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Going to build a mini (sort of)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have been reading about these things for over a year now and finally decided it's time to build one. Before I bought any parts I searched my garage, my parents, my grandparents, and my great aunts to see what I could find. The only thing I came up with was a Char-Broil portable kettle grill. For now I'm going to use it instead of a Weber because let's face it, free is always better. I bought an IMUSA pot when Walmart decided to offer free shipping and it fits the lid of the Char-Broil PERFECT. My redneck test for fit I stuck the grill lid on the pot, put it in the back of the truck and drove around on the highway. At 70mph it didn't budge so I'm excited to see how it holds smoke. The pot lid also fits very nicely on the grill so I'm going to attach it to the bottom of my pot. By big question I'm having is what size grates do you use for inside the pot? My C-B grate is to big and I can't tell if I need to order the cooking grate for the Smokey Joe or the charcoal grate for the next size bigger Weber? I've looked through a bunch of old posts and for some reason I can't seem to find the answer to this question.
Edited by TheGreatMC - 8/8/16 at 7:27pm
post #2 of 8

For the cooking grates you need,  the 7431 at http://www.homedepot.com/p/Weber-Plated-Steel-Cooking-Grate-7431/100657921. $7.49






They are awesome to cook on.



post #3 of 8

Sounds like a fun  build!



post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Got it all built. I attached the lid to the bottom and cut out a 10" hole in both. I have a 10" terracotta saucer for a diffuser sitting on an expanded metal "grate" on the bottom of the pot and it sits just low enough my bottom grate fits right in the steamer tray lip in the pot. The top tray is the seemingly standard 4" from the top with 3 stainless steel bolts, lock washers, and nuts. Because the C-B has a taller lid I have even more room on my top rack then the standard mini. My dad welded a charcoal basket for me using the charcoal grate of the grill and some expanded metal. A fresh coat of Krylon black high heat paint and here she is:

I'm doing a test run/seasoning right now. I lit 5 briquettes (only 4 actually lit I think) in the chimney and dumped then in the basket with a mostly full load. In the picture, the lit coals are under the little twigs. I'm using apple because that's all we have that's good to smoke with in Wyoming.

Coals lit at 10:32 MST. Dumped into the basket and closed up at 10:51. The vents on the bottom are both wide open as is the top. It's now 11:54 and we're at 294* and it seems to be leveling off. If wide open vents means it'll hold at 300* I'll be super happy. My only worry is the ash "bucket" that the Char-Broil has isn't going to be big enough and it clogs the vents with ash. If that's the case, I'll add pipe and ball valve vents but I'm testing today to see if that's necessary.
post #5 of 8

Looks Good MC! If you removed the diffuser you get higher temps quicker if that what your looking to achieve. The only time I use the diffuser is when I want to hold temps in the 225-250 range and I put the diffuser on the rack where the steamer insert goes.


Speaking of MC used to be a big ranch in my neck of the woods called the MC out in the Warner Valley. Its still there but not as big as it used to be. William Kittredge's (author, co-producer of A River Runs through it) grandfather started it and at one time held more than a million acres of land. So there's your Oregon history lesson for today.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I prefer to hold most of my smokes at 250* but have been dealing with smokers that hold means you get anything from 220 to 280 and you just ride the wave. This thing has been SOLID. I have an IGrill and will post up the graph but so far it has been awesome. I did have one spike but that was when I moved the smoker to try and get better range on the IGrill. I wanted (and can now) to be able to sit on couch and see what it's doing. 95* weather and I just don't get along.
post #7 of 8
Yep the mini-s are rock solid performers. That's why I own four!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Figured I couldn't let all that smoke go to waste. Smoked some sausage.
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