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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 07-17-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
schotz
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Default WSM 22.5 coming today - any advice on breaking it in?

Hi all,

First post here. I've been smoking for years on a Brinkman Gourmet and its done a decent job. But I decided to make a concerted effort to smoke more and smoke better this summer/fall. So I bought a WSM 22.5 and its getting delivered today (woooohoooo!!!). Ant advice or tips about breaking it in? Do I need to do anything special? Nothing at all?

Thanks in advance

Schotz
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
Unfathomable Bastid
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Oil 'er up with canola or olive oil, and do a test burn with something fatty -- like ribs. Couple cooks is all it takes to get her "gunky" and perfect.

-Bastid
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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The WSM has a porcelain coating so there is no need to break it in. Just cook something fatty like a couple of fatties or a butt. It will run hotter for the first few cooks.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schotz View Post
Hi all,

First post here. I've been smoking for years on a Brinkman Gourmet and its done a decent job. But I decided to make a concerted effort to smoke more and smoke better this summer/fall. So I bought a WSM 22.5 and its getting delivered today (woooohoooo!!!). Ant advice or tips about breaking it in? Do I need to do anything special? Nothing at all?

Thanks in advance

Schotz
Head on over to Amazon.com and look up 18.5 WSM. Then read the reviews on that product. In the first review (rated the most helpful), Harry Soo goes over in detail how to break it in properly. (This would apply to the 22.5 wsm as well)

EDIT (here is what he said):

"1,176 of 1,190 people found the following review helpful 5.0 out of 5 stars 28 Grand Championships on this smoker and counting, August 17, 2010
By


(Diamond Bar, CA USA) -






This review is from: Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-1/2-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black (Lawn & Patio)
My BBQ team Slap Yo Daddy BBQ from Diamond Bar, California, has been competing using these smokers which I bought off Amazon with free Prime shipping. They work flawlessly and are easy to use and clean up. Our WSMs regularly allow us to win Grand Championships even when we go up against other smokers costing over $15,000.

The key step once your smoker arrives is to ensure you season it properly. New WSMs will tend to overheat until you are able to get grease and gunk on the inside and around the rim where the lid sits to ensure an air tight seal. The fastest way to season is to do the following: Phase One - cover the water pan completely with aluminum foil and run a full load of lit Kingsford briquettes and let it run as hot as it can with no water in the pan (over 350 degrees) to burn off any manufacturing residue. Clean out the ash and proceed to phase two.

Phase Two - fill the charcoal basket 1/2 full of unlit briquettes. Then put in a 1/2 chimney of lit Kingsford briquettes in the middle. This will allow a slow burn for 3-5 hours at 72 degrees outside temperature. Adjust the vents to get 275 degrees on the dome thermometer. Put bacon strips, chicken parts, pork fat, or any other scrap meat you don't plan to eat. The key is to get fatty meats to generate lots of grease. Toss in a couple of tennis-sized wood chunks to generate smoke. Repeat Phase Two at least twice before you cook meat that you want to eat.

Phase Three - When you cook meat you plan to eat, take a tip from me and don't use any water in the pan. When I cook, I just cover the water pan with foil top and bottom. I foil it twice so I can remove the second layer after the cook and refoil it. That way, I don't have to clean my pan. It works just as well, AFTER YOU SEASON YOUR WSM, when you cook without water in the pan. Dry heat allows the crust to form faster on the meat (called the bark). Once the crust forms on the meat, you can introduce moisture. I just spray water with a regular spray bottle to encourage bark formation after the initial crusting (Maillard reaction) has begun. To test for properly formed bark, use your finger nail and scrape the meat surface. If the crust has formed, it will not come off when you gently scrape it with your fingernail. If the crust comes off, the bark has not set (still wet) so don't spray until it sets. Let it cook longer and check back in 15 mins. You'll get much better results this way. We've won many awards with this technique.

When it comes to cleaning your WSM, never wash the insides. Get a good grill brush and scrape down the insides and dome. You need the "aroma" which takes several years to build up. I NEVER mix my meat WSMs from my seafood and hotdog WSMs. Nothing destroys the aroma faster than cooking fish/seafood/hotdogs in a WSM used to cook chicken, ribs, pork, brisket, and tri tip. That's why you should buy a pair if you plan to cook seafood/fish/hotdogs. Better yet, get a Weber Kettle for those meats. Remember to always empty the ash from the bottom and grease on the foiled water pan to avoid fires and any rancid old oil smell before you cook. When you need to clean the grates, put the grates in a big plastic trash bag, put on gloves, and spray oven cleaner on the grates while in the bag and let sit for 1/2 hour. Hose off the grates. It's as easy as that. To clean the outsides, I use Simple Green spray.

Enjoy your WSMs. They are awesome and built to last. "
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Last edited by bbqgeekess; 07-17-2013 at 10:59 AM..
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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You might want to was the insides out with hot soapy water to make sure there are no manufacturing residues left behind.

Other than that, fire it up! No need to wipe it down with anything. Just commence to cookin'.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Good luck, and have fun smokin! Oil the baby up good and smoke her out. My first cook was a small pork butt (~6lbs) It was cheap and had tons of fat that dripped and gunked up the inside.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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I went the same route this year with the same goal, although my WSM is the 18.5" version.

I didn't do anything more than rinse it out and fire it up. This brisket is from my 4th cook on it, and it held temp within a range of 20 degrees through the whole cook.



I would say just get to cooking and you'll wonder why you waited so long to make the change to the WSM, and have some great meals to boot!
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input! Sounds like getting the smoker "gunked up" is job #1.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
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On my 18 inch one I just rinsed it out and then cooked up a load chicken quarters on it. Btw good job on picking the 22 incher. I wish I got that size...the 18 just doesn't seem to be big enough some days. That's why I built my UDS and now I never use my wsm
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Unread 07-17-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal251 View Post
On my 18 inch one I just rinsed it out and then cooked up a load chicken quarters on it. Btw good job on picking the 22 incher. I wish I got that size...the 18 just doesn't seem to be big enough some days. That's why I built my UDS and now I never use my wsm
Thanks - I had been using a smaller smoker previously and I agree - there were some days when it just didn't fit all the meat I needed to smoke. Especially brisket.

I'll probably work this one for a few years - or I will develop smoker envy hanging out on this board and try and build a UDS. :)
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Unread 07-17-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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Congrats on your new purchase!
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Unread 07-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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If you are 21 years of age or older I recommend a 12 pack of some quality adult beverage. Remember the song by George Thorogood "one bourbon one scotch and one beer?" Fire up the WSM using quality all natural briquettes and sing George's song with these words "one chicken, one brisket and one picnic". You get the idea, make it memorable. Take pictures. Start a fire-insert meat-don't oversmoke or undercook. Golden.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Load it with some ribs and wings and let it go. Snack on the wings till the ribs are done. Thank me later.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The WSM has a porcelain coating so there is no need to break it in. Just cook something fatty like a couple of fatties or a butt. It will run hotter for the first few cooks.
^^^ What He Said. ^^^

I too started out with a Brinkman. The WSM changed my cooking world. It tells you in the owner's manual nothing else needs to be done except start smokin'. Enjoy!
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Unread 07-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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Don't get me wrong Harry Soo is my hero, he represents the WSM like nobody else IMO but it seems like a waste to cook something your not going to eat. With all my WSM's I just washed the grates with soapy water, wiped down the enamel and smoked some fatty pork.
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