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Author Topic: 14.5" Tips  (Read 1417 times)


  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 11
14.5" Tips
« on: March 20, 2018, 05:42:42 PM »

I've smoked some chicken breasts on my mini WSM but even doing those small cooks I've had some difficulty keeping temps up.  So a few questions for you all below.

1.  Where do you park vents if you're a beginner, the 3 bottom vents?  The top?

2.  Whole chimney lit coals?  Some unlit and lit poured on them?

3.  Water in the pan?  Boiling? 

4.  Would like to do some ribs but quick chicken smoked scares me off a longer smoke like that.......any tips for ribs?

As always, thanks in advance

Charlie H


  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 7366
14.5" Tips
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 05:53:38 PM »
I have the 18.5 but assume it cooks similar. I could be wrong but Iíll assume Iím not for now.

Iím sure you know this but if you want to cook hotter, you leave all vents open and donít use water in the pan. If you want a longer low and slow, you do the opposite.

More lit coal to start for a hot cook. Less for low.

Crack the bottom vents and leave top open or nearly open for low and slow.

Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:02:25 PM by HoosierKettle »


  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 57
Re: 14.5" Tips
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 07:09:03 AM »
I open all the vents fully till the temperature gets within 50 degrees of my target then start closing the lower vents down.  Most of the time I end up with two vents fully closed and one cracked about 1/4 of the way.  It just depends on the day and the current conditions.  Once it settles on target I don't have to make many adjustments unless there is a major change in ambient temperatures.  Leave the top vent fully open, the only time I close that is if the temp shoots really far above my target and you never want to close it completely unless you are killing the fire..

For most cooks with my 14.5 I light 8-10 briquettes.  I fill the charcoal ring, usually completely unless it is a really short cook.  Then take 8-10 briquettes out of the center to make a bit of a concavity which I pour the lit coals into when they are ready.  This usually gets me up to my usual target temps of 250-275 relatively quickly.  I can get about 10-12 hours with Weber briquettes without needing to add more.

I used water for the first few cooks on my 14.5 but if you aren't paying attention and it all evaporates the temp will shoot up really fast, and it is a pain to refill.  I don't bother with water at all anymore and find it much easier to maintain heat at a constant temperature.  I have a clay saucer that sits in the bowl and I cover the whole thing with foil to catch the drips for easy cleanup.