Frugal temps in a WSM 18"

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by slimjimuk, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Hey folks!

    Only have a few smokes under my belt and they have all been done using the minion method.

    Quickly realising that the whole "close the vents and it goes out" is a bit of a fallacy as the thing leaks too much so the coals never really stop.

    With the "snake" method, does it last a decent amount of time and at good temps?

    Thinking that it will use less fuel and if I am finished cooking before the snake is used, I can separate the burning from the cold/new and save myself some fuel.

    What do you guys do?
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jim. Can you bring it with you next weekend and we can take a look at it with you?
  3. Van is going to be full of "non" BBQ stuff I'm afraid Wade.

    But we are hoping to be there early enough to watch you guys start smokes for Saturday, so I guess I will get some tips while you are all setting up. :)
  4. --UPDATE--

    So did a really good big 'double' smoke on the bank holiday weekend (See it here) and I used my Stoker II (Controller, available here)

    As I was doing two rather huge beef rib sections, I used two bags of Aussie Beads (including half a chimney for starting) minion method (well, piled on!)

    Smoked from 6am till about 2pm.

    Using the controller, I had two of the bottom vents closed and the third covered with the controller fan.

    Without really thinking about it, once the meat was off and the pit-beans & foil wrapped corn-on-the-cob had been taken off after 8mins directly on the coals, I turned the controller off (stopping the fan) and closed the top vent.

    The next day, I came to clear up and could not believe how much UNTOUCHED Aussie Beads was left!

    Managed to remove a FULL chimney of beads that had either not been touched or had only a small patch of white on them and were still strong enough to squeeze without them disintegrating.

    So it seems that the controller not only makes the temps perfect for the whole cook (no stalls!) but is also more economical.

    Can't recommend this controller enough. Although I presume any/all controllers will do the same job.

    Using a controller is 'kind of' cheating I guess. but the question is, why NOT use one?

    It's a little like using cruise control in your car. You still need to know how to drive ..... [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is why using the Heat Beads is so economical. Slightly more expensive to buy but they last a long time. On my 18" ProQ I can get a good 12-14 hour cook out of a 3/4 bag of Heat Beads and still have some left unburned. Thanks for confirming this independently as I am sure people look at me as if I am crazy when I tell them [​IMG]. I usually save these unburned ones to use as the starters in the centre of the next Minion.

    1.5 to 2 Kilos of Heat Beads will also give 6-7 + hours of cooking in a Weber Kettle at ~110 C. 

    You do not need the controller to achieve this efficiency however having one does make it simpler to achieve.
  7. I was actually reading your test with the Aussie vs the Coconut this morning.

    Not seen the coconut in the shops anywhere yet, did they ever sell any?
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Once you have your WSM seasoned it will no longer leak. The door may still leak a bit but it wont at the lid or where the middle section rests on the base. The door on my 18 leaks but if I close all the vents it will snuff the fire. I have no issues maintaining temps with minimal adjustments through out a cook. I don't like using tenders because I don't want to rely on power to do my cook. Fire management is something every smoker should learn for each pit they have.

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