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Author Topic: Mini WSM fail  (Read 11848 times)

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Mini WSM fail
« on: March 06, 2016, 09:51:20 AM »
Hey all,

So I fired up my mini wsm today for the first time.  Took out the charcoal grate in the bottom of the smokey joe, filled mostly with charcoal.  Lit 12 briquettes and once they were gray, put them on top of the unlit coals, minion style.  Got it going for about 10 minutes, , then put the IMUSA pot on top.  At about a hour and a half in, temp was 170, top and bottom vent fully open.  I went to church with the family.  Came back from church, the temperature was 112!  Some coals seemed lit inside, but not great.  The only thing I can figure is that I have holes drilled in the bottom of my IMUSA pot, rather than cutting the bottom out, and it is starved of air.  I have people coming over tonight, so I got a snake going in a kettle, and transferred the pork butt over to the kettle.  Super frustrated.  I sold my 18.5 WSM, thinking that the mini would handle my smokes as easily with less charcoal usage, but I'm wondering if I'm going to regret that decision.  Any advice would be great.  Thanks!
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

stsand

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 2
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 10:19:11 AM »
I don't think that's it. When I built mine, I had holes in the bottom too. It worked fine. For a variety of reasons, I cut the bottom out, leaving an inch edge all around.
You just need to experiment a little more. Perhaps you needed more lit coals. Maybe the vent got plugged.
I can tell you that since building my mini, I almost never use my WSM 18.5, so theoretically, you're correct.

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tb80

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 713
Mini WSM fail
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 11:16:09 AM »
Did you say you took out your charcoal grate in the smokey Joe?  If so that may be the problem and could result in the coals being starved for air. Next time out the coals on the charcoal grate. That will help with the air flow.


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Looking for Blue Mastertouch or Blue Performer. 

Currently have: Performer (Green); 22.5 Mastertouch (Red); 26.75 OTG;  22.5 WSM; 18.5 WSM; Jumbo Joe; SJS (Green Uline); SJG (used for Mini WSM); Blue SS Performer; Blue MBH; Summit

Jason

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 983
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 12:01:14 PM »
I have been using this since I first made my mini.



This will only work with a Smokey Joe Silver. This greatly helps prevent the vent from clogging up with ash.

You can fit more than enough charcoal and wood chunks in there to do a jumbo pork shoulder.



 ;D 8)


Red Kettle Rich

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1985
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 12:14:16 PM »
Put in the Charcoal grate!  In fact. I went around the side of the charcoal grate w/expanded metal - more access to air.

Good Luck 8)
Looking for a RED 26" Kettle & a tabbed no leg RED 22" Kettle near STL. Copper Sam Adams SJ anywhere 8)

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 12:51:02 PM »
I think that's the ticket...totally going to leave in the charcoal grate next time.  Thanks all!  On a more positive note, the butts are doing fine on the kettle with a nice snake...temps staying steady at 250-280.  We had a huge rain storm go through this morning, and temps only dropped to 240.  Opened the bottom vents back up, and all good. 
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

swamprb

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2396
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 01:11:47 PM »
Get some hole plugs and seal up the bottom vent.  Use expanded metal for the charcoal ring.

Drill three 3/4" holes just above the charcoal grate and use ground magnets from Harbor Freight as your vent dampers.

Use it like a Drum Smoker, the ashes fall to the bottom and you have infinite control of the intakes.







Thank me later!
I cook on: Backwoods Gater, Lang 36, Hunsaker Smokers, Pellet Pro 22" WSM, BGE's, WSM's, Cajun Bandits, PK Grills, Drum Smokers, Genesis Silver C, Weber Q's, Cookshack 008, Little Chief, La Caja China #2, Lodge Sportsman...oh yeah! Weber Kettles! Kamado restoration and pit modification hack!

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 07:04:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help.  I will definitely be using my charcoal grate next time, and I may try @swamprb mod...if I can bring myself to mutilate my smokey joe :)
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 07:06:57 PM »
As an aside, I had a snake last 8 hours, and I pulled the butt off at 201 degrees.  Put it in the cooler wrapped for 45 minutes...pulled apart at 6pm...it was phenomenal.  Pecan/apple smoke.  So good!  All's well that ends well.
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

Tommy B

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 382
    • @tommybrooker
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 07:41:18 AM »
Agreed charcoal grate is your issue. If you do not want to cut up your silver buy a SJ gold. The gold has the side vents. That is what I use on my mini.
Hotty Toddy!

Neil_VT00

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1769
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2016, 08:44:11 AM »
@swamprb great idea on the magnets for the vent dampers.  You could even add some wooden knobs to make them easy to adjust.
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swamprb

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2396
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2016, 04:06:35 PM »
@swamprb great idea on the magnets for the vent dampers.  You could even add some wooden knobs to make them easy to adjust.

You could do that!

But here's the deal on the intakes. Like drum smokers this setup requires very little intake to maintain temps. Most of my cooking with the Mini is done with only one vent open.
I cook on: Backwoods Gater, Lang 36, Hunsaker Smokers, Pellet Pro 22" WSM, BGE's, WSM's, Cajun Bandits, PK Grills, Drum Smokers, Genesis Silver C, Weber Q's, Cookshack 008, Little Chief, La Caja China #2, Lodge Sportsman...oh yeah! Weber Kettles! Kamado restoration and pit modification hack!

WNC

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4076
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 04:34:09 PM »
These are some great minis and mods!

Seems like adding back in the charcoal grate will help a lot the the air flow and might be worthwhile to cut the bottom out too

@Jason mind sharing how you got that paint looking so good? That's a great paint job!

pbe gummi bear

  • WKC Mod
  • Posts: 9059
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 05:48:48 PM »
Great discussion in here, guys! Keep it up.
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Jason

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 983
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 05:59:13 PM »
@Jason mind sharing how you got that paint looking so good? That's a great paint job!

Thanks!

I just took my time and followed the directions on the can. I'm pretty sure I used hi-heat Rustolium simi gloss. It's still holding up pretty good too!

Edit: I just remembered that after the paint dried, it had this foggy, dull look to it and wasn't very happy  >:(
Just for the hell of it, I used some rubbing compound I had sitting there and lightly buffed it with a soft cloth.



 Much to my surprise, it actually removed whatever it was and the paint looked really good when I was done
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 04:01:14 AM by Jason »