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Mini WSM Build & First Smoke

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

My Completed Mini-WSM

Completed Mini WSM.  We are visiting our Daughter and Son-in-Law for the summer.  Being away Texas and my WSM 22.5", my grandson Jacob & I built two Mini-WSMs in July.  We used the Smokey Joe Silver because they were readily available in the Saint Peters, MO area.  At the first smoke, I found that the Weber Thermometer I used is totally inaccurate.  I will be ordering a 3" River Country (RC-T3W) Adjustable Thermometer from Amazon.  Note:  The Dome Lid does fit the pot exactly, but I had no problem keeping the temperature stable.


Here is a look inside - two racks, 12" Terra Cota Plate. Note: The plate sits on a trivet that I purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond for less that $8.00.




Here you can see the Trivet on which the Terra Cota Plate sits.  I used the steamer plate that came with the Steamer Pot as a guide for drilling the holes in the bottom.


The First Smoke

Baby Back Ribs. For this smoke I made Ancho Cherry Baby Back from a recipe I saw on YouTube --


Removing Membrane.


Sliced ribs into small sections to fit Mini-WSM.


Rubbed with mustard.


Unlit Stub's Charcoal Briquettes with some Apple & Pecan Wood Chucks underneath - Minion Method.


Apple and Pecan Wood Chunks on top.


Charcoal being prepared.


Poured Lit Charcoal on top of unlit coals and wood.


Smoker pot in kitchen to load in ribs.


For this smoke I used Simply Marvelous Cherry Rub - May be order from Big Poppa Smokers



Rubbing the Ribs.


Rubbed Ribs placed on Lower Rack.


Ribs placed on upper rack.


Beginning smoke - notice the thin blue smoke.


The smoker easily adjusted and held 225 Deg.  I smoked these Baby Backs using the 2-2-1 method -- 2 hrs unfoiled; 2 hrs. foiled; and 1 hr. unfoiled.


Removed lid after the first two hours.  I did spritz the ribs after the first hour with Apple Berry Cherry Juice.


I used a slightly different liquid on each set of ribs because of various family preferences. On one set of ribs I coated with homemade Ancho Cherry BBQ Sauce, Honey, a little Butter, and poured in some Pirates Gold Marinade and double wrapped with foil. The other set of ribs were done the same except I used the Apple Berry Cherry Juice for marinade and double wrapped with foil.


Preparing the ribs in foil wrap.


Foiled Baby Backs back in smoker for the second 2 hrs.


After second 2 hrs, removed foil and kept the juices for use later.  I put the juice in jars and refrigerated to let fat settle at top for each removal.


Ribs ready for last hr. in smoker without foil.



I let the ribs sat for about 20 minutes before slicing.  They were tender and passed the bite test perfectly.  Great taste!


Dinner served!  NOTE:  I closed the vents and the next day noticed that about a third of the coals weren't used and can be used on the next smoke.  This smoker went for 5 hours and worked efficiently.  Because I used the Silver, I did have to wiggle the bottom vent back and forth and tap the bottom side two times during to smoke for venting.  No problem here.  When I first seasoned the smoker, I used the popular brand of charcoal briquettes and the fillers clogged up the smoker.  I have had no problem with Stub's Charcoal.


Texas Ray....sorry but I had to edit your post here....off site links are not allowed per TulsaJeff...the owner of the site...This came about in late June and you might have missed it. Here's the updated Terms of Service . Just an FYI. You can embed the youtube vid if you'd like instead of a link.   ~Alesia

post #2 of 46

Great first smoke! Welcome to the MIni-WSM Club!!! I love mine and it is my go to smoker. For a therm I would ditch the one you have and just go digital. The Mav 732 is a great choice and can be ordered from A-MAZE-N Smoker a sponsor here. Or if your into high tech the iGrill is great and is my go to therm. You can see my Mini and some of the mods I have done here:



post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 

Dirtsailor - thanks for the reply.  I am going to order a Mav ET732 when I return home to Texas.  Presently, I have access to my son-in-laws digital.  My primary smoker is a Weber Bullt 22.5" which remains in Texas. But this mini is great for trips and camping. Thanks for you comments.

