Maiden voyage of my new WSM!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ultralow787, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. It's been a long cold winter and despite a couple of nice days, it was hanging right around the freezing mark yesterday. I was itching to get my new 18.5" WSM out and give her a test run.


    I decided to go with something non-critical for the first run and do a double smoked Easter ham. I followed Jeff's recipe from the newsletter and made up some rub and his BBQ sauce as well.

    I filled the charcoal bin with a mix of lump charcoal and also some Kingsford Blue briquettes. I got the chimney going and did the minion method. My wood of choice was some lumps of hickory.

    I got the spiral cut (already cooked/smoked) ham ready and gave it a smothering of spicy mustard. It was then rubbed down with Jeff's original recipe rub.

    I placed the ham in a foil tray on the lower grill and also filled the water pan with some hot water. I decided to try this as I have so often read that the WSM cookers run hot at first. On second thought, with the freezing outside temps, it might have been better to let it go without the water! I set up a folding table as a bit of a wind baffle even if it was a bit on the short side.

     I was able to maintain a good temp overall. I played with the lower vents a bit and was able to hold around 245 to 255 deg during the whole 3 1/2 hour run. I let the smoker go even after removing the ham and found that I was able to hold a good temp for about 5 1/2 to 6 hours on that initial fill of fuel. This seems so much more efficient than my Reverse flow offset.

    Overall, I was pleased with this inaugural run of the WSM and look forward to some great BBQ off of it this summer! BTW, just after dinner it snowed and covered the ground!

    Here is the final product after a couple of bastings with Jeff's Dr. Pepper/BBQ sauce/ honey glaze. It tastes fantastic and I had sammies tonight with leftovers!

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great nice first run! I'm a no water in the water pan smoker, so I'd vote for leave no it empty or filling it with sand. On cold windy days the sand filled water pan will help keep the temps stable.
  3. trueteam

    trueteam Smoke Blower

    Nice looking ham! I am definitely going to have to try a ham. Once the wonderful goodness builds up in the WSM you can 12+ hours on 1 load depending on conditions. I also do not use water in the pan. Did you use a thermometer? If not, the lid temp is different than the bottom grate.
  4. trueteam, I was curious about the accuracy of the lid thermometer. I don't have all my smoking gear out and set-up yet, but that is something I am going to check out soon.

    One thing I did notice was some brown ooze coming out the bottom vents. I imagined this was condensation forming on the cold walls of the smoker? partly due to the moisture in the ham and also the steam from the water pan. I also seen some smoke leakage from around the fire door and around the lid at the top. I guess a gasket mod is in the future. lol
  5. dirtsailor, I plan to go with sand in the water pan for future smokes. I think the water creates to much humidity in there. I was surprised to see that there was still some water in there after almost 6 hours of smoking.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Eons ago I used to use the water pan, then I realized that the evaporating water had negative effects on temp control.
  7. That ham looks awesome!  I did the same thing two weekends ago, pretty much spot on with what you did and ours was spectacular.  With what little ham was left, we took it along with the bone and made a huge pot of beans with one of those multi-bean packs.  WONDERFUL!!! 


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