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Temperature plummeting on WSC!

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    Temperature plummeting on WSC!


    Recently purchased by Summit Charcoal. Loaded it per manual instructions for a 8-10 hour smoking session. After initially overshooting smoking range to 280F(on built in temp gauge and wireless probe system), eventually settled down to 230-240 for about hour and a half or two hours with bottom damper just to left of the smoke symbol dot and top damper at half open. But then temps started to plummet over one to two hours getting to 205 despite moving bottom damper a centimeter to right and top damper to full open and cleaning ash with the built in system as soon as temps started dropping. At 205 I moved the bottom damper to the fully open "grill" position. Temps eventually started rising again, I moved vent arm back to smoking position once in smoke range, temp now steady at 279. Obviously higher than I want. Want to be 225. Main question, can you speculate why my temps plummeted? It's as if charcoal was oxygen deprived but I hadn't moved vent arm from close to smoking position. Can enough ash fall through grates to start to cover the vents? I have verified that the positions on the vent arm match the positions of the actual blades in the ash cleaning system. Ambient temps are warm, in the 80-90s, grill is in sun part of the time. Kingford blue bag charcoal with four chunks hickory. TIA!

    #2
    Welcome to The Pit. Sorry, but I can't help because I don't have that cooker. Someone should be along shortly who can help.

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome to the Pit!
      I unfortunately do not have one either but am waiting with you for an answer.

      Comment


        #4
        Hello from NW Oregon,
        No temp swing on my Traeger.
        But looking forward to the answers.
        Perhaps, I may get an offset in the future.

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome,

          I think you snuffed your charcoal while trying to control the overshot temperature. Insulated cookers are difficult to cool down once you've passed the target temp. When you restricted oxygen to the extent that you did, there's a good chance your coals died down quite a bit as the cooker cooled down.

          Just a theory based on your description.

          Cheers!

          Comment


            #6
            fzxdoc has a guide that can help you.

            (I deleted my original post because it was not letting me post the full text something weird was happening)
            Last edited by Old Glory; June 11, 2021, 03:28 AM.

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              #7
              Sounds like you were chasing temps once you over shot. The WSCG is easier to correct when you over shoot compared to ceramic kamados because the metal uses an air gap as insulation so you can open the lid and flush out heat. The huge mass of the ceramic kamados hold heat forever. Once you start chasing temps though it is tough to get them stable. It can be done but it takes some time for things to settle in. Sometimes you have to pull out some lit coals. It is so much better to slowly approach target temp and then close down the grates. Start with a few lit coals and be patient as they slowly come to temp. Chasing temps is not fun and can be very frustrating. I found the guide and pasted it below. If you don't have the snap jet fill the firebox with charcoal and chunk. Light 6 briquettes in a chimney and let them get fully lit. Add those to the firebox in one corner. Have the top fully open (lid down holes open) and the bottom about halfway open. Watch temps closely. If your target temp is 225 start closing vents at 150-160. Let it come up to temp slowly.



              Here is the detailed setup/lighting method I use; for me and Mr. Fancypants (my name for my WSCGC), it works great every time:

              *************
              My Current Kamado Setup Method for Smoking

              1. Foil the Ash Bucket and the Diffuser Plate. Wipe the (previously cleaned) grate down with a disinfectant wipe and then wipe down again with water. Set out two medium or one large disposable aluminum pan(s) for drip pans to be set on the diffuser plate. Two medium pans fit perfectly; one large pan may have to be re-shaped a bit to fit over the diffuser area.

              2. Use 2.5 black Weber scoops (one scoop is 40 coals or half a standard chimney) for short cooks like ribs or chicken and 4 scoops for long cooks like pork butt, chuck or brisket. Four scoops will give you about 10-12 hours of decent temps (250° or more). Spread them pretty evenly on the charcoal grate. Top with 5-6 chunks of wood (4 to 6 oz each). Don't put a wood chunk directly over the igniter. 5 to 6 chunks will give you about 5 hours of beautiful blue smoke. For short cooks, use 1-2 chunks of wood.

              3. Start the SnapJet ignition going. Let it run for exactly 5 minutes with the lid open and bottom vent fully open.

              4. After the 5 minute SnapJet-assisted burn, turn off the gas igniter. Add the diffuser plate, the aluminum drip pan(s) and the food grate. Attach the ambient probes to the grate. Close the lid, flip down the top vent but leave the holes fully open (bottom vent still fully open) and watch the temperature climb.

              5. When you're about 70 degrees from your goal temperature, close the bottom vent to the smoke setting (or just below if your WSCGC runs hot) and close the top vent to 1/2 or less, again, depending on your Weber. I like to have the lower vent just to the right of the smoke setting mark and the top vent at 1/3 to ride out the cook.

