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    Water pan full or dry

    There's a pretty good argument for using water for a few slow and slow cooks while you get used to the unit and it gets broken in (coated with a nice grease layer to fill in any gaps). Most people get away from it once they're comfortable with the unit - it eats a low of fuel, it can get really...
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    Anyone buy smoking wood online

    If I'm at a hardware or BBQ store I'll get whatever looks good. A couple of times a year I'm at the Lazzari charcoal factory and I pick up good there. And if I run really low on something and I'm not going to be at either I'll just fire off an order to Maine Grilling Woods. If you buy enough...
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    Few questions on 22.5 WSM

    Yeah, I was thinking "salmon" more than "corpse disposal"!
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    Few questions on 22.5 WSM

    Makes sense to me on a WSM bought used. Who knows what they cooked in it or how it will affect your next few cooks. Better to start with a clean slate.
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    Size of the 22" WSM

    I don't find the size to be a problem. It's a substantial unit but as noted the footprint isn't that big. If you needed to move it around a lot you might want to put it on some wheels or something, and as one person noted doing a "hot squat" (moving the center section off the coals while it's...
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    Bad Charcoal?

    Easy enough to check the thermometer. Boil some water, take off the lid and there's some kind of a thing you can unscrew on the back of the thermometer to take it off. Stick it in the boiling water. Should read 212. Mine started reading about 10 degrees after a couple of years so you never know.
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    First time Buckboard question

    Good luck! I've made it from the boneless ones from Costco and it was good stuff. I just tied them up and cured them - no butterflying - but I was trying to replicate something closer to Irish rashers for an Irish friend who was missing them. They have kind of the same kind of meat/fat/chunky...
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    Fire brick question

    There's a variety of uses. They can corral coals. I often use something similar to the picture in post #2 although I don't know why he has any coals on the other side. Sear on the side with the coals, then move to indirect on the other. Similar to using the charcoal bin but depending on how...
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    First cook?

    Sounds like a success! You'll also find that going through this process has deposited a lot of gunk inside the smoker which helps to seal up any little gaps. You'll have more control with the vents mostly shut than the first time.
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    First Cook - Temp Swings & Other Stuff

    You definitely have enough good advice to make a second try of it and then you can go from there... but I'd say just to use apple wood. Better to go too light than too heavy on the ribs and they're actually quite good just with a couple of chunks of apple.
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    How now, brown cow?

    Looks great!
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    Bacon question????

    There's definitely confusion over terms here. When we bring the bacon up to 145 we're hot smoking it, period. Cold smoking is a technique where you're bringing in smoke but no heat - if you're raising the temps you're not cold smoking it. People will cold smoke bacon for 30-40 hours to layer...
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    The start of my bacon....

    Looks good! Agreed re: cooking it at lower heat than you're used to if you used any kind of sugar in the cure.
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    My Second Go Round with Ribs

    That's a perfectly reasonable temperature range.
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    Finally Figured Out Temp

    The really good news is that once you get to that point the 4-5 hour cooks (ribs, etc.) are really easy.
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    Prime Rib Roast help?

    The longer it cooks the more smokey... sort of, maybe. If you're using something with a pretty neutral flavor it shouldn't be a problem. I don't notice any difference in smokiness with, say, Wicked Good charcoal. If I were using something with a lot of Oak in it I might not include any wood...
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    Why Weber recommends NOT using lump charcoal?

    They also recommend using water in the pan. I recommend using the manual to light your lump charcoal.
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    18.5 coal question

    I have no problems and lots of people here use lump. The Weber manual is actually kind of weird in general - as I recall it makes lots of recommendations that people here pretty much ignore (like using water in the pan!). I'm *guessing* they think the briquettes are easier for beginners to use...
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    Prime Rib Roast help?

    The problem with cooking it at 325 is that it doesn't end up all at the same doneness. If you're shooting for medium rare you'll get maybe half of it medium rare and a big area around the outside that's overcooked. If you cook it at 225 you'll get it evenly pink all the way across, but won't...
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    18.5 coal question

    Perfect. It's pretty neutral, maybe adds a little sweetness. It's a perfect base to add any kind of smoke wood you want to. It's dense so you can cook a long time on a charcoal ring (I've done 17 hours on my 22" WSM). Let us know how your cook goes!