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My new WSM 22.5" with MODS!

smokin stu

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Joined Mar 10, 2014
Well I pondered buying a new smoker for some time (upgrading from a Masterbuilt Propane model) and settled on a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5! One of the reasons I selfishly picked this over say a Traeger or an offset box smoker was the opportunity to modify the unit to my liking. :) Anyways finished most of the mods and wanted to share a few photos of my work but now I need to get this shiny new smoker dirty and start smoking some delicious meats!


Handles I made out of scrap steal


Finished handles on cooking section, silicone probe grommets for my Maverick ET-733


Cajun Bandit steel door replacement with Southco compression latch


Nomex gasket on door


Nomex gasket around top of cooking section
 
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stokensmoke

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Joined Feb 6, 2016
New smoker looks great. The WSM will be the next one I get. Been using a UDS up till now. So how did you attach the new handles? And does the Cajun bandit door need the gasket? Though that was the point of buying a replacement door.
 

SmokinAl

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Nice job on the mods!

What are you going to smoke first?

Al
 

smokin stu

Newbie
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Joined Mar 10, 2014
I drilled 1/4" holes in the ends of the handles and then attached them using bolts and locking nuts. I also drilled 1/4" holes through the WSM...of course!  

Here is my early thoughts on the door...I like the look of CB door and the compression latch is nice but honestly the stock door although flimsy made it easier to shape to make a nice fit. The steel door didn't quite fit flush against the WSM when I first placed it which was disappointing but I mean its not that noticeable.  I am interested to run this thing a few times and see if any smoke is coming out by the door.  I put the gasket on simply because I had extra from doing the top.
 

jjcreole

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Joined Oct 6, 2016
Howdy! Have you noticed any significance with the Cajun Bandit stainless steel door vs. the flimsy Weber access door?
 

smokin stu

Newbie
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Joined Mar 10, 2014
jjcreole  - I never rolled smoke with the stock door (just put the CB door on right away) but here are my opinions:  1. It definitely is more aesthetically pleasing 2. It obviously is more durable being steel and will last longer 3. The shape of the door is critical to the seal it makes with the WSM 4. Get the Southco compression latch with you CB door

Now for me when I first used the smoker I thought a lot of smoke was leaking out by the door and since then that has reduced with seasoning the cooker through more use (you get that nice black buildup in the smoker that help seals it up).  I think my leakage issues have to do with the fact that the door is not an exact curvature match to the barrel section of the WSM so what I need to do is see if I can slightly bend it to fit a little snugger but then again this my prove to be challenging with it being steel. I will post an update if I have some success but overall love the look of the door and through proper seasoning and tweaking it should seal up nicely.

Again this is my experience with the door I received, perhaps the one you get will be a snugger fit to your WSM. Hope that helps. :)
 

dirtsailor2003

Epic Pitmaster
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Joined Oct 4, 2012
I have an older WSM 18.5.

The only 2 mods I'd make is add handles to the body and the silicone therm port the new ones come with.

7 have added the silicone therm port but not the handles.

When I bought mine of Craigslist it was basically brand new. The owner used it twice, and each time scrubbed it inside and out after each use...

Since I've had it, the body to base and lid to body connection have seasoned up to the point where it's hard to get apart when hot.

The stock door isn't the best fit, but a small piece of tin foil in a couple places does the job.

I really don't care if it leaks much. Air flow is good for tasty smoke. The WSM is easy to control temp even with small leaks.
 

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