Smoking is a delicate process, you have to allow for the time and temperature for whatever style of meat that you are cooking.
Space can also be a big factor, with how long it takes to properly smoke meat, you want to have enough for everybody.
The Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) cooker is an easy solution. The WSM has two racks, meaning that you can cook enough for a large number of people and not have to sacrifice quality.
The WSM is so appealing because it is able to hold a steady temperature for hours. If the temperature needs to be changed it’s the simple process of opening or closing the vents.
The average temperature for the WSM is around 225 degrees, but what if you’re cooking something that requires a little bit more heat?
How do I get a Weber Smokey Mountain to 300?
While the WSM typically stays around 225 degrees, you can get it to reach a higher temperature.
When considering temperatures on the WSM, always remember that you should have a set temperature in mind. Increasing the temperature is easier than having it get too hot and needing to decrease it.
The temperature of the WSM is controlled by the utilization of the vents.
Because the WSM has two grates, there is an upper and lower vent. You can achieve higher temperatures by opening the bottom vent to a high degree on windy days. With the constant airflow working to stoke the fire in the coals. In turn, both grates can reach 300 degrees.
There are other factors that go into the temperature of the WSM including if it is new, due to the interior- a newer model heats faster – what the outside temperatures are like, and how much meat you are cooking – the more meat in the cooker, the hotter it will get.
WSM Vent Settings to Reach 300 Degrees
When it comes to the temperature of the WSM, it is all about the ventilation system.
To achieve higher temperatures the vents need to be configured.
Having the lid vent completely open, while two of the middle-level vents remain closed the entire time, and keeping the lowest vent around 40 percent open.
With the upper vent open, heat is still able to escape, meaning that there is less of a chance that you will reach temperatures outside your desired range.
Having the lowest vent partially open allows the coals to have a consistent source of oxygen, fueling the fire.
Vent Settings for 300 on WSM
Keep the top vent open 100 percent, you want to be able to let the hot air escape.
Remember it is always easier to make the WSM hotter than attempting to reduce the temperature.
The two middle vents should remain closed. This means the air around the meat does not escape. As the heat moves upwards to the top, the meat in the middle will get the highest temperatures.
Charcoal Method for 300 on WSM
When using charcoal on the WSM, you want to form the charcoal in a sort of a donut or circular shape.
This means that there will be an even distribution of heat throughout your WSM. After lighting the charcoal, it is important to keep an eye on the burning progression. The vents are there to help you. Changing the vent settings can increase or decrease the airflow – thus either fueling or containing the fire.
Where You Should be Placing Your Temperature Probes
First and foremost, invest in your own grilling thermometer. The one that is installed on the WSM has a tendency to be off by around 50 degrees. To get an accurate read of the temperature, you should place your thermometer directly next to the top vent.
The Difference in Temperatures Between Racks
With the multiple racks, the WSM is ideal for when you’re cooking multiple types of meat, or are planning for a large group of people. When it comes to the different racks, take into account that the bottom rack is typically around 10 degrees hotter than the top rack.
When bringing the WSM up to 300, this can be beneficial.
You may have meats that need higher temperatures to cook fully. Otherwise, adding meats to the bottom rack a few minutes after the tip can ensure that the cooking time is similar.