Stablizing temps on WSM

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by rickw, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lately I've been using my WSM exclusively. One problem I've had has been temp control, it's always ran around 250° or better. Instead of burning lump like in my last few smokes this time I've used briquettes.

    One other thing I did this time was to tape the door shut. With the door sealed off the WSM has held temps within 5° or so for the past 5 hours. I think sealing the door was by far the single best thing I have done to try and keep a constant temp.
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah the door is the WSM's weekpoint. I have heard many a complaint about that feature. Glad to hear you found a nice cheap easy fix. [​IMG]
  3. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep.........You couldn't open my door without destroying it.
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How do you have the door sealed?
  5. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It is sealed with a loctite silicone sealant........

    ......and a couple of years of cooking gunk. [​IMG]
  6. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When my duct tape wears out I'll mostly do the same, thanks.
  7. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It has been one there for almost 3 years with no issue.
  8. iadubber

    iadubber Meat Mopper

    I'm going to have to try this Saturday. I never thought about it. I usually get pretty consistent except when the wind blows the door off! This should help.
  9. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I run the wires from my probes out the door. And that's also how I add wood chunks, water, etc. Mine doesn't seal up very tight, but I don't have a problem with temps if I just ride the vents on bottom and treat the door like it's a vent. But I do always make sure that I face the door away from any wind too.

    So how do you guys with sealed doors do the other stuff I mentioned above? Disassemble? That sounds like a huge PITA.
  10. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use the minion method and put all the wood and coal in from the start. I haven't had to refuel as of yet. For adding water I add it through the top using a watering can.

    When I run the Maverick I run the wire under the lid. Disassembling the unit is the same, just leave the door on.
  11. mgwerks

    mgwerks Smoking Fanatic

    Well said, Dude. After reading about all the door issues, the first thing I did with mine was to keep working at re-curving the aluminum until it sealed just right. Now hardly ANY smoke comes out - you have to be lucky to catch some. Just work it until the contour matches.
  12. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    I'm pretty good with mine in terms of the door. I can use it to pass thermo probes through, and open it to spray without issue. I get a small temp drop / spike when accessing the lid, and then it will stabilize right back to where it was.

    What I CAN'T figure out is how to light the damn thing and get TBS quicker than I do now. WHen I dump the hot coals on to the pile, and assemble, I get white smoke for like 30 minutes before she settles down for TBS.

    Any hints on that? Minion method is what I do now, just started different placements of the wood in the coals.
  13. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't know of any, I let mine run for a while before adding anything.
  14. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  15. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do the same thing. Fire it up and let it settle down before I throw anything in there.
  16. hilbillyinca

    hilbillyinca Smoke Blower

    I had the same problem.. taking forever for the smoke to die down.
    What I've started doing, is instead of leaving all the bottom vents wide open, I shut them all down to about 25%.

    I know my WSM pretty well, and know that on a normal CA day/night, I can run 225-250 with all three vents shut down to about 25% or even a little less.

    By cooking with the Minion Method, and shutting the vents down a bit when I add the hot coals, it reduces the amount of air to the fire, and in my opinion, seems to cut down the time it takes to reach TBS. Usually, im putting food on about 15 minutes or so after adding coals.
  17. funk

    funk Smoke Blower

    Has anyone tried using sand instead of water? I read somewhere that this helps maintain the temp longer. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  18. luvdatritip

    luvdatritip Smoke Blower

  19. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I coal off the wood a bit before adding....Basicaly char the outside a bit.....Like most folks mentioned i let it ride 15-20 minutes anywho before adding meat.....I added a much bigger UDS style basket years ago....

    I have used as many as 6 different ones and they all seem to have there own mind....some run a little cooler and my 10 year old one likes to run hotter......I smoke at higher temps so a tight fit is not been a problem....
  20. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a bag of play sand in the shed that I bought for the WSM, I have to wait till it thaws outs now; right now it's like one big brick.. As soon as it does I'm going to give the sand a try.

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