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The Smokey Mountain adventure begins.

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    The Smokey Mountain adventure begins.

    So I got lucky and scored a 22" WSM from another member of The Pit, and since I got my chores done early today, I figured I would light a fire and see what happens. ​​​​​​First run is a bit of a scatter blast of what they had at the gas station and a steak out of the freezer. It's been a few years since I had my SNS/ kettle combo, but it seems I do remember how to light a fire. Now I have to see if I can recall how to control one. Wish me luck!
    Attached Files

    #2
    Well you certainly have a variety there. SOMETHING has to turn out good! Good luck and enjoy your new toy.

    Comment


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      Take it from me - cookin' multiple items does not guarantee one will turn out good...
      Last edited by RonB; October 4, 2020, 08:16 PM.

    #3
    Well, the first cook is under my belt, and I'm happy to report that all the food was edible.
    For my first run I started with one full chimney of whatever charcoal was cheap at the local big box store figuring that there was a very real chance that I was going to struggle with this thing, and there was no point in buying the good stuff just to practice with. The same concept was used for the food selection.
    I didn't want to mess with either the snake or minion method yet so two Weber starter cubes got lit up to get the chimney of charcoal going, then it was time to think about smoke. For the smoke, I had a couple of options. Either a chunk or two of hickory that I had left over from my kettle/SnS days, or an assortment of chips I use in my pellet pooper. I ended up going with one chunk of hickory under the coals simply because in my experience, chips burn up too fast in a charcoal fire. The smoke flavor was a lot lighter than I'm used to, so I should have gone with two or three chunks of wood instead of just one. I'm just going to chalk that up to living, and learning.
    I was torn between filling the water pan and leaving it empty, however I decided to go with "as designed" for the first run. If nothing else, I figured it would help cut down on the variables. So I added about a gallon of hot tap water to the pan. I took a peek at the water pan when I was checking on how the charcoal was holding up a couple of hours into the cook, and I can already tell that cleaning that mess up is going to quickly become one of my least favorite things to do.
    The actual cook itself was wonderfully uneventful. The steak ended up a bit overdone, but I have to chalk that one up to me being too lazy to scrounge up another probe for the Fireboard and kind of guessing how long it would take to get to temp. Other than than that, I had to keep opening up the bottom vents more than I had anticipated to keep things up around 225. I'm guessing that the water pan has a lot to do with that, but if anyone has bothered to read this far and would like to chime in with an opinion, I'd love to hear it. The thing that impressed me the most was that with very little fiddling, and just one chimney of charcoal, I was able to keep that big ol' thing at a pretty steady 225 for just over three hours. I was also surprised at how little the temp varied from the upper to the lower grate. Again, I'm thinking the water played a big part in that, and again, I'd like to hear from somebody that actually knows such things.
    So that's cook number one done and out of the way. As I do, and learn more, I'll try to remember to fill this story out and bring you all along for the ride. I also want to say a BIG "Thank You!" to Andrrr for selling me such a nice cooker at such a reasonable price. I'll try do it justice.
    Attached Files

    Comment


      #4
      Nice Job, thanks fer takin us along on yer Adventure, Brother!
      Congrats!!!

      Comment


      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you kind Sir!

      #5
      I’ve wanted a WSM for some time. Looks like yours does the trick!

      Comment


      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        Today was my first time lighting a fire in one, but it's pretty easy to see why these things a so popular. I won't give it the full blown recommendation just yet, but early results are definitely positive.

      #6
      My pleasure and it looks like you’re doing it justice already. Glad to hear your maiden voyage went well, not that I expected anything less. It’s a rock solid cooker that really doesn’t need much fiddling and I’ve found that filling the water pan helped with that though there are plenty here that ditched the pan long ago and have had great success PBC style. If you go waterless just line the water bowl with foil. And I’d suggest putting a drip pan (with lots of beans) on the lower grate under anything you cook to collect the fat. Best of luck!

      Comment


      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the tips! There are going to be a lot things for me to learn, and I'm expecting it to be a fun trip.

      #7
      Ya Gots This, Brother!
      Easy, Peasy-Lemon Squeezy...
      If ever any questions, I'll danged sure tell ya Every lil ol thing I know!

      (That shouldn't take very long, actually lol!)

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        P.S.: I don't rightly reckon that I've never done nuthin to really rate me no "Sir"

        "Bonesy" works jus fine, betwixt yerself an me, Brother...

      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        My Ma may not be in the best of health these days, but she'd still have no qualms about whacking me with that wooden spoon of hers if I forget my manners. "Yes *smack* Sir *smack*. No *smack* Sir *smack*. Please *smack* and *smack* Thank you. *smack*. That's how people know you weren't raised by wolves." *smack*
        Applied properly, some lessons stick with ya!
        God Bless my dear mother for caring enough to teach her kids their manners.

      • RustyHaines
        RustyHaines commented
        Editing a comment
        @willxfmt I had the same mother ! Between my Mom and my father in the military it was (and still is at age 64) yes Sir, yes Ma'am . . . . . always.

