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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
Tim Campbell
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Default New 22" WSM Body has arrived. HELP!

For those that did not see the other threads, I got a new 22 WSM and the body had a dent. I just got a new body, less than three days later. Go Weber. So I set it up and here is a pic of the new machine! I put 1/2 a ring of charcoal in and dumped half a lit chamber. I am using Royal Oak. It screamed up to 425 with all of the vents open. I waited 15 minutes and closed two vents half way. No change. I waited 15 minutes and closed two vents all the way. Came down to 390. I forgot about the water, so I filled the water pan 1/2 way and closed all the vents. It is now settled at 315 for the last 30 minutes.
I have a maverick thermo, on the edge of the top rack. The dome thermo says 300. No wind, temp outside is about 35 degrees. So, did I build too big of a fire?

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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
Tim Campbell
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The 3lb chuck roast that will hopefully go on tomorrow!
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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I used to only dump in about 15 briquettes of lite and it always ran rock stead at 260-275F.

You want to start closing your vents on the way up, preferably 50-75F away from your target temperature. If your target temp is 250F, start closing the bottom vents at around 175F, then check in 10-15 minutes, and so forth.

Also since you're WSM is brand spanking new, it will run a bit hotter for the first couple of cooks. Dont worry if you're cooking in the 275-300F, meat will still be GOOOOD.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Fire rose too fast.

Have used a smaller pile of coals to start with all vents open.
Once the pit temp approached 175 I shut down 2 vents fully.
My WSM runs 300*(empty water pan) on one vent wide open.

As a result: 2/3rds to 3/4 open on one vent works for me.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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It sounds to me like you put WAY too many lit coals on, based on what you wrote.

Have you read up on the "Minion Method." You should be starting with something like 90-percent unlit coals, and 10-percent lit coals. Raising the temperature is far easier than lowering it.

I have an 18.5 WSM, and start off with just under half a chimney of lit coals on an almost full ring of coals and wood chunks.

Seriously, if the fire is too hot, you most likely started too hot, and cooling the fire down is not easy. Always err on the too cool side, because that is easier to fix.

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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Tim it sounds like you did build to big a fire, You didnt say what you were cooking so I or We dont the situation, First its easer to bring temp up rather than down, I fill the basket with a coffee can in the middle then pull out the can and dump in 12-20 hot coals, lots of info here on the minion method, it works great. Be patient it takes time for it to come to temp. Good luck
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Tim if you have your thermo probe on the outside edge of grate you may get a higher reading. I have a 18.5 and ribs seem to get done on the ends quicker due to the heat rising along edge.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
Tim Campbell
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I definitely got over zealous on the chimney. I will do 1/4 chimney tomorrow with the vents open much less
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Unread 01-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
Tim Campbell
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Not cooking anything now. I read somewhere that you should fire up the smoker once without food.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Campbell View Post
Not cooking anything now. I read somewhere that you should fire up the smoker once without food.
I never did. <shrug>

With no food and no water there is nothing to soak up the heat.

Normally when I close up my cooker, I close two of three bottom vents. (Top vent remains open all the time until I shut down after a smoke.)

A new smoker may not seal as well. My 18.5 held temperature with food and water in the bowl with all bottom vents closed (in summer.)

Did instructions come with the smoker? You may do well to follow them the first few smokes. I know you will get a lot of information that conflicts with that on this site and I won't say that any of it is wrong. However Weber has written instructions that are as bulletproof as they can make them for someone who has never fired up their WSM. That would be a good place to start.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #11
Tim Campbell
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Thanks all!
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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I just got the 22.5 WSM about three months ago. The first thing I would tell you is to disregard the temp gauge on the smoker and get a reliable thermometer. My smoker's gauge reads 30-40 degrees high depending on the temp I'm cooking at. I'm still learning but I find that the water pan does make a huge difference. The minion method has worked well for me and I am able to maintain 250 degrees consistently after a few cooks. Cooked a prime rib last week ( my first one ) and it was AWESOME! Plenty of good info from these guys on here.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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In the drum or the WSM I don't use a chimney at all. 90 seconds with a plumbers torch, leave the vents full open and in a few minutes, beer minutes that is, when the temp hits 200°, start closing the vents. Like the others said, it is easier to heat it up than cool it down!
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Unread 01-05-2013, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Campbell View Post
Not cooking anything now. I read somewhere that you should fire up the smoker once without food.
It be hard to eat on nothing
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Unread 01-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #15
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Glad to hear Weber took care of you. You've got some good advice so far, and I'd agree with the temp gauge replacement, find a good one to replace it with. Then again, I never use one when I smoke on my Weber Kettles. For a 6 hour rib smoke I just shut the vents on the bottom to just a sliver opening, vent on top wide open, and dump about a half chimney of lit in a coal basket to one side with a couple of chunks of pecan and put the lid on, add 6-8 coals about 2 hours in, and maybe a few more a couple hours later.
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