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Old 04-16-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
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WSM Question

I have never used a WSM so this is what I have in mind. I'm going to be smoking a brisket tomorrow. I plan on filling the ring full with unlit lump charcoal and mix in a few hickory chunks. Then add about 1/2 weber chimney of lit lump charcoal on top. I plan on keeping the top vent open.

Now where should the 3 bottom vents be set?

Can I set them and leave them or do I need to tweak them?

Does the way I plan on starting the WSM with unlit lump seem ok? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Should I put the brisket on the top rack or the one next to the water pan?
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:34 PM   #2
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In the chimney start with about 15 briquits, not 1/2 chimney. Top vent fully open the entire cook. Bottoms open 100% until temps hit 190*, then start closing them down. Probably close them down to 50% each. It is easier to control the temps on the way up than trying to bring the heat down. Once you get your WSM settled in at your cooking temp. you will probably start to think something is wrong because you raelly won't have to do much, it's pretty much set it and forget it. I try to cook as much as I can on the top grate, it is easier to get to the food there. Your choice fat up or fat down, thats a whole conversation in itself. I usually cook fat side down but thats just me. Now, the most important part is to take many pictures and post them here for all to see! Good luck with the cook.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:54 PM   #3
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I agree whole heartedly. Without the pics, you are destined to screw up big time.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Re: WSM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
I have never used a WSM so this is what I have in mind. I'm going to be smoking a brisket tomorrow. I plan on filling the ring full with unlit lump charcoal and mix in a few hickory chunks. Then add about 1/2 weber chimney of lit lump charcoal on top. I plan on keeping the top vent open.
Your right to keep the top 100% open at all times while cooking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
Now where should the 3 bottom vents be set?
100% open at first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
Can I set them and leave them or do I need to tweak them?
You will almost certainly have to adjust the vents. Watch the temps and the rate of increase and be advised it takes a while to see the results of vent changes. If the temp slowly climbing (good), try shutting the vents down to 2/3 open about 20 degrees below your target temp and close them further to half open when you reach your deisred pit temp for a starting point. If it's climbing really fast more drastic vent adjustments may be called for.

It's common for WSMs to run with vents 1/4 - 1/2 open in the 225 - 250 range. So you'll find what works for you and get a feel for it with some practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
Does the way I plan on starting the WSM with unlit lump seem ok? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Sounds ok to me. Spend a little time packing the unlit lump in the ring. Doesn't have to be perfect just try to minimize big gaps.

Some lump lights easier than others ... I think starting with half a lit chimney sounds ok, a good starting point ... keep in mind conditions and the amount of meat in the cooker affect the amount you will want to start with ... 1/2 rack of baby backs on a warm calm day won't require as much lit to reach your desired pit temp as 32lbs of pork butt on a windy cold day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cleglue
Should I put the brisket on the top rack or the one next to the water pan?
If you're only cooking one item use the top rack.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:49 PM   #5
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I did a brisket last night on my wsm. I did it just as you want to. Top vent always open . 2 vents closed completely and last one open a sliver the thickness of a quarter. Held a temp between 225-227 the whole night. Brisket came ot awesome. AFter brisket was done i put on ribs

http://img81.imageshack.us/slideshow...192270xph.smil
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:49 AM   #6
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mine runs about the same..top wide open, 2 bottom ones closed, 1 bottom one open around a quarter..ho;ds that 235 area..I think its magic...
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:14 AM   #7
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I do mine the way Nick discribed.
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:48 AM   #8
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I got the WSM loaded this morning starting at 5AM. At 5:55 I loaded the smoker. The temp. was at 214. The brisket was another unusual one from the Muslim slaughter house. I removed the point from the flat. This brisket flat is very thin. Usually a brisket takes 10 to 12 hours on my offset so I'm not sure on this one since it is so thin. Anyway it also had a very very thin area of meat I removed. I placed the point and the very very thin pieces on the lower grate and the flat on the upper grate. I used worcestershire sauce and rubbed the brisket with texasbbqrub brisket version. I loaded the smoker with two different types of lump (trying to finish off an open bag and used four chunks of hickory. The temperature has ranged from 214, 234, 242, and 228. So far so good. The only thing I'm not sure of is because the brisket is so thin the brisket temp. is at 165 and it has only been on for two hours. I'll probably move the thermometer and put it in a different part of the brisket later. It is now 8:00AM Eastern Time. Here are some pictures.



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Old 04-17-2006, 07:53 AM   #9
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Muslim slaughter house?!?!?
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:55 AM   #10
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I'm not a butcher and I'm certainly not a Muslim, not that there's anything wrong with that, but if I were you, I might consider finding another source for my brisket. Just a suggestion.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:13 AM   #11
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CrazyWM,

Aren't you afraid your deck is going to catch fire?
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:15 AM   #12
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I have used mine on my deck for years and it has never caught on fire... :biggrin:
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
I have used mine on my deck for years and it has never caught on fire... :biggrin:
Thats great to hear..Im heading out to move mine to the deck as we speak...And if there is a fire, I assume I can forward your name to my attorny/insurance man ?
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:34 AM   #14
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Buy one of those metal under the car pans at Auto Zone (and others). Less than $10.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:36 AM   #15
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or a water heater pan from the hdw store. I got a metal one for about 11 bucks....and the dogs love to lick it dry after a cook
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:03 PM   #16
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The brisket has been at 160 for awhile. I put a homemade BBQ sauce on the brisket and foiled it. I'll pull it off at 195 then rewrap in heavy duty foil and a towel and place it in a dry cooler until we are ready to eat. I'll leave the point unwrapped for now. The brisket looks dry on top but the bottom was moist. I have fat side down what little fat it had.

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Old 04-17-2006, 02:55 PM   #17
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'muslim slaughter house' now I understand why radical muslims the world over hate the USA so much, try BEEF brisket next time .... lol, JK

Briskets I get from a local small slaughter house are like the one you got ... really long, thin at one end ... the last two were 32" and 34" long but not even 20lbs combined weight ... but I'll keep working on them until they get it right

I cut about a foot of the thin ends off and cook them seperately ... the meat is good but it's too much work for the little I get back. I did these two 'tails' last week with two pork butts, they were mbbe 3 lbs each, they were on for like 15 hours and they turned out well, i never checked meat temps even once .. so much fat around the scant bits of meat ... it was super tender and moist too
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:09 PM   #18
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cleglue, it's looking good!
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:11 PM   #19
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The brisket came out a tad dry but over all it was very tender and tasted great. The sauce I used has a little bite. The smoke ring was not as big as I get on my offset smoker but if was very acceptable. In fact the wife said nice smoke ring.

The WSM was alot easier to maintain a constant temperature. It has been going for 13 hours now and no reload of charcoal. I still have the point on. I'm trying to make those burnt ends people talk about. I had to move the smoker about the time I took the brisket off. A pretty good thunderstorm came up. I moved it from the back of the house to the front porch. At least the WSM is mobile if you need to it to be while smoking.



Thanks for all the help.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:20 AM   #20
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Just add another chunk of smoke wood to aid in the smoke ring formation next time. You should be able to get as good or better smoke ring with the WSM.
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