Have had putting together a mini-wsm on my mind, but just hadn't gotten around to making one. Then I saw FWIsmoker's thread on his Jumbo Joe building of the "Jimmy" and T9gear's video on how he built his, I decided this was the kind I would like to do. So "Thanks" to them both, after reading the threads, comments, and watching the video, and taking in the comments along with them, I built mine. (Sorry, but I don't know how to place their thread access code onto my thread. Both good reads though with lots of info)
I had most of the components I needed, already gathered, from a UDS build I had done last year, and thinking that I would build another one. So the initial out lay was just for the Jumbo Joe smoker and the 80 qt SS pot. Bought the pot off of e bay and wouldn't you know it, 2 weeks later I get a notification from ebay that the same pots are now on sale, 20 dollars cheaper and no S&H charges, LOL Oh well...
Acquired the Jumbo Joe and I was wanting to place 2 air intakes on both sides of the bottom, I chose to use the bail or handle holes already there, as my guides for drilling. I drilled each out with a 1 1/4 inch hole saw, so a 3/4 inch nipple would screw right into and attach with conduit locking rings. I put a ball valve on one of the nipples for added adjustment with air flow.
I use magnets for air intake adjustments on this and my UDS both.
Then drilled out a couple of pieces of broom handle and put on carriage bolts to use as handles on the factory air vents on top and bottom.
At this point I marked the 1/2 way point of the bottom vent so I would have a point of reference when using the bottom vent to add air for extra heat when needed. FWIsmoker calls it a "searing" mode he can use for steaks etc.
Taking into consideration of the hardness of SS and thickness of the pot that I was going to be drilling through, I took T9Gears advice, and got the carbon tipped drill bits. Was glad that I made the effort to find them too, they made short work of drilling a pilot hole with a 3/16th bit ($6) then finishing with the 1/4 inch bit ($9) holes.
I also used a step drill bit to make a hole for my temp probes using a lamp repair kit with the threaded nipple. I made my drill holes for the racks at the same measurements of FWIsmoker's build. From the top to the first rack - 1 1/2 inches, the second shelf hole at 7 inches, then the diffuser rack at 14 inches from the top of the pot. I placed the hole for my probes in between the top and bottom racks for easy access to both.
Now cutting the bottom out was the most difficult for me, as not having many tools at my disposal, but I had a jig saw and an angle grinder. Starting out with jig saw I drilled a hole where I wanted to start my cut to remove the bottom of the pot. The saw blades didn't last long at all, plus they would wander some from the lines with the pressure applied. (I have always had a problem with following the rules or coloring within the lines all my life anyway.. )
After going through a dozen blades and not even half way around the bottom, I changed my approach to the angle grinder with a cut off wheel. This worked much better, but using a straight edge cutter to make a circle cut, I boogered up a cut which caused the whole circle to be wongo songo'd when smoothed out. The hole is cut out and it doesn't effect the burn or temps, so no problems for now, and if I do another one of these builds at a later date, I will have a better handle on the hole cutting process.
On building the charcoal grate I had an extra one already, since I like using 2 grates cris- crossed as a bottom to the charcoal basket in my WSM, UDS,, I'd use the design for this too. This allows for the charcoal to burn to a smaller chunk before falling through the grate. Wired the grates together using rebar wire then cutting my expanded metal at 3 1/4 inch to allow for the extra height when attached to the grates, since I was going with the others dimensions already used, that called for 3 1/2 inch tall basket. This set into the bottom of the charcoal bowl nicely.
Assembled the pot with all of the nuts n bolts, temp probe hole and put it all together. Stood back and beheld what had been put together.
Took it outside and fired that puppy up to see how the temps would go.
Added about 3/4 full charcoal starter canister to the basket, added about 8 to 10 lit coals to the middle for a minion method start up. Temps went up quickly, and adjusted the vents to a 1/4 on both side vents. The temp steadied out at 240 and stayed for about an hour, I increased the intakes on both to 1/2 open and the temps responded and leveled off at 280 -290, let it run there for about an hour or so. Opened up the intakes on both sides all the way and the temps leveled off at 340. Cracked the bottom or searing vent a 1/4 way and the temps went to 400. Had to put in an oven thermometer since the ET 73 wouldn't read higher temps, and then I opened the bottom vent about half way and the temps went to 450. Can easily bake cornbread or biscuits in a cast iron skillet or DO, also put a pizza stone in there when first heating smoker up and do pizza with no problems either. Going to love cooking on this Jumbo Jimmy.
I knew the temp readings would change when a cold mass like meat is added into the factor. So I had a couple of chickens soaking in a buttermilk brine as my sample cooks for the next day. here's what I did.
Spatchcocked, with the skin loosened from the meat so the brine can get past the membranes and into the meat and work, leg and thighs are then dislocated at the joint, and their keel bones removed. Then the chickens are put into the brine to soak. These had brined for 24 hours in a buttermilk brine I use, either when grilling or frying chickens.
After brining, I apply my rub under the skin so that it will be directly on the meat, since seasoning on the outside has a hard time penetrating the skin. The rendering of the chicken fat bastes the flavors of your rub right onto and into the meat. I brushed a coat of mayonnaise on the chicken skin, this helps with making crispy skin, same as EVOO or butter. Then I lightly dusted the outside with fajita seasoning for an added layer of flavor and helping the crisping process.
Lit the Jimmy and let it come up to temps for about an hour and put only one of the chickens on so I could play with the temps and experiment without ruining my supper. Had an extra chicken and some Bacon Spam to put on when this bird was cooked. I decided to do this to see how long cook times and at what temps I would get with one load of charcoal. I normally cook my chicken on my weber grill, using Grill Grates, hot n fast, which turns out a great product that is juicy, with crispy skin in just over an hour's time. Put this one bird on at 280 degrees and let it go to see how long to get done and what the skin would be like.
Took it a little over 90 minutes or so to cook, temps stayed rock steady with very little fluctuations in temp. Didn't think to take a pic of the first one as I was busy moving racks and putting new bird on. Was happy with the taste but the skin was still loose and not crisp. I bumped the temps up to 325 and cooked the 2nd yard bird with better results skin wise. The Spam was good too, nice coating from rub and then sauced at the last with a lil bbq sauce with peach habanero jelly mixed in.
The chicken turned out better with a higher temp, the skin on this one was split when it came out of the bag, that is why the split on the final product and not from the heat itself.
Going to love using this Jimmy as it is easily portable, will hold temps, as well as a good amount of food, without having to light up one of the other bigger pits or can be used along with them, when cooking for larger crowds. Especially like the 18 inch racks, as 2 racks of St. Louis style spareribs will fit handily on each of them without crowding. I got about 9 hours of cooking time with 1 load of charcoal and playing with the temps. Happy with that time frame also.
Again, I want to Thank FWIsmoker and T9gear for the advice on the "how to's" and comments by others on their threads that helped in my planning and decision making with the building of my "Jumbo Jimmy".
Thanks for looking at my pics and putting up with my long windedness.