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Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by tulsajeff, Mar 27, 2010.
Sure am Jim, doing a chuckie here in a bit. I have it warming up right now.
Im doing a chuckie as well, ring is full, chimney starter is going. Also doing some wings 3-ways, smoked then grilled, then a korean sauce, regualr hot wing sauce, and plain.
Weber recommends the top vent to be wide open but I figured that I wanted to try it closed a little to see if I could get a little more smoke flavor and I have to tell you that it worked out great on yesterday's session.
I may have totally different settings given a day that is fairly calm.. we'll see as I am already thinking about what I am going to smoke next in that thing!
whatever works, tinkering & bbq goes hand in hand.
Im fighting some winds today, I have all 3 bottom vents open about 2/3rds now. I had one closed down, and other 2 at 1/3 open, but temp was going too low.
I running 250ish with one vent 50% open. It is pretty windy right now but the windbreak really helps.
Jeff is the 18lbs. of Charcoal Kingsford? Or is it Lump Hardwood Charcoal?
I used regular Kingsford briquettes.. I like to use lump most of the time but I have heard that in a WSM, the lump just does not work as well in the long cooks.
I will eventually try some lump and see how it goes.
It is no secret and with a Veteran Smoker like Jeff's testimony, BBQ competitions all over are being won by WSMs. I have stated several times that 2009 KCBS team of the year used a couple of WSMs.
I bought my MES almost 2 years ago, and it was narrowed down between then WSM 18 and the 40" MES. I wanted to smoke whole racks of ribs, not curled or cut, and I wanted more capacity, so I went with the MES. If I was making the same decision today I would go with the 22" WSM.
Thanks Jeff, for a great write-up on a super smoker.
Jeff, give the lump a try,
I have used the kingsford comp. briquettes a couple times, and the rest of the time lump. both burned equally long, but the lump gave a heck of alot less ash to clean up after the smoke. Less ash means less filler(who knows what that can be). Also I prefer the taste of the lump as well.
I have done 4 slabs 2 on each rack, not cut or curled up.. spares, and bb's(ive posted pics on my methods which were taken from Gary Wiviott's "low and slow" book.
You just put them big bones towards the outside of the smoker, and have them follow the curve of the smoker, after a couple hours, and they have shunk you can pretty much toss them all on the top rack to finish up.
I have a buddy with a couple rib racks who fit 10 whole slabs on his 18.5".
I will do that.. I am a big fan of lump so if it works equally well and you don't have the additives to worry about then it sounds like a win-win situation to me.
I know this is going to be blasphemous on this site, but BBQ has never been my favorite food--at least, until my husband educated me on the real mccoy! Now I know that all that crap I ate at restaurants over the years with sauce slathered on to disguise the lack of smoke was NOT real BBQ!
I've tested a lot of racks of ribs for Jeff over the years, and while they're ALL good--never had a bad one yet--the batch he made last week was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Great smoke flavor, nice crust on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. I prefer baby backs, but this time the spares bowled me over.
Baby, you are still my favorite chef!!!
P.S. You're still going to make more chocolate-lava-cupcakes on Sunday aren't you?
You know, I called Weber today. They told me that they had added TWO more people to the payroll. "What were their names?", I asked. Just as they were about to tell me, the manager from payroll came running in with an emergency call from both Chicago & Oklahoma. Something about TBS blowing in the direction of Weber headquarters. Then the line went dead. It all seemed very peculiar.
Haha!!! Great post!
I guess it's obvious whose payroll I'm on.
not on their payroll, just a big fan.
.... I still blame it all on Jim... heh-heh, but definately not getting any checks... *sigh*... would be a nice way to fund meat buying though.
i blame Gary Wiviott, he gave me the cold shoulder until i bought one..
I started a brisket cook yesterday at around 5:45 PM in preparation for the upcoming newsletter and had some surprising results that I wanted to share on the WSM..
I poured a full 18 pound bag of charcoal Briquettes into the ring. I then poured on a full chimney of lit charcoal on top of that to set it up for a long minion style cook.
I filled the water pan with about 2 gallons of cold water since it was fairly warm outside.
Placed the brisket on the lower rack with 12 links of boudin on the top rack..the plan was to have the boudin for a late evening dinner then move the brisket to the top rack.
It was a slow start, maybe it was because I added cold water or maybe it was because there was so much charcoal in the ring but I could not seem to get it above 205°F with all of the vents open for about the first 1.5 hours.
I wasn't complaining since that is perfectly fine and cooking slow at the beginning just allows more smoke permeation and that is always a good thing for me.
After about 1.5 hours it started coming up a bit and I was able to adjust all of the vents down to about 30% open to maintain 225°F.
As planned, I removed the boudin at around the 2.5 hour mark and we had boudin with eggs which is a traditional breakfast but we had it for a late supper.
At that point, I moved the brisket to the top rack quickly and replaced the lid. I did not remove the lid again until 3:30 AM when I removed the brisket at an internal temperature of 190°F.
I decided to let the WSM just continue since I wanted to see just how long it would hold a good temperature.
With the influx of air while removing the brisket the coals had gotten very hot and I had to adjust the vents down to only one of them open about 25%. I watched it for about 30 minutes and decided that this was going to hold my 225°F.
I went to bed at this point.
I slept later than planned and did not get up until 8:45 AM so I quickly dressed and ran outside to find the WSM at 170°F.
Now I don't know at what point that it dropped below 200°F as that would have been how I would have measured it but I am guessing that I got at least 13-14 hours out of that thing.
To me this was very impressive.
Oh.. I forgot to mention.. It was very windy last night.
I will be trying the same sessions again soon using lump charcoal to see if I can get the same results or even better.
Jeff, I'd comment on your obsession with this thing as unhealthy, but as I'm already infected, it might be hypocritical! Just glad that your boss understands like mine does.
If you want to get a jump on the temps and cut your time, throw a large stock pot of water on the stove on high before you go out to start prepping the smoker. When ready, if you fill the water pan with boiling water things happen much faster.
It's great reading your love letters to the WSM!
Nice brisket write up Jeff. I have found I can start with just hot tap water (mine gets realy hot - probably have the heater set a tad high), and I get up to temp. no problem.
I ran into a temp. spike on my easter hame when I moved the ham up to the top rack as well, but I just left everything alone and it setteled back down within about 20 minutes.
Overall sounds like you got a great run.... especially on a windy day!