WSM 22.5 - How Much Wood?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by maloff28, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. maloff28

    maloff28 Smoke Blower

    My new WSM 22.5 just arrived on Friday.  I ran it once empty, just to see how it worked and play with the vents.  Then I had my first smoke on Sunday.  Came out ok.

    Had some challenges managing the temperature and ended up adding fuel (started with half a ring).  I will run full from now on I think.

    I started with about 3 fist size chunks in my half full ring.  I did use the minion method.

    How much wood do you typically use in a full ring of charcoal?  I feel like I did not have enough in my half.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    I typically use 5 or 6 fist sized chunks mixed in with a full ring of charcoal.

    Here's how it looks.

    When I wasn't using my BBQ guru I would open all the vents and let it get up to 200 degrees or so. Then the vents all get closed except for 1 (which one depends on the wind direction) which is cracked 1/2 open. This set up worked perfectly for 225-250. Depending on how air tight your smoker is these settings should be close.
    maloff28 likes this.
  3. maloff28

    maloff28 Smoke Blower

    Thank you Damon.  That is a big help.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup.... what Damon said. Also after about 3 hrs. you can add another 2 or 3 fist sized chunks of wood every hour to hour and a half - if you want a smokier flavor.
  5. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    10-4!  A lot depends on how much smoke flavor you are looking for!  I follow exactly what Johnny said - start with 5 -6 large chunks then add a few more after about 3-4 hours.

  6. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    With my WSM it took about 3 smokes to "break in". after that ive had no issues with temp maintenance. When i initially fire it up i have my vents open full. When i get to around 200 i close them to half open. Once i get to the desired temp i'll close them to 1/4 open. This usually will keep the temp within 5-10 degrees for atleast 10 hours. if your doing a longer smoke i suggest adding the coal at hour 10...usually around 11-12 hours the temp will start to decrease and takes longer for new unlit coals to light.

    in my Minion i usually have 3-4 chunks in the middle then another 3-5 around the around 6-10 total chunks. i'll sometimes add a couple about 4 hours in if i'm not getting a nice thin smoke line. 

    Side note: i just noticed your in Orlando, you should check out our South Florida Gathering that we are going to have in Sebring in November.

    This will be our 3rd year and we are hoping to have the best one yet!
  7. dan - firecraft

    dan - firecraft Smoke Blower

    The post above got it perfect...listen to them and you'll be all set.
  8. dieselaw

    dieselaw Fire Starter

    Just my two cents. I add my wood as i go. That why it is perfectly applied. If u put chunks in at random they will burn at random. Maybe to soon, all at once , or too late. I add mine as i go. Opening the side door on the WSM has not affected any of my cook times. And i get just the smoke i want when i want it. Just my two cents.
  9. maloff28

    maloff28 Smoke Blower

    Thank you everyone.  This is very helpful.  I guess I didn't really know how easy I had it in electric land...  I'll get the hang of this thing in no time with the help of all of the great people on this site!
  10. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Maloff, I start with the top vent open all the way. The bottom 3 vents all the way open, 1 hickory split in the middle, filled with lump charcoal (cowboy brand) on the sides and on top of the split and lite with a looft lighter. I lite it thru the door with the top and middle on. Normally the WSM is filed with meat, I smoke a lot of meat and a little of meat and my practice is this same procedure. I can keep the temp where I want it using the bottom vents.  After a few years the inside of the dome will have a grease and smoke glaze that is like glass. Enjoy your new WSM!! RP

  11. I don't use as much wood to avoid the astray effect. I only use 1 maybe 2 hunks of strong woods like oak or hickory. 2 or 3 for light tasting woods like apple, peach, or cherry. Less is more IMHO. Just me I guess.

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