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Old 08-20-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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no worries.

first of all, fire up the smoker this week and get a feel for the
air flow regarding temps. Spend a few hours adjusting the vents
to learn how they affect the temps.

Then Friday night, fire it up, get the temp set at around 225,
add the butt and wait for the temps to stabilize.

Do you have a pit thermometer with an alarm? (Maverick?)
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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well I'd invest in at least a cheap pit therm, but if not, I'd do a practice test run with a butt to get a feel for it. Freeze it if you want.
WSM's will run long and steady once you know how to use it.
If you're planning on going to sleep, I'd use sand instead of
water.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:13 PM   #3
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jake,

Don't waste your mop sauce in the water bowl, it will add little if nothing to the seasoning of your butt. The water bowl, whether filled with water, sand, or your mop sauce acts only as a heat sink to help stabilize temps and adds little if any moisture or seasoning to the meat.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:08 PM   #4
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Sleeping through your first cook is pretty ambitious. Some people get the hang of long burning, no-tend fires right away, and some people don't.

Get over to www.virtualweberbullet.com and see what you can learn. You'll get great information on venting, fire building, etc. PM Jim Minion and get advice. He's been doing this as long as anyone. He catered the brisket at Jesus' Bar Mitzvah.

Quit being so difficult and get yourself a Maverick ET-73. It will make your life a lot easier. It will also help keep the top on the smoker where it belongs. There's an eyelet kit that lets you thread the leads in very neatly. Unfortunately, you probably can't do either the thermometer or the eyelet kit by this weekend.

It's been a long time since I used a WSM, but the least troublesome fires I built involved at least some briquette. Try "Rancher" from Home Depot. Mix in five or six hardwood chunks with the coal. Don't worry about soaking or any special prep.

You're going to want to pack the fire pan pretty well, rather than just pouring the charcoal and chunk in willy-nilly. Shaking the fire-pan got the pieces to fit together as well as trying to build a mosaic.

Water in the water pan is optional. Since you're not going to be peeking or fooling around with the smoker much, it's not all that important unless the weather's really dry. For awhile everyone and his mom was filling the pan with sand, but I think that's gone passe. The current trendoid set up is a clay flower-pot base that just fits. Soak it well before using. No matter what -- wrap the water pan in aluminum foil before cooking anything.

Light the fire "Minion Method" style.

Good luck. You're going to need it.
Rich
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:59 AM   #5
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I disagree Rich...I think most WSM users here still use sand. Much better than getting up at 3am to refill with water and deal with the temp drop associated with the new water...unless you're boiling water at 3am
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:51 PM   #6
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Glad you have it under control Jake. Looking forward to the pics
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:51 AM   #7
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Just curious, where are you putting the pan of sand if your using a pan full of water too??

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Old 08-25-2007, 07:06 AM   #8
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Where's the pics?
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
I disagree Rich...I think most WSM users here still use sand. Much better than getting up at 3am to refill with water and deal with the temp drop associated with the new water...unless you're boiling water at 3am
You're probably right. I haven't owned a WSM, or any other bullet, for years. No. Decades. I lurk over at Virtual Weber Bullet sometimes; and used to be pretty active on another forum where, like here, there was a lot of WSM chat. I got the feeling that a lot of peeps were moving on to fire bricks or back to water. Apparently wrong.

I'll either defer to your greater knowledge or retreat to the unassailable bastion of "quien sabe?"

Or both,
Rich
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:06 AM   #10
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how's the cook going?
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