Getting High Temp in WSM

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jraiona, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. I'm planning on trying a whole chicken on my WSM and reading through the threads I see where the recommended temp to get the skin crisp is 325. What would be the best way to get the smoker up that high? Should the water pan be removed?
     
  2. It takes air and fuel to make heat. Now about the water pan. Their is no reason to ever have water in the pan. Put sand or gravel in it and wrap with foil.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  3. I like to remove the water pan for chicken cooks on the WSM.  All vents wide open and a full large chimney of lit on a full large chimney of unlit.  Chicken on the top rack. Makes a moist, juicy, crispy skinned, yardbird in about 45 min to an hour.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  4. At what point do you add the wood and how much would you suggest? I'm using hickory and though 2-3 chunks. Also, at what point would you reassemble the cooker and when would you add the meat?
     
  5. art a

    art a Newbie

    What I do is place the wood chunks on the unlit coals, dump my lit coals in the middle of the unlit, reassemble the cooker and let it come up to temp. Then place the bird on the grill. Also, 2-3 chunks of hickory is plenty for a bird, in my opinion. Good luck and I'm sure it will come out great.
     
  6. When you do use the water pan do you use water or sand?
     
  7. art a

    art a Newbie

    I'll use the water pan if I really want to keep my temps low. I'll also use it if I think I need to cook in a moist environment. I don't use it for poultry because I like to either brine or inject moisture or flavor into the meat. Actually, the longer I use my WSM, the less I tend to use the water pan, though I still like to use it if I'm doing slow cooked pork butts or ribs. It's really a personal preference thing. Try meats with it and without and see what you prefer or if there's any difference. 
     
  8. Thanks Art. I appreciate th input.
     
  9. The purpose of the water pan is to stabilize heat. Since water boils at 212° after that it is hogging the heat. It will absorb a lot of BTU's. Water does nothing for adding moisture to the meat. That is why a lot of people use sand or gravel. The larger more expensive smokers have no water pan at all.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  10. What do you use and recommend?
     
  11. I use sand and then wrap with foil.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Anything in the water pan from water to sand to clay to bricks has to be heated. Just leave the water pan in place but leave it empty. It acts as a heat deflector so you get indirect heat and air mixing.

    Open all your vents. Load the ring with cold charcoal and wood chunks. I put down a layer of charcoal and 3 fist sized chunks. Cover that layer will more cold charcoal and add 3 more wood chunks. Then add a full chimney of hot briquettes piled in the center. Only spread them out enough so they won't touch the bottom of the empty water pan. Let them burn for about five minutes before you assemble the smoker. Then let the smoke get hints of blue before you add your chicken. You'll have no problem reaching 325F to 350F. The temp may go hotter before you add the chicken but will drop once you load the meat.

    You get a little less smoke flavor with a dry smoke but it is still delicious.
     
  13. I'm an RF guy and don't use water in my smoker, also have an ECB, made a bunch of mods and don't use water in it either 

    Gary
     
  14. art a

    art a Newbie

    Meathead at amazingribs.com explains it much better than I.....but ...perhaps he's wrong.

    http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/what_goes_in_the_water_pan.html
     
  15. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Art I don't buy into everything meathead has to say although he's right on much. There's water in wood chunks, and tons in the meat, and depending where you live plenty in th air so no need for water in a wsm. Like the mule said it's a fuel waster...Imo the reason it was made with one is to make it useable right out of the box for folks New to smoking meats.
    Water in a pan does NOT keep meat from dying out....although braising in something like foil will.
     
  16. art a

    art a Newbie

    FWIsmoker

    I'm convinced you're absolutely right about Meathead not being right all the time. I'm sure he's not. My only point was that when it comes to bbq and smoking, there's not a lot of hard and fast rules. It is more a matter of creativity and personal preference. And, I never said water in the pan will keep meat from drying out. All I said was it's a matter of personal preference and water in the pan can increase moisture in the meat. There's a bunch of info and studies out there that will back that up. I joined this forum to learn and help when I can....not argue. So let's cook some good food and have a good time.[​IMG]
     
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have noticed meathead friggin ripping my posts lately? I mean come on man get an agenda of your own.
     
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I meant to specify. from this website. I do not belong to that other website.
     
  19. The question was how to get 325° and your thread says this will help you hold 225° so I am thinking this link is useless for high heat in a WSM. Then this thread is about chicken and crispy skin. You need to dry the skin to get it crispy. If we are to believe that the water pan adds moisture to the meat that is strike 2 for your link.

    I am not hear to argue. I try to help every chance I can and learn from others. So this is just my


     Happy smoken.

    David
     
  20. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    You didn't say that about meat drying out...Meathead did. Lol.      If a water pan can increase moisture in meat I'd love to know how meat I cook without a pan is noticeably more moist then others using one.   Not buying those "studies" I gotta say.

    Just can't imagine getting moisture meat...chicken/Turkey is flooded wet with no brine or water pan. Pork butts etc...are the same way so if a pan of water can increase meat moisture everyone  would be using one imho.

    Back to topic ( sorry) for the side track OP.... Like mule says no water for chickens especially. 

    No pan at all, spatchcock, cook skin side down half way through, cook 350 or more if you can and start out with dry skin.  Overnight in fridge could help you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015

Share This Page