I was given a smokey joe ..Now what??

Discussion in 'Mini WSM Users' started by lemans, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok.. I brand new to this group.. My brother-in -law just gave me a smokey je he had in the garage..(still in the box).

     I have an idea on how to build a mini WSM but Im not sure where to start.. What size pot do I start with? 32Quart?
     
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you can find a 32qt vasconia tamale steamer that's the best fit. Walmart has them both online and in store at some places.

    There are a bunch of good builds in the mini-WSM for to point you in the right direction. You won't be disappointed. The mini-WSM is one of the easiest smokers around to run!
     
  3. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will post some pics as the project continues
     
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  5. Race out and get another grill surface while the stores have stock.  Virtually all the stores are closing out on BBQ parts now that fall is approaching.  Read all the mini-build postings.  Shamelessly steal all the good ideas and use them on your builds.  I borrowed the Target Pizza Stone from one person's build, and Acorn nuts to hold the grills from another person's build.  There are a lot of very good ideas spread out among all the builds.  Give it your own flavor, borrow the best from others, and enjoy. If your smokey Joe is a "silver", you will need the Tuna Can mod to keep the vent on the bottom of the smoker from clogging.  In the next month I am likely to release a "basketless" design which gives a complete burn of all the charcoal without a basket, or a ring. 
     
  6. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

     
  7. FWIsmoker is correct, the ball valve is a superior way of controlling air flow without worrying about ash clogging intake air flow.  It is just a bit more expensive than the tuna can mod.  People do mini builds in a full spectrum of cost.  Some builds are amazingly frugal, others are very deluxe. A few builds are borderline insane.
     
  8. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    There are so many builds that look cool, seem like a good idea....lots of blind leading the blind builds going on.  I can tell you go SIMPLE!  A good example for a build would be mdboatman who learned simple is better.  Cfarmer would be another simple approach..  Case got me into the mini and since he has changed philosophy  to a more simple approach i would say. 
     
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Actually I started off as simple as it gets. NO extra vents no nothing. However I found that where I live having just the lower vent on the Silver wasn't enough to get the temps I wanted. So I added one side vent. That got the temps up but still no where near what I wanted. So I added the second vent. That did the trick. I do believe that the ash guard is needed with the silver for super long cooks. For high temp short cooks it is not.

    All of my tinkering now is more towards developing other cookers out of the mini. Such as the Mini-ZA oven, and the cold smoker MIni.

    I've found what works best for me, others may find different solutions.
     
  10. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Your mods to the silver is still the simple approach i'd say Case, you just made it behave more like a Gold.  
     
  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    By simple i mean not having a bunch of crap between the charcoal and the food, cutting out the bottom,  using a charcoal basket...things like that which won't cut down on airflow.   Complicated builds for the most part lead to not having clean burns, lower temps than you want/need, more fuel consumption and food that could be cooked much better.   
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  12. LeMans,

    What you are seeing in the comments, is the two schools of thought on smoking. 

    *******************School one

    Some people favor direct radiant heat.  They like the high peak temperatures it provides with ease. They feel the drippings from the meat, which hits the coals, improves the flavor of the smoke/meat. And, without the diffuser blocking radiant heat, less fuel is burned to obtain a specific temperature, which helps in long smokes (less coals burned per hour). Burns of 17 hours have been seen by people who use little or no diffuser. 

    ******************School two

    Other people are from the school of "low and slow".  The low and slow crowd does not care if their smoker never sees a temperature above 350 degrees.  They do not like the fact radiant heat tends to cook the bottom faster than the top, or, it has greater impact on the bottom rack than the top rack (assuming you have large hunks of meat on each of the two racks).  They may be concerned about the risk of grease flare-ups. Even a highly diffused mini will go over 10 hours on a single load of charcoal (using the Minion method). 

    Both points of view have merit.  That is the beauty of the mini, you can build it in a way which matches your style (or belief system). 
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  13. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well I just ordered my 32 qt pot
    Coming tomarrow so I will start gathering parts for the build
    Top rack 41/2 inch from the top?
     
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Yea that's pretty much the standard. 
     
  15. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Isn't step one more of a grilling technique ??
     
  16. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nope. High heat smoking.
     
  17. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I didn't even know this was here! I know, there goes the neighborhood! :biggrin:

    Borderline insane builds? Addertooth yours is the only borderline insane build I've seen.:welder:
     
  18. Welshrarebit,

    There is a build thread where they built a mini with a 44 quart turkey fryer pot.  That is some very serious volume.  My most recent build is what car racers call a "test mule".  It is a framework where a lot of ideas are bolted to it, just to see if any of the ideas have merit.  The mules still has two more odd ideas which will be tested with it.  I will post the results (good or bad) when they are completed.  Sometimes posting bad results act as a caution to other people who might mistakenly come up with the same idea.  (Like my dreadful ABTs from the other day).
     
  19. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Don't get me wrong I follow your threads and look forward to what you are trying to do. There's no way I can do half of the stuff you do! Somehow my wife and kids spend all of my money before I can even earn it...

    There's probably 20 or so pots at work that are candidates for a build but there's no way I'm gonna put out my money to build one for them. If I find a great deal on a SJ on craigslist I will consider it. The funny thing is every pot that's about the right size I try and measure with my hand, which is nine inches for middle finger tip to thumb tip and one day one of my co-workers handed me a small measuring tape and I asked what it was for? He said now you can measure the pots! I think I've gone off the deep end...
     
  20. Welshrarebit,

    You will likely find the "basketless" mod (if it works), a interesting and inexpensive mod.  The materials will be a recycled tin can, which is cheaper than building a basket.  It will also allow you to have more charcoal in your mini-WSM.  The blanket mod will cost some money up front, but will save on charcoal in the long run.  However, with the 40 pounds of charcoal for $9.98 special at Lowes right now, it may take a while to recover the cost of that mod.
     

Share This Page