Joined WSM Club

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by njsmoker83, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    Thanks njsmoker83 for posting the link to where you purchased your WSM.  I am this >< close to pulling the trigger on one myself.
    I am a total noob when it comes to smoking.  I've only smoked about 2 or 3 times....but nothing serious.  What is this minion method you speak of?  And Jim's tweak?

    I could really use a link to some noob FAQ or something, if one exists.  Can't seem to find a "noob? read this" sticky.

    Anyway, thanks for any help.
  2. meyer

    meyer Newbie

    Minion method is named after Jim Minion, who has invented a method for long burning briquettes in a WSM.

    Fill your fire chamber 3/4 in the WSM with unlit briquettes. Mix the briquettes with the smoke wood you have decided to use. Lit 10 - 15 briquettes, and pour them over the unlit.

    Then the lit briquettes will gradually lit the unlit briquettes, and you will have a steady unform smoking for hours.

    You will have to adjust the three lower vents, once you have reach the desired temperature you close them to 1/4 of open. After a while you might close 1 or two completely, but that is depnding on weather conditions, and the quality of briquettes.

    Good luck 
  3. I also read one way to do it using a coffee can.  putting the unlit around a coffee can and pouring lit ones in can and then removing it.
  4. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a method spelled out in Low and Slow,  I fill the ring about 1/4 full with lump, then toss in a few wood chunks,  I then fill the ring the rest of the way.  Depending on weather temp.  I fill the starter 1/2 way for warm days, and full for cold days, and dump the lit lump ontop of the unlit ring.  I then toss in a few more chunks of wood, and let the smoke die down before assembling the WSM and getting the meat on.   I close down two of the bottom vents  after about an hour, and then close the last bottom vent and the others as needed.

    Got 18 hours off this setup on Saturday.
  5. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies.

    Do you guys soak your wood chunks in water?  Wrap 'em in foil? Or both? Or neither?

    Edit:  sorry for hi-jacking your thread njsmoker83
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  6. no problem.  i have same questions lol.  i have heard that soaking them is a waste, not sure how true that is. 
  7. so you fill ring all the way with unlit, then put lit on top of that?  i still havent used my WSM but in my brinkmann it would be so filled that the coal would be resting against the water pan, do you have that same problem in the WSM?

  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The charcoal doesn't come close to the bottom of the water pan on the WSM, plenty of room. I have even mounded my charcoal a tad in the past then created a hollow to dump the lit charcoal into. With my 22.5" WSM I have ran it for 16 hrs. shut it down and still had about 1/4-1/3 of my original charcoal load left.
  9. meyer

    meyer Newbie

    Soaking the smoke wood does not help a lot. The wood will only obtain around 5% water, and I feel the smoke smells more like a garden fire, than a smoker [​IMG]

    IMHO, the best smoke is made by good wood, that has dried in dry conditions, and has not been sawn with a motorsaw. The motorsaw will leave oil on the the wood.

    Kind regards

  10. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the input.

    Should have a WSM 18 1/2 to play with before the weekend.[​IMG]


    Edit:  moved image to photobucket
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  11. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    like JIrod said,  the lump does not touch the water pan, there is plenty of clearance.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  12. so happy not using the ECB anymore.
  13. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    I received my WSM yesterday.  The manual doesn't say anything about seasoning the thing and I think I read on here somewhere that it's not necessary.

    Should I coat the inside with cooking oil or pam or something?  Or just run it as is?

  14. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    The only thing I sprayed with cooking oil was the brackets that hold the water pan and grills.  It's not necessary though.  I just felt like it.  You'll be good without seasoning it.  If you are cooking something for the 4th on it I would highly suggest you do a test run first so you can get used to it.  It's so easy but practice before you do a big smoke.
  15. I've had it for over a week, put it together, and have had no time at all to do a smoke yet.  It is in my kitchen staring at me every day.
  16. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

  17. stl-rich

    stl-rich Fire Starter

    For the Noobs

    To make life easier, you want two mods -

    1) Get some copper wire and wire the charcoal  ring to the charcoal grate - now it is one piece and easier to handle.

    2) Go to Home Depot or such and get a pair of :garage Door Handles"  with screw holes the same distance apart as the grate supports on your WSM - If you put them on, you have handles.

    Starting the fire

    Fill the charcoal ring with briqs and a FEW dry chunks of wood - the coffee can hack is kewl, but unnecessary, use it or not, I don't.  Put about 8 - 12 briq in a Weber chimney (I removed the wire grid inside it and inverted it so it points down, better for lighting just a few briq IMHO) with a dry chunk of wood

    When the few briq are lit, empty on top of the charcoal ring, assemble the WSM with ALL vents wide open.  As the internal temp rises, slowly close the bottom vents.  When you reach temp, have a beer - then check that your are still at temp.

    Don't mess with the top vent ;)
  18. this message will probably appear twice:

    So I have my baby fired for the first time. Temp has not budged from 170. My top vent is closedand bottom are slightly open. Ribs have been on for 2.5 hours. Everything smells great. Using apple and cherry chunks. This thread has been awesomely helpful. Is there anything more at this point? I have been spraying them down at the 1.5 hourly rate.
  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TOP VENT SHOULD BE 100% OPEN! If you leave the top vent closed you are going to create creasote and and ruin your ribs. If you open your top vent you should get up to 200-250°, which is where you want to be, 170° is to low.

    If you create creasote you will need to completely scrub the inside of your smoker, or it will stay there and ruin the flavor of future smokes as well. If you have to clean it I suggest simple green and a scrubby sponge, rinse well, then run it for 3 hrs. with all vents open and no water pan.

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