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In Reply to: Newbie question wood chunks and WSM posted by Rich S on July 25, 2011 at 19:52:18:
Rich, You only need wood on your smoker until the internal temp of your meat reaches 140*. After that, the meat will not accept any more smoke flavor and you run the risk of getting getting creosote (soot) on your meat.
I have a WSM and have noticed that if I load up the charcoal ring full of charcoal, I have to close the dampers almost all the way to keep the temperature under control. I cooked a brisket yesterday, loaded up the charcoal ring and had two dampers completely closed and one of them barely open. The cooking chamber temp was 235 for almost the entire time. When the dampers are closed that tight, then you don't get enough air in your smoker to burn up the wood and create good smoke. Try putting a smaller load of charcoal in your WSM and opening all 3 of the vents nearly all the way. This will get good air flow, burn up the wood, create smoke and should keep your smoker temp in a good range 225-250.
Are you familiar with the www.virtualweberbullet.com website? If not, find it and read it. It's got great info about using your WSM.
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