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So I got a WSM...

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On 6/5/2020 at 8:17 PM, jimmyjazz said:

I'm gonna get the WSM 18" this weekend.  What's the preferred fuel of choice?  I have some Royal Oak lump charcoal, but it's mostly small bits, a very disappointing giant bag.  I have some wood chunks -- mostly hickory, some oak -- that I can use for smoke & flavor.  Should I be buying something specific to get things going or is the lump charcoal good enough?

regular kingsford with a few wood chunks thrown in.

Stubbs was awesome but it's no longer available'

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11 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

regular kingsford with a few wood chunks thrown in.

Stubbs was awesome but it's no longer available'

Kingsford competition (stock up when on sale at Costco) with wood chunks.  Sometimes when I'm doing a brisket, I will put an 18" oak split log in the middle of the firebox and load up charcoal on each side of the log for the Minion method. 

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Cajun Bandit door just arrived.   Got it installed.  It seems to fit OK, I guess I'll find out next time I start a fire. 

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1 hour ago, Gil Bang said:

Cajun Bandit door just arrived.   Got it installed.  It seems to fit OK, I guess I'll find out next time I start a fire. 

It looks like it isn't a perfect fit when you look at it, but it does not leak.

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Too messy.  Cubes are where it’s at

I did end up getting the cubes and tried one today while smoking baby back ribs. It was very easy to use and less messy.

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Also, for team cottonball/iso, 2 cottonballs and some alcohol was plenty.  Might as well try one at this point. 

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On 6/6/2020 at 12:35 PM, UTexasFight said:

Crosspost from brisket thread.

Did my first brisket last night since winning my company’s annual bbq cookoff last year.

I am gruntled

No chimney issues here:
7e52d17a786a91c31f9c623f97c139d9.jpg


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0cbd557187475134fc8f60162417a622.jpg

2a6d49b08cc9b75307118f89b52d170f.jpg

 

that first photo...you build your charcoal around that center can, dump the chimney into that center can, and then pull the can?    Is my guess correct?

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On 6/13/2020 at 12:39 PM, Gil Bang said:

Cajun Bandit door just arrived.   Got it installed.  It seems to fit OK, I guess I'll find out next time I start a fire. 

So yeah, I fired up the smoker today to do some brats...mostly out of boredom and to see how the bandit door works.    It works well.  It seemed to leak a bit at first, and then it quit leaking as far as I can tell.  Maybe it shaped itself with the heat or something, or just metal expansion.  It's a big improvement either way. 

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Posted on the wrong thread . . . anyway, I'm now part of team WSM.  Got an 18" for Father's Day.  Did a 13 lb brisket yesterday and 2 racks of St. Louis ribs today.  Both were great, but the ribs were better.  I learned with the brisket that I need a full dump into the charcoal ring plus 15-20 lit briquets (minion method) plus hardwood.  Consequently, I had to work to keep the temperature down as opposed to yesterday, when I had to work to get it up (so to speak).

Need advice on gasketing for the door and the lid.  Both leak.  Not a tremendous amount, but that's smoke that isn't getting to the meat, so I'd like to fix it.

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In my experience, the lid issue will resolve itself with more cooks.  Go ahead and pull the trigger on the Cajun Bandit stainless steel door.  Well worth the money.  I got a fire ring from them also that increases the capacity of charcoal you can use.

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It feels like the standard charcoal ring will be enough for 8+ hours.  My ribs were done at 5 hours, and I was still having to reduce air flow to keep things ~ 225 F.  Maybe I was running out of water.  Is 8 hours a reasonable expectation?

I don't even see how it's possible to get more fuel into the thing without disassembling the smoker during a cook.  The water pan blocks access to the vast majority of the fuel chamber.

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9 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Need advice on gasketing for the door and the lid.  Both leak.  Not a tremendous amount, but that's smoke that isn't getting to the meat, so I'd like to fix it.

I got this per suggestions a few pages back.  Put a strip around the lid and a strip around the door.  Seems to have worked just fine.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TAJW0QE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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18 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

It feels like the standard charcoal ring will be enough for 8+ hours.  My ribs were done at 5 hours, and I was still having to reduce air flow to keep things ~ 225 F.  Maybe I was running out of water.  Is 8 hours a reasonable expectation?

I don't even see how it's possible to get more fuel into the thing without disassembling the smoker during a cook.  The water pan blocks access to the vast majority of the fuel chamber.

If you load the charcoal ring and do minion you'll get a lot more than 8 hours unless it's excessively windy or if your charcoal is trash. 

In the rare cases where I had to add more charcoal I just lifted both the middle and the top sections off and set to the side. Add fuel, reassemble. Lift carefully, of course, so you don't spill the water pan or the meat!

Other folks on here have mentioned running out of water in the pan, but I have no idea what they are doing to cause that. In 150+ smokes on mine that has never even come close to being an issue. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm using Kingsford Original as per the recommendations, along with hickory chunks for smoke and flavor.

