WSM Question Large Parties Bad Day

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by njsmoker83, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Hey guys,

    Just had a bad experience with my WSM.  I really love the thing and always get good smokes out of it, but today temp wouldn't climb above 200 and food was ruined.  I like to have big family gatherings at my house and everyone likes my ribs, but with the WSM 18 you can't fit more than three baby backs on a rack and one large shoulder on the other.  It is great for small smokes but the big ones its not as good.

    Im thinking of getting an Oklahoma Joe or Brinkmann Trailmaster from Home Depot.

    I really want something that i can open the top and throw in 6 racks of ribs and two butts and some chicken.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks so much
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Get or build a UDS.  I've got the makings for one that I just can't find the time to assemble (too many other honey-dos).  They're cheap, easy to use, and you can smoke quite a load of food at one time.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Could you provide some detail on the day? Outside temp? Windy? Set up on WSM? Water or no water? How much meat was loaded? Did you check the calibration of the therm?

    In the winter you have to keep in mind you need to start with a lot more lit charcoal unless you have a way to insulate your WSM. I recently purchased a 6 ft. x 8 ft. welders blanket that I wrap around my WSM, and it makes a huge differance on being able to get up to temp and maintain it - even on really cold or windy days.
  4. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Get a good stick burner that will hold a lot of food would be my suggestion.

    I know my Lang 36 isn't the biggest out there, but I loaded it up with 9 racks of BB ribs for Christmas and they all came out delicious. 
  5. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You can increase the capacity of the WSM 18" like I did. I would post up a pic but it is at the camper 60 miles away. I added a grate in between the existing 2. I then made 3 double stacked grates. This way I have both single and double grates.


    4 SS L brackets

    4 SS flat head machine screws 

    4 SS flat washers

    4 SS lock washers

    4 SS nuts

    1 WSM replacement grate

    Remove grate straps. Drill hole in each strap halfway between existing grate supports, large enough to accommodate machine screw. Counter sink hole on back side of grate straps. Install  machine screw through the counter sunk hole, place L bracket over the screw, so screw is below the L. Install flat washer lock washer and nut tighten. Repeat with the remaining grill straps and then reinstall them into the middle cooking section.

    Double stacked grate.


    2 WSM replacement grates

    4 long SS carriage bolts

    12 SS fender washers

    12 SS nuts

    Install carriage bolts threw grate 90 degrees from each other, install fender washer and nut tighten. Install another nut and fender washer on carriage bolt. Install other grate. Install last fender washer and nut flush with bottom of carriage bolt. Tighten nut above bottom grate

     If you have any questions feel free to pm me.
  6. smokinal

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

    Rib racks work well too.
  7. Definitely was my fault last night.  I ran a test today and put the WSM on at 4:00 and put a full chimney full of kingsford charcoal (used lump last night).  Outside temp is in the 30's and we are having a hail storm in North Jersey right now and the smoker as still going strong at 8:00 at 225.

    I knew last night i should have loaded up the charcoal box.  Oh well. 
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... live and learn, and hopefully get a bit wiser each day!

    In the winter I never run less than half a ring and one full lit chimney to top it off. Also if you want some cheap easy insulation buy a 6 ft. x 8 ft. welding blanket (about $40), and then buy some small heavy duty metal spring clamps at Lowes or HD (they look like giant clothes pins). Once your smoker is lit wrap the blanket around it and use two clamps where the edges meet to hold it together - position them below the lid. Then you can fold the top down (like pealing a banana), pull the lid off, add the meat, put the lid on, fold the top over the dome leaving a hole for the exhaust, and another hole if you want to see the therm. I can run my WSM at 250° on a windy cold day with temps between 35 & 45 with only one vent half open. Best of all the blanket folds up into a nice small square when not in use!

Share This Page