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New WSM advice.
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conure Offline
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Post: #1
New WSM advice.
Hey all,
I have lurked here for a while and have really enjoyed all the great info here. I finally got a WSM and retired my ECB. It is absolutely awsome. I am blown away by how easy the WSM is to use and how great it holds temp. My ECB barely held 200 for 1.5hrs. I have done three cooks thus far. First chicken, then ribs, then butts. The butts went overnight for a total of 16hrs and they pulled great. I never thought a 16 hr smoke would be so easy with 1 charcoal refill. Now that I have a little experience I have a couple of questions.

1) I use the minion method with lump charcoal. Must people talk about briquettes with the minon method and I am game to try briquttes, but i just like the flavor lump gives. When using lump for a 16 hr smoke do you completely fill the ring? How long does that last in your exp? When you add charcoal do you essentially start from scratch by filling the ring and relight a chimney or do you just add cold charcoal or hot charcoal? The reason I ask is that when I add cold charcol it seems to smoke white for about 30min then it settles down to a thin clearish smoke. I think the white burn gives me some off flavors.

2) I have bought wood from standard which I love. My trouble is splitting it into "fist sized" chunks. Do I just need a big 'ol axe. Any tips for splitting this extremely hard wood?
07-12-2009 10:00 PM
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Jeff Offline
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Post: #2
 
I usually use Rancher Charcoal briquettes, which gives the positives of lump in the shape of a briquette.
However, I have used Royal Oak lump in my WSM in the past for overnight cooks.

When using lump, I still put a layer of briquettes at the bottom of the charcoal ring to keep the small pieces of lump from falling through the grate.
I then add lump so that the charcoal ring is HEAPING full.
With this setup I have easily made it 16 hours without having to add new charcoal.

If I did have to add new charcoal I would light 1/2 a chimney & add that on top of some unlit using tongs through the access door.

I can't help you with the splitting wood question.
The wood chunks I have bought from Cabela's and Casual Barbecue & Fireplace have been fist sized or slightly smaller.

KCBS Certified Judge
07-12-2009 10:41 PM
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Three4Que Offline
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Post: #3
Re: New WSM advice.
For the fist sized chunks, I use my band saw. I have a 9" bench top one that works great cutting my wood from standard. I'll split the larger pieces then cut them to the size I want. They work great in the UDS, and will try them in the WSM this week.

KCBS Certified Judge Smoking on UDS, WSM and Kingsford Grill
Smokin' Critters BBQ Team
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Keep it low and slow!!
07-13-2009 05:55 AM
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Jaybird Offline
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Post: #4
 
I use only charcoal and fist size chunks. I can control the temps better by not using lump. I can usually get up to 27 hours of cooking time on just one load of charcoal without adding. Mind you, this is in Arizona in damn near perfect weather conditions. At Snowbird where we were at the high elevation and raining on the WSM's, I did have to add some lit coals.
A friend of mine uses his sawsall to cut into chunks.

Also, are you using the new WSM with the thermometer in the lid? If so, is that what you are going by to monitor your temps?

Otis and the Bird BBQ Team
07-13-2009 08:43 AM
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conure Offline
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Post: #5
Re: New WSM advice.
Thanks for the tips. I am using the old WSM without the thermometer. I have an oven thermometer on the top grate and then I use a stem through the top vent a times to check. I know neither is ideal but my last two cooks I just set the bottom vents at 25-50% and let it ride. Everything turned out so I didn't sweat not knowing exact temps. I will invest in something else sooner or later. I will give the racher briquettes a shot. I had been debating about the new kingsfords.
07-16-2009 08:50 PM
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sampson Offline
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Post: #6
Re: New WSM advice.
I've got a couple of cooks in on my new 22.5 WSM's and I love the new K in them. Nice slow even burn.

Rockin' on two 22.5 WSM's, a GOSM gasser and missing them old drums...
KCBS Member and CBJ
Biggest (pound for pound) BBQ Fan in Utah
Two Time!! Grand Champion @ My Backyard Picnic Annual Cookoff
07-16-2009 09:54 PM
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