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Old 06-16-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
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Another WSM Commissioned.



Water Pan with sand



Charcoal Grate Mod



Charcoal Ring Loaded



Lit Charcoal Added



Seasoned Butts



WSM Cranking!

BIG temperature problem almost immediately after adding ¼ chimney of lit charcoal. My temperature soared to over 300 degrees. I closed the lower vents to ¼ but the temperature still rose. I finally shut all the lower vents and the top vent ½. The temperature finally began creeping down below 300 degrees. I know that my thermometer is accurate because I just checked it. I looked around on some sites and read that when WSM’s are new this sometimes happens. Anyone else experienced this problem? I’m going to try another smoke tomorrow. Until the WSM ages a little, I’m going to use briquettes instead of lump and only open the bottom vents ½ to start the burn. Hopefully, one smoke has coated the interior of the WSM enough to prevent the soaring temperature.

Any suggestions on what I might do differently or what I did wrong??
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:12 AM   #2
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I think getting the vents shut down early is critical. Water in the pan will keep the temps lower IMO. You may do that for the first couple of cooks until all the holes are sealed up.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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Here latley, I have been torching the coals to get them started rather than adding lit coals. That makes them start real slow.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Here latley, I have been torching the coals to get them started rather than adding lit coals. That makes them start real slow.
Interesting......

I've been thinking about using the water tomorrow. Wish I had an extra pan.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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Make sure you got a good seal on the parts of the WSM....and the first few cooks do tend to run a little hot....I do the sand thing and close the bottom vents almost all the way down at 200* I also use lump..hope this helps..
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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You didn't have a pic of when the lovely lady smashed the
champagne bottle against it's bow?

I torch mine too, quicker and cleaner.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
You didn't have a pic of when the lovely lady smashed the
champagne bottle against it's bow?

I torch mine too, quicker and cleaner.
She was very shy and I knew I couldn't post those kind of pics here anyway.

Hmmmm.....yeah, I WISH!!!!
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:17 PM   #8
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Try using 15 lit coals vs. 1/4 chimney!!
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
Try using 15 lit coals vs. 1/4 chimney!!
I guess I just underestimated the fuel efficiency of the WSM.

I'm really impressed with how it maintains a temp once it gets to that level.

I've just got to get it seasoned and learn how to control the temp rise.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!!
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:11 PM   #10
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I use about 15 lit briquettes with a loaded ring of unlit lump charcoal. I add about 4 chunks of hickory. I also (same as wittdog) close the bottom vents at about 200 degrees. I believe this is critical. Usually it will level off between 225 and 245. I then only usually open one bottome vent about the width of two nickels. I may open another very slightly as necessary. It doesn't take much opening of the bottom vents. The guys here are the ones that helped me with the fire management of the WSM last April 2006.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:29 AM   #11
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Well, I tried again this morning. Based on several suggestions, I only used about 12 briquettes in the chimney. This time I used briquettes rather than lump. I closed the bottom vents almost entirely at 200 degrees. The temperature continued to slowly increase up to 275. I closed the bottom vents completely. The temp increased a little more so I closed the top vent 1/2. She's on her way back down now. I noticed that I've got some leakage around the fuel door. I'm beginning to think that may be part of the problem. I'll have to work on that door before I use it again. Once I get these temp problems solved, this is going to ONE, SWEET smoker. I LOVE the fuel efficiency!

Even with the temp problems yesterday, the BBQ turned out really tasty.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:48 AM   #12
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Take your time fitting that flimsy door. I have mine with almost a perfect seal and have to high temp problems.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:54 PM   #13
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Panther,

Close the bottom vents completely at 200 then see where the temperature peaks. Then adjust the vent if necessary. I have found that I only need about 2 nickel widths opening on only ONE vent. I havent' had to adjust the top vent at all I always leave it fully open. You can try a dry run but just about evey time I thought I was going to do a dry run and learn fire management I usually end up throwing something on. I've only considered a dry run when trying to figure fire management on my Bar-B-Chef offset smoker. The WSM has only gotten out of hand once and I actually moved the cooking chamber and lid over and just tried to remove some of the HOT coals to get the heat down.
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