Joining the Mini Movement

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by garyinmd, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Fired up the new Mini today and can not get the temps below 300 Deg.  Want to do a tri-tip later but 300+ seems to hot.  I have both bottom vents shut, just closed top vent about half, not sure if this will help.  Nothing special on the build, been watching the builds on here and copied.

    Here it is after adding hot coals to the top


    I think the wood chunks took off, was over 400 deg with the only one vent on the bottom 1/2 open


    Have two probes on grate, Found out if I turn the lid so the top vent was in the middle of the probes it would get a lot closer side to side.


    Started the test burn at 11:30 this morning, the next two were taken at 2:00, hard to tell what is left.



    Any help on lowering the temp would be great.

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  2. newsmokeguy

    newsmokeguy Smoke Blower

    I cant help u with temperature but can u tell me what it cost u 2 make up the mini? looks 2 be a good size for 1 person
     
  3. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How many briquettes are you lighting up ?
     
  4. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    If your lucky enough to find some of the items on Craigslist they can be pretty cheap to make.  I ended up having to buy everything new.

    Smokey Joe Gold online $32

    Steam pot at Target  $25

    New grate from hardware store  $15

    Bolts, nuts misc $15

    The above is from memory but pretty close..

    Gary
     
  5. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Filled the basket then dozen or so lit ones on the top.
     
  6. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Either the coals are running our or closing the top helped, around 280 deg right now.  If I can get it down I know I will need to add coals later for the tri-tip, this was more of an experiment and burn in.

    Gary
     
  7. newsmokeguy

    newsmokeguy Smoke Blower

    thx! that doesn't seem 2 bad
     
  8. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Due a search for "Mini" in the search bar and you will get a ton of info, many others have already invented the wheel.

    Gary
     
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]

    From this picture it looks like you're leaking a lot of smoke around the bottom of the pot. Where smoke can get out, oxygen can get in. It looks like you used the lid for the base, so maybe you just need to seal the joint between the lid and the bottom of the pot with some hi-temp silicone. And possibly run a bead around the lip that sits on the edge of the grill. You might be able to get away with just rotating the pot until it seals better.  Mine would coast along at 225˚ no problem with one vent closed and one open around 1/4", so you've obviously got an air leak somewhere. For clarification, I didn't use the lid on the bottom. just set the pot in the grill and it sealed pretty tightly, though sometimes I did have to rotate it a bit for a better seal.

    Keep tinkering, you'll get it dialed in!
     
  10. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Mdboatbum, never thought of that.  When I filled it the coals were up into the bottom pot a bit and the wood chunks we towards the top which is why there is so much smoke.  I did add the top to the bottom of the pot and gained a good inch of height but no big deal to drill out the rivets if I have to.  I am just running with the steamer tray, need to get a terracotta pot next trip to store.  Will keep playing around to get dialed in, will use MES tonight for tri-tip tonight, now I wish I had some chicken thawed to throw on with that high of temps.

    Gary
     
  11. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You dont need a terra cotta pot, trust me.

    My pot leaked like that too until it got some crud on it.

    You need very little bottom vent for low temps.
     
  12. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks farmer, guess the only way to crud it up is to use it.  Going to be out of town for a couple of day so will have to play when I get back.  Started to drop pretty quick so might be running out of coals,  Opened bottom a bit and now steady at 285 deg.

    Gary
     
  13. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just pick the pot up and get a quick peek of the fuel situation.
     
  14. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Still a bit left, I opened one of the bottom vents a bit and it went back over 300 deg pretty quick.  It has been 4 hours since I started the burn so now just checking to see what run time I get, I know running hot probably cost me some time.

    EDITED TIME, 

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  15. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Temps will come down some with food in it too.
     
  16. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gary

    I just gave this a glance.  What are you using for a diffuser? Different defusers will give different temps.  In my experience using the steamer insert gets hottest.  Followed by a disposable pie plate. Lastly using the terra-cotta saucer on my mini runs the coolest. 

    Brian 
     
  17. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks BD.  I just have the diffuser in this trip.  Also forgot to add at the beginning of my original post I had a mixture of KB and lump in my plastic container so it was a mix of both.  From using lump before it seems to burn hotter so this could be part of the problem.  As farmer stated food would probably help, this was a test and burn out of the new unit.

    Going to keep it going, at least I can use the bottom with the extra grate I got to sear the tri.

    Gary
     
  18. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  19. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Skelly, I can see that I used way too many coals, had the basket over flowing by the time I added the hot ones to the top.  Still holding at 5 hours, edited post above to 4 hours.

    Gary
     
  20. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Not all was lost, was able to sear the tri-tip with the grate on the bottom, no time to play again until next weekend.

    Shows where the temp sensors were located, only the steamer tray in the bottom


    Here is the meat getting a good sear before seeing the towel and cooler


    Till next time

    Gary
     

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