Ok first of all there are two types of minis...one is made from the Smokey Joe Silver and one is made from the Smokey Joe Gold. what is the difference?
Smokey Joe Gold (SJG) has two 1" holes on each side of the bottom half of the grill. If you were choosing only a grill imo it's NOT the best spot to have the intake air. If you are making a smoker out of it then it's better to have the air from the sides (if) you have a charcoal basket made for it. This is very easy to do.
Smokey Joe Silver (SJS) This grill has the intake air introduced from the bottom of the grill. This is GREAT for grilling but not so much for smoking because the ash clogs up the air intake. This can be partially remedied by having a pet bowl or can placed over the air intake and drilling or punching holes into the side of the bowl so the smoker can still get air despite the ash build up.
When i was searching mini threads i decided to go with the SJG for the reason that it had less modifications that were needed to be done for a really good smoker. *** Note. Either grill can be made into good smokers.
OK the next thing to think about is whether you want your mini to perform like a UDS or a WSM. What do i mean by that???
What i mean is typically in a UDS which is a Ugly Drum Smoker the drippings from the meat fall into the fire basket which then in turn flash back into the smoke and help add flavor to your cook. Some folks don't like the flavor of lots of the fat coming back onto their meat and prefer to catch them ALL with a bowl. Sometimes that bowl is filed with water and sometimes that bowl is foiled.
WSM... WSM's are sometimes referred to as water smokers. Don't let this term confuse you because you can do with out the water in 95% plus of your cooks and get great results. The water in a water smoker will help with temperature control but it will also chew through more fuel in charcoal then you need to go through. ****Note ****** Water does NOT add moisture to your meat.
Alright onto the basics of the build.
SJG mini build. Nothing needs to be done to the grill itself but only the tamale pot that you choose. (to be continued)