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Thread: 14.5 won't budge...stuck at 250

  1. #1
    TVWBB Diamond Member
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    14.5 won't budge...stuck at 250

    I've never seen a smoker quite like this. I run it full of charcoal, minion start, no water, all vents wide open. 250. That's 250. It doesn't budge.
    Yes, I've seen 275 on the hot side and 240 on the low. It just seems happy to be at 250.
    A wonderful problem.
    Peach Kissed Q

  2. #2
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Bob Correll's Avatar
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    Stock lid therm or probe?
    My 14.5" lid's therm is off a bunch compared to a probe through a top vent.

  3. #3
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    Good point. I have kept things very simple. Just use the Weber thermo 'cause the results have been good. If the thermo is off 25*, it doesn't seem to matter in the end.
    The thermopen is my ultimate authority.
    Peach Kissed Q

  4. #4
    TVWBB Guru Rusty James's Avatar
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    Dang, I had a stock thermometer go backwards one time and had to replace it!
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", Royal Oak Lump / Royal Oak All Natural Briquettes, Blue Genesis Silver C

  5. #5
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Bob Correll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Petrone View Post
    Good point. I have kept things very simple. Just use the Weber thermo 'cause the results have been good. If the thermo is off 25*, it doesn't seem to matter in the end.
    The thermopen is my ultimate authority.
    Yeah, I could live with a 25 difference, mine is around 50 so I ignore it.

  6. #6
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Assuming that your thermometer isn't broken, that's hilarious. My 14.5 has been a moody, tempermental son of a gun. It's getting better as I cook on it more, but I have a feeling it's always gonna be that way.
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  7. #7
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    Dan, what do you cook the most? What temp do you try to hold? Use water ? Minion start?
    Peach Kissed Q

  8. #8
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Petrone View Post
    Dan, what do you cook the most? What temp do you try to hold? Use water ? Minion start?
    I've probably cooked butts the most, but I tend to jump around from thing to thing a lot. Most recently was the BBQ belly that I cooked on the 14". I was shooting for 225 and had to work to get it there (probably 3 adjustments in that first hour until it settled at 230)...but, once it was, it just cruised for the whole cook. Before that, I did tri tip on it. I was shooting for 225*. Lit the coals, hit 200*, closed down the vents, but it climbed and climbed to about 245*. Not terrible, but not quite what I wanted for that cook. The lowest it got was 236*. But, my 18" WSM... that baby from day one has been: light, adjust vents once, and go. No more fussin'. It's probably me getting to know the little guy better. My working theory is that the smaller volume makes it slightly harder to get dialed in. (BTW- yes, I use water and the minion start.) From what I've read around here, I've come to the conclusion that every smoker has it's own personality. My thought is that the 14 will be a little temperamental at first, but will behave himself once he settles into his groove.
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  9. #9
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    As a novice dog trainer, I've learned it is the trainer who needs the training and gets trained.

    Perhaps, the WSM is that way too. I sweated my 18" in the beginning-adjusting every 10 or 15 min. Finally, I figured out opening my vents 25% would get me there. So I opened the vents 100% until 200 or so then went to 25%. Done. No more attention needed.
    With my 14.5, with no water, it does not seem to want to go above 275, in fact 250 is most common with a minion start. I get there with all vents 100% open . So I just keep it open and she chugs along at around 250 according to the stock weber thermo. I'm 'trained'.
    Peach Kissed Q

  10. #10
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    O.K. Bob Correll got my attention. My last cook in the 14.5 was baby backs using Royal Oak Lump. I have very rarely used lump as Kingsford served the purpose quite cheaply.
    Anyway, Bob planted a bug in my ear.... So I did stick my thermapen thru the top vent and found not a 25* difference with the Weber built in thermometer but more like 50*.
    So I will be a candidate for a thermometer that can be read remotely or on my phone.
    Thanks Bob for raising the issue! So much for steady eddy at 250, boy was I fooled .
    Peach Kissed Q

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