Does your WSM have a favorite temperature zone?


Tye R.

Doing a pork shoulder today and as I sit waiting I’ve had a bit of time to ponder. Curious if anyone else has noticed their WSM having a temp zone it does better at?

My WSM 18 can hold a 270-280 degree temp for hours and hours. If I’m cooking around 225 it’s a lot more work - having to adjust vents and making sure air movement is just right a lot more frequently than the higher temps. I suspect it’s because at the lower temps vents are close to shut and air movement is much more restricted and varied. This happens in the heat of summer, and on a 32 degree day like today. Regardless of outside temperature the 270 zone just holds steady while the 225 is more fickle. Anyone else experience something similar?

Jeff Boudman

TVWBB All-Star
I’ve had my 18 for a number of years and it seems to like 250, though getting to run lower or higher is not a problem. I always shot for 225 because every source said that was the magic number to cook butts.
I bought a 22 several months ago and have only used it a couple of times. I may have been using too much charcoal or too many briquettes in the minion method because it liked 300 to 325. That’s probably the best thing that happened to me while smoking butts. The butts turned out perfectly in half the time.

Michael Richards

My WSM 14 has been between 248 and 251 without touching it for the last 3 hours. Smoked Carnitas here we come!
I can get it into the 235 to 245 range with a little more work (and it will stay there), but it really liked to cruise at 250.

Andy Linn

my 14 likes to cook around 275 with a dry pan and 225 with water in the pan - very little fiddling.

if I run the vents wide open it settles in around 275 with a pan of water... but I don't really just leave all vents open unless I am cooking without a pan - like hot and fast chicken - and then I don't bother with probes


TVWBB Super Fan
250-275 with pretty much hands off operation , vents wide open - empty foiled water pan. Any gaps that existed between sections have self sealed over the years, when the unit was new I had to back off the vents about 50% to maintain temp ....even if I build a hot fire the temp comes back down to that range on it's own after an hour or so


TVWBB Member
My WSM 22 is weird, I have to fiddle with vents for the first 3 hours to maintain temps, but after the 3 hour mark, the temp hardly moves, usually likes to settle around 270-280 and wont move from there. This is with an empty foil wrapped water pan.

KE Quist

TVWBB Super Fan
My 18 runs about 240-250 all day long. I've become fairly good at adjusting the starting temp by varying the amount of lit charcoal I start with.