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Author Topic: Mini WSM fail  (Read 11847 times)

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2016, 11:13:38 AM »
Well, mini WSM failed again.  Put charcoal on charcoal grate this time, fired up using minion method.  Would not get above 216.  Left for a 20 minutes, came back 185.  Took out terra cotta diffuser plate, cleaned out ashes, put it back on.  Got to 250, then dropped quickly down to 170.  Said screw it, moved everything over to my performer where I set up a snake.  Meanwhile, my new 14.5 WSM from Walmart is rocking along.  Had to add coal after 8 hours, but that's not a big deal in my book.  Steady 225-250.  However, the big hero of the day is my 26er.  Set up a snake, and I am now at 8 hours and she has held steady 250-275.  I have literally not touched it since lighting at 3:55AM. 

I'm not ready to give up yet!  Clearly, I need to find a Smokey Joe Gold to make this work.  I'm pretty sure the side vents make all the difference.  Also, I'm going to use my angle grinder to cut out the bottom of my pot.  the 48 1/2 inch holes are not enough.  On the other hand, there's nothing better than just a standard store bought WSM, and between it, my 26er, and my in progress ranch, I'm thinking the mini WSM may be on the back burner for a while:(
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

addicted-to-smoke

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  • Posts: 5782
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2016, 11:48:54 AM »
48 1/2" holes is plenty. You've only got the equivalent of 8 x 1/2" holes (4 1" holes) for either an SJS or SJG bowl as it is.

I can't see how that's constricting you on airflow, but it might be reflecting heat back into the coals. I was told to ditch the heat diffuser for higher heat cooks. I suppose that's because the distance isn't a worry about flareups but doesn't reflect heat back down into the bowl. I do know that with my terra cotta in place in my tamale pot, my SJS bowl gets really hot, even when smoking. Much more so that my 18" grill will, grilling!

You can, however, hold more charcoal ash in an SJG bowl because it doesn't require the tuna can like the SJS bowl does. But for cooks that aren't going all day, that advantage won't matter, I don't think.

If I had a 14.5" WSM I'd be hard pressed to keep the mini WSM; mine isn't dialed in yet either. But with more fuel lit I can get it to 225-250 and hold there for 3-4 hours untouched, more like 6 if I deal with coals.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

LightningBoldtz

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  • Posts: 5965
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2016, 03:28:35 PM »
@crowderjd

I had the same issue when I switched from a SJG bottom to a SJS bottom.

Here is how I solved it.  I used to have holes in the bottom, I used the tamale platform to hold a terra cata plate.

So I did this
http://weberkettleclub.com/forums/weber-kettles-accessories/vasconia-32-quart-$19/msg107632/#msg107632
I am not a collector, but I do have a small collection.
"You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want"
8 MBH, 2 WoodDale, a SCG, and other stuff, including Pellet grills.

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2016, 04:41:20 PM »
That's basically what I did with mine, cut out the bottom. But in my case I left 3 "tabs" and they are strong enough to hold the 12" terra cotta plate and if I want to use a lower grill grate it sits in the groove of the Vasconia pot down there, right over the terra cotta plate.




And so I can get 250-270 for sure, but it doesn't stay up there for long. 220 is more like it, OK for traditional smokes I guess. I want to experiment with no diffuser for higher-heat chickens, and a thin metal plate for diffusion.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

Bob BQ

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4621
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2016, 07:44:44 PM »
I never had any problems w/ my SJS mini. I did something similar to a-t-s… mine had 4 tabs. I cut the lid, as well, with the same 4 tabs and bolted it to the bottom of the tamale pot… the lid was a perfect fit on the SJ bowl.


I always used a 12" terra cotta plate (wrapped in foil, after it cracked in 1/2 from high heat). I also used a small SS dog food bowl w/ holes and tabs to cover the SJS bottom vent. 


I could control/maintain temp in that mini w/ absolutely no problem, whatsoever. If you haven't tried that, definitely give it a shot...
BBQ:it's what's for dinner. Grail: 18” Custom - "The Californian"

crowderjd

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1678
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2016, 10:33:25 AM »
Thanks all!  Like I said, it might be a while before I get back to it...I hate to give up on it.  I like my STL Cardinals tamale pot too much to throw away.
Chasing the impossibles: Westerner, Custom, Meat Cut!

MikeRocksTheRed

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3329
    • The Kettle Cookers (facebook group)
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2016, 01:59:09 PM »
I just use the steamer insert instead of a clay pot then place a disposable trip pan on top of it. 




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
62-68 Avocado BAR-B-Q Kettle, Red ER SS Performer, Green DA SS Performer, Black EE three wheeler, 1 SJS, 1 Homer Simpson SJS,  AT Black 26er, 82 Kettle Gasser Deluxe, "A" code 18.5 MBH, M Code Tuck-n-Carry, P Code Go Anywhere, 2015 RANCH FREAKING KETTLE!!!!!!

swamprb

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  • Posts: 2396
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2016, 05:15:20 PM »
Well, mini WSM failed again.  Put charcoal on charcoal grate this time, fired up using minion method.  Would not get above 216.  Left for a 20 minutes, came back 185.  Took out terra cotta diffuser plate, cleaned out ashes, put it back on.  Got to 250, then dropped quickly down to 170.  Said screw it, moved everything over to my performer where I set up a snake.  Meanwhile, my new 14.5 WSM from Walmart is rocking along.  Had to add coal after 8 hours, but that's not a big deal in my book.  Steady 225-250.  However, the big hero of the day is my 26er.  Set up a snake, and I am now at 8 hours and she has held steady 250-275.  I have literally not touched it since lighting at 3:55AM. 

