Any words of wisdom from you WSM folks out there??

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ellymae, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've been wanting a WSM for a while but couldn't bring myself to buy one new. After scouring craigslist for months, I found one about close to home. Picked it up yesterday - can't wait to start learning it - planning on doind a shoulder Saturday.

    Any words of wisdom from you WSM folks out there??
     
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    No words of wisdom from me about using the WSM but congrats on getting one!!!
     
  3. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    Do you know what year / model it is?

    Pre-2009 I think the water pan was a bit small, so some people got replacement ones.

    1) Foil the water pan, it helps!

    2) Mods like the clay pot / sand in the water pan work pretty well too.

    3) Minion Method, if you dont already: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html

    4) DONT LIFT THE MIDDLE SECTION OUT when its full of water and the coals are burning!!!!

    5) Edges of the smoker do run hotter, so I rotate my food now, a la the "Low and Slow" BBQ book

    6) Brand new ones run hot for the first few smokes.

    7) Make sure you have something to do while smoking, as these things are very low maintenance.

    I use mine now mainly for pork butt / chuckies / chicken as they can get pretty hot if you want them too, and are super fuel efficient.
     
     
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grats on the score!

    Herky covered most of it, but another thing - if it is a pre-2009 18.5" WSM you might want to get a new water pan (if you are planing on using water). I believe after 2009 they increased the capacity of the water pan significantly on the 18.5" models. Personally I just foil the pan and use water, I have not tried the sand method so I can't vouch for it.
     
  5. Congrats!  You will love it.  I use a clay saucer in mine and it works great, I have never used water.  I usually start my cooks at night now and once I get it dialed in I go to bed and sleep like a baby.  It took me a couple cooks to feel that comfortable with it, but it truly is that good.
     
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... yeah first overnight smoke I kept getting up every two hours to check on it..... now I sleep 6-8 hrs. without even thinking about it.
     
  7. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the info guys. I have heard good things about the log burn times with the WSM and I have to say I have been a little skeptical since I started off with a Brinkman that was a pain where the sun don't shine to keep at a steady temp.

    This is about an 8 year old cooker - a little bit of rust, bit nothing bad. He had all the original parts, including the owners manual.

    I got this mainly so I can take it camping. I'm going to do my first cook on it Saturday - just took a pork shoulder out of the freezer.... I'll let you know how I make out.
     
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah.... I was the same way before I got my WSM, I had a Char-griller Smokin' Pro that did OK, but I didn't trust it for long smokes. First time I fired up my WSM for some chicken thighs I filled the charcoal ring all the way just to see how long I could hold 250° on the lid therm. I think I finally gave up after 10 hrs. and went to bed... lol.
     
  9. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new addition, you will fall in love with it.

    I use lump exclusively in mine, don't be surprised if you find yourself having to close the bottom vents, mine, and most of what I've read, run that way. 

    If's it 8 years old it probably doesn't have a factory thermometer, did the previous owner install one, I installed mine in the lid and measure temps at the lid, that is usually 15° higher than the top grate temp.

    I also installed Guru eyelets for my probes to pass through and I  added handles to the sides to facilitate removing the middle section.

    Have fun with it, mine will smoke at 215° for 18 hours and go to 350° to cook chicken, they are a great smoker.

    Be sure to post some Q-view of that shoulder.

    Gene
     

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