Chuck Leary Jr

New member
Happy New Year everyone.. This is my first post.
My question is gaskets for the 18.5" WSM. Can someone please show me where I can find a discussion on this? I can't find it. I did a search and all I see is blurbs. Please forgive me if my question is in the forum somewhere.. If there is not a thread on this, my generic question is the following, what gasket is best? I read a lot of Nomex/lava rock, rope type, self adhesive type and even just running a bead of sealant.
I have a brand new 18" wsm and going in on some mods.. I know most of people say "run it for a few/several smokes first.I have the CB door/latch coming, hinge is coming, and the fire dial is on its way as well..Sounds like I shouldn't gasket the CB door, I will wait on that. But I want to at least do the lid. I don't want to gunk it up and have to clean it to mod everything.
I have the 22" kettle and learned a lot. I know it is apples and oranges with the kettle vs WSM.. and they each have their purpose.. I have a camp chef gas vault.. and received the wsm for Christmas from my children.. They must love me.. ha.. Thank you for any guidance and info.. Have a great day..

J Grotz

TVWBB Super Fan
Many WSM users have installed gaskets, many have not; it's a polarizing topic around here.

The reason most people say to run it for a few cooks is to see if you have significant air leaks. Does your WSM hold a steady temp? Can you vary that temp higher and lower and the WSM will hold the new temp? If you shutdown all four of the vents, does the fire extinguish itself relatively quickly leaving you unused charcoal? If you answered yes to these questions (particularly the shutdown question), you do not need gaskets.

The 18 seems to be tighter from the factory than the 22. My unscientific survey of indicates that the majority of gasket users run the 22. I have a 22 and installed gaskets because my unit leaked so badly that an ATC had difficulty controlling the temp. I also have the CB door with gaskets installed on the door. Here is a terrific visual tutorial of gasket installation:

I only put gaskets on the lid/middle interface and on the CB door itself. I did not gasket the middle/bottom interface as Thoey did because my unit does not leak there. I also have the unknown BBQ hinge. If you