post #4 of 46


Nice build and a GREAT looking spread.

happy smoken.


post #5 of 46
I built mine for camping too, but I like using it so much that I use it all the time. It is super efficient as you found out. I have two pots one drilled like yours, the other with the full bottom cut out. I have found that I prefer the pot with the bottom cut out.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 

David - I looked at your posts and saw some good smokes.  Like your UDS.  Thanks for you comments.

post #7 of 46
Originally Posted by Texas Ray View Post

David - I looked at your posts and saw some good smokes.  Like your UDS.  Thanks for you comments.

Ray....Thanks it cooks well.


post #8 of 46

Great shots on the build and the ribs Ray!


Nicely done.



post #9 of 46

Great job on the build and the food looks pretty wonderful!

post #10 of 46
Great looking mini and chow! Love the mini!!!

Ray I also went with the bottom cut out and I use the steamer rack as a diffuser. Try it out sometime to let the drippings hit the coals.. ESPECIALLY for birds... Mm so so good.

I'd also consider making a charcoal basket.. Makes a huge difference.
post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 

Bill, I see you also have a Weber 22.5 Bullet.  I love mine.  Thanks for you comments.

post #12 of 46
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments Alesia.  I looked at your posts and you have some great looking smoked meats.

post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 

FWISmoker:  I have the expanded metal to make the charcoal basket.  Would like to see how you mounted the steamer insert for diffusion and to allow the drips to hit the charcoal.  I assume you placed the insert where it was designed to go in the bottom of the pot and them placed the bottom rack on top.Thanks for your comments!

post #14 of 46
Ray, yes that's where the steamer pan went... right where the spot it was designed to sit. It does a great job of diffusing the heat but the drippings still hit the coals. I cook a lot of birds in it @ 325 and they come out incredible. Try some spatchcocked birds in it.

The expanded metal does great for a basket.. I cut about 3" s high and tied with rebar ties.

If you cut out the bottom.. Which is nice especially to stack your basket higher use the charcoal grate as a template. The charcoal grate makes the perfect hole size.
post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 

FWIsmoker:  Sounds good - My grandson and I will start on the modification this week. When I am smoking whole chickens, I have found it best to spatchcock them. Thanks!

post #16 of 46

RIbs look great Tex.. Fellow Texan to fellow Texan.  Gotta Love the Minis.. welcome to SMF and the Mini crew :):)

Cant wait to see more cooks with it :)

post #17 of 46
I forgot something since you have the Silver. You have a couple of choices so the ash doesn't choke the air off. Some people put something like a small stainless pet bowl w/ holes drilled into the side over the vent.

Some people don't use the bottom vent control and put 3/4" vent controls in the side to mimic the gold version. The Gold has (4) 3/4" holes. I use the gold version for my mini but if I had the silver I'd probably lean toward doing some kind of vents on the side. Just my 2 cents.
post #18 of 46

Nice finish on the "Mini" . I like the 'Stockpot ' idea and the trivet is cool.


Great looking meal, keep 'em coming.drool.gif


Have fun and . . .

post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 

FWIsmoker:  I already had the small cats bowl modified to prevent clogging and have just made the charcoal basket and cut out the bottom of the pot.  QUESTION about placing the bottom rack on top of the steamer insert -- when smoking on the bottom rack, how do you prevent the meat from burning and overcooking from the direct heat coming through the holes in the steamer pot insert?  Or, do you just cook on the top rack?  Just curious before I ruin some good meat.

post #20 of 46
Thread Starter 

Ol'Mikey and Oldschoolbbq:  Thanks for your comments.  I will be posting more, especially when we return home to Texas.  I use my WSM 22.5 for large smoking (smoked 55 Lbs of Brisket for our church on Mothersday) and will use the Mini for smaller smokes.

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