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Thread: I'm charcoal "challenged", so I converted my Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 to propane

  1. #1
    TVWBB Member EdP's Avatar
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    I'm charcoal "challenged", so I converted my Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 to propane

    Got it as a gift over the holidays, struggled keeping a proper fire going, and had mixed results.

    Smoked St Louis ribs, country ribs, beef ribs, and pork shoulder.. all good but not great, and trying to maintain temp was taking the enjoyment out of what I thought should be a relaxing experience.

    The reason I expressed interest in smoking was for brisket, and I wasn't comfortable making the time commitment when my charcoal skills were weak.

    Found some info on converting to electric, propane, and LNG. Some very helpful people on another smoker forum gave me some tips.

    I bought this stuff for about $40








    One of the bottom vents is cut open and a flat rock lets the propane burner sit level on the charcoal grate (didn't need to use the legs). I also drilled some holes in the bottom for more air.
    I've run it a few times at 225 for several hours and it works great.







    I've smoked country ribs twice, and beef ribs. The final products were super.








    And now I'm ready for a packer brisket.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Guru Rusty James's Avatar
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    By george, that's one way of doing it.

    Wonder why Weber never tried this?

    Welcome to the forum, Ed.
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", Royal Oak Lump / Royal Oak All Natural Briquettes, Blue Genesis Silver C, Q1000

  3. #3
    TVWBB Member EdP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty James View Post
    By george, that's one way of doing it.

    Wonder why Weber never tried this?

    Welcome to the forum, Ed.

    Thx

    I've noticed here and on other forums, charcoal/heat problems are a common reason for smokers' disappointment with their final products. I can't maintain a proper fire for 10+ hours.

    This is working great for me.

  4. #4
    TVWBB Platinum Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    To paraphrase,
    “If it tastes good, DO IT!”
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  5. #5
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    This is awesome. honestly if i could buy a propane bottom from weber i'd pony up for it. I love charcoal but having the option to switch bottoms for propane when i'm lazy would make a world of difference. Right now this looks like a permanent conversion so i'll stick with charcoal but keep us posted. It's been almost a year so i'm wondering if it's still doing well.

  6. #6
    TVWBB All-Star BFletcher's Avatar
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    Very clever! Congratulations on the great workmanship and success. I would not mind having a Char-Broil propane smoker for certain use but I do have fun playing with charcoal and its requirement for a little hands-on intervention (it is my escape). If you put this on Facebook... be prepared, lol.

  7. #7
    TVWBB Diamond Member russ olin's Avatar
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    WHAT say it aint so! That's just something that you just don't do! You will be shot at daybreak. LOL just kidding
    Nice bark on those ribs.
    18.5 one touch, 22.5 Performer, Weber go anywhere grill, Weber Bronc smoker, 18.5 WSM
    Med. green egg, PBC, 414 Suburban Hasty Bake, The Good-One Open Range, & M1.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Member EdP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanS_MN View Post
    This is awesome. honestly if i could buy a propane bottom from weber i'd pony up for it. I love charcoal but having the option to switch bottoms for propane when i'm lazy would make a world of difference. Right now this looks like a permanent conversion so i'll stick with charcoal but keep us posted. It's been almost a year so i'm wondering if it's still doing well.


    Yes, it really works well. I'm using half logs now, they fit in the smokebox and burn a long time.

    I've posted a bunch of smokes in the photo gallery subforum here.






  9. #9
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    Heat is heat!!! Whether if itís from charcoal propane or an oven

  10. #10
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Elks View Post
    Heat is heat!!! Whether if it’s from charcoal propane or an oven
    Well, not exactly. Wood, charcoal, propane, and electricity all have different combustion gases and moisture content (electricity having none of these). Good barbecue can be made with each of these fuels, but with certain adjustments.

    Really like this mod...I've asked EdP for permission to add it to the Gas/Electric Conversions page on TVWB.

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