Diffuser decisions.

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by 12ring, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Hello, I have all my parts together to build my mini. But I can't decide what to do about a defuser. I like both of these designs but can't decide which I want to do. I dont think i can post a link to the weber forum so I'll explain. One is called a flying saucer and he cut the center out of steamer tray and sets a stainless steal dog bowl inside the steamer tray as a difuser. On the other he leaves three tabs after cutting out the center of the pot and bends them up to hold a cake pan.

    I didn't want to use a terra cotta saucer because of the cracking factor so I was thinking I would prefer to use the cake pan or stainless dog bowl but I don't know if one works better than the other. What are your thoughts on which is better? Or should I just make it to where it i can use either a cake pan or a saucer or the bowl? I was hoping I could keep my temp at 225 at time but was hoping to get to 300 or higher for poultry. Im using a sjs and plan to use a can to block ash and I was planning to build a charcoal ring. Thanks any input.
  2. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You're going to get many answers on this one. I originally used the terra-cotta,  But got lazy. Now I buy aluminum disposable pie plates at the grocery store.   3 for 2 bucks!  And I toss them out after each use.  You can toss some playground sand in the bottom of the pie plate to retain and steady your cooking temps.  The aluminum pie plate sits on a cut down weber charcoal grate for the 18" Kettle  part number 7440.  


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    My mini works perfect with only the steamer pan that comes in the pot...DON'T have to change a thing!    Drippings to the coals,  minimal clean up...every few weeks i'll scrape it off.   Oh i get phenomenal  rock solid temp control and can cook well over 400*. or can go low to 200* .      I laugh when people complicate things but oh well...it's their cookers. 

    Wintertime or wind i have this invention i call a reflectix sleeve. 

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  4. c farmer

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

    I am with him  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

    Keep it simple.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  5. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Hey BDSkelly, im definetly going to rivet my lid to the base of the pot like you did. I like that fit much better. With the hole you cut into the bottom, does the pie pan cover it complete or is the hole bigger around than the plate? Im horrible at explaining but does heat have a direct path to the food?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you're going with a diffuser that is going to sit on the very bottom you will want it to be smaller than the hole you cut out.

    I only use a diffuser when I don't want direct heat and the weather conditions aren't in my favor. Other wise it's open to the bottom or I use the steamer insert, or a Tin pan full of Au Jus makings. Set at the steamer insert level.

    On of the benefits of the full bottom removal is being able to load the charcoal higher for long cooks. So putting a diffuser at the bottom defeats that.

    If it was me I'd spend more time making a charcoal basket and not worry about the diffuser.

    If your using a silver SMJ you'll want to make an ash guard and add the side vents.
  7. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    My question on this topic is those that just use the Steamer insert, does the buildup of fat burning on the insert cause a burnt smell or taste to your food?
  8. c farmer

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

    I have never noticed any off smell.

    I scrap it off maybe once a month.
  9. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Yea I agree with farmer.  Every once in a while i'll clean out any char or grease using a torch and scraper.   Just like any smoker you have to give it a good once over every now and then to keep it performing well especially with lots of use. 
  10. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You'll have plenty of open area around the pie plate  for the heat and smoke get to the goodies on the racks.  Case and Adam point out some very good things. First make sure you keep the steamer plate because you'll use it too for "hot smokes"  Second, don't over think these things. Keep them simple and I'd bet you'll get more use out of it.  The units are super stable even without terra cotta or pans full of sand.  Once you fire yours up you'll see what we mean... Brian
  11. smokinadam

    smokinadam Smoking Fanatic

    Got a day off since I built mine and is seasoning currently. Later it will have rubs or a chicken on it.
    Sprayed the inside of the pot with Pam and placed 3/4 chimney of kbb with a couple handful of hickory chips in it. Heated up very nice.
  12. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great! 
  13. Overcomplicated can be fun; more knobs, switches, alternate diffusers for different types of behavior, etc.  Tuning and tweaking things can be interesting, or a lot of car racers are horribly wrong.

    Admittedly, simple can be less stressful and more usable.  The mini-WSM original design flew in the face of conventional wisdom, somebody had to stop off the deep-end and try something new.  We all benefitted from that person's willingness to try something different.

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