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Thread: WSM 18.5 door question

  1. #1
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    WSM 18.5 door question

    So I have been thinking about getting a WSM and have pretty much settled on the 18.5 model.

    I saw one at Home Depot today and was fiddling with it. I have read about but never quite understood what people meant by the issues with he door. So my questions are:

    1. How much fiddling or opening and closing with the door is needed during a smoke session. The door seems very flimsy and not well designed.

    2. Does the Cajun Bandit door upgrade make a big difference?

    3. Are there other door upgrades?

    Thanks in advance.
    Paul
    Paul Genesis EP-330 LP

  2. #2
    TVWBB Gold Member
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    l have used my 18.5" "WSM for several years with GREAT satisfaction. The only modification I have done was to cut a slot for my remote therm leads.

    I seldom add coals. Frankly, I almost never use the door. However, I seldom do brisket. I mostly cook pork butts, ribs and chicken.

    YMMV
    Keep on smokin',
    Dale53
    Mini-Joe Gold, 14.5 WSM, 18.5 WSM, 2 Performers with Vortex, gasser (taking up space), SJS, JJ

  3. #3
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    My 18.5" WSM is an 08 and like Robert I rarely use the door. If anything I'll open it to check on the coals if the temp is dropping.
    My advice is to definitely buy it and just run it stock for a year before you want to upgrade.
    OBTW Welcome to the board

    Tim
    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

  4. #4
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    I don't see why the door gets the bad reputation. I am smoking ribs right now and it's 25 outside. (Ive used it in a lot colder weather) I usually only open it to toss wood chunks in.
    Yes,it might leak a little air. But so do the vents.
    Stock door works fine for me.

  5. #5
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    I’ve bent one of the bottom tabs on my door which can make it pain to close. I’ve bent it back a few times. Over all, not a big deal. Steel would be nice, but don’t think I’d purchase any time soon.

  6. #6
    TVWBB All-Star BFletcher's Avatar
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    I have all three sizes of the WSM. On one of them my latch somehow came "unglued"; I may have somehow caused that problem myself but I was able to reinstall it without issue. Eventually, I convinced myself that the mechanisms could be prone to failure so I bought the CB doors and locks for all of them. I am not a stickler about air leaks, and for my interests the stock doors were adequate (though I did fuss with a couple of them for a moment or so in order for them to conform a little better to the body). The CB doors provide no better seal on my units but I am very impressed with their lock mechanisms. On my 14" and 18" I use the hot squat method to access the fuel. Otherwise, on the 18 I would definitely need to make use of the door to access the fuel. On the 14, I have only used it for short cooks of a few hours and can probably say I don't access the fuel area. As for the 22, I rarely use it but when I do I access the fuel area through the door. I do not use water, so I don't need access to the water pan.

    You asked about other options. Look at this crazy animal, which I have zero interest in https://bbqsmokermods.com/lavalockr-...ds-smoker.html

    Welcome, and good luck!

  7. #7
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    Thank you guys. Appreciate the insight. Am looking to get this up, running and seasoned by Easter.
    Paul
    Paul Genesis EP-330 LP

  8. #8
    TVWBB Pro Lynn Dollar's Avatar
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    I've had my 18" since 2002 , I can't recall having the door off during a cook more than three or four times.

    Only mods I've done, is cutting a notch for the temp cables and I added gaskets around the door and the lid. And I only did those recently. I really can't tell ya that the gaskets added anything. I probably use less fuel, but I also have less air flow. Last year , I bought an Old Country Brazos stick burner, and I've learned that air flow is a good thing.

  9. #9
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    I have a 22, rarely open the door, it may need a tweak or light bend but it works fine as is.

  10. #10
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    I've got an 18.5
    The stock door seals up fine for me
    A little easy bending took care of a minor leak and crud from smoking has taken care of the rest.
    I rarely open my door except to see how much coal's are left when I'm done. And to add a few wood chunks after the fire is going and it's good and hot.

    If you take care of your stock door you won't have a problem.
    If you don't and you sit it down and step on it or something, well you may not be able to get it to seal well again. Or some people just aren't real skilled in fine-tuning the fit of the door. I seen a couple of pretty beat up doors on YouTube, with huge gaps that I imagined occurred due to carelessness and stepping on it or something.

    You won't accidentally bend the Cajun Bandit door. It's Stout.

    The problem I see with the Cajun Bandit door is the bends aren't sharp enough at the bottom and it actually is flexing the Weber when you try and close it. Likely breaking the porcelain coating around the bottom of the door. For sure making a sickening grinding noise. Just trying it once ground finish off around the bottom corners of my door opening. All I needed to see to brand it as poorly made. Also fit poorer than my stock door.
    Last edited by MartinB; 01-14-2019 at 06:46 PM.

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