I'm not ready to give up yet!  Clearly, I need to find a Smokey Joe Gold to make this work.  I'm pretty sure the side vents make all the difference.  Also, I'm going to use my angle grinder to cut out the bottom of my pot.  the 48 1/2 inch holes are not enough.  On the other hand, there's nothing better than just a standard store bought WSM, and between it, my 26er, and my in progress ranch, I'm thinking the mini WSM may be on the back burner for a while:(

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 :)

While your 14.5" WSM is chugging along..............

Take a look at the placement of the vents on you WSM, then think about how well they work.

The SJG vents are drafty and don't seal well. Believe me, I tried them and its not worth the investment.



I even tried dinking around with a 3 wheeler SJ, but the ash would clog the vents because they are so low in the bowl.



While I'm sold on the UDS type vents on my Cajun Bandit Mini, I know how you feel about mutilating it, I could never bring myself to drill into Little Red Bud here....that line I won't cross!



I call it my "Reverse Sear Machine!"
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!

Winz

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Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2016, 09:04:45 AM »
I have always used the "Gold" version of the SJ for a Mini, and the SJP for my 18.5" conversion.  The side holes seem to work well for me and I never have to worry about ash clogging up air flow.






Winz
In an ongoing relationship with a kettle named Bisbee.

RoundRockMike

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 20
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2016, 04:59:06 PM »
I think I may have read so many articles on how to build one of these that they are all running together.   :o   I've got just about everything I need, and bought the IMUSA tamale pot today.  A few of the Wal-Marts in Austin have these in stock, so you don't have to order online.
The one thing that is still puzzling is the fit of the SJ lid.  It seems maybe the pot is 1/8 too wide.  The rolled lip on the tamale pot is pretty heavy duty, and I've seen comments where folks have filed these down.  Does anyone have personal experience with this?

Jason

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Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2016, 05:14:18 PM »
I made one with a IMUSA pot, and used some vice grips, with some folded over cardboard, to crimp the rolled lip. It was a little tedious, but it worked very well.

Neil_VT00

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  • Posts: 1769
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2016, 05:42:24 PM »
I think I may have read so many articles on how to build one of these that they are all running together.   :o   I've got just about everything I need, and bought the IMUSA tamale pot today.  A few of the Wal-Marts in Austin have these in stock, so you don't have to order online.
The one thing that is still puzzling is the fit of the SJ lid.  It seems maybe the pot is 1/8 too wide.  The rolled lip on the tamale pot is pretty heavy duty, and I've seen comments where folks have filed these down.  Does anyone have personal experience with this?

I used an imusa pot and had the same issue. I took a piece of a 2x4 and cut it to match the curve of the pot then cut a groove in the outside curve of the 2x4 so it would lock into place on the edge of the pot. From there I used a c-clamp to press the edge of the pot between the two pieces of wood working my way around the edge of the pot. That compressed the edge pretty evenly and didn't leave a bunch of markings in it.

Others around here have just cut the edge of the pot off.


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Wanted: Burgundy 18"

Nate

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  • Posts: 999
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2016, 05:57:23 PM »
@RoundRockMike  Check out this link to my first build using an IMUSA pot. Used a grinder and filed to finish. Perfect fit and no leaks. The crimp method, IMO, doesn't leave a clean edge. http://weberkettleclub.com/forums/weber-kettles-accessories/i-guess-it's-time-to-build-a-mini/msg155704/#msg155704

RoundRockMike

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 20
Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2016, 06:26:47 PM »
Thanks all, this helps tremendously.  I like the sound of the 2x4 curve cut method...  Sounds very easy to control and accurate.  Nate, I must have read every other post 3 times and completely missed yours!

MikeRocksTheRed

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Re: Mini WSM fail
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2016, 10:53:12 AM »
@RoundRockMike -  I had the same issue.  I used my dremel to file it down....took a lot of time and eventually the lip was thing enough from grinding that I was able to bend it down and break it off.  In the end it worked great, the lid now fits perfectly and it fits tight.  It is tight enough that I can pick up the entire pot from the lid when its empty.  There is absolutely no leakage around the lid whatsoever!  It was a lot of work though and I think the other methods listed in the post and that I have seen other places are probably the better way to go.
62-68 Avocado BAR-B-Q Kettle, Red ER SS Performer, Green DA SS Performer, Black EE three wheeler, 1 SJS, 1 Homer Simpson SJS,  AT Black 26er, 82 Kettle Gasser Deluxe, "A" code 18.5 MBH, M Code Tuck-n-Carry, P Code Go Anywhere, 2015 RANCH FREAKING KETTLE!!!!!!