I might try that gasket material.  It should be easy around the lid.  Getting the door to work with 1/8" (uncompressed) gasket could be tricky.

 

EDIT:  so yesterday (my 2nd round, doing ribs) I pretty much filled the charcoal ring, added about 5 chunks of hickory, and then topped it off with about 20 ashed-up briquettes (minion method) along with another hickory chunk.  Does that sound about right?  There is still some water in the pan, although I have no idea how long the thing ran, because once I pulled the ribs I was paying way more attention to dinner than a smoker with no food on it.  I'll guess it went 8 hours without much problem.  All the charcoal and wood was consumed -- there is barely any ash left.

Edited by jimmyjazz

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

I don't even see how it's possible to get more fuel into the thing without disassembling the smoker during a cook.  The water pan blocks access to the vast majority of the fuel chamber.

Keep a good fire poker around. On a long smoke when you think you might need to add charcoal, sometimes just a good prodding around in there will bring it back to life and stretch it out for another couple hours.

Humidity also affects the shit out of my smokes. I live in Lake Charles and spring/summer it can be a real bitch at holding temp. I keep my charcoal in a locking rubbermaid tub in the garage and it doesn't see the light of day until it goes into the smoke ring with my chimney already going full blast.

 

 

Edited by smuggs

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1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

I might try that gasket material.  It should be easy around the lid.  Getting the door to work with 1/8" (uncompressed) gasket could be tricky.

Door was easy.  Just a strip down each side and one at the top with a space in it to leave room for the handle.

You live in Dallas by any chance?  I've still got about ¾ of the roll left.  If you want to swing by sometime, you're welcome to have it.

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3 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'm using Kingsford Original as per the recommendations, along with hickory chunks for smoke and flavor.

I might try that gasket material.  It should be easy around the lid.  Getting the door to work with 1/8" (uncompressed) gasket could be tricky.

 

EDIT:  so yesterday (my 2nd round, doing ribs) I pretty much filled the charcoal ring, added about 5 chunks of hickory, and then topped it off with about 20 ashed-up briquettes (minion method) along with another hickory chunk.  Does that sound about right?  There is still some water in the pan, although I have no idea how long the thing ran, because once I pulled the ribs I was paying way more attention to dinner than a smoker with no food on it.  I'll guess it went 8 hours without much problem.  All the charcoal and wood was consumed -- there is barely any ash left.

2 or 3 fist sized wood chunks should be plenty. 

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3 hours ago, Landomatic said:

Door was easy.  Just a strip down each side and one at the top with a space in it to leave room for the handle.

You live in Dallas by any chance?  I've still got about ¾ of the roll left.  If you want to swing by sometime, you're welcome to have it.

Thanks, no, I'm in Austin.  I appreciate the offer, though.  I thought I'd offer to split a roll with another surly if anyone wants me to send on the 2nd half.

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19 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

that first photo...you build your charcoal around that center can, dump the chimney into that center can, and then pull the can?    Is my guess correct?

Bingo. Keeps the lit charcoal more contained and, in my experience, longer life for the unlit charcoal vs typical minion method of spreading all over the top. 
 

Go to your local warehouse club and get a big can of green beans/corn, etc.

cut out the top and bottom. Drill a couple of holes near the top. Run a wire (I used copper, I think) through them as a handle.

place in the middle. Spread unlit charcoal and wood chunks around it. (I use B&B briquettes. They are larger and I get longer life. I try and put a few wood chunks directly touching the can so once I pour the lit charcoal in and pull the can, I get immediate wood smoke).

Light a chimney of charcoal. I use kingsford for this because it’s smaller and doesn’t take as long to light. For brisket, I’ll do about a 3/4 chimney full.

dump it in the cut out green bean can. Use the handle end of a fireplace shovel or some other piece of metal to hook the handle and gently pull the can out.

With a mostly full water pan, I’ll get a good 12-15 hours at 225-275 with this set up, especially if there isn’t a noticeable breeze hitting one side of the smoker.

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11 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'm using Kingsford Original as per the recommendations, along with hickory chunks for smoke and flavor.

I might try that gasket material.  It should be easy around the lid.  Getting the door to work with 1/8" (uncompressed) gasket could be tricky.

 

EDIT:  so yesterday (my 2nd round, doing ribs) I pretty much filled the charcoal ring, added about 5 chunks of hickory, and then topped it off with about 20 ashed-up briquettes (minion method) along with another hickory chunk.  Does that sound about right?  There is still some water in the pan, although I have no idea how long the thing ran, because once I pulled the ribs I was paying way more attention to dinner than a smoker with no food on it.  I'll guess it went 8 hours without much problem.  All the charcoal and wood was consumed -- there is barely any ash left.

