalls. I hold it in a insulated cooler and pull at time of service).

Also like Noboundaries said, I can choke off the airflow at the end and any left over charcoal can be used later.
Last edited:


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I do the same as the others, using the minnion method & filling the ring all the way to the top with wood & charcoal.

Than I just start about 1 dozen briquettes & put them on the pile.

Here's a photo of the setup.

Good luck!



Joined Dec 27, 2016
Ok, figured it wasn't going to be a big deal. Just gonna fill the whole ring. Just hoperfect it goes better than the turkey lol

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