Got a question for mini wsm users

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by steve667, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. steve667

    steve667 Newbie

    Anyone using the snake or minion method for long smokes on a mini? What is my best option for a long cook, newly built mini wsm? Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Side light method is the best option to get the longest cook. Load your charcoal basket full. Add 3-4 chunks of smoke wood. Take a propane torch light it and stick it in one of the side or lower vents. Leave running for 3-5 minutes. Check your temp. More than likely you will be around 300+. That's okay because when you remove the torch the temp will drop dramatically. Repeat as needed until you get to your target temp. I can get a 14-16 hour burn (225-250) on one basket if the wind isn't blowing like mad. With this method you don't waste heat and fuel that you would using a chimney to start.

    I use the same method for hot smokes too. I light through both of my side vents for that.
  3. steve667

    steve667 Newbie

    Sounds good, I only have one bottom vent, Silver model and don't have a basket made for it yet. Hoping to get a decent burn on it tomorrow for a butt?

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  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well with only the bottom vent and no basket, ash build up is going to be your main issue. If you haven't already make an ash deflector to keep the ash away from the lower vent. With out the basket and no side vents you probably will get 6-8 hours of cooking time. No big deal, if you remove the pot to add more fuel set it down doña quick dump of hot ash into an approved container. Add more fuel and put the pot back on.
  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Minion works great on a mini! It stays hot longer than I need to smoke! b

  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You really should try the side light B. Your just wasting heat and fuel lighting a chimney.

    Another thing you didn't mention is you're using a gold and not a silver which is a big difference. The OP is using a silver without a charcoal basket or diffuser. The Golds side vents make a big difference. But even with that said Keith will tell ya side light rules!
  7. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the correction Case.  i'll take that in consideration. b
  8. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Steve how did it go?  I made a mini from a Silver about a month ago and as they were telling you the bottom vents do tend to fill with ash after 4 or 5 hours and temps start to fall off.  I'm getting ready to add some side vents, plan on calling it a Super Silver!  I've ordered the lower vents from a WSM and plan on adding a pair of them, will post a picture as soon as the work is done.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's a few photos for inspiration. The first is my ash diffuser. After 5 years of solid use it finally has succumbed to the heat and I need to make a new one

    This photo is after a 6-8 hour burn

    Use the existing charcoal grate and wrap expanded metal. 3 1/4" tall if the bottom of the pot is still in. If not go taller if you want. Depending on where you are Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware all carry the sheets. It can be cut easily with tin snips or a jig saw with a metal blade. If you don't weld just wire tie it together. That's what I did with my first basket and it is still working.

    tropics likes this.
  10. steve667

    steve667 Newbie

    It went well, I tapped on the side of the base occasionally to allow ash to fall out of the vent and never lost temp. I will, however, make a vented ash deflector with a can or bowl.

    I did a spatchcock chicken and about a 7 3/4 butt. Obviously the chicken came off well before the butt, did just a little ash removal then and when I wrapped the butt at 165, I added a little more fuel. Overall, it burned about 10 hrs, I probably used about 4 lbs of coal.

    I am very pleased with the ability to regulate the temp. I left top vent open and could go anywhere from 200 -325 with the bottom vent. I played with this after I wrapped the butt.

    On my cheap offset, I could use 15 lbs or more on an 8 -10hr cook, and not have near the control on temp.

    Thanks for the input.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  11. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    10 hrs on a mini is a long cook, you should be pleased.  Great picture Dirtsailor of the ash build up around your deflector can.  I tried to make a ring of foil and put that around the air intake and not put charcoal over it, but ash still would slide under it and clog it up.  Guess I'll be making the can now.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  12. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Dirtsailor, what did you make your ash can out of?  I've heard of people using tuna cans but that one looks different.
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This was a cheap (1$) stainless pet food dish I found at the dollar store. It was about a 1/4" too tall so I cut it down to fit. If you go the tuna can route, I'd recommend getting a can of chicken that comes in the larger can. A 55oz bushes backed bean can would work too, cut down to size and then you could make Dutch's wicked beans!
    aggie94 likes this.
  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like that case great idea.


  15. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the great suggestions for an ash can, I'll probably end up using that Bush bean can.

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  16. steve667

    steve667 Newbie

    So today, I tried the "snake method" in the recently built mini. I have also, since the last time I used it, made somewhat of an ash deflector. I used the bottom portion of a baked bean can and made some holes with the old style can opener, that punches triangular shaped holes. Both of these methods worked better than I could have ever imagined. I got better than 7 hrs on this on probably 2 1/2 lbs of coal. This build will pay for itself in 3-4 cooks. I'll try to put a pic of what was left, coal, when I shut 'er down.

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