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Old 07-04-2005, 10:03 AM   #1
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An honest WSM question

So what happened to me last night?

I fire it up MM...wait till 200* and then shut one damper all the way and leave the other 2 open a little less than a third...the temp initially drops but then comes back up...isn't is supposed to stabilize somewhere...at 2am it was at 288*...why would that have happened?? I had a wind break up and the vents I was using would have been away from any wind at all...68* overnight...what the hell happened???
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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Greg,

What kind of fuel were you using?

Second thought, there have been times that I have found that leaving 2 vents open 1/3 is too much. I usually only leave one vent open, barely enough to get a hair through.

Other than that I'm clueless. :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno:
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:11 AM   #3
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I've encountered that type of thing....trying to nail down an exact cause can be maddening. You were using lump or charcoal? Maybe the coals were wet? Took a while for em to dry out, then they started burning?
Just a guess. Sand or water? Remember sand takes longer to get to a stabilizing temp. Were you drunk? There are countless things that you could have screwed up. You weren't doing this in the attic were you?
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:12 AM   #4
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Good point Cap, forgot about the alcohol variable. :faint:
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:13 AM   #5
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kingsford...dry (kept in house)
sand...but waited 1 1/2 hrs before turning in for the night...
NOT DRINKING!!
No wind
?????
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:15 AM   #6
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When's the last time you tested your therms????
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:22 AM   #7
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Everytime out!

ET 73 were reading 212 in boiling water
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:26 AM   #8
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all I can say is maybe the vents were too open. Like Bruce, when I get stable, I usually have 3 tiny little slits open, just big enough for a hair to get through. And sometimes I have to close on all the way.

Maybe someone else will have an idea.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:32 AM   #9
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Maybe the lid wasn't properly seated in the rim?
Does the door look normal?
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:38 AM   #10
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Greg,
What were you cooking? If I got a big load of meat on the cooker and using the standard water pan without the big lip the charbroil pan has, the grease will drip into the coals which will cause small flare ups. This will usually stop after an hour or so, once the meat shrinks.

One more question, how many lit coals did you start off with?

I've never understood why folks close one vent and adjust the temp with the other two. Here's my feelings towards that, not saying it's right or wrong, just why I don't do it. If you have three air intakes (bottom vents) and close one or two of them then your fire is going to burn predominately where the air is coming into the cooker which will result in uneven pit temps. Regardless of what your dome temp says, if you have two vents open the pit will be warmer on that side than it will on the side the vent is closed. If you adjust all vents equally then you will have a more uniform pit temp and fuel burn. I don't know if this could have played a part in your pit temps or not, but it could have.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:49 AM   #11
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20 lit coals...well ashed...7lb brisket

It initally dropped to 170 something after I made the first adjustment and started to climb back up...slowly...figured it would stop in the 230 range or so...not the 288 I came up on!

Scott...the lid was on tight! dunno...maybe just bad luck!
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:50 AM   #12
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I guess I would have to ask, What can I do to not let this happen again. Rather than why. To me its obvious there was too much air getting to the fire. Also, There might have been some actual charcoal in that batch of Kingsford. I'm running for cover now. :eep: :winkie:
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #13
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Too much air...I will have to take a better look at the set-up next time...however, wouldn't the temp have continued to rise instead of dropping off initally? Just wondering...
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
20 lit coals...well ashed...7lb brisket

It initally dropped to 170 something after I made the first adjustment and started to climb back up...slowly...figured it would stop in the 230 range or so...not the 288 I came up on!

Scott...the lid was on tight! dunno...maybe just bad luck!
Greg, my guess would be you started with too many coals. I don't start off with that many even in the freezing cold. I try to start off with 10 lit coals unless it is really cold out, then I'll use 15.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:57 AM   #15
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Not necessarily, Don't forget as water evaporates from the pan, The temp. will rise also.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs On The Wing BBQ
Not necessarily, Don't forget as water evaporates from the pan, The temp. will rise also.
Sorry...sand is in the pan...not water!
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:06 AM   #17
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Never did the sand thing. I do however know many who do. They all say it runs much hotter with it. I think Larry has the best answer.
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:18 AM   #18
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Larry
A WSM by design can handle using one vent and because of the size of the pit uneven pit temps is just not a problem.

Greg
At some point of the cook too many coals going with sand there is less room for error.
Jim
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jminion
Larry
A WSM by design can handle using one vent and because of the size of the pit uneven pit temps is just not a problem.


Greg
At some point of the cook too many coals going with sand there is less room for error.
Jim
Jim,
With all due respect, I have to disagree with you unless you are using a Guru which is a totally different story. Maybe I should rephrase that, "we just have a difference in opinions or theory". Sure you can probably get away with using one vent, but if that was the way it was designed why are there three vents? Sure you will have a cookable temperature at the dome using one vent. But if your vents are open on the left side of the cooker, that side will be hotter with the heat going straight up that side, than the right side with the vents closed. With this being the case, how can the cooker be cooking evenly? I feel you still get a more efficient cleaner burn with uniform heat distribution using all three vents equally. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:08 PM   #20
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Perhaps moving the wsm out of the attic, it's gotten out of round. Easy to check with a string or tape measure. If it's too out of round, air can get in.
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