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Thread: S J. Gold Mini WSM Smoker

  1. #1
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    I have a WSM, but wanted a Mini for travel with my RV. After reviewing posts by the Kevinator and others on WSM mods, I modified a SJG, using a Chinese IMUSA 32 qt Tamale Cooker, purchased at Wally World for $20. Total time after gathering the material was about 1.5 hours.The top of the cooker is an exact fit to the SJG lid. I used foil folded around the bottom edge to get a tight seal of the bottom. The Cooker is 13.5" high and I cut the bottom out of the cooker, using a skill saw, being carefull not to cut into the curved edge of the bottom, staying at least 1/2" from the edge. I then attached 4 L shaped aluminum hangers on the inside, 9" from the top. I used a 12" ceramic planter base, foil wrapped, rather than a water pan. Then, I cut the ends out of 3 small evaporated milk cans, using the cans as a spacer, sitting the cans on top of the ceramic base, placing the grill on top of the cans, it is a tight fit. For the charcoal holder, I raised the grate about 1.5 inches, using aluminum crossbars, screwed together in the center, bent on the ends, wiring the grate to the top of the bars. I have found that 1/2 to 2/3rds weber chimney using Kingford, is plenty for a 6 hour cook, at 250 degrees. Temp controll is fairly easy, but the side vents on the SJG are not real tight, so it is difficult to keep at 250 if using more than 1/2 chimney. I used the Minion method, putting down a base of unlit Kingsford, piling 20 lit briquettes on top. It is up and running in less than 15 minutes at 250. It will maintain 250 degrees for hours, with the vents almost closed. Total cost, including the SJG($29.95 delivered from Amazon), glazed planter base($6.95)and aluminum for L hangers, was less than $60. I elected not to paint the tamale cooker center section, it looks "purdy" Carefull with the amount of smoke wood, 1 medium piece is enough with the small area.

    LDean, Mesquite, Texas

  2. #2
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    That's a heck of a FIRST POST!!! Welcome to the board.

    Pictures, pics, visual candy please??? Got any any pictures of your work?

    Todd

  3. #3
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    Well, he never replied here, but pics have appeared in the Cajun Bandit Thread.

    Looks great & doable.
    Performers: 2002, 1999, 2001. Ranch Kettle. 1985 18.5 OTS. WSM - $40 at Target.

  4. #4
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    This is exactly what I was looking for. I have a WSM, large kettle and SJ. The WSM is recent and I love it, but I would like something smaller to try out different smoking woods with. It seems like the SJ with a center section would be just the thing to smoke up a couple pieces of chicken and pork without using 1/3 bag of charcoal.

    I was looking at round duct sections at the local home improvement store and it looked like I could combine a 6" and 8" to make a 14" diameter piece that might work. But I'll have to look at some large pots to see if any of them could be easily adapted.

    -walt
    18 1/2" WSM, 22 1/2" Mastertouch, 18 1/2" BBQ (?), SJS converted to mini-WSM, Platinum,
    Genesis Silver-A LP, Q 220, Lodge Sportsman, 26 3/4" Silver

  5. #5
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    Walter: Just saw your post.
    If you will google IMUSA Tamale Steamer, you will find vendors selling the 32 qt. steamer that I used. In Latino areas, Walmart likely has, but I note that Target also has them on their website. I have used mine for more than a year now, works great, even with the SJG. I did not modify the charcoal grate, just pile it on both sides, opposite the vent holes on the SJG. I rarely smoke longer than 4 hours on the Mini. I normally cook a single chicken, small pork roasts, or loin, rather than firing up the big Cajun Bandit conversion. Look at my posts regarding the Cajun Bandit, and you should find a photo of the Mini, next to the CB. Stay away from galvanized material, if you make out of duct rather than the aluminum steamers.
    LDW

