Mini-WSM

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smokin monkey, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Picked up a cheap Charcoal BBQ from B&Q (similar to Home Depot) £20.00


    Drilled a 20mm hole in the bottom and fitted a 1/2 bush to and elbow to take the Qmaster mini.

    n

    Picked up a Aliminium Pan from an Asian Store £40.00



    Fitted high temeperature rope gasket around the top of the BBQ where the pot sits

    Used the some of the existing holes to attach clamps. Top rivet is for the rack support inside.


    Drilled 20mm holes in the bottom of the pan to let the heat in.


    Used an old BBQ rack to lift terracotta sauce off the bottom.


    Fitted gasket around inner part of lid and around adjustable top air vent as it was sloppy.


    Used the Charcoal Basket supplied with the BBQ, but it had a plate bolted to the bottom?? Removed this as I am feeding the air in from the bottom.

    So started it up with a set temperature of 115'C, it struggled to get up to 75'C in 3/4 hour.

    Removed the terracotta sauce and temperature rose to 115'C quite quickly.

    So do I make one big hole in the bottom and refit the terracotta sauce, or leave it out? Would like to leave I as it will protect the meat from direct heat.

    Must say, once this hit 115'C, it stays with +-1'C which I have not seen on any of my other builds!
     
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice looking mini! I like to cut the bottom out of my mini-wsm's. It allows you more versatility. High temp, low temp and everywhere in between. It also allows you to load the basket super full for longer cooks. You can still use a diffuser to avoid direct heat if you want. Or you can remove the diffuser and use the direct heat (perfect for chicken). I can run my mini-s anywhere from 180°f - 500°f+ consistently.

    Have you made provisions to keep ash from blocking your air intake? On another forum a member there made a similar air intake with blower and during long smokes he was having issues with the ash blocking the intake and with ash being blown onto the food.
     
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks good

    Richie
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm thinking.........    swap out the terracotta pan for an aluminum pan as the first experiment.....  As a second experiment, I'm thinking the 3 exhaust holes should be enlarged to allow for more air flow.....    Your smoker "maybe" has reached the balance point of "heat in" vs. "heat loss" through the metal....   reducing the thermal mass and / or increasing the air flow "might" achieve the balance you are looking for....

    OR, my thinking is all BS...
     
  5. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No not made any provision for ash. Could fit the plate back to the bottom of the charcoal bowl. The bowl has 1/4 inch holes in bottom a spacer then this plate. Will get a photo of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  6. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do not know if you can see in the photo, I did drill four more pilot holes, ready to enlarge out to 20mm, but decided not to. May be open these up as well.

     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would do 1 modification at a time....   Fire it up and check temps...    I'm thinking the exhaust is limiting the air inlets...  If the exhaust were opened up, more air would get through those holes in the bottom plate...  ONLY because your smoker is SOOOOOOO air tight.....
     
  8. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Dave, going to play with it again tomorrow. Going to put a aluminium pan in the bottom, also crank the temperature up to see how high it will go. Will remove the exhaust plate for free flow.

    Will take some thermo readings of the BBQ part at the bottom versus the Aluminium Pot to see if the heat is being deflected down and absorbed by the BBQ.

    Then I will decide if I need to open any more holes up in the bottom.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  9. smokinal

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

    Looks like it's going to be a great mini, when you get the bugs worked out!

    Al
     
  10. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Al.
     
  11. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did some more trials today. Removed the terracotta dish and replaced with an aluminium one.

    One thing I did realise was, I may not of lit enough charcoal to start with, that's why it took a long time to get going.

    Took temp up to 105'C in. no time, then up to 150'C then up to 200'C, peaked at 200'C and dropped slightly.

    Dropped temperature back to 105'C (220'F) it's been running at that for more than 4 hours now, so pretty happy with that.

    The only way to run this at a constant HIGH temperature would be a larger fuel basket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  12. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Another two hours on and still holding @ 105'C

    That will do for me stable @ 105'C for over six hours.
     

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