First Fling w/the New Mistress and I Need Some Advice

Bud Brewer

New member
So my amazing wife has named my smoker "The Mistress" as I tend to spend a lot of time and $ on it!

My newest mistress is a 22.5 WSM. I've been doing some trial runs to get an feel for temp control, but will be doing my first cook tomorrow: 2 racks of BB & 2 racks of spares cut down to St. Louis and tips. I plan to to run water in the pan as I'm still learning and I want to make things are as bulletproof as possible.

In my trials, I did not monitor the temp on the bottom cooking rack, so I do not know if it typically runs hotter or cooler than the top rack. Can anyone share their experiences? Also, does it make a difference which ribs go onto which rack & should I swap them throughout the cook?

Thank you in advance for any insights & have a great evening!


TVWBB Olympian
With water the middle rack usually runs cooler than top but not by much.
The BB's will cook quicker than the spares/ tips so you should put those on top, and when done remove and rotate spares on top.
Good luck and Welcome to the board! :wsm:



TVWBB All-Star
My advice is to not worry too much about what temp you're at (with in reason). 225, 250, 275, 285, 300° just let it ride where it wants to be and life will be way less stressful! You'll just have to adjust your times a bit. I run my 18.5"wsm and 22.5"wsm without water and vents 100% open and they like 275ish, if it climbs up to 300 I back the vents down a bit. Just don't try to nail a certain number. Have fun with it and don't forget the pix!