14.5 burning too hot

Ben Y

New member
Got a well seasoned 14.5” wsm I’ve been smoking faithfully on for 2 years. It always stays in the sweet spot 225-250 more or less. Very happy. But the last 4 sessions have seen very high temps that I can’t understand. 275 and up range.
I use Kingsford blue bag charcoal, foiled water pan full of water, minion method. Bottom vents closed to 1/4 open and top vent 100% open. This process has served me well for 2 years straight. Now all of a sudden I can’t get it to stay below 275.
Last nights brisket smoke was with 2 bottom vents completely closed, and still raging over 275. What am I doing wrong?
 

KToliver

TVWBB Fan
Doesn’t sound like you are doing anything wrong, but you may need to check a few things.

I’d check all the bolts and gaskets to make sure they are intact, especially those in the bottom bowl. Loose bolts or worn out gaskets will allow air to infiltrate down there. Second, I’d verify that your door has not become slightly bent which again will allow air into the combustion area.

Lastly, verify that your three bottom vents are tight to the body of the bowl.
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Seems strange.
Are you going by the built in therm, or monitoring with a remote?
I ask because the therm on my 14 is whacko.
 
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Ben Y

New member
Ktoliver~ All bolts and gaskets are tight. I’ve actually got the gasket seal tape around the door and top of the middle section where the lid covers. Door is sealed pretty tightly as well. 3 Bottom vents are also tight. No extra oxygen leaking in as far as I can tell.
 

Ben Y

New member
I use Igrill therm probes. One to measure meat temp and the other inserted into the silicone grommet to measure ambient temp. I don’t even bother looking at the thermometer on the lid.
 

Bob Bass

TVWBB Guru
Ben, Any change in the number of lit coals you using compared to earlier ? Have any changes occurred to the WSM placement, ie moved to different place on patio, etc (thinking wind related here...) ?
 

Ben Y

New member
Good question Bob Bass. I started using Kingsford professional competition briquettes (on sale at Costco) and they burned way too hot for my smoker. Since then I’ve switched back to my standard Kingsford blue bag. But still encountering same high heat problems.
The smoker used to sit outside between the fence and pool. I moved the smoker up to the covered patio. There may be a slight wind change, but not much.
Next smoke I will move it back to original spot and see how it goes.
 

Ben Y

New member
I was up all night wondering if my smoker has a gap or holes in it. But I doubt it. Before I installed the gasket seal tape, you could see smoke pouring out of the door. Now it’s tight. And when it’s operating, If there was a leak somewhere, wouldn’t I be able to see smoke coming out of it? Especially if I removed the lid and then quickly shoved the lid back down?
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
If I were wondering about whether or not there was a leak that would impact my temps I would fire it up, let it stabilize and run for a span of time, then fully close the intake and exhaust vents. If the temp began to drop relatively quickly and continued to descend until the fire was out then I would assume it was sealed well enough. If it kept running then I'd believe air was entering from somewhere.

For the more expert, is this logic accurate?
 

KToliver

TVWBB Fan
If I were wondering about whether or not there was a leak that would impact my temps I would fire it up, let it stabilize and run for a span of time, then fully close the intake and exhaust vents. If the temp began to drop relatively quickly and continued to descend until the fire was out then I would assume it was sealed well enough. If it kept running then I'd believe air was entering from somewhere.

For the more expert, is this logic accurate?
That is an excellent suggestion. Ben...in the name of science, man...
 

CaseT

TVWBB Gold Member
Late to this party, but have you tested the iGrill probes in boiling water lately?

I completely quit using my iGrill after Weber took over. I started getting wacky readings. I'd test the probes and they were way off the mark. 10°-15°

Have been using the Meater+ and it has been pretty reliable, unlike the meater block. I like that there is no chord, and the ambient probe is part of the internal probe. One thing I don't like is the diameter of the probe. Doesn't work well with smaller foods.
 

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