Aus MWSM, V2 to follow

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by nevillebartos, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. nevillebartos

    nevillebartos Newbie

    Hey guys, built my mini a year or so ago, I didn't take any build pics but it's fairly standard.  SMJ silver, imusa 32qt pot using the method of many holes in the base. 2 weber gauges, reproduction wooden handle and high temp paint.  I run it using no extra diffuser or water pan and am yet to find the materials to do a charcoal basket.  I usually use it for ribs and have had better results than on the full size WSM.  

    Not really any issues with clogging in the silver over these 5ish hour cooks and no major hassles to speak of, just a few niggles.  The lid does not fit exactly when just plonking it on, but with some maneuvering I am able to get a smoke tight seal, just like a banged up kettle.  I have considered gasketing but am yet to get around to it.  In really low ambient (3 or 4c) I find it does struggle with temps, it will max out at 90 - 100c which is fine for my ribs but seems like I need to run the coals a lot hotter than usual.  Could be a result of the many holes method and the flimsy aluminium of the pot certainly isn't helping, a jacket may be the answer in those conditions but it's not often that cold anyway.  Generally though it holds temp nicely and produces great results.

    Was considering the 14.5 WSM for better performance but have decided to just build another mini.  Have some nice parts on the way and will post up when it's ready.  Interested to have a look around at what you guys have done and maybe whack on a few interesting features

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice build! I smoke in cold weather all the time with my mini fleet. Here's a few things that will help more than a blanket.

    1. Charcoal basket

    2. Side Vents

    3. Use side light method (side vents or SMJ gold required).

    4. Cut out bottom of pot.

    I have four mini's and my first I experimented with. I tried every imaginable configuration the first winter and landed on the fact that in cold weather having side vents, the bottom cut out of the pot, and a charcoal basket greatly improves the performance.

    Go to my Mega thread and scroll down and check out my Mini-WSM Builds, tips, and tricks section. There you can see the Mini-ZA, Minitisserie, and some of my other hair brain ideas! Not tot mention most of the cooks in that thread have been performed on the mini.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF!

    Nice job with that build!!!!

  4. nevillebartos

    nevillebartos Newbie

    Thanks guys.

    dirtsailor I will definitely be employing a few of those suggestions for the v2.  Nabbed myself a gold which were a little tricky to come by here in Aus, bit easier now by the looks, excited to see how the side vents go but almost want another silver to give that ball valve mod a crack.

    Materials for the basket are still not so easy to find but I'll sort something out, it may actually be easier to knock up a ring similar to that found in the full size official, so may give that a go at least for testing purposes.  This time for the pot I've gone with stainless, set me back 50% more than an imusa would cost me, but it's a bit bigger and hopefully holds heat a little better, mainly though it's shiny.  

    I'm intending to begin again with the many holes method because it's produced such awesome results, if temps become too much of an issue though I'll go for the cut out.  Do you guys generally use some other diffuser with the cut out method?  Set the cooking grates higher?
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I still would go with the whole bottom cut out.  It is more versatile and you will still get the same great results. When I use a diffuser I use the the steamer insert that comes with the tamale pot for higher temp smokes. For lower temp smokes I have used a 10" terracotta planter tray wrapped in foil, or a I havea 8"x9" 1" thick hunk of granite rapped in foilt that I use. Both of these I set on the steamer insert. As with all my mini-wsm's my upper rack id 4" below the top of the pot. The lower rack sits on the diffuser when I use it.
  6. nevillebartos

    nevillebartos Newbie

    I have for the minute gone with these very time consuming large holes, and some equally time consuming small holes.  The heat may focus inwards too much at which point I'll switch to the cut out method, substantial height has been allowed to mount either an SS dish I have as a water pan, or a teracotta type diffuser, will be testing both if I go for that

    Gauges are in too but waiting on racks before doing the mounts, the stock SJ racks do not fit this pot but I do find the pot fits about as good as the imusa on v1, its a touch on the small side vs a touch on the large side but everything just plonks together easily.  Will check how it seals at burn in and may gasket if needed.

    Got about 6 or 7" clearance for each rack, probes mounted just under em.

    Not long to go now until testing
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  7. garvinque

    garvinque Meat Mopper

    What size bayou classic pot is that?
  8. nevillebartos

    nevillebartos Newbie

    Hey mate I'm using the 36qt, bit taller vs the imusa and I reckon it's a pretty good size.  I have been eyeing the 44qt which is the same diameter but a few inches taller, with that I'd do something like throw in a whole heap of shelf positions for a bit more versatility.  I'm also toying with the idea of having a some kind of bracket to pop a bar on and hang a whole bunch of ribs off it.

    Done a fair few cooks now with good results, I do reckon cut out / diffuser method might be the way to go though, if I build another will be looking for a nice clean way to do it, got a feeling the jigsaw might make a mess.   I'd be keen to go a size up on those temp gauges too but that could just turn out gaudy, and those things really hurt the wallet.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jigsaw and a metal blade is how I make the cut outs. Yes it will cut stainless too. Makes a nice clean cut.
  10. garvinque

    garvinque Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the answering! I think I will get one just have to decide if I want the 36 or 44qt.

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