EddyP wrote:IME it is pretty consistent from cook to cook.
I make sure I set it up the same way each time. Door on the leeward side. Then I have notes from prior cooks on vent opening percentages and times. They usually are a great start to get it going.
You may consider replacing the water pan with sand. I think the number one complaint is the water pan if you're doing something that takes a while like brisket and need to add more fuel. I found I didn't need to add fuel for ribs. Maybe for a butt in the winter. But usually always for brisket.
Have you read up on "the minion method" yet?
What does the sand do better??........heat retention I suppose but I like the water can only go so high in temp because I think that helps calming her down a bit when needed. I can always try the sand and see what happens. I like the moisture (steam) idea as well for tenderness but I realize it's effects are probably minimal.
This might sound lame dude but I invented the minion method cooking on my egg and didn't even realize it was a "thing". Common sense told me for a loooong burn you can't light the whole pit and expect it to last. From early on I started making a "doughnut" of lump and dumped about half a chimney of lit coals in the middle..........this gave me a nice long slow burn with smoke throughout as I scattered wood along the way as well.
Hard to believe it took a major discovery to figure that out
Anyways, congrats to Mr Minion for nailing it.
On the WSM I actually make more of a "Horseshoe" because the front bottom vent is the only place I get air from with the partyQ.
I need help with brisket dude.......think I will start another thread.