Testing A New Combination


 

Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
We've been competing with a four 18" WSM/Stoker set up for the last three years and have been seriously considering subbing in a 22" for one of the 18"s. We recently picked up a 22" WSM and today we've been doing a test cook. Today's weather in Phoenix has been cool and breezy with occasional thunder and rain. Ambient temps have been in the low 50s all day and evening.

We had a freezer full of pork butts left over from last years comp season and we needed to get them cooked up, shredded and vacuum sealed so that we have plenty of care packages for friends and family. The 22" WSM seemed like the right equipment for the job so we fired it up this late this afternoon and placed six butts (three on each rack) into the cooker.

As I said earlier, the weather hasn't been typical for Phoenix but the Stoker has kept that big ol' cooker rock steady all night long, even through a pretty strong downpour of rain.

My only critical comment so far with the 22" WSM is that it seems to be using up fuel at a much faster rate than the 18" under a similarly heavy load. (Four of the same size butts, 2 upper and 2 lower.) I don't attribute it to the weather as we've cooked in these kinds of conditions many times. I'm more inclined to believe that the larger amount of air mass, meat mass and exterior surface area of the larger cooker simply eat up and then dissipate more heat than a similarly loaded 18" unit. Only with more testing will I be able to know for sure.

Regardless, I'm becoming fond of the big fella already.
 

Gerd H

TVWBB Super Fan
Valuable info Vince. I would be interested to hear if your thoughts change as you cook more on the 22. Most importantly, I assume you are using a 5 cfm fan with the Stoker. John advised, a little to my surprise, to go with the 10 cfm when I ordered.

Regarding the 22 in general, a couple things, purely my conjecture/observation:
The 22 seems more variable out of the box, and more in need of 'seasoning cooks' before it stabilizes vs an 18.

I agree, the huge increase in surface area affects fuel usage, which is magnified in the wind. So, while wind has a small effect on an original WSM, it seems to have a 'larger' effect on the 22.
 

Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
For this cook I was using a 10cfm fan but I do have a 5cfm that I will likely do some tests with in the future. I don't want to put words in John's mouth but my best guess on why he would recommend a 10cfm over a 5cfm in the 22" is because it will probably cycle less once the cooker is at your desired temperature setting. I'll ask him about it the next time we talk.

I should also clarify that the 22" cooker is "new to us" but not "new out of the box". When Jaybird decided to make the big switch from cooking on his BDSs and WSMs to his Jambo, he decided to sell one of his two 22" WSMs. So, while it doesn't have more than a dozen or so cooks on it, it is already "broken in" and has a coating of Barbeque Goo [/jargon mod] around the nesting parts and the dome. Even the door had a pretty tight seal.
 

Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
You ain't just whistlin' Dixie! I've been dreaming about a gloss black Jambo with RnQ logo work on the side.

C'mon lottery!
 

Mark Erskine

TVWBB Member
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Vincent Carrocci:
For this cook I was using a 10cfm fan but I do have a 5cfm that I will likely do some tests with in the future. I don't want to put words in John's mouth but my best guess on why he would recommend a 10cfm over a 5cfm in the 22" is because it will probably cycle less once the cooker is at your desired temperature setting. I'll ask him about it the next time we talk.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Please share what you learn from John. I'm using the 5cfm fan which seems to work just fine, but I'm curious if it's a practical difference (less fan use equals less coal burn???) Just curious. Just cooked an all night briskett this weekend, and noticed the blue fan light on lots through the night with vents closed except for top that was open just a crack. But the temperature held perfectly all night long!
 

Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
I spoke with John about the 5cfm vs. 10cfm fans in a 22" WSM. The reason he is suggesting the 10 over the 5 is because a 5 will be very slow to bring the cooker up to temperature when a 22" WSM has a heavy meat load and that makes sense.
 

Gerd H

TVWBB Super Fan
Good update Vince.

My assumption was that when using the stoker, I was not going to load up the meat until the stoker had brought the WSM up to near cooking temp. For personal reasons, this is the way I do it if doing a standard minion method long cook.

In summary, the WSM22 is probably a 'tweener' for 5 vs 10. Assuming it runs the WSM 22 the way I expect (and I have full confidence it will) I have no problem choosing the 10, because it will add versatility for me down the line.
 

 

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