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Old 01-27-2007, 12:41 AM   #1
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Observations from WSM Cook

I did some testing to see what was what on this first cook. Here are some things I observed right away:

The lit charcoal spread to the wood chunks and lit all three of them at once which made for a lot of smoke on the front end of the cook. Strategic wood placement is a must. Also, I used three chunks which would equal one small stick and I think that was to much for a four hour cook.

I turned the door upside down to see if I liked it better that way and within a couple of minuites I had chicken drippings collecting on top of the door "which is really the bottom" and running down the outside of the WSM. I don't think I will be using this method.

The door does have issues with leakage but as the cook went on and the smoke thinned, it did not seem to leak so bad. I am in the hunt for a good mod for the access door because it is kinda cheap. I really expected a better fitting door considering the quality of the rest of the unit.

I ran a couple of the thermometer leads between the lid and the center section. Once the fire got going I had some pretty heavy smoke coming from that area. I don't think I will use this method any longer either.

The stoker eyelets work but they will only accept one lead. I am having to do a mod but I have devised a way to run four leads with the two sensor eyelets. I do not recomend them the way they are advertised for use on a WSM.

I had a thirty degree difference between the dome and the top grate for the first couple of hours and then the temps came closer togehter towards the end of the cook. I think the best thing to do here is trust the dome temp but it is nice to know what the temps are wherever the meat is.

If you stick a probe in the top vent there is a good chance you will hit a chicken if it is standing up.
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:06 AM   #2
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Cliff,

A couple comments on your post.

You will tend to get more smoke at the front end of your cook on a WSM, however, after about an hour that settles down to where it's that very light blue hazy smoke everyone looks for and soon it's hardly even noticeable.

Forget about the upside down door thing.

As far as leakage from the door I still get some but not much after 4 years of use, if you're getting a lot, you can grab the door on each side and try to mold it to the contour of the cooker, it is somewhat pliable and will conform some and make a tighter fit. Further with regard to leakage, the more you use it, you will build up layers of grease and smoke on the cooker and it will seal itself.

I still run thermo leads under the lid at times and get some leakage but as I said after more use it is almost negligible.

Your temp differences between lid and cooking grate sound about right. I usually take a thermo probe and run the curved section over the top lid and hang the business end into one of the vent holes and that works fine.
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:13 AM   #3
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Re: Observations from WSM Cook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
I did some testing to see what was what on this first cook. Here are some things I observed right away:

The lit charcoal spread to the wood chunks and lit all three of them at once which made for a lot of smoke on the front end of the cook. Strategic wood placement is a must. Also, I used three chunks which would equal one small stick and I think that was to much for a four hour cook.

I turned the door upside down to see if I liked it better that way and within a couple of minuites I had chicken drippings collecting on top of the door "which is really the bottom" and running down the outside of the WSM. I don't think I will be using this method.

The door does have issues with leakage but as the cook went on and the smoke thinned, it did not seem to leak so bad. I am in the hunt for a good mod for the access door because it is kinda cheap. I really expected a better fitting door considering the quality of the rest of the unit.

I ran a couple of the thermometer leads between the lid and the center section. Once the fire got going I had some pretty heavy smoke coming from that area. I don't think I will use this method any longer either.

The stoker eyelets work but they will only accept one lead. I am having to do a mod but I have devised a way to run four leads with the two sensor eyelets. I do not recomend them the way they are advertised for use on a WSM.

I had a thirty degree difference between the dome and the top grate for the first couple of hours and then the temps came closer togehter towards the end of the cook. I think the best thing to do here is trust the dome temp but it is nice to know what the temps are wherever the meat is.

If you stick a probe in the top vent there is a good chance you will hit a chicken if it is standing up.
Cliff, I'll add a little to Bruce's good advice.

Like Bruce said, you're never gonna get a leak proof door, but the more you use it the more gunk will build up on it and create a better seal. If it really concerns you, get a rubber mallet and lay the door on a log and work with it a bit if it's a considerable gap. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. On my newer WSM, it has a considerable gap between the door and the mid section and I haven't done anything with it and it cooks and holds temperatures as well as the WSM with the tight fitting door.

You mentioned all your wood burnt at once, this is one of the reasons why I put all of my coals in one spot ontop of one wood chunk and let them burn outwards to eventually reach the other chunks I have spread out throughout the coals.

Last but not least, stop monitoring temps in more than one place. You will drive yourself crazy, I know cause I used to do it. Monitor your temp in one place, either in the dome on the top grate, both places will work. The bottomline is, if there is a temp difference between the dome and the top grate there is nothing you can do to change the top grate without increasing the dome temp, it's a lost cause. IMO the best way is to just monitor at the dome and set a 20* range you want you temps at, I cook between 240*-260*. If you try to keep an exact temp you will spend your whole day fooling with the vents, it's impossible to keep an exact temp throughout a cook.

I'm not familiar with the Stoker eyelets, but if they are anything like the Guru eyelets you should be able to fit two ET-73 probes through. What I do is run one probe completely through until the wire is going through, then insert the second probe with the wire from the first one.

One more thing, keep the door upright!!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:04 AM   #4
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I agree with these guys...however, I run the ET-73 leads under the lid all the time and never have any problem.

I have "worked" my front door by bending it and it fixed my leaky door deal...also had to do it with the one Kloset gave me...now it is nice and snug...not air-tight, but snug. To be honest, I remember reading somewhere that the door was made that way on purpose. The WSM isn't made to be air-tight.

During long cooks...butts and briskets...I bury some chunks in the fuel and put some on top as well.

Stoker eyelets and Guru eyelets are 2 different things...one was made to accommodate 2 leads of different shapes...the Stoker wasn't!

Keep your door on the right way!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments.

Being a former Chargriller user, I have great concern about leaks. I don't know if I will get over that or not

Larry, because of my Chargriller history I am already used to driving myself crazy looking at the pit temps.
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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It's all been said. I took some time one day and really conformed my door to my WSM. If you have bad leak issues during a cook, stuff some foil into the crack where it's leaking bad. What looks like a lot of leakage really isn't all to bad. Same thing with smoke leakage at the top lid where your wires run under it. At that point, it really doesn't matter too much about smoke coming out of there. Get the guru eyelets and you won't have that problem.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Thanks for the comments.

Being a former Chargriller user, I have great concern about leaks. I don't know if I will get over that or not

Larry, because of my Chargriller history I am already used to driving myself crazy looking at the pit temps.
You giving up on the old girl already?
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puff
You giving up on the old girl already?
May do some burgers in the cooking chamber. I don't think I will be smoking anything unless my wsm comes up missing or something.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:07 AM   #9
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I think (just my guess) that a loose door isn't so much a heat losing issue as it is an air sucking issue that might effect burn time, sort of changing the draft dynamics (ya, I got a good night sleep and am not drinking this am).
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puff
You giving up on the old girl already?
May do some burgers in the cooking chamber. I don't think I will be smoking anything unless my wsm comes up missing or something.
The only heat my CG has felt in a while is when I back the car up into the garage
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