Difference in charcoals in a WSM

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by michaelpm, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie


    I bought a 22.5 WSM and had very poor success with it last summer. I used it 3 times and was not able to get a sufficient burn time of more then 4 hours. I was using about 13lbs of briquette charcoal by Royal Oak and it just burned through it insanely fast. It was a very windy summer where I live last year and think that had a lot of contributing factors to it all. I am hoping to get to try it out once all of our snow is gone for another round to see how it holds up.

    Royal Oak charcoal for me is like $7 a bag. Kingsford where I live is more like $25. I'm just wondering if this is a massive step up in quality. The reason I get Royal oak is because all of the stores near me sell it and not kingsford. However i'm starting to think that taking the drive is going to be worth it in terms of a quality smoke time.

    I've used Royal Oak in an offset smoker no problem and typically just add charcoal as I go. I've been able to get 12 hour smokes out of 7 lbs no problem however the size of my off set is a fraction of the wsm.
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    How are you loading the coals?  I have a 18.5" WSM and I can and have ran a smoke over night on several occassions and have had a successful smoke this winter as well without running out of coals.  Have you looked up the minion method? 
  3. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie

    I have been using the minion method. I think the charcoal i've been buying is just burning too hot. That or the wind is causing the coals to burn a lot hotter and faster and the heat just isn't being retained inside the WSM. I had huge fluctuations. I should give it a try in february on a nice calm day. I just moved to a new house and dont have a fence up yet so there's absolutely nothing to block any sort of wind for now.
  4. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Interesting. I have the 18" WSM and have run 18+ hours on a load using the minion method. I have used both RO and Kingsford briquettes and have not seen much difference.  Where I saw a big difference was when I used lump it burned hotter and longer. When I use my WSM in windy conditions I rig a wind break. 
  5. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    What temp are you smoking at ?. And how much light charcoal are you adding  to the unlit... I have both 18 and 22 i also use royal oak and i am getting real nice long burn times even in the winter when its 0 out... this is with no water using a clay saucer in my water pan.....
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  6. michaelpm

    michaelpm Newbie

    Very weird. I will have to use it again. The wind must be the beast ruining it for me. The temps I am smoking at is usually around 225 but after the 3 or 4 hour mark that temperature just burns out and drops to 180 and will not rise from there until they're all burnt out. This is using the water pan with hot boiled water in it.
  7. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

    Is that temp on the stock therm or a digital? Wind is an issue for sure and the cold weather plays a factor too but you should get a much longer burn time even with higher winds and cold weather then 4 hours.

    P.S. Add your location to your profile. It will help people answer questions easier and maybe let you know about deals in your area.
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Something just doesn't sound right, most of us with WSM's get 18 to 20 hours on 1 load of charcoal no matter what brand it is.
  9. smoke king

    smoke king Smoke Blower

    Is it perhaps a function of how much you have the vents open?  Can you give us a little feedback on that?
  10. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Where are you located and what temp (air temp) are you smoking at?  To burn through a ring of coals that fast it sounds like you must be somewhere near the arctic circle [​IMG]

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