Ask someone who owns a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 and they will all tell you the two things they love the most about it. First off, the barbecue flavor is amazing. Secondly, they will tell you that they love how easy it is to control and maintain the temperature in the cooker.
Even still, temperature control can be tricky. At times, the unit will run hot, even when you have the lower vents closed off. Other times, with the lower vents open and the charcoal chamber full, it just won’t get hot enough.
Never fear; these tips were gathered from experienced Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 users, and by following them you will be a temperature guru in no time flat. Just bear in mind that there is no need to get too concerned with temperature. Being high or low by up to 50 degrees may not affect your backyard barbecue.
Temperature is Too High
Here are a few of the reasons the temperature in your new Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 is too high, or seems too high:
- Weather and its affect on temperature: Adjust your charcoal usage and vents based on the weather conditions. The smoker will generally run hotter on a calm, warm day than it will on a windy, chilly one. It will also run much hotter if it is out in the direct sunlight. An unlit smoker can register 125 degrees on a warm day when it isn’t placed in the shade. That is already halfway to your target temperature for many meats. Keep the temperature down by closing off the bottom vents more frequently or placing it in the shade.
- Windy conditions affect proper vent orientation: Wind coming through the lower vents can feed the flames. Solve this by relocating your Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 to a more sheltered area, closing any upwind vents, or using a windbreak.
- Temperature will slowly rise as you cook: Meat absorbs a large amount of heat and energy when it is cold. After an hour or so of cooking, the meat will be absorbing less heat and the temperature in the cooker will slowly rise.
- Maintain a full water pan: You can be cooking on a sweltering hot day with all the vents open, but if the water pan is full, there is little chance that your Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 will surpass 275 degrees. Water helps absorb heat and moderate the cooker’s temperature.
Temperature is Too Cold
If your Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 has trouble getting above 200 degrees, consider the following:
- Increase the cooker airflow: Open the lower vents as much as possible to draw in more air. This will increase charcoal combustion, which will raise the temperature in the cooker. The access door can be propped open a little as well to let in additional air.
- Check the Accuracy of the thermostat: The easiest way to do this is with boiling water. Placing it in a pot of boiling water should result in a temperature of about 212 degrees. Bear in mind that altitude can affect the boiling point of water, and as altitude increases, the boiling point drops a bit.
- Monitor wind and weather: Wind and weather play a large role in how you use your Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5. Allow it to determine how much charcoal is used, when and how the vents are adjusted, and where the cooker is located. Obviously, damp, cool days will requires more fuel to reach optimal temperature.
Most temperature spikes or dips are normal, and unless you are seeing difficulty in cooking your meat to perfection, there is nothing to be concerned with.