Tips for my Mini-WSM build

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by dukeburger, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey fellas,

    Since I've been unable to find the proper pots required for a more common mini-WSM build, and having the tools and materials available to me from working in a metal fabrication shop, I've decided to build one out of 1/8" thick aluminum sheet that I will roll to the required diameters.

    I have my 18" WSM that I use for most of my home smokes, so this will be primarily used for camping trips, picnics and other trips.

    I'll be rolling the aluminum sheet out to a 13 3/4" - 13 7/8" bottom diameter and a 14 1/4" - 14 1/2" top diameter with the seam being fully TIG welded. I'll be making some handles out of aluminum round bar and my charcoal ring will be expanded metal. I don't plan on installing a dial thermometer as I will likely be using my MAV733 probes every smoke. (I don't even look at the dial on my WSM anymore)

    Given the materials required, I can more than likely get this done under $15 and a few extra hours in the shop.

    A couple questions I have are;

    What height do you guys recommend for my mid-section ring? I am thinking 12" with the rack installed 6" from the top...This will be a single rack and need enough room for a Boston Butt.

    For the diffuser, how well does a 12" terra cotta saucer work?

    Should I be using stainless steel hardware?

    Any tips are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  2. c farmer

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

    Your grate heigh is good.

    I only use the steamer insert for a diffuser. Would be easy for you to make.

    I would use ss hardware just to be safe.
     
  3. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks CF.

    What does the steamer insert look like?
     
  4. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I like the natural way of cooking with juices dripping in the coals so I didn't do the saucer, i used the steamer that came with the pot. I know you won't have that but you can make one.

    I don't need a heat sink because i use a reflectix sleeve when its cold or crappy....i keep rock solid temps,cooke 9 hours 275, and can cook low or really high. My advice for mini builds is k.i.s.s .... keep it simple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I made one out of stainless after i ruined my original steamer....i will send you a pic
     
  6. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    These guys Adam & Keith as well as Case helped me with my mini & it works great, they'll steer ya right ! Thumbs Up I'll only add one thing is the steamer insert as a diffuser works awesome for me !
     
  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Could be obvious but make sure when you roll the middle make sure the lid fits like the bottom..two different diameters.
     
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No need for a therm if you have a remote. I just ordered the therm grommets that weber uses in the new WSM's. It is nice having the lower rack for making smoker roasted veggies or smokey au jus when smoking roasts. I too pretty much only use the steamer insert but I do like to use a diffuser for indirect smokes or when I load two pork butts at a time. I use a 8"x9"X1" chunk of granite wrapped in foil. Since you're taking the time to fabricate take a look at my mini-Za thread. Always fun making pizza in the woods!
     
  9. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I suppose I could just cut a 9" circle out of 1/2" or 3/4" steel plate to use as a diffuser and wrap it up in heavy duty foil...[​IMG]
    I'll be doing a search. I need to see this!
     
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes that would work. The mini-AZ is the ultimate mini camp smoker. Smoke a tri tip for the adults crank it up for pizza for the kids!
     
  11. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Serves as a dual purpose with that door you made. Very clever, I might have to copy that!
     
  12. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Another mini! Woohoo!
    I use a 10 1/2" fry pan without handle for my diffuser. It's the exact size as the charcoal basket. It heats quickly and holds heat well. Won't split like the terra cotta either.
     
  13. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good idea as well, thanks!
     
  14. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use disposable alluminum foil pie plates for my diffuser. Simply fill them with a little playground sand or water.  Then toss them in the trash  after the smoke for easy clean up.  Tried the terra cotta thing for a while.  But I'm into easy cleanup 

    Brian
     
  15. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a 10 inch terra cotta dish from a flower pot wrapped in alumiu foil.. Works great
     
  16. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So, 10" diameter for the diffuser? Should my charcoal ring be the same diameter?

    Got the aluminum cut today, I'll be rolling it tomorrow hopefully.
     
  17. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds good
     
  18. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I might wait on cutting the expanded for my charcoal ring until I know what my clearance is height-wise....[​IMG]
     
  19. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I didn't cut the bottom out of my pot. I have several holes drilled so I am not using a charcoal ring .. But I have about 3 1/2 inch clearance ..
     
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    3 1/4" is a safe number that works great with a pot that just has the holes drilled in the bottom or the whole bottom cut out. Heading out to weld up another in a few minutes for my newest mini!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

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