              6. Before adding meat, oil the grate with a soaked paper towel to clean it off and give it some lubrication.

              If using KBB, here's a ton of white smoke until the Weber gets around 225-250, then it settles out to white wispy/blue smoke for several hours. If the smoke is pure white (no grey), I'll put the cold meat on at 180°F grate level temp so it can get a jump on the smoke flavor. I feel (but don't know for sure) that adding that cold mass helps to keep the temperatures from running away. I've done it both ways--adding the meat early at 180°F and adding it at 225°F, and honestly, if I keep an eye on the temp, I've yet to have a runaway smoker. With B&B Briquettes, there's no billowing white smoke. Just nice smoke pretty much right after shutting off the SnapJet. I use 3 scoops of B&B and one scoop of KBB, because the KBB lights more quickly. Ditto with Weber Briquettes.

              Being a PBC type of person, I'm comfortable with smoking in the 270ish range (270 to 300 works well for my tastes, but that's a bit hot for some folks). A 4 scoop load of KBB coals lasts about 8-9 hours at that setting. To get this, I set the lower vent to just above (to the right of) the smoker setting and the upper vent to 1/3 open.

              For cooking below 250, I close the lower vent to just below the smoker setting (to the left of it) and set the upper vent to 1/4 open. At 250 or less, I can get about 10-12 hours of smoke out of a single 4-scoop load of coals.
              *******************

              Hope this info helps!

              Kathryn
              Last edited by Old Glory; June 11, 2021, 07:11 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with others, that you probably snuffed most of your charcoal in your efforts to reestablish your goal temp.

                The WSCGC or WSCG can respond to temperature adjustments relatively quickly, certainly compared to ceramic kamados. I've overshot the mark once and just backed the dampers down bit by bit. Took about 1/2 hour as I recall, to get back to where I wanted it.

                The best way to avoid it is to follow Step 5 in my instructions (that Old Glory posted here). Once the WSCGC reaches temp, it's pretty rock solid from there on in.

                FWIW, I chased temps more using B&B lump than I ever did using briquettes. There are folks here, though, who swear by a good quality lump charcoal in the WSCG. Do what works best for you.

                Have fun cooking on your WSC. It's a great smoker.

                Kathryn

                Comment


                • CaptainMike
                  CaptainMike commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you Kathryn, it really was a fantastic time and I recommend it to anyone interested in Texas BBQ. Your name, among many others, was mentioned fondly several times in our conversations.

                • DrPig
                  DrPig commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi! Thanks for the answers! So ran it again exactly as directed in you guide, paying special attention to moving vent arm to smoking as soon as at 170. Temps definetely rose slower but still went to 365. Along the way I made two very small adjustments to left and waited 30 minutes between, also tries dumping some heat by opening lid briefly. What am I doing wrong? TIA!

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  DrPig ,
                  Since your WSCG seems to heat up pretty efficiently, maybe try one or more of these ideas:

                  1. Start with a chimney of coals in which the topmost coals are just beginning to ash over (not briskly burning)
                  2. Start with fewer coals in the chimney
                  3. Close the vents sooner in Step 5, say 100° below your target temp
                  4. Set the arm somewhat below the smoke setting when closing vent

                  Let us know how your next cook goes. There are plenty of us here who are happy to help .

                  Kathryn

                #9
                Chasing temps can be an exercise in frustration. Even on the Summit. Follow the advice from Old Glory & fzxdoc and that should lower the learning curve considerably.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Buy a Fireboard 2 drive and a pit viper and let it run temps for you Really though the guide shared should get you there and the WSCG does pretty well if you just ease into it. Even with automatic temp control you want to ease into temp before you turn it on.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    I have a ceramic kamado, and my experience mirrors the other advice given. One rule that I’ve found that seems to hold true for kamado style cookers is that opening the top vent will cool things down by allowing more heat out, while opening the bottom vent will heat things up by giving more oxygen to the fire. I find most of my cooks I leave the top 1/3 to 1/2 open, and I only tweak the bottom vent.

                    Comment


                    • surfdog
                      surfdog commented
                      Editing a comment
                      To a point yes...flip the vent open on the WSCG and it will climb. Do that in concert with the bottom vent, and it will rage. But you’re right, adjusting the top vent alone won’t generally bring the temps up.

                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      surfdog I was typing on my phone so limited my comments, but yes - you are right. Open ALL vents all the way, and it makes for a blazing inferno.

                    #12
                    All of the above is great advice, but just use that cooker, get to know its sweet spots and then just roll smoke. My WSCG is the EASIEST and steadiest cooker I have, including the pellet pooper. Be a little patient and don't overthink it.
                    Last edited by CaptainMike; June 12, 2021, 08:42 AM.

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