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Thread: First try - What did I do wrong??

  1. #11
    TVWBB Fan Donna Fong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Alameda, CA
    Welcome Paul. I think you did a great first cook. Homework matters. Overtemp is common in new WSMs and the water in the pan likely saved you from overtemping even more. As your smoker goes through more cooks, it won't go as high with a nice patina. Consider trying it without the water later on.

    Though it is important to know your pit temp, it is also very important to see if you have enough coals. The 22" is notorious for eating fuel up like nobody's business. If it's taking a long time, open the door and take a peak. If the coals are low or you can see the grill supporting the coals, it is time to add coals. If you are lucky, you won't need to add coals until after you foil. I prefer to add coals after the meat is foiled so if ashes fly up, it won't touch my meat. Also, you can crank the temp up to 300 after foiling. Unless you have alot of sugar but it sounds like you won't.

    That leads me to my biggest advice which is to foil after you think the crust is set (looks good). At this point, the crust is set but the inside is still moist but not tender. Foil so you can stop losing moisture and push through the stall. Then probe every once in a while until it is tender. Or as you like in temperature which I think you said 205. Also, no reason to remove any fat unless you are competing.

    I hope you enjoy your unit and many more cooks.
    Last edited by Donna Fong; 06-26-2018 at 01:34 PM.
    22", 18", 18", 18", 14", copper kettle

  2. #12
    TVWBB All-Star Lew Newby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Deltona, FL
    Welcome aboard Paul and congrats on a successful cook. In winter time you'll need those extra hot coals. As everyone is saying you and your cooker will have an easier time with each cook. Your cook sounds like my first cook on my 22 and that was last year but I've cooked on WSMs for 7 years. Give yourself a little credit.

    When I hit the stall I wrap with heavy duty aluminum foil. By then my bark is set. Enjoy your next cook.
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). -14.5", 18.5", & 22.5" WSM, SS Performer, FB-200 ATC. CB Rotisserie, Rec Tec Mini Pellet Grill

  3. #13
    TVWBB Diamond Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Kalamazoo, MICHIGAN
    Butts are fairly cheap, VERY forgiving, and easily found.
    The only thing I think you might have been “overzealous” on might have been fat trimming, I trim very little on the fat layer, it’s not a bad thing. The fat will render off during the cook.
    When you’ve done four or five butts, your smoker will “Tighten up” with gunk at joints and less air will enter the barrel.
    Don’t worry about it, your experience will come, just smoke more and it will all make sense.
    I use an 18and it’s not uncommon for me to I’ve a full bag for an overnight smoke, the 22 is a hungrier beast, I have one and can not justify using it unless I’m smoking a HUGE amount of food. My average number of “smoke feast” guests is under 20 so, I can do enough butt on the 18 for that number.
    The folks here will help you just like they helped me, literally from all over the world! I’ve made friends with these people, it’s a fun hobby. First butt, big step, the rest will all be much easier.
    Good temperature probes will help quite a bit but, in all honesty, I did my last one old school, on the kettle, starting high heat and then cut the vents way back on the bottom no thermometer, no probe, not anything but bone pull, it was great!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  4. #14
    TVWBB Super Fan
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Welocme Paul,
    Like Kevin, my first impression was that maybe you had a smoke leak.
    One way of testing it is to close all vents (bottom and top) once you are through smoking and check the next day if there are any coals left.
    If not, the WSM let in enough air for the coals to finish.

    It looks like you are in a fairly high temperature area. I am as well.
    In summer, I use the water pan to be able to keep the temperatures down.
    In winter, I smoke without water

    Good luck..

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