WSM 18.5

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by shadowhawk, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Hi Folks....another question for you. Is the grill thermometer that is installed on the WSM lid sufficient or should I get another one to put inside? If so, any recommendations? Lastly, what type of charcoal should I use in the WSM?   Thanks
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Most stock therms aren't very accurate. Not to mention never close to where you are cooking. It's best to have a probe at the same level the meat is cooking at. So yes having a remote therm is the best option. The Maverick ET732 and now 733 are solid. I use the original iGrill as my go to but have the Mav732. I will be buying the iGrill2 once I here some reviews.
  3. OK...Thanks...I'll look into the Mavericks and from what everybody else is saying, the Thermopen is also an invaluable tool. Probably end up getting both of those.

         Now, anyone have any recommendations on what type of charcoal works best in a WSM???
  4. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Shadowhawk,

    I have a WSM 22.5 and the temps are off by 40 degrees compared to my ET-733. The location of the probe on the WSM also has an impact as it probes at a higher level then a probe which will sit close to your meat.

    As for charcoal, I have used both Briquettes and Lump Charcoal (hardwood), and in my opinion both have pros and cons...

    You may find that Briquettes tend to burn a little longer, maintain temperature better, and can be slightly cheaper, however they can take a little longer to light (not a huge issue), some may produce a slight chemical smell, and they do produce more ash then Lump Charcoal)

    In regards to Lump charcoal; lights quickly, some say you can burn hotter (however not what we are looking for in low n slow cooking), quicker temp adjustment time, little ash to clean afterward, and all natural. On the down side you may have a harder time getting your temp steady, might be a little more expensive, and my pet peeve, some of the pieces are small and tend to fall out of the chimney making a small mess).

    To be honest, I always used briquettes until Walmart had some of the lump charcoal on been using that for my last few smokes. But overall not a big difference....that said if I was going to do a long smoke like a butt or brisket...I might go out and grab a few bags of briquettes (Typically use the Kingsford brand).

    One thing you don't want to do is get those match light (instant light) brother picked those up without realizing when attempting his first I the temp rose up to over 600F in less then 3 minutes! LOL

  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Definately get some good digital therms - you can use the lid therm to watch for spikes and drops and as a rough rule of thumb, but the probes are needed to keep track of internal meat temps.

    For super long smokes (brisket and some butts) I use Kingsford blue bag - I can run over 20 hours on one bag at 230-250 if the weather is nice, in bad weather it drops to more like 15-18 hours. But I also wrap my smoker with a welding blanket to keep the wind and cold off of it during bad weather - works like a charm!

    Lump is great for shorter smokes or times you want a higher heat, also you can mix lump and briquets together for the best of both worlds as well. The main reason lump doesn't last as long is that it is hard to pack it in as tightly due to its non-uniform shape. Even carefully packing the ring you still have air gaps and what not that let the fire burn hotter & faster.

    Note (especially with lump): Make sure to damp it down about 10 degrees before your target temp. If the temp gets away from you it is very hard to bring it back down.
  6. jbili

    jbili Fire Starter

    I hear the thermopop for $24 from the same company as the thermapen is almost as good.

    I was thinking of getting one of those but I'm also interested like you in the lid gauge that came with the unit. I have a WSM 22"

    Would like to replace it with something a little better
  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    My 22.5 inch performer gauge is dead on with my maverick 732. Maybe I just got lucky. Some of them actually have a nut on the back and you can adjust the calibration. Still, you will need a good remote meat probe so you don't have to open the lid all the time. I suggest the maverick. Been using them for years. Then you have both covered. Happy smoking.
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The Weber lid therms actually aren't bad, the main issue is the placement. Mine read fine when used in boiling water, but my racks each have a different temp. Take two blocks of wood and drill a 1/4" hole thru them then fire up your smoker and get it up to 250° (according to the lid therm), place a block on each grate, and slide a probe therm thru each hole, close the lid and let it come back up to 250° on the lid. Make note of each rack compared to the lid - those are your offsets - you can then mentally adjust for each rack when you look at your lid therm and know you are at least have a ballpark estimate of each rack at whatever temp the lid therm shows.

Share This Page