New To smoking, New to my Mini- wsm just a few ?'s

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by scrap, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. First off, THANK YOU to everyone who posts in this forum. I have been toying around with building a smoker for a long time. I stumbled across the mini wsm and then this forum. Now I have my mini sitting pristine and ready for smoke. I was able to avoid time and headaches thanks to this forum and knocked out the build in 4 hours!

    Now, I can grill with the best of them, but am totally new to smoke. Ive been hitting the books a bit but I'm curious what works best with our minis. So I have a few questions for you guys,

    1) What kind of charcoal do you like best in the mini?

    2) How much do you usually use?

    3) How long is the burn? ( with a charcoal ring)

    4) Whats a good first smoke? I want to go cheap because, well... I'm a poor college student and don't want to mess up an expensive cut.

    5) I splurged on a Mav ET -73. What is the best place to put the smoke temp probe?

    6) Just drop any knowledge on me that you think i should know! I'm all ears when it comes to smoke and y'all clearly know your stuff! I am sourcing some local apple and cherry wood and hope to smoke this weekend! I'm sure once the TBS starts flowing, the roomies will be circling like sharks! Again, Thank You for your posts!

    Happy Smoking

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like to use KBB for charcoal. 365 brand for lump.

    I fill the basket full. When you are done close all vents this will snuff the fire. Next smoke empty ash, shake ash out of charcoal ring. Add new charcoal and smoke wood on top. Light one side and go.

    Depends on temp and outside conditions. Longest burn I've had was 16 hours pit temp 265.

    Get yourself a whole chicken and spatchcock it. Don't know what that is search the forums here for spatchcock. If you like wings, look up Scarbelly wings.

    Put your put probe on the rack you are cooking on.

    Other than that wheres the pics man!!!! Show off your handy work and your smokes! Good luck!
  3. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    1) I use kingsford blue most of time.

    2) fill it up. At the end of your smoke just shut the air intake and your fire will go out. The leftover charcoal will be the start of your next smoke.

    3) I really haven't done any really long smokes but I went almost nine hours on one load and there was still fuel left at the end.

    4) I'd go with a whole chicken for first smoke or two. Until it gets nice and seasoned your temps will be harder to control. After a few smokes you'll get the hang of temp control.

    5) I followed BDSkelley's build so search for that.

    Good luck and happy smoking!
  4. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I should edit my post to "yeah that!" ^^^^

  5. Ask and for pics and ye shall receive! Here she is. The background is the x-ray table at my job... that would be an expensive smoking table!

    Here is the Charcoal Hopper.

    Looking down the portal. I was less than happy with my ugly crimp job on the lip but it gets covered anyway. Flipped the lid and pop riveted it to the bottom of the Imusa. The Weber 7440 replacement grill actually slipped all the way down to the diffuser spot without any modifications.  

    This is all pre-paint. That will go on in the summer when it can dry outside (Boston Bruins "B" logo) ... this is my smoking view now so it can wait! 

    The reason I needed a small smoker is that I move often and when I tailgate at various sporting venues I need something that fits in my tiny impractical car (aka my baby). My girlfriend puts up with a lot, but asking her to stay some from a Bruins or Pats game so the smoker can ride shotgun would be crossing lines I don't even want to think about. It does fit into the trunk, just barely. Smaller CAN be better!

    I can't wait to get smokin. Thanks to dirtsailor and BDskelly for all your tutorial and build posts! I hope my next post will have some Q-view!
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice looking build lets see some smoke!
  7. c farmer

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

    Great looking mini. I love mine and can cook anything on it.

    Your smoking spot will looks good.
  8. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You're most welcome. You've built a very nice looking Mini.  We hope to see your smokes posted soon!  By the way I like to use Royal Oak briquettes in my mini. They are sometimes difficult to find. 
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice looking build! Two things, the steamer insert makes a great heat diffuser. It doesn't block the heat, it just seems to even it out. And secondly, with your lower grate all the way at the bottom, you're essentially going to be grilling whatever's on the bottom grate. I'd put 3 bolts about 4" below the top grate as supports for the lower. Thirdly, if you want to do low and slow, a 12" terra cotta saucer on top of the steamer insert will make it a lot easier. It'll block a lot of the heat and make it very easy to lock in to 225. I haven't gotten one for my new mini as I cook most things hotter anyway, but the option is there.
  10. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I made a 12 inch round and three inch high expanded metal grate support for my lower rack. I put the steamer insert where it's suppose to be and put the tie wired expanded metal on top of that and it holds the lower grate without having to drill any more holes in the pot. I also put an aluminum foil covered pie tin inside the lower support to act as an additional heat block and it makes for easy clean up.
  11. soflogator

    soflogator Fire Starter

    Where did you get the charcoal hopper? Good looking build!
  12. Thanks SoFlo!

    I made the hopper. Pick up some expanded steel. I measured 3 inches and cut across using a saber saw. Then take the charcoal grate that comes with the smokey joe and trace the circle onto the remaining expanded steel. Cut that out and tie it all together with rebar tie (or weld it if you have that option) It was worked great for me so far. Good Luck!

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