        One of my Mom's famous speeches to me: "even if you end up in prison you will be the most polite prisoned there"

      #8
      I'd happily set in, if she'd ever even consider allowin me to...
      I was raised in th Same Exact Fashion! *smack* lol
      willxfmr
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 5, 2020, 02:44 AM.

      Comment


        #9
        Took another step in the journey today. After the success of the initial run, I decided to give a pellet pooper regular a try on the WSM. So four chicken thighs got seasoned up, three with my homemade rub and one with Ras El Hanout that I just got from The Spice House. Since I like a good crispy skin on my chicken, I set the WSM up with a chimney full of hot coals and the water pan in place, but empty. Target temp was 325F and although things ran a few degrees lower than target, the temp was steady throughout the 50 minuet cook. I'm still just learning how to control temps, so I am happy with consistent for now, and will work at getting better at hitting set points as time goes on. So with a hot and fast cook under my belt, next will be a low and slow. I have several racks of St. Louie's in my freezer that are itching for some smoke and fire, and I'm itching to give them what they want. I don't have a day off until next week sometime, so the ribs will just have to chill until then, but I'm looking forward to getting them on the fire and seeing what happens.
        Until next time, peace and smoke to you all.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by willxfmr; October 8, 2020, 06:25 PM.

        Comment


        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          Lookin good!

        • willxfmr
          willxfmr commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you!

        • Razor
          Razor commented
          Editing a comment
          If you’re using a Fireboard get yourself a fan for it. You’ll never look back.

        #10
        Looks like a Fine yardbird cook, Amigo; Nice Job!

        Reckon I'd be all kinda hankerin fer me some gravy, an a big ol biscuit, but it looks like ya got some stuff goin on in yer taters, was curious what all...???

        Also would love to learn more bout yer rub used, if'n ya feels amenable to sharin yer secrets...

        I think yerself an this WSM are gonna git along jus Famously....

        Comment


        • willxfmr
          willxfmr commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks!
          A biscuit and some gravy would have been good, but time dictated that I go with what I got.

          The taters i'm almost ashamed to admit are instant from an envelope, so I doubt I could pronounce most of what in them.

          I'd be happy to post my chicken rub, just as soon as I get one of those "days off" I hear people talk about.

          So far, I'm real happy about how that WSM cooks. I think you're right, me and it are going to get along just fine.

        #11
        The more you use it, the more you’re gonna love it.
        One of my all time favourite cookers. I pretty much think that everyone should own one at some point. Relatively easy to setup & use...quite versatile...and they can produce some very tasty, even award winning, food. My WSCG handles my WSM duties these days..,but every once in a while I kinda wish I hadn’t given it away.

        Comment


          #12
          Well, we are taking another step today. Three racks of St. Lou's are are on and I'm hoping for the best. Conditions today are a little more challenging than in my previous cooks, with a steady wind. Outdoor temp is right around 60F, so can't complain about that. Target temp for this cook is 275F, and I'm hoping
          for a cook time of right around 5 hours. On my pellet pooper I know I can nail this cook in just about any weather, but it's been a long time since I have tried to manage a charcoal fire in the wind. Wish me luck!
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            Any particular reason you have the ends folded into the next slot of the rib rack? If it's to keep them from flopping over onto one another, I have had pretty good results with skewers for that.

          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Ya got this!

          • FireMan
            FireMan commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup! We got a windy one today. Wibs, made my day.

          #13
          There is no good reason for folding them like that. They just kinda seemed to fit nice that way.
          Thanks for the skewer tip. I'll keep that in mind if I ever have a actual reason to fold them up.

          Comment


            #14
            So, here's a way to keep that water pan clean: a water pan cover .... wrap it in foil, good to go.

            Glad you're enjoying .... I love the WSM 22. Great smoker!

            Comment


              #15
              Well, I certainly got a nice bark on them. The WSM did great at holding temp even in the wind. The cook however did not do so good at keeping an eye on the meat. I took a quick peek an hour and a half in, and then didn't open the lid again until I hit the five hour mark. I'm going to guess that was about an hour too long to wait. They are far from the worst ribs I have ever made, and they won't go in the trash while I order a pizza, but they not what I was hoping for when they went on. Under the "bark" there is still some not horribly dry and tender meat. Over all, I'm okay with how things went. Heat management was smooth and easy. I feel like I'm getting a good idea of how much wood it takes to get the smoke profile I like. And I learned not to let ribs go five hours without taking a peek at them. I kinda knew that already, but today was the day I just forgot. Oh well, this was my first rib cook on the WSM, and I'm going to bet the next one goes better. For those of you that are having a hard time holding your thoughts in, these will also be posted on the "Make fun of me" thread. Feel free to hop on that one and let me know what you really think!
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • Razor
                Razor commented
                Editing a comment
                What temp did you cook at? 5 hours is about right if you ran at 225. Sometimes I go even a little longer.

              • willxfmr
                willxfmr commented
                Editing a comment
                Ran right around 275. I think 4 hours would have been right.

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