No water pan = High Temps


 

Kyle B

New member
Got the 18.5" about 2-3 months ago and LOVE IT (except for that huge water pan)

I am having one heck of a go without using the water pan! I cant seem to keep the tmp. under 275. The last couple times I have used leftover charcoal (KBB) and light up about 1/2 to 3/4 of a weber chimney. And just cant keep the temps down. Now if I add that BIG OLE water pan to it I have NO problems at all. But if I have to add some more wood or stir coals there is no room to get in there. Maybe I am adding to many HOT coals?

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

thanks KyleB
 

ChuckO

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
You don't control the heat with the defuser (water bowl) you control the heat with the vents in the bottom of you smoker (where the charcoal is) Once you get your pit up to temp (typically between 225 & 250) you start closing up those vents. I'm in kalifornia, I pretty much have to close my vents 85% and I'll hold 250 for 10 hours like that (I don't use water in my defuser, I do have a clay tray) Normal backyard use is to leave the top vent open 100%
 

Kyle B

New member
Well I must be adding way to much charcoal, for the initial add in of hot coals. Because I have two vents closed and one 10-15% open (Slight breeze too). Top vent wide open. It will not come down. I hate to close everything up, wait, then slowly open when the temp is there. Seems I would get off flavors in the food cause of all closed vents.
 

Joe F

TVWBB Pro
Try filling your charcoal ring half way up WITH an open-ended coffee can in the center.
Using a coffee can as a measure, fill it with briquettes and then dump them in your chimney starter.
Get the briqs burning and dump them into the open-ended can.
Lift out the open-ended can with gloved hand and pliers.
Assemble the WSM and manage your air flow to hit the temp you want.
 

Dave Russell

TVWBB Honor Circle
The wsm isn't designed to cook low and slow without a pan. Most just aren't tight enough, no matter how little lit charcoal you start off with. Things might go ok until the meat heats up, but then it's likely you'll start to get a spike, especially if you turn the meat, which you probably should do without a diffuser.

If you want low and slow cooking without one though, install gaskets to minimize leaks, buy a Pit Barrel Cooker, or make a UDS. Sounds to me though that you'd probably be happy if you simply replaced the water pan with a Brinkman charcoal pan, which is sold for their el cheapo little water smokers.
 

Grant

TVWBB Member
You're lighting off WAY too many coals to start. I use a clay saucer most of the time but even so I only light about 8 or 9 briquettes Minon method. You have to bring it up to temp SLOWLY. Once it's up I'm closed all the way on 2 vents and 1/8-1/4 on one and then jocky the top vent between 1/4-3/4 to keep the draft up. I can run 215-240 dome temps this way. Biggest thing is to catch a spike on the way up (thanks Dave Russell). If it does spike, close it almost completely off and let it happen, then reset as it comes back down. This is where the water pan excels.
 

Kyle B

New member
Thanks everyone,

I want to use a water pan its like I was saying there is no room to stoke coals or add wood. So Dave Russel maybe I will look at Amazon or something for that charcoal pan. Thanks again I will be trying something different this weekend for sure.
 

Dave Russell

TVWBB Honor Circle
Thanks everyone,

I want to use a water pan its like I was saying there is no room to stoke coals or add wood. So Dave Russel maybe I will look at Amazon or something for that charcoal pan. Thanks again I will be trying something different this weekend for sure.

If you want it quicker you might try any stores that sell BBQ supplies. Academy Sports and Bass Pro Shop carry them, or at least used to.
 

Enrico Brandizzi

TVWBB Honor Circle
Got the 18.5" about 2-3 months ago and LOVE IT (except for that huge water pan)

I am having one heck of a go without using the water pan! I cant seem to keep the tmp. under 275. The last couple times I have used leftover charcoal (KBB) and light up about 1/2 to 3/4 of a weber chimney. And just cant keep the temps down. Now if I add that BIG OLE water pan to it I have NO problems at all. But if I have to add some more wood or stir coals there is no room to get in there. Maybe I am adding to many HOT coals?

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

thanks KyleB

Well in my experience 1/2 to 3/4 lit regular chimeney is really too much. I lit normally 12/15 briqs with the tin can minion method
Recently i understood that the exhaust vent helps me really much to control the cooking T.
I suggest you to use it.
You will be surprised!
 

Todd Phillips

TVWBB Pro
I can keep mine at 190-200 all day with out the pan for those 24hr briskets. Using a 1/4 chimney. I use lump so I don't know how much Kingsford that is. Pour it on the center of your fuel ring and build your stack after a quick minute. Set your lower vents were it normal wants to run and and put your top vent at 1/2 way and leave it. Once it stables out (about 1/2hr or so) you should be around the 180-200 mark. Only adjust with your top vent. Move it just a quarter and it should jump 15-20 degrees with in a 1/2hr. Then you can dial it in from there. If you need just 10 degrees you can split the remaining 1/4 with the top vent and you should be there. I've learned the whole key is, is controlling the fuel stack. If that thing takes off on initial start up you will chase it all day.
 

David

TVWBB Pro
No water pan, full basket of Kingsford charcoal, and about 1/4 chimney of lit and I can keep it at 225 with no problem in hot Florida. Usually one vent barely open, top full open, but start shutting down bottom vents at 200 or less.......................david
 

 

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