No frills mini with Q view

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by r0bh3, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. r0bh3

    r0bh3 Newbie

    Hi all, just wanted to say a quick thanks.  I built a Mini WSM this spring and it has been turning out some excellent Q.   No frills on this one, I kept it simple to match my level of ingenuity / ability.  There are some fantastic looking cookers on the forum here, love looking at the new ideas you guys come up with.

    It is my go to cooker for camping trips, extremely portable and there is nothing quite like that TBS wafting around the campsite for 8+ hours.   Here is a 8.5lb Butt I did last weekend, this was only a few hours in, needless to say it was devoured in short order.

    I did have one issue, I opened her up to burn off some of the grease that accumulated during this cook.  The mini survived for the most part, but the steamer plate that was acting as my diffuser / drip plate melted.  I guess I'll be looking for a terracotta plate or something similar to replace it.

    For now I'm working on a UDS for the backyard, the Mini WSM has worked out so well I've decided to go with the large format option for Qing at home.  You can't beat the set it and forget aspect of a full charcoal basket.  I'd love to get a nice stick burner some day but with 3 young kids it can be hard to find 8+ hours to sit around tending the fire.

    Here's 2 of them helping out, this was back in the spring during one of my first cooks.

    Thanks again,

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good Rob! The mini is one of the easiest smokers to use. The diffuser isn't really required, I can still maintain low temps with out one. If you feel the need I'd say get a metal pizza pan and drill it out similar to the steamer insert.

    You'll love the UDS. It's just as set it and forget it as the mini. Keep it simple too. All you need is (3) 1" air intakes. Get a drum that has a good lid and remove the 2" bung for the exhaust. No need for a domed weber style lid.

    I have found that the only time my UDS gets used is during the holidays. Or if I'm doing ribs. Otherwise I can fit a normal family meal in the mini. It is nice though to have the option when needed.
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    LOL...i feel your pain.   I was warming mine up with some big pieces of loose lump and temps got well over a thousand degrees and destroyed my diffuser as well.  I totally forgot about it for like 20 minutes and it was smoking hot, the steamer looked worse than was a mangled mess. lol

    I had a piece of stainless about the identical size and drilled it out. The mini works better with the stainless than it did with the aluminum. 

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  4. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    About the stick-burner...I bought a cheap one, if you consider $500 cheap, and did the mods I found on here, plus some I made up. I love to tinker, so it wasn't a problem, but with the time, money and effort I spent on the mods, I would have been better off with a higher-quality unit. I was new to this sport, so I really didn't know any better. Now that I do know better, I thought I'd let you know what I'd learned.

    The cheap ones can be made to work very good. Once they are modified to fix their faults you can get them up to temp and keep them there fairly easily. But the good ones like Lang and Yoder are made from 1/4-inch steel and when you get them up to temp they are much easier to keep there. The thick steel helps hold the heat better than the 3/16-inch stuff the cheap ones are made from. It will cost over twice as much for a good one, but you'll be more than twice as happy with it.

    And stick-burners are cool. So what if they aren't as efficient as other smokers!
  5. r0bh3

    r0bh3 Newbie

    Thanks for the tip sailor, I was wondering what to do for a vent on the UDS, the barrel I got has a 2" bung so I'll just go with that.
    That piece of stainless looks good in there, I'll keep my eyes open, have not found a replacement piece just yet.
    I noticed from some of my searching / reading, $500 seems to be about the minimum you'd want to spend for an offset smoker, plus mods to tighten it up a bit.  That may be a few years down the road for me.  The Mini is working great and my UDS is about 70% complete, just need my coal basket and I'll be set.
  6. The Mini looks good. Your going to love your UDS. As said above You will use the smaller smoker more. But it is nice to have the bigger one for when you need to smoke a lot. I sure do like my UDS.

    Happy smoken.


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