WSM and cold weather

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jds22, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    $45 6ft. x 8ft. welding blanket.... works great and folds up small when not needed, and you can peal down the top while leaving the bottom wrapped to open the lid and what not.

  2. Where can I buy a welder blanket? At Home Depot or Lowes?
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Harbor Freight is a good choice if you have one near by. 
  4. I find wind the biggest issue. No problems in the cold. I've used mine with snowbanks around it in -20 degrees celcius(I think its -4 Fahrenheit?) and works great.
  5. Thanks for the idea on the welding blanket, I texted a friend who is the construction biz and he said he has 2 and will GIVE me one!

  6. if you went thru all the trouble to build a house for a smoker, why not just build a dedicated smoke house. None the less it's pretty sweet!
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not sure if the big box stores carry the, but any welding supply shop will have them. Anothe option is to stop by a metal fab shop and see if they have any old ones thay might give you. Even with a few small holes burned in them they would still work really well.
  8. Harbor Freight has them.
  9. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    as others have said cold is not the issue. what does become and issue is in the cooler weather with wind you wind up going through a ton of fuel and on a long smoke the ash eventually builds up enough to choke the fire. what i do is, take the middle section (WITH the lid) and move it to the side for a moment. the temp will start to lower in the chamber but not that fast. i put handles on my fire grate so i can pick up the fire grate and shake the ash out. i then set the fire grate aside (on something that will not burn!!!) and with a small garden trowel and metal fireplace ash bucket, i remove as much ash as i can. i then put the fire grate back in reload more fuel let it get some heat and going then just pop the entire middle section with lid back on top and let it regulate temp again. has been working well for me lately on LONG smokes. 

    you know how they say every piece of meat has it's own time. well i had an 8 lb butt take 19 hours recently. the other 8 lb butt took 12. thank god i cooked both. one was ready in time for dinner and the other was good for the fridge and left overs. 
  10. tahoe1

    tahoe1 Newbie

    I will be smoking ribs tomorrow and I will try the welding blanket for the first time.  The forecast is calling for a high of 9 degrees.  Do you add water to the pan when using the welding blanket?  Some people don't use any water in cold weather and one person posted on the forum that he uses a fire brick.  Thanks!
  11. morning wood

    morning wood Smoke Blower

    I used my WSM for the second time this past weekend.  When I fired it up it was 7 degrees out with a 24 mph NNW wind for what the news channel said was a -15 degree windchill.  I put the smoker on the SE side of the garage and fired it up with a bag of lump, a handfull of apple wood and a full water pan.  It stayed between 225 and 250 for 11 hours with only 3 adjustments on the intakes.  The only problem I had was I was doing a 12 hour cook so I just threw more apple on for the last hour to maintain heat.

    For me going forward the only precautions I am going to take for cold weather smoking using the WSM is how much clothes I wear!  The WSM is amazing at what it does.

    I guess this is a bit off topic but I did have a problem with the Maverick 732 due to cold weather.  The BBQ probe read LLL.  The manual says to make sure the probe is at room temp.  Since I was standing in my garage where the room temp was 7 I didn't quite understand the problem. [​IMG]   But here is my mistake, I put the probe in the smoker assuming that it would warm up and begin working.  It did not.  After about three hours I took off the faulty probe and brought it into the house.  An hour later I put it back on with its first temp reading at 68, it worked fine from there.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Unless I am trying to get over 300° I always add water to the water pan - regardless of weather - it evens out any spikes/drops when you open up your smoker.
  13. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get yourself a welding blanket, you will be amazed at the differance in fuel consumption on cold windy days. I went from getting approx. 30 min. per lb. of charcoal (at 250°) to about 60 min. per lb. of charcoal, even on cold windy rainy days.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  14. tahoe1

    tahoe1 Newbie

    Thanks!  The welding blanket worked well!
  15. A friend of mine is a union insulater and is going to make me one of the silver ones. Im buying the materials and 2 cases of beer for doing it.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  16. matt22556

    matt22556 Fire Starter

    Used mine and it was 9 degrees out, only issue for me was that I was cold when I would check on it. It held solid 250 for 12+ hours.
  17. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

  18. That does not seem to allow for actual smoking only covering for storage!
  19. rdwhahb

    rdwhahb Smoke Blower

    It is made for smoking. I have used it a couple of times and have no regrets making the purchase. If you look close enough you can see smoke coming out of the blanket opening.
  20. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah those do work well.... I'm just to darn cheap... lol. I looked at those and about croaked at the $100+ price tag - course that's the same reason I came up with my under $5 eyelet/grommit mod, I was to cheap to pay for the Cajun Bandit ones... lol.

    You can look at the link below my signature if you ever want/need to add more eyelets for probes.

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