So I made another mini WSM (or BBQ Pro Smokey Mountain)...
I ended up coming across a brand new charcoal grill on Craigslist for $10, so I couldn't resist. I just sold my Brinkmann two-door vertical charcoal smoker so I decided to make another mini. Why not? The grill brand is BBQ Pro and its sold at Sears. It's lid is more domed and definitely will provide more clearance for larger cuts of meat on the top rack. Here is the picture of the grill from Sears.com.
I went and bought another one of the tamale pots I mentioned in my first post, and this grill fit it PERFECT. No crimping, no nothing. Just a nice snug fit. I didn't like the red colored lid, so I just painted it black with semi-gloss grill paint. The grill grates that come with the grill are definitely cheaper quality than the Smokey Joe, so I just bought a couple Smokey Joe cooking grates on clearance for $6 each at Home Depot. The cooking grate that comes with the grill doesn't go down in the pot very well, so I may come up with a way to have it sit on the top of the pot rim as a third cooking level, especially since the lid is so domed. I will use the charcoal grate that came with the grill and I just made a basket out of expanded steel that I had left over from my first build. I cut out the tamale pot lid and bolted it to the bottom of the pot and it fits in the base of the grill just as well as the lid. I already had the 3" Tel Tru thermometer, so I just bought the stainless steel washer and nut kit that is sold by Tel Tru to ensure that the larger and heavier thermometer was secure did not make the aluminum tamale pot sag. Here is the new mini.
The BBQ Pro grill came with clamps to secure the grill lid to the grill base (for transport) so I just bent them over a little further so I can lift the pot with its handles and the grill base stays attached. All I have to do is lift the clamp latch and they come loose easily in order to reach the coals. Additionally, the grill did not come with a bottom damper, which was a bonus because I had already purchased a step bit from Harbor Freight to cut holes in the side of Smokey Joe, so I decided to experiment on this one. Below is a pic of the dampers I made with the left over aluminum that I had left over when I cut out the pot base and pot lid. There is a 1" hole on either side of the grill base. I was able to make them curved so they fit snug against the grill and they hopefully work well.