Long cooks on a WSM 22"????


 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
TDon, welcome to the forum!

If you used only 160 briquets, that's not enough for a long cook in a 22.5" WSM. You need to fill the ring to the top, then add the hot briquets.

40 hot briquets is not too much, especially if you're using water in the pan, and depending on weather conditions and how quickly you want to get the cooker into the 225-275*F zone. I often use 30 in the 18.5" WSM, but sometimes 40.

There's no right or wrong way to place the hot briquets, you'll eventually decide what works best for you. I typically don't bother with gadgets like coffee cans. I just scatter hot coals over the unlit charcoal, or make a slight depression in the center of the unlit with my hands and drop the hot coals into it. But if you want to use the coffee can, you cut out the bottom, place unlit around it, drop in the hot charcoal, then pull out the can using channel locks or similar.

You'll find lots of fire-up methods discussed here, including a coffee can photo (click the pic for larger image): http://virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html#variations
 

Jerry N.

TVWBB Emerald Member
TDon,
When I don't use water, yes, I still leave the pan in to deflect the heat and catch the drippings. I've used a clay saucer covered with aluminum foil and felt that worked pretty good. You really could just use a empty pan but it helps if you have something between the bottom of the pan and the foil even if it's just an air gap. That will keep the drippings from burning.

You mentioned your amount and choice of charcoal. As Chris said, it doesn't seem you're using enough. Pack that ring FULL. Get your hand in there and make sure there's no large air gaps. Charcoal is fuel and you want to start with a full tank. As for type of charcoal, I'm sure some charcoals burn hotter, longer or whatever, but I've not found that to be the case. Especially when you're looking at 5 hours versus 12+. Sure, one charcoal may give you 15 hours and another 12, but anything should get you into double digits.

The leaking is not your problem. You can spend money to fix it, but if you can close your vents and the charcoal goes out in an hour or two, it's tight enough. It is certainly not the reason for your short burn time. If you were unable to keep your temps under say 300° then I'd say the leakage is a problem, but if you're running at under 300° and can control your temps, then the air coming into the WSM is controlled and leakage is not your problem.

Bottom line is that you need to put fuel in the WSM. I've never owned a 22, but I've seen one at the store and they look like they'd need about a full bag of charcoal to fill up that ring. Good luck and let us know how your next cook goes.
 

TDon

New member
Thanks for the good feedback Chris and Jerry.
I'll filler up next time and let you know how it goes. Not sure when that's gonna be because I'm feeling pretty full right now.

On the leak, I formed the door this morning by hand to a little smaller radius and it seems like a better fit to the smoker now. I believe you that it wasn't the problem but of course I'd like to make it as tight as possible and the gaskets will be here in a week or so.

Thanks for the welcome and the link Chris. Looks like a great forum and I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time reading !
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Gold Member
I've usually reloaded, too, after about 6 hours using water and a level basket lit via minion. However; this weekend after reading this and other threads I omitted water, used a tight level basket of kbb plus 15 lit for a top-down burn and got exactly 14 hours on the 22 with 10 lbs pork, no atc, 28-41 outdoor temps and shielded from the wind, and mostly below 250 with a couple spikes approaching 275. That was an enjoyable experience, though I did need to fuss with the vents quite a bit. Afterward, I reshaped the stock door so that I can see if that might improve upon temp regulation on the next smoke.

Albeit, I'm also intrigued that Bob Ivey was able to get such long burn times with water even before an atc... there could be times when I would still want water.

Grateful for the wealth of knowledge on this bb.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Gold Member
If DBono can forgive me I have a follow-up question. I've heard mention of ash choking the fuel. That, or I misread. After my first 14-hour smoke I opened the fuel door and found only a few fragments of KBB on the grate. Lots of ash was below the grate in the ash bowl but it was well below the vents. How would this choke one's fuel and affect temperatures? Thanks!
 

Jerry N.

TVWBB Emerald Member
If DBono can forgive me I have a follow-up question. I've heard mention of ash choking the fuel. That, or I misread. After my first 14-hour smoke I opened the fuel door and found only a few fragments of KBB on the grate. Lots of ash was below the grate in the ash bowl but it was well below the vents. How would this choke one's fuel and affect temperatures? Thanks!

It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, the top burns and causes ash and because the bottom hasn't burned, it blocks the ash from falling through and chokes out the fire. Generally, I think your experience is more common but ash can choke out the fire.
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, the top burns and causes ash and because the bottom hasn't burned, it blocks the ash from falling through and chokes out the fire. Generally, I think your experience is more common but ash can choke out the fire.

Yep, and Humidity IMO causes that also.
Fresh charcoal burns cleaner and falls apart but damp charcoal holds it shape longer and the ash will slowly choke out a fire.
You need to tap or kick the legs now and then.

Tim
 

Terry - bbqking

TVWBB Fan
Just my 2x cents I read somewhere to close the bottom vents to about a pencil width open on all. Leave top vent wide open. I tried it on an 18” and the coals lasted at least 12 hours. Full ring of charcoal.
 

Mike_S

TVWBB Member
Just my 2x cents I read somewhere to close the bottom vents to about a pencil width open on all. Leave top vent wide open. I tried it on an 18” and the coals lasted at least 12 hours. Full ring of charcoal.
That's what I learned from T-roy's WSM videos. Another good trick if you use the minion method is to use a weber chimney upside down, fill and light it that way.
 

 

Top