Smoking in Minnesota Winters



New member
Curious as to the success others have had smoking during the winter months (especially those from Minnesota or other areas with similar winters). I'm smoking on a WSM 18.5". I've heard it's not so much the cold but the wind that affects the smoker. Was wondering what the cold does for the cook times of the meat and if there are any other tips others might have to ensure smoking success all year long.


Steve Porter

TVWBB Super Fan
I use my 18.5 WSM more in the winter than I do the summer. No problem with cook times, if it takes longer it's not enough to notice. I have my WSM on a wheeled plant stand so I can move it easily to get it out of the wind. Usually just outside the southeast corner of my garage (northeast end of my driveway) is the best place in winter for me to set up the smoker.

Donna Shegonee

TVWBB Member
as long as you maintain Temperature there should be no additional cooking time. since I haven't lived in Minnesota in ages I can't advise on success there though.

Dave R

I've done smokes in the cold weather, just did one last weekend. It was around 15 degrees when I started and the daily high was about 23 tops. Wasn't windy but I did use more fuel than during the summer months. I know that Ohio doesn't get as cold as Minnesota but you could at least use it for reference. I have an 18.5" and used a full ring of KBB. Started the smoker around 7:00 AM, ran the car to the fix-er upper man, around 8:00 AM the pit was up to 225 and stable so I put on the boston butt. Kept steady temps of 225 until I took it off at 5 PM for the rest before pullin'.


Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
yeah, what Dave said, no longer cooking times but you'll use more charcoal...
Where in Minnesota are you located?
I'm just south of Milwaukee, yeah, it gets cold here.

Welcome to the forum! :wsm:


New member
Thanks for all the insight into cold weather smoking. I'm thinking of doing a smoke either tomorrow and/or next week since I have a couple of days off around the weekend. I live in the Minneapolis area so it can definitely get cold out but not as bad as it can in the more rural areas.

T Perkins

Welcome RDNystrom! Like all others have said, cold wont affect the cook time, just the wind. I'll be cooking a couple butts this Sunday myself. Hopefully the temp will hit 40 for us! Im in Richfield, so not far from where you're located.


New member
I did two 7.5 # butts last weekend when the weather was in the teens all day.

Third time I used my new 18.5. I have three teenage foster kids and every night they have been asking if we can have pulled pork again tonight.

Put them on at 7:00 am, used the minion method for starting it and couldn't have been easier and took them off at 5:30 . I am going to love using this thing.

Gary S

Wind is the killer doesn't matter where. It's kinda neat to see the smoker in action in a background of snow. I think the cold affects me and my willingness to smoke more than the WSM. :) Just make sure it's sheltered with a wind break.


TVWBB Olympian
If you use water, make it hot out of the tap or almost boiling. If you're smoking in -0 temps than skip the water or heat-sink and use an empty foiled pan.
More lit coals from the beginning also helps to get you up to temp on cold days.