Have you cooked on the 22" WSM?


Dave Bethke

So, tell us about it.
Did it take more fuel than the 18"?
How much bigger does it seem?

post pics too.

Come on what are you waiting for.
I fired mine up yesterday. The prelim to a cook. Yes it holds a lot more fuel. Yes it uses more fuel, but this thing is BIG. Next to the 18 it looks 50% larger. Mine is setup with a Guru setup with a 10 CFM fan. I also have a Stoker, but this test was with the Guru. Ring of Charcoal K and Mesquite lump. First temp setting was 250 which it got to in 30 minutes and held. Very little overshoot. Next I increase the temp to 350. Which took about 30 more minutes to reach. It overshoot this temp about 10 degrees at first then settled down. Both were done with the top vent wide open. Next I want to lower the temp back to 200. After 20 minutes of a small change I closed the top vent. It still took about 45 minutes for the temp to come down to 200. The outside temp was 41 while doing this and I had no wind break or wrap around the Smoker.My buddy calls the 22 R2D2 on Steroids.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I fired mine up yesterday. The prelim to a cook. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nice. Keep us updated. I am very curios about the 12 plus hour cooks because I feel like Chris was still having a little bit of trouble with them. I know it can be done though!

What size blower do you have for the stoker? Will the stoker attachment for the 18" work or does it need to be changed out?

I have the 4 cfm blowers and was thinking I might need 2 to get higher temps. Supposed to get my 22 next week. It is so cold that it will be a great test.
I am using a 10 cfm guru blower right now and do have a stoker 10 cfm Just have not used it yet. I cooked some Salmon today. Good for a short cook. I did put some bricks in the fire ring and Gas Briquettes on the outside of the ring and a clay saucer in the water pan. The picture shows the fire set up.
Jim, you could just use the charcoal ring from the baby WSM if a full load is not needed. It takes alot of energy to heat all that mass up in the charcoal ring.
Just my thoughts.
I agree. My thoughts are it may keep the temp a little more consistant.Time will tell. I am going to try the smaller ring also.
OK...maybe this I am getting a bit out of control here but how about this...

I actually like the brick ring idea but agree about it is alot of mass to heat up. What if the bricks were put in a 350 oven and preheated while the charcoal is lighting in chimney? Then when the coals are ready pull the bricks out, make your ring, fill with unlit, and dump the lit on top. Phew. So is that just too much trouble?

I keep thinking about airflow. Do the coals burn evenly with the brick surrounding them?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jim Bloomfield:
have a stoker 10 cfm </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Will the standard WSM adapter work on the larger vents?
Not completely , it needs to be offset so one of the bent up part of the vent is outside the attachment. This means where that is a little work with a file is needed to get a good fit. This I would consider a need to do item as the Stoker plus is when the fan is not runiing all air flow stops . So if it did not fit well the air could leak in.Still a small modification.

This morning outside temps 41. Same setup as yesterday. Measure out a chimney full of K and load it in the Smoker. Because this is on a Performer base I lit the coals with the built in burner for 5 minutes. Then set the Guru for 250 with the top vent wide open. 15 minutes the smoker reached 250. I have lowered the smoker to 225 and will see how long it will run on that one Chimney load.Went 6 hours.May have gone another 30 minutes. I had to add some K for some Baby backs I needed to cook. Sure is nice being able to put the entire rack in a have more then enough room.
The folks that I work with presented me with a new 22" WSM yesterday - you could have knocked me over with a feather! They just carted it into a meeting on a dolly, they'd found one over the weekend at a local KC place, Backyard Bash. Best Christmas present I've gotten from anyone in a very long time!

I put the unit together tonight and I was wondering if anyone else thought that there seems to be a LOT of room between the bottom of the water pan and the top of the charcoal ring. Granted I'm comparing it to the 18" unit that I always used a Brinkman charcoal pan for the water pan replacement, but even still there's got to be around 6-8" of usable space that is just empty between the charcoal and the bottom of the water pan.

Otherwise the unit looks really solid. It's a beast. I like the construction quality of the thermometer on the lid, I'll be interested in how it compares to grate temps. The front cover is a bit annoying, mine was not at ALL shaped to be anywhere close to fit. I spent some time getting it pretty close, didn't want it to be a perfect seal. The body unit seems to fit a little more loosely into the bottom bowl, too...the unit doesn't appear to be damaged or out of round, and since it's got an inset lip I don't think it's any big deal, I'm just used to the tight fit of the 18" unit.

I'll be firing mine up tomorrow to do a pork loin and some small racks of lamb for Christmas Eve.
You have some good Friends. You may need to have them over for a BBQ.The doors all seem to need a little shaping. I too thought there was a lot of room between the fire and the water pan. At least you can pile the K high above the ring for a all night cook. The door is a good chute for adding extra coals.

You have some GREAT friends!!!

I agree with Jim in that the extra room is probably because so many 18" users "mound" their charcoal to get the longest cook time they can (I'm one of them).

If you have a digi camera, could you take some "Macro" close-up's of the areas you're concerned about and post them?

Thanks, and good luck with your cook tomorrow.

You guys are right - I have awesome friends.

On closer inspection today I don't think I'm as concerned with the fit of the middle section onto the bottom. I think I was just looking for things to be concerned about when assembling the unit, but I saw zero smoke leakage from around the bottom of the unit, so I think it's pretty solid.

So here's my report from today. First off, this new unit is solid. I've had several years of experience with WSMs - we use 5-6 of them in competition, and have won quite a few ribbons (including top 10 finishes in the American Royal Invitational for Ribs and Brisket), so I've got some experience to compare the new unit to. Not as much as most of you guys though!!

