My 1st smoke on WSM 18.5 with Q-view....but not my first smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by my87csx481, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    First, I'd like to thank everyone on here for their contributions to this forum....and for helping me.  If it wasn't for you guys, I would have taken longer to find the inspiration, motivation, and knowledge to pursue my new addiction.  Thanks to all of you!

    Some history:

    I purchased this


    Brinkmann charcoal barrel "smoker" grill on an impulse....after watching an entire day of Steven Raichlan on public television.  It's now my charcoal grill.  I smoked pork chops on it a couple times, chicken a couple times, country style ribs a couple times, and a rack of pork spares.  The problem with this "smoker" is it's not a smoker.  No side damper(s).  Lots of leaks.  Temps were always way over where they need to be....except for the chicken.  The spares came out pretty lousy so, I did some research on here and got a WSM 18.5.

    So here's my Q-view of my first smoke on the WSM - 3-2-1 pork spares and some hot dogs:

    After prepping


    After the rub


    Was trying to hold about 210 on the lid therm.  Tossed an oven thermometer on the grate, found it was cooler than the lid and decided to try hold this temp


    About 1 hour in


    After 2 hours in the foil with apple juice


    Time to take 'em off and let 'em rest


    Time to eat....finally....the bones were falling out of the tender[​IMG]

    What I learned:

    I messed up the fire building somehow.  I put some lump in the ring, added a couple pieces of hickory, put more lump in the ring (little more than half filled the ring up with lump), added about a half a weber chimney of lit lump and a couple more pieces of hickory.  I let it (and myself) come up to temp and stabilize for about a half hour before I put the meat on.  It got real hot in there after about 1.5 hours after putting the meat on.  Then it started to slowly die out.  At around hour 5, temps were dropping pretty low, so I fired up another half a chimney to finish the ribs after the foil.  Turns out I didn't need that half a chimney, there was a whole lot of unburnt charcoal.  I'm guessing I should sorta' pack the charcoal in the ring a bit, leaving less air pockets so it will all get lit at some point.  Any suggestions?  I have a whole bunch of unburnt charcoal in there even after adding the lit half a chimney towards the end.  It's okay to try to re-use the unburnt stuff right?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yo my87csx481,

    You made a great choice in the WSM, too bad you learned the hard way with the Brinkman, but it sounds like your getting good usage out of it as a grill.

    Nice post, nice pics... enjoy the 4th
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    yes you can reuse the unburnt coals.
  4. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Oh man I'm hungry! Love the Q-view. 
  5. my87csx481

    my87csx481 Fire Starter

    Yeah, I've got a lot of stuff going on right now (just purchased an older home) so I was looking for something that didn't need constant attention.  The WSM will fill that need once I improve my fire building skills.  It really didn't fluctuate too bad if you consider my impatience with adjustments and my inconsistent fire - never got below 200 or above 250 lid temp.  ET-73 should be on its way on Tuesday so I can monitor grate temps easier.

    I had not done any research at all when I picked up the grill.  Found SMF after an experiment or two on it.

    Thanks for the responses.

    Happy 4th to everyone.

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