Clearance around WSM?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ryanl, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. ryanl

    ryanl Newbie

    I've quickly realized after purchasing my WSM that I will need to put some kind of fence around it to protect my 2 year old from getting hurt. Just wondering what the minimum distance should be around the smoker, I don't want to build it too small and create a safety issue. Would 6" be okay?
  2. Are you talking about a barrier where the midget can't get to the smoker? That's a tough one, those little people are crafty and quick.
  3. ryanl

    ryanl Newbie

    Yes, something that is fairly tight to the smoker, but not to tight as to be a fire hazard. Would 6" be reasonable?
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    6" is more than fine, even without a guard the outside does not get so hot that it causes sever burns from just touching it. I can lay my hand on the side of my 22.5" WSM with no ill effects. The only area that gets uncomfortable is down on the fire bowl.
  5. ryanl

    ryanl Newbie

    That's kind of what I figured. I guess if I can run the smoker on my deck and it doesn't get too hot, then a fence won't be an issue. I forgot that I have a laser thermometer so I can always watch the temps just in case.
  6. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Your thread brings up a question of my own.

    For saftey pruposes how close can I get my smoker to a fence without worry that the fence will catch fire?

    From what was said in this thread, it sounds like it relatively safe and not a big concern.  Is that right?

    I have my smoker in a safe place but I want to get it more out of the way which would mean putting it about a foot away from a wooden fence.  Is that safe?

    One last thing.  My neighbors are installing one of thos white plastic fences.  Will the heat from the smoker potentailly melt the fence?
  7. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    In a nutshell, you'll be fine.  As has been mentioned, 6 inches is more than adequate.  The high temps are in the bottom section, the upper sections quite a bit cooler, especially if you're doing low and slow, you'll be in the 220-250 range on the grid and less on the skin of the WSM.  I've mounted small wing tables to the mid section that are about 1" from the skin and there's no scorching.  The wood might get warm to the touch but nothing more.  Me, I keep the WSM and Mini-WSM at about 1 foot from most everything. 

    Enjoy the dark side, I know we do.

  8. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thanks Dave.  I thought I would be safe.  I just wanted to double check for a stronger comfort level.
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One thing - if your neighbor is putting in a white plastic fence the smoke will probably discolor the fence just from proximity - may tick off the neighbor if they spend a lot of money on it.
  10. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    They are putting up a white plastic fence and they will be spending a bit of money on it.  The only thing that will keep my conscience clear is that his bbq is exactly on the other side of the fence from where I keep my BBQ.  I will put up a piece of ply wood as a blocker or move the smoker out when I use it.  It's not very heavy.
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The question I'd ask is how far can your child's arms reach? I know at that age both my boys could reach more than 6"....
  12. ryanl

    ryanl Newbie

    I used super privacy lattice, the gaps are only about 3/4" squares. Hardly enough room to even stick a finger through.
  13. ryanl

    ryanl Newbie

    nwdave likes this.

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