Welcome, Guest

Shop Amazon.com and support the WKC | WKC T-Shirts

Author Topic: WSM start up?  (Read 4285 times)


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4468
WSM start up?
« on: February 24, 2016, 10:50:03 AM »
How does everyone start their WSM, assuming that you use the Minion method how long do you let it burn before assembling the middle section and putting on the lid?

The way i do it is i will light off about a dozen or so briqs and pour them in the middle of the ring, i let it burn for a few minutes making sure all of my vents are open (yes i have left the lid vent shut once  ::) ) then assemble and then adjust vents on the way up to my target temp and then wait for the white smoke to turn into thin blue!  I am assuming that this is the way to do it or do i need to change anything?

Oh i do have a 14" WSM if that matters?
Wanted: 18" Platinum any color will work
This is my Kettle there are many like it but this one is mine......

Big Dawg

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1238
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 11:24:27 AM »
I use a tin can to create a "hole" for me to drop in my hot coals.

It's probably less than five minutes before I've my WSM back together.  All vents wide open for about 10-15 minutes.  Then I start shutting bottom vents as I'm approaching my target temperature.  I will usually put my product on before I reach the target temp, as soon as the smoke started backing off.

The Sultans of Swine
22.5 WSM - Fat Boy
22.5 OTG - Little Man/26.75 - Big Kahuna


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1113
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 02:05:12 PM »
I usually light 10-15 coals in the mini chimney and once they are going good I dump them right on top in the center of all the unlit coals. Put it together and start with vents half open and adjust as needed.
Going to try a few of the other methods and see if they work any better.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 740
    • Long Island Weber Club
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 02:06:27 PM »
i do spread on top but pretty much assemble right away to start heating up the rest of the smoker.
Starting LineUp: Summit Charcoal Grilling Center, Ranch Kettle, Genesis E310, SJ Gold MiniWSM, the JETTLE,
Alumni: Performer Dlx, 22.5" WSM, 26" OTG, 18.5" WSM, 22" OTP


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2418
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2016, 08:36:52 PM »
Weed Burner, the same way Mr Minion starts his cookers!

« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 03:07:48 AM by swamprb »
I cook on: Backwoods Gater, Lang 36, Hunsaker Smokers, Pellet Pro 22" WSM, BGE's, WSM's, Cajun Bandits, PK Grills, Drum Smokers, Genesis Silver C, Weber Q's, Cookshack 008, Little Chief, La Caja China #2, Lodge Sportsman...oh yeah! Weber Kettles! Kamado restoration and pit modification hack!


  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 07:30:14 PM »
Bottomless coffee can, torch, lit briquettes dumped in center crater or spread around the top, and unlit briquettes poured around lit chimney starter before dumping lit briquettes in the middle....I've used them all and they all have their merits, based on fuel efficiency or a clean burn.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 177
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 05:12:31 PM »
Blow torch.

And on the last two cooks with briquettes (normally use lump), I found a longer wood chunk and stuck it down into the coals and focused the flame on the wood until it supported a standing flame and let that get the surrounding coals going good.

Typically just get it lit in the center, leave the barrel off for a bit till its going decent, leave all vents open and throw the top on and close the vents down like... 80 degrees below target temp.


  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 344
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2016, 05:51:36 PM »
The mini, I light 6 coals over my side burner on the gasser, then spread around evenly.

The big boy WSM, I light about 15 on the side burner...then spread around.

Both of them, I leave the bottom vents around 75% until temps get around 160...then shut them down to 10%, and ultimately end up with one closed vent and two around 5-10%.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Tommy B

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 382
    • @tommybrooker
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 09:40:14 AM »
I gauge a few things. how long the cook will be, what temp I want the cooker at, how cold it is outside, if or how much water I will use etc.
For a long cook I will fill the charcoal ring up all the way and then start picking out pieces from the center. I make a crater down to the charcoal grate. Light what I took out and then dump it back in. I used to be really precise and count how many briquettes I was taking out etc. Now I just guess.

My rule of thumb is you can always make the fire hotter but its tough to cool it down once you lost control. I always shoot for under. I always let the WSM run for at least 30 minutes for the white smoke to clear.
Hotty Toddy!


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 951
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 08:39:37 PM »
I have a pitmaster iq110 that I use w/my 18.5 wsm. I set it up for minion method using kbb mixed with wood chunks. to do this, I fill the charcoal ring with the kbb and chunks, then remove the briquettes and chunks from the middle and put them in a chimney starter. then I fire up the chimney. when it(the chimey of kbb and wood) looks ready, I plug the iq110 in and plug in the power and thermocouple wires and set it for my desired temp. next, I dump the chimney into the void I created in the charcoal ring. once that is done, I assemble the cooker(instead of water in the bowl, I use foil balls and foil to cover the water bowl) with the thermocouple at top grate level and wait for it to come up to the set temperature. when the temp is holding steady, I remove the dome and toss on the meat and then replace the dome. then I let the magic happen.
Seeking New York Giants MT For A Price That Won't Break My Bank


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1500
Re: WSM start up?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2016, 12:12:54 PM »
Pour charcoal into ring..dig out center hole..light 6 for 14" about 8-12 for 18".  Pour lit coals in and immediately reasemble..i keep all vents shut as my temp usually shots to 300+ in about 15 mins.  I check every 20 mins until i see temp drop ..then slightly open a few vents about 20% when im close to target temp...wait another 20 toll temp stabilizes ..then drop the  meat