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by LDean:
    Walter: Just saw your post.
    If you will google IMUSA Tamale Steamer, you will find vendors selling the 32 qt. steamer that I used. In Latino areas, Walmart likely has, but I note that Target also has them on their website. I have used mine for more than a year now, works great, even with the SJG. I did not modify the charcoal grate, just pile it on both sides, opposite the vent holes on the SJG. I rarely smoke longer than 4 hours on the Mini. I normally cook a single chicken, small pork roasts, or loin, rather than firing up the big Cajun Bandit conversion. Look at my posts regarding the Cajun Bandit, and you should find a photo of the Mini, next to the CB. Stay away from galvanized material, if you make out of duct rather than the aluminum steamers.
    LDW
    Hi LDean,
    Thanks for the reply. We have one of the largest Hispanic communities in the Chicago area in the adjacent town and yet our local discounters do not carry that large pot. I did find it at one Mexican grocery for $67. I just ordered it from Target where it was about half that, even with shipping and tax included. Then I just need to find an appropriate size stainless bowl - about 10"-12" diameter - and run some screws through the pot at the correct height to support the bowl and grate. Maybe I'll use some L brackets for the bowl.

    I plan to use it for small quantities of meat like a chicken or small amounts of pork or beef. My plan is to use it to try out different smoking woods without having to fire up the relatively larger WSM. Of course, if I want to make something smaller for a meal or two, it seems like it would be pretty convenient. We're empty nesters so unless we're cooking for company, the quantity of meat that fits in the WSM is a *lot* for two.

    (A friend who does HVAC work also advised to stay away from galvanized material because it contains lead.)

    thanks,
    walt
    18 1/2" WSM, 22 1/2" Mastertouch, 18 1/2" BBQ (?), SJS converted to mini-WSM, Platinum,
    Genesis Silver-A LP, Q 220, Lodge Sportsman, 26 3/4" Silver

  7. #7
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    I did it! I ordered the 32 Quart IMUSA pot from Target/Amazon and made the cooker this morning. I used a large stainless dog bowl for the water bowl and 1 1/2" "L" brackets to support it just above the groove that would otherwise hold the false bottom. I also added a smaller stainless dog bowl with the bottom removed for a charcoal ring. That turned out to have about zero clearance with the water bowl so I cut it down further to allow some space. The original grill fits snugly within the pot and rests on the top edge of the "L" brackets. As others noted, the pot fits snugly into the bottom and the SJ top fits perfectly on the aluminum pot.

    Then I loaded it with about 20 lit coals and two chunks of box elder. Temp below the lid (by my Maverick) went up to nearly 300 F so I shut the bottom holes to about 1/2 to 1/3. (Hard to tell exactly as they are not readily visible.) When temps dropped to about 260 I added a chicken and proceeded to keep temps about 220. I had to add some (unlit) coals and more smoking wood a couple times and clear the ash from the bottom vent, but it generally seemed to work pretty well.

    Here's what it looks like:


    Bird in the hole!


    the bird is resting for the moment and I'll test the "proof in the pudding" a bit later.

    -walt
    18 1/2" WSM, 22 1/2" Mastertouch, 18 1/2" BBQ (?), SJS converted to mini-WSM, Platinum,
    Genesis Silver-A LP, Q 220, Lodge Sportsman, 26 3/4" Silver

  8. #8
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    sweet. but why is the grate so far down ? i thought the point was to raise the grate ? did i miss something ?
    George
    Can't live without spam

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by george curtis:
    sweet. but why is the grate so far down ? i thought the point was to raise the grate ? did i miss something ?
    Maybe I missed something. What would I gain by raising the grate?

    I hadn't actually given it too much thought. The grill sits fine just above the water pan - about where the lower grate om the regular size WSM fits. I suppose I could either mount this higher or perhaps get a second grill and have two grills, again like the full size WSM.

    One constraint is that the cover is not domed as much as a real WSM cover so there might not actually be enough head space for a second level.

    -walt
    18 1/2" WSM, 22 1/2" Mastertouch, 18 1/2" BBQ (?), SJS converted to mini-WSM, Platinum,
    Genesis Silver-A LP, Q 220, Lodge Sportsman, 26 3/4" Silver

  10. #10
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    Walter:
    Looks good. Something you may want to try is a ceramic planter base, instead of the water pan. I found it easier and less messy, temps are easy to controll and uses less charcoal. I installed my hangers 7.25 inches from the top, set the foiled planter base on the hangers, then the cooking grate set directly on top of the planter base.

    A tip for those considering making the barrel out of the tamale steamer. I used a skill saw with a metal cutting blade. When cutting the bottom out, make the cut about 3/4 inch from the bottom edge,instead of near the bottom rim, as it makes it stiffer.

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