Any advantage to using a stock or modified kettle bottom?

Lance C.

New member
I smoked a pork shoulder two weeks ago. Went near 20hours at 215-225 no foil on my old 18.5 wsm. It got me thinking.

If I grabbed a used 18.5 kettle and added some wsm intake dampers to the kettle bowl, cut the legs down, it would give me the ability to remove ash during a long cook.

I'm concerned about the air tightness of the one touch ash catcher system regarding temp control.

I am finally getting around to adding some gaskets to the door and lid of my 2005 wsm as ive had issues during the hot months keeping it below 270 recently with no water and lump charcoal (been going with lump for taste and low ash).

I have no problem now lifting off the mid section when needed to either add fuel and or dump the whole pan of ash and load fresh lit fuel. with that being said I don't know if the kettle bottom gets me anything.

I suppose I'd be concerned with ash flying up onto the meat as well.

Any thoughts?
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
Fix your leaks
Make coal ring taller
You wont need to remove ash or add fuel...ever ...during cooks 20+ hrs, at least for briquettes. Ive gone 22 hrs, and had coals left.

You do have to poke and knock ash down off coals , regardless at some point to keep fire burning good.
 
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Lance C.

New member
Been smoking on my wsm since 2005. Never had an issue with kbb briquettes. Since going to more natural briquettes like Weber, Royal oak natural and chefs reserve, and burning lump my wsm has issues with temps while leaving the exhaust vent fully open and my intakes fully closed.

I have closed the exhaust vent up to 50% over the summer our of last resort and it reduced the chimney effect enough to bring temps down. However out of principal, I was always told to never adjust temp with the exhaust vent as too much restriction can create a stale smoke/creosote issue.

I however prefer the flavor of lump and then Weber briquettes in that order. I also enjoy just foiling a clay saucer for my diffuser vs using the water pan with water.



Practice will help.
 

Lance C.

New member
Thanks. I already have the door and gasket kit in my cart. I was considering purchasing a canjun bandit rotisserie or stacker for my 18.5 wsm to increase it's height when hanging full size sparerib racks(I already own a hanger rack but found without cutting the racks in half they hang too close to the coals)

They have a bundle with the door and taller charcoal basket which would address both the stock door (my knob has been acting up and getting jammed when turning it) and allow a larger amount of charcoal.




Fix your leaks
Make coal ring taller
You wont need to remove ash or add fuel...ever ...during cooks 20+ hrs, at least for briquettes. Ive gone 22 hrs, and had coals left.

You do have to poke and knock ash down off coals , regardless at some point to keep fire burning good.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
They have a bundle with the door and taller charcoal basket which would address both the stock door (my knob has been acting up and getting jammed when turning it) and allow a larger amount of charcoal.
I'm sure that's a good option. but it's really easy to take a piece of expanded metal from home Depot and make a circle that fits inside of your own coal ring for $10. You just need the ability to cut that 12 inch wide x 24" piece into 6 inch wide strips, then bolt them together or weld them or something.
 
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timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
It reads like your dead set on running your WSM @ 215-225?
That's fine for KBB with water in the pan, or a clay saucer.
But for lump ( or a natural briq) 250-275 is a more realistic # to strive for with an empty foiled pan. Less stress, and just let your WSM settle in on it's sweet spot.:wsm:

Tim
 

RyanS_MN

TVWBB Member
It'd definitely work, it's always a matter of cost to benefit ratio. I got drove to a WSM because the cost of modifying my ecb wasn't worth it. that said 18.5" kettle's don't seem to hold their value as well, so if you can find one on the cheap, why not try?. You just need to remove the legs and find a way to fabricate some low to the ground stable ones. The more i'm talking the more i kinda wanna try this. i feel like this whole "experiment" could be done for $30
 

Jim Strickland

TVWBB Fan
I know l'm late in this conversation but l agree w/Martin, fix your leaks. Also like both Tim's said, lts your smoker do with it as you please. That is the most important thing in learning.
 

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