For my first cook for our Christmas Eve dinner, I prepared a Berkshire Pork Loin and some New Zealand racks of lamb. Since I was cooking some pretty tender cuts of meat, I wasn't going to do a "low and slow" session - I wanted the smoke chamber to get around 325-350 and stay there.

I lit a heaping chimney with Kingsford and put a single layer of unlit briquettes in the bottom of the charcoal ring. This fully consumed a 10-pound bag that I'd grabbed from the grocery store, this new unit can hold a LOT of charcoal. The water pan is more shallow than the Brinkman charcoal pan that I usually use in my units, but in terms of volume I think it's comparable. I filled the pan about half-full using 6 quarts of hot water.

I smoked my lamb and pork over straight cherry wood, tossing 3-4 good size chunks on the lit coals after spreading them on the unit coals. I left all of the bottom vents around 1/2-2/3 open, and the unit got up to 325 within 15-20 minutes. I didn't fill the water pan completely and I opened the vents a little more than I normally would, and the unit reacted pretty much as I'd expect.

I did NOT get the chance to put an oven thermometer on the top grate, mainly because I forgot about it.
I'll do that next time to get a gauge as to the difference between the lid and grate temps.

My wife's family LOVED the results. Here's how I prepared each of the items, in case anyone cares:

The lamb was thinly slathered with a mix of Boulevard Pale Ale mustard and a White BBQ sauce that I happened to have in the fridge. I then prepared a crumb coating made from sauteing garlic, red pepper and thyme flakes in olive oil and then adding italian bread crumbs and fresh parsley. I smoke-roasted the racks for around 1 hour, until internal temp read 140 in the thickest part. I let the lamb rest for quite a while, then carved into 2-bone portions. I made a roasted garlic reduction sauce from carmelized shallots, olive oil, red wine, beef and chicken stock, then added a roasted bulb of garlic and gave the sauce a spin with an immersion blender before finishing with a tablespoon of butter. The lamb was excellent, I'd never smoke-roasted any lamb before and it turned out great.

The pork was a berkshire loin from McGonicle's market here in KC. I gave the loin a simple thin slather of mustard and then rubbed liberally with Mary's Cherry Rub. I made a glaze from seedless raspberry preserves, red wine, corn syrup, cinnamon, mace and cloves. After letting the loin smoke for a solid hour I started applying glaze every 30 minutes until the internal temp read 145, at which point I pulled it and let it rest. I re-heated the remaining glaze and served it as a dipping sauce.

Anyway, both meats were a big hit, and I had ZERO problems, issues or complaints. Here are a few pics from the beginning of the cook below. Unfortunately family started arriving toward the middle-end of the cook, so I didn't get any pics of the final product. I wish I had, they looked excellent.

Top Shot

Full Body Shot

Water Pan and Charcoal Ring

The First Cook - Pork and Lamb

So there's my inaugural report.

In additional news, I stopped by Backyard Bash here in Kansas City and saw that they had a single boxed 26" one touch gold left, so I went ahead and grabbed it. Tomorrow night is my family's "bring your own steak" affair, where my family brings their own steaks, opens up my rub cabinet and applies what they like and I cook their steaks to their liking. Usually I use two 22" kettles, but this year I'll be using a single 26" unit, so we'll see how this goes!
After a couple of cooks on the new 22 some observations.
It holds and uses more fuel. I did run it overnight with a load of fuel doing a brisket in 30 degree temps. It holds temps like the 18 does. I will not get rid of my 18. When cooking just for the two of us the 18 is great. Or just doing a couple tri tip or one shoulder etc.I must say it is so nice to put a whole brisket on the 22 and it fits or racks of ribs, Turkeys of any size.I see more on the board getting a 22 as the news comes in. I would like to think I need both.Two smokers maybe each at a different temp or?
I currently have the 18" WSM and am planning to upgrade to the new 22" and pass along my old smoker to my brother in law. I'm a little concerned about how much fuel the 22" smoker will need, esp for smaller cooks. Any sense of where the temperature would be if I used the amount of charcoal in the 22" that I would have used in the smaller 18" smoker?
The 22 does use more fuel. It has to, it is a larger area your are heating.The arrangement I show above or using a smaller ring could help limit the amount used.Wind breaks of smoker wraps help.Just like a better insulated house is cheaper to heat.If I only could keep one smoker it would be the 22.
I've done two cooks on the new 22". A couple racks of ribs, and some quartered chickens. I did the ribs for lunch, and the chicken for dinner, so I fired the smoker two different times.

I will first say that it was pretty cold and windy the day I did the cooks. It did consume a fairly large amount of fuel. My initial reaction, like Jim mentions, is that using the ring from the 18" would work better. I feel that the charcoal is too spread out for short cooks. Plus, there is lots of room between the charcoal grate and water pan. I think a smaller diameter, yet taller charcoal ring might be better.

I don't know if my logic is sound, but that was what came to mind.

If I were you, and space wasn't an issue, I would keep both. I plan to use my 18" more often, as it's enough for me and my family. For larger cookouts and competitions, the 22"s will get put into play.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
If I were you, and space wasn't an issue, I would keep both. I plan to use my 18" more often, as it's enough for me and my family. For larger cookouts and competitions, the 22"s will get put into play. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, in hindsight this is probably the best thing to do. But we've already told my brother in law that he'll get the old WSM, so there's no going back.

I like the idea of using the smaller charcoal ring - I presume I can buy one of these separately.