How Do I Keep 250 On WSM
Brisket. Quite possibly the jewel in the Texas BBQ crown. A cut of meat that is delicious cooked low and slow until it melts in the mouth.
Brisket made its way to Texas via the Jewish. The back end of a cow doesn’t class as Kosher, as such the Jews had fewer cuts to choose from. The Brisket was a cheap piece of meat as it was very tough and needed plenty of cooking.
When the Germans and Czechs came over to America, they settled in Texas. As one of the largest cattle-producing states in the world, there was a lot of brisket to be found.
Local ranchers and the European immigrants soon started discussing smoking techniques.
The Jews would cook their brisket in the oven, this would have varying results and you couldn’t always guarantee the end result. Ranchers knew by smoking the brisket you could cook it on indirect heat for long periods of time. By the time it hit your fork it would feel like butter.
Today cooking Brisket is a right of passage for any Texan.
Pitmasters know that the key to melt in the mount brisket is maintaining a low temperature for as long as possible. Get it right? You’ll be rewarded with meat that tastes gloriously tender, tastes beautiful, and gives you the famed smoke ring. Get it wrong? You’ll end up with tough, chewy beef.
The Weber Smokey Mountain is the perfect smoker to use if you want to nail your brisket every time. It’s a water pan smoker, which means your WSM will stay at a low temperature of under 250 and will be far easier to manage throughout the cook. It also has a brilliant venting system that helps you to get your smoke chamber temperature even lower, allowing for a longer cook and better results.
How Do I Get Weber Smokey Mountain To 250?
Temperature control is essential to master if you want to create delicious low and slow smokes. It’s easier to raise your temperature than it is to lower it, so you want to pay close attention when lighting your fire pit.
To achieve a constant 250 degrees the best way to start is with the minion method. Essentially the minion method involves making a ring of coal around your fire pit and then adding lit briquettes to the center. The idea is that your lit briquettes will eventually set fire to your coal which allows you to cook for longer without having to add more fuel. You add your wood to the center and also the outer circle. This will give you a flavored smoke.
Once you have lit your BBQ, you want to put the lid on and open all the vents fully. Keep an eye on your lid temperature as this will get hottest, first. Once you get to around 200 degrees it’s time to start closing off your vents. This will vary but start with only 25% open on your intake vents. This should slow you down until you reach 250 degrees. At this point use the vents to stabilize the temperature of your smoker.
Remember that the lid temperature will run around 20 degrees hotter than the lower rack. So it helps to use an app-connected probe to get a more accurate read on temperature.
Using the water pan full of water will also help keep your temperature stable and under the 250-degree mark.
Vent Settings For 250 On WSM
At the start of your smoke, you want to get the fire going with your intake vents and exhaust vent open fully. When your temperature reads 200 degrees it is time to start slowing things down. Start by shutting off the intake vents to 25% and then watch and wait to see how your temperature rises. It should rise steadily and slowly up to 250. To slow it down you can either adjust the bottom vents a little more or you can close off the exhaust vent slightly to reduce the airflow. However, your exhaust vent should always be open more than the intake vents.
Once you reach 250 degrees, make small changes to stabilize the temperature. Remember that you need to give the WSM 15 minutes each time you change a vent setting, to allow it to settle.
Charcoal Method for 250 On WSM
The minion method was created for the Weber Smokey Mountain and is brilliant for low and slow cooking temperatures. It gives you long, controlled smokes and is easy to manage. It’s also a great way to set up for an overnight smoke.
Using briquettes is the most common fuel for the Minion method. You can use lump coal but you will need to monitor it more. For this method, you would use dry wood for the smoke.
The minion method will take around 15 to 20 minutes to start up and get you ready to smoke. You start by filling the fuel chamber with unlit briquettes. You want to create a circle or fill the chamber and create a well in the middle. Place your unlit wood around the top. Using a charcoal chimney starter, ignite your starter coal. You are looking for just under 3/4 of the coal to be grey ash on the surface. You can now add the starter coals to your well. Reassemble your WSM and open the vents to ensure good airflow to get you up to heat.
WSM Top Vent Setting For 250
Your top vent should remain open for the entire smoke. However, if you do need to adjust it make sure it is always open more than your bottom vents.
WSM Bottom Vent Setting For 250
At the beginning of your smoke, you want to set all the vents to fully open. This will bring the temperature up to 200 degrees quicker. Once you hit 200 it’s time to ease off the fuel. Reduce the bottom vents to 25% open and then make minor adjustments as you hit 250 degrees to keep your temperature stable. Remember don’t shut off the vents completely as you need airflow to keep your temperature steady.
Where You Should Be Placing Your Temperature Probes
For a low and slow cook, the best place to have temperature probes is on the cooking rack. Ideally, you would have one on each rack.
Difference In Temperature Between Racks
There are various elements that can affect the temperature difference between your lower and upper rack. This is why it is smart to use a probe on each rack. The general difference, providing you are using a full water pan, is around 10 degrees between the bottom and top rack, and 10 degrees between the top rack and the lid. The lid will always be the hottest part of your smoker.