WSM 22.5 - a must to get modifications such as Cajun Bandit?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by colintri, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. colintri

    colintri Newbie

    After doing some research about WSM 22.5 modifications, I have a question for other people who have purchased modifications.  Is it really necessary to get the upgrade kit from Cajun Bandit to make the WSM more efficient?
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are buying a new WSM, you won't need the sensor grommets.  The WSMs made after 2013 (I believe that's the year) included a hole and a silicone insert for temp sensor probes.   

    The door, which can be purchased by itself, is a solid investment as the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) door sucks.  That said, a $25 Nomex felt gasket kit will nicely seal leaks from the top of the barrel and the OEM door area.   

    I haven't had any issues with the OEM coal ring so I'm not sure of the advantage of the "high air flow" coal ring.

    The WSM is just about the only smoker in that price range which is ready to use right out of the box with no modifications.  It seals up nicely after just a few smokes.  My WSM was most likely a returned unit I purchased from Amazon.  It was slightly out of round and my door arrived in really bad shape.  Still, I used it as it was for 6 months with the leaks and smoked some great Q in the 260-280F range.  I did put the gasket kit on and was able to stop the leaks.  I could drop the temps down to anything I wanted after that.  I have added a blower merely for convenience.  I can set the temp on the control and walk away, sleep, go to work, movies, shop, whatever for 10-12 hours or longer.      

    I see this is your first post so be sure to stop in over at Roll Call and say "Hi" so folks can give you a proper welcome. 
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I think the advantage is a cleaner burn and that's always a good thing.
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC. Two of the things that I would have liked when I had a WSM 22 in addition to the probe port is (1) a charcoal ring from the 18" model for smaller or shorter smokes and (2) Handles for the center section. Other than that, the WSM 22 is a great cooker and very user friendly. Mine held heat well and gave me some really good cooks.

    Good luck with your mods and good smokin', Joe
  5. bbqwillie

    bbqwillie Smoking Fanatic

    This pretty much nails it.  /thread
  6. Noboundaries-   I have been looking at pulling the trigger on the WSM and the blowers that i found seemed OK.  What make/model did you end up going with? 

  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FishnSmoque, sorry for the slow response. Windows 10 has turned my computer into a useless brick so tapping on my phone.

    I purchased the all inclusive Bbq Guru DigiQ DX2 kit. Fire Craft, a supporter of SMF, had the best price I could find.
  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Thanks for info. i have been thinking of a new smoker but my WSM just gets the job done maybe a blower upgrade is what i need!

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  9. No worries at all about response time,  I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.  I have read and watched some reviews on the DigiQ and they look to make some really solid products.  When the time comes, i will definitely have to show Fire Craft some love and support the people who help make this site happen.  Thanks again! 

  10. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I am thinking about one of these to replace my over sized mini.Thanks for the reviews all.

  11. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    I've added the hinge kit to my 22" - mostly because I don't have a place on the deck to set the lid.  Now I don't worry about it.

    I added wheels to the legs.  Makes it easy to roll around.

    Gasketed up the door and the sections.  I wouldn't bother with the sections if I was doing it again.  But the door needed it.

    I added a Auberins PID + fan - mostly because its tech and therefore cool.  Same with the I grill2.

    Did I need to do any of it?  Nope!  
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds good any info on the gasket would be appreciated TIA

  13. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  15. That all sounds great to me!   There seem to be a ton of little mods you can do to make these things a little more personal and fit your needs and at the same time they arent necessary to cook some wicked food.  Its one of the reasons why i am buying the WSM.  Gives me a couple projects to do between cooks anyhow.   
  16. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    If you're planning to get a WSM, try using a few times before you get excited about any mods. When I had mine, the door just needed a little TLC and the sections sealed themselves after a couple of cooks. I would still have mine except at 70, with a tired back, it was too hard to take it apart to load with fuel, put together to cook, take apart again to clean and empty and then put back together to cover until the next time. There are physical things connected to every cooker, my back just couldn't work with it.

    Good luck, Joe
  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Joe that S*** I have a real bad back and only 2 more years to hit 70. I picked up the 18.5" this A.M its raining so I will wait till tomorrow Going to brine some sticks tonight or in the AM Thanks 

  18. Sorry to hear about the bad back Joe.  My dad just retired and after 35 years on the railroad his back finally gave out too so i know what you are going through.  Hopefully you can find a cooker to keep you in the game.   I will definitely take your advice and do a few cooks before i decide on doing any add ons

  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The WSM will work right out of the box and I highly suggest using it stock for at least a little while. That way you can get to know what "normal" is before you go making changes. I have had my 22.5" since 2009 and only mod I made was to add the eyelets for the therm probes (see link below my signature). But with the new models that is a moot point. The only thing really on my wish list is to build some sort of cart/side table so I can have some work space right next to it, and maybe some shelves - but that's more of a project than a mod.

    PID controllers are great, if a little spendy, but you can run without them once you get to know your smoker. I usually start brisket and pork butts at midnight, and go to bed by 1:00 AM, let them run till I check them at 6 or 7 AM. Usually don't have to do anything other than throw in chunks of wood every so often. I also use water in my pan, I like that as the fuel burns and gets less the thermal mass (aka - water) also gets less, so towards the end I'm not using all my fuel to keep the water hot since most of it has boiled away.
  20. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    IF you are having issues with lifting the middle section of the smoker off, try adding a couple of handles to it.  You can get a set of stainless steels ones off the internet for about 20$

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