My Mega Mini Pictorial Guide to the Mini-WSM

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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
Oct 4, 2012
Bend Oregon

Mini 1.0 Vasconia Pot Smokey Joe silver

Lid from the tamale pot makes a great seat on the SMJ base

In this version I drilled holes all over using the steamer insert as a pattern. This works, but if you over load the charcoal it creates problems seating the pot on the SMJ base. I have since cut the bottom out.

Ready for the first burn. I didn't season it I just went all out and cooked. At the time I didn't have a charcoal basket, and I used a hunk of our native bedrock for a diffuser. I also didn't have a ash guard or the side vents yet.

Here's a shot showing the two grates in . The lower one sits where the steamer insert goes, the upper one is approx 4" from the top. I cant believe how shiny that all was, it isn't anymore!

Smoking away! I smoked like this for quite sometime, making modifications as I went.
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One of the first mods I made was adding an ash guard. I used a stainless pet food dish and drilled holes around the top. It can be seen here just below the grate.

I also added a larger ash catcher (which I realized wasn't needed with the ash Guard). Here you can also see that I added a 3/4" nipple, no valve, just a cap. That worked okay, but it was either full open of closed.

OH Sweet TBS!!!

Here we are again with the next mod, added a ball valve to one side and another nipple and cap to the other side of the mini.

Close up. of the side vents.

Better view of the ash deflector

With the ash guard you don't get much ash out the bottom!

Used a step bit to make the holes for the side vents. Then just thread the black pipe nipples in (do not use galvanized).

The nipple with the cap didnt last long, ended up with two ball valves. I like to tinker and play so that is why there was a progression in the build. Wanted to see how minimal you could go and what really works to make the mini the most efficient.

One of the next things I did was to make a charcoal basket. Of all the things this is by far the most important modification. It really helps with maintaining consistent temps. For this I used the charcoal grate for the bottom, expanded metal for the sides. Most hardware stores have this in 1'x2' sheets. I used tin snips to cut it, a jjig saw with a metal blade would work too. I believe if my memory serves me correct it's 3 1/4" tall. For my first version I just wire tied it together with concrete rebar ties. Still holding strong.


Behold, the Double D Mini!!!! great for cold smoking with the 12" AMNTS, not so great at hot smoking! I should admit though that I haven't tried again since cutting the bottom out of the original pot. After things warm back up I'll give it another shot.

What started this whole fiasco was one of our local stores started carrying these pots and after measuring I new it'd fit so I had to buy one to try.  The only thing that I don't like about the pot is the metal handles.

This one I decided to cut out the whole bottom. Once again another progression. Having one bottom out and one just drilled would allow me to experiment. My experimenting lead to me exclusively using the pot with the bottom cut out.

I cut the bottom of the pot out then fastened the lid to the bottom and cut it out. Had my brain been working I would have drilled the handle rivets out of the lid, or cut a small section away and the attached the lid and made the cut all at once. Oh well it all worked out.

This summer I cut the bottom out of the original pot. It really is the way to go. Allows you to load up on the charcoal when needed.

Charcoal basket 2.0, the welded version.

Homemade grate grabbers!

Sear mode!!!

Pure TBS Mode!!!

Cold Smoke mode

Camping Mode!
Question, once the bottom is cut out are you using the steamer insert as a heat diffuser or nothing at all?
Kind of depends on what I'm cooking, how hot I want to cook what I'm cooking and the temperature outside. For a low and slow cook I will use a 10"-12" terracotta diffuser. For a normal cook running the smoker 265°-300° I have a 6"x8" piece of granite. High temp cooks I use the steamer insert. If it is really cold or really windy out then I use either the granite or the terracotta to help hold heat. 
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Any chance you can post some images specifically of how the lid is used on the bottom of the pot.  I'm not grasping how the lid is used to keep it from sitting down in the bottom of the grill. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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