A Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker (water smoker) is a fantastic barbecue to use for smoking at low and slow temperatures (below 150°C). It maintains low consistent heat with ease. More than that, you can easily infuse your foods with incredible wood smoke simply by using several wood chunks.
To set up your water smoker remove the lid and the centre section of your barbecue and ensure all vents are fully open. Place four smoking wood chunks on the charcoal grate, inside the charcoal ring at the north, east, south and west positions. Then, stack the recommended quantity of unlit briquettes around the circumference of the charcoal ring.
Next, light the recommended quantity of lit briquettes in a chimney starter until they are mostly ashed over. Then pour the lit fuel into the centre of your charcoal grate, making sure its making contact with the unlit fuel.
Place the centre ring of your barbecue, with the unfilled water pan inside of it on to the base of your smoker (remembering the cooking grills are not in your smoker yet). Once set in postition, carefully fill the water pan with warm water. Be careful not to spill any as hot steam and ash will rise quickly if the water splashes the fuel below.
Set the cooking grills in place, then the lid. Now let your smoker preheat up to the desired smoking temperature (1100C-1350C). Once the barbecue is in this range, half shut the bottom vents to lock in the temperature. If the temperature continues to rise or fall, adjust all bottom vents equally as required.
Once the smoker has reached the desired temperature and is smoking, place your food on to the cooking grills.
For cooking sessions longer than 6 hours, you will probably need to add more charcoal occasionally. The timing will depend on the type of charcoal you are using and how quickly it burns.
During long cooking times, also be sure to replenish the water pan with warm water every few hours. Make sure to keep the lid on the smoker as much as possible. It’s critical for maintaining an even heat.