I got a WSM 18.5" recently and did a smoke on it this weekend, just a basic pork butt. I filled the charcoal ring and put 4 or 5 chunks of pecan in there, I'd estimate it used about 2/3 of a bag of Kingsford. I lit another 25 briquettes in a chimney and spread them across the top of the unlit charcoal, assembled the smoker and filled the water bowl with hot tap water. By 7:30 PM the smoker was at 210 degrees and the meat was on.

After that, the lowest temp I saw was 210 at 2:30 am (I had two of the vents fully closed, so I opened them up slightly) and other than that the thing ran between 220 and 235 with one spike up to 250, but I never saw a temp reading higher than 250. I never added any fuel, all I did was add a little more tap water (maybe a half gallon) when the water bowl was starting to look a little low. At 8:00 am, more than 12 hours after it got up to temperature it was still cranking along at 232 degrees.

At 8:30 AM an absolute monsoon rain storm blow in and annihilated the smoker with super heavy rain and very high winds which killed the temperature so I moved the pork butt to the oven to finish (it was about 190 when the temperature started to drop). When the storm finally passed I disassembled the smoker and there were still some briquettes in there, along with a nice pool of water/ash soup right under the charcoal grate from the rain. So, I got 13 hours of low temperature cooking and the fuel was not all gone yet.

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No gaskets or sealing on my WSM.  No leaking either.

Did y'all do a break-in smoke? You need to build up some love inside. 

 

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Yeah, I did a break-in smoke.  One with a bigass brisket inside.  Then I did another, with a few racks of pork ribs.

I am not a patient bear.

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5 hours ago, McFly said:

No gaskets or sealing on my WSM.  No leaking either.

Did y'all do a break-in smoke? You need to build up some love inside. 

 

Sometimes the middle section gets a little out-of-round in shipping.  You can roll it around to fix this, but sometimes, it doesn't always work.  Gaskets can be helpful when your WSM exhibits these symptoms. 

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37 minutes ago, dcbc said:

Sometimes the middle section gets a little out-of-round in shipping.  You can roll it around to fix this, but sometimes, it doesn't always work.  Gaskets can be helpful when your WSM exhibits these symptoms. 

Sometimes you also have a drunk idiot friend discus throw the lid of your smoker and it doesn't fit right and leaks for a couple of weeks, but a little more smoke and it fixes itself. 

I feel like someday I will have some big offset smoker, but I will still keep and use my WSM because I love that little warrior. 

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31 minutes ago, TornACL said:

Sometimes you also have a drunk idiot friend discus throw the lid of your smoker and it doesn't fit right and leaks for a couple of weeks, but a little more smoke and it fixes itself. 

I feel like someday I will have some big offset smoker, but I will still keep and use my WSM because I love that little warrior. 

Nice to know my first smoker went to a good home.

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37 minutes ago, conVINCEd said:

Nice to know my first smoker went to a good home.

Lol was that you? Shit I couldn't remember. Yes pos rep to you. That WSM has traveled the entire state of Texas and smoked every kind of animal. And if it had ears it would have heard a whole lot of drunken bullshit. 

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6 minutes ago, TornACL said:

Lol was that you? Shit I couldn't remember. Yes pos rep to you. That WSM has traveled the entire state of Texas and smoked every kind of animal. And if it had ears it would have heard a whole lot of drunken bullshit. 

Yeah, I have a somewhat uncanny memory when it comes to names and shit like that.  My username name may have changed around that time, but as long as yours is the same, it was mine..  Dropped it off to you over by the airport.

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9 hours ago, TornACL said:

I feel like someday I will have some big offset smoker, but I will still keep and use my WSM because I love that little warrior. 

I think if/when you get your offset, it is your civic duty to to hand the reins of the WSM off to another young aspiring surly poster with at least a ceremonial thread.  I know it will be hard, and there will be some tears, but it's the right thing to do.

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2 hours ago, Landomatic said:

I think if/when you get your offset, it is your civic duty to to hand the reins of the WSM off to another young aspiring surly poster with at least a ceremonial thread.  I know it will be hard, and there will be some tears, but it's the right thing to do.

Does this also work for spouses?

 

Asking for a friend...

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Just finished one of the more stubborn briskets I ever have taken on---a 15 lb choice packer that the curbside folks grabbed.  Every brisket cooks differently for sure.  But this one didn't probe like WVB until 202F after 21.75 hours on the smoke.  I wrapped at 160 and ran the cooker at 238F until then.  After wrapping, I let it rise to 270F.  I started with 16 lbs of KBB and probably added 4 lbs during the cook.  Vacuum sealed and froze the flat to take on vacation.  The point impressed.

IJG7rr-OTV7-RQNjv6-LUZEj-MOyd-Vy-WRah-NI

 

 

Edited by dcbc

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I have both an 18 and 22 WSM and am looking to offload one of the 2.  PM me if you know anyone that might be interested.  Posting in For Sale too.

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