Can't keep the 14" hot after 10 hours


 

MStewart

New member
I have the 14" WSM, and twice I've tried to do pork shoulders. I'm able to keep a wonderful consistent temp for around 8 hours, and then I typically need to add charcoal. Then it comes right into temp again. But both times, when I'm trying to finish my cook in the 10-12th hours, I can't get it over 200 degrees no matter what I do. I can add charcoal, I can have the vents completely open, and I just can't get anything above 200 degrees no matter what I do.

Am I choking it with ash? I can't come up with any other way that I can't raise the temp other than blocked air flow somehow.

Any recommendations?
 

Dustin_G

TVWBB Member
Sounds like ash build up is your issue. Are you using a water pan? If you are, try a cook without it It eats up a lot of energy (fuel), and without it you'll have a smaller fire to maintain the same temperature, and therefore a longer burn time (and less ash produced each hour) with the same amount of charcoal.
 

ChuckO

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Any recommendations?
I suggest that when you hit the 8 hour mark, you have a fully lit chimney of charcoal going, you take the top section of your WSM off the charcoal bowl, you dump the ashes (in a fire proof container, yeah I'm preaching fire proof, but that's another story) add some unlit charcoal and then dump in the fully lit charcoal, reassemble your WSM and keep an eye on it, that the temp doesn't rise too much. Throttle it back if you see it creeping up. You should be good to go for another 4 or 5 hours
 

MStewart

New member
I didn't even think about taking the water pan out. I'll try that first, and see what happens. Thanks for both ideas!!!
 

Bob Bass

TVWBB Gold Member
Instead of taking it completely out, try foiling it. Basically you want to get rid of the water. Leave a space between the foil and the inside of the bowl. Helps to reduce burning any meat juices that drip onto the foil.

Water is the energy waster !
 

Dustin_G

TVWBB Member
I didn't even think about taking the water pan out. I'll try that first, and see what happens. Thanks for both ideas!!!

Keep in mind your vent settings may be different. With water you can burn a hotter fire, but the water boiling off will keep the smoker temp low because it takes a lot of energy (heat) to change the water from liquid to gas. That same fire, with no water, is going to make the smoker a lot warmer.

Let us know how it goes!
 

Randall S

TVWBB Fan
Do you use the heat shield on the "inside" as designed? Many of us have moved the heat shield externally. This will also give you more room for ash without the worry of choking the charcoal.
 

Dave Car

TVWBB Member
ditch the water and foil the pan. I needed more time on a brisket and put foil wads on the pan hangers to raise it an inch or two, and then stacked the coals higher. I also started using a party q. I can get 14 hour overnight cooks easy ! I have the WSM 14 also.
 
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Kevin Stephens

New member
I foil my pan. I have also done the gasket seals around the door and lid. I have gone 15 hours or more on a single ring. Just foil the pan - I do use a pitt master IQ110. I use my 14" more than my others. So much I sold the 18" and now just have the 14 and 22. 22 is reserved for parties, ribs and brisket.
 

 

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