WSM FAIL! Help...I guess

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by macandrews, May 28, 2016.

  1. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    Got two pork butts rubbed and on the top rack of my wsm. Temp started dropping after four hours and I thought coals might have gotten choked so I gave the base a gentle kick and splash. The top grate slipped and both butts went into the water pan. The pan wasn't exactly spotless from the previous smokes. Old grease. Maybe some mold etc. is it at all salvageable? Fire didn't go out though and got back to temp in ten minutes. S.o.b
  2. Couple of suggestions to keep it from happening again:

    1) I cover the water pan with aluminum foil, before every smoke, for a quick and easy cleanup afterwards.

    2) Add a few washers to the top grate mounts to add a little more room for the grate to stay onto the mounts.

    As to the salvageability of the butts, I'd PM Chef JJ and let him know the circumstances. He's usually online this time of night.
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  3. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    Saw the washer mod last night. Good idea prankster.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think the butts will be fine.

    Did you find out why the temp dropped?

  5. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    I did not. No wind. 75 degrees out side. Just a lull I guess. Dropped to like 210. Panic might not have been the best reaction. I should have been sleeping anyway. Just a bone head move. Now with a clear head I should tell you a little more about the water pan. I did a smoke about 2 weeks ago ribs and chicken. Spaced and didn't empty the water pan. When I got it ready last night there was obviously grease floating but also mold. I dumped it into my fire ring. Got the coals going. Brought it up to 250 and filled the water pan then. Smoked for 4 hours and then the incident occurred. So the water pan was hot. I don't know of if it was at sterilizing Temps but grate temp was 220 the whole time. One butt was Strait floating in it. The other was on top. The rub on the floating one might have been a bit washed off but I don't know if 4 hours was long enough to inbed it or not. I guess the real question is whether or not the Temps held at 230 for an additional 8 hours will sterilize from that or not.
  6. I don't know about the meat, but when my temp drops like that, I open the door, gently knock off some of the ash with a fireplace tool and move the coals around, if necessary.  Be careful with the ash; you don' want that on the meat.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm sure the boiling water in the water pan sterilized it.

    Then the continuing cooking did the same to the meat.

    Usually when I get a temp drop in my WSM, just cracking open one of the bottom vents a little more will bring it right up.

  8. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    Stuck at 189 for 4 hours now. Here comes beer number 1
  9. From six pack number?
  10. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    Exactly. I've read about lags but not 5 hour lags on an 8 lb picnic. Haven't checked the 9 lb butt
  11. macandrews

    macandrews Newbie

    UPDATE:  Wrapped in foil after the 5 hour lag, and it immediately climbed to 204.  Pulled it, put them in a cooler, and took them to the lake.  I pulled them when i got there, let them cool a bit, and packed them in ziplocks after squeezing all the air out.  Refrigerated over night and crocked it in half cup of apple juice on low for about 2 hours.  I tasted it the night before and it was awesome.  The next day it was still pretty good. The butt was juicier than the picnic, but both had same flavor.  It was a bit too smokey.  i threw 5 smaller chunks of apple wood around the minion so it smoked progressively throughout the cook as opposed to putting all 5 close to the lit coals to burn all at once.  Had about half inch bark and smoke ring up to an inch deep.  Served with home made mac and cheese.  No one got sick woo hoo.  Sorry no pics.  I'm just not much of a food pic guy.  Maybe after being here a bit that will change.  Pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I plan on some ribs again and maybe some brisket next.  

    I have a single probe remote temp and now want a duel so i can take grate temp as well as internal temp.  Since i already have a single probe, is there a decent thermometer i can buy to take grate temp?  Obviously the spring thermometer on the hood is junk (30 degrees off).  Should i buy a duel probe Maveric and just not use the one i just bought?

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