My new WSM 22.5" with MODS!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokin stu, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. smokin stu

    smokin stu Newbie

    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
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  2. stokensmoke

    stokensmoke Smoke Blower

    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.
  3. smokinal

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

    Nice job on the mods!

    What are you going to smoke first?

  4. smokin stu

    smokin stu Newbie

    It's gotta be ribs!
  5. smokin stu

    smokin stu Newbie

    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.
  6. Howdy! Have you noticed any significance with the Cajun Bandit stainless steel door vs. the flimsy Weber access door?
  7. smokin stu

    smokin stu Newbie

    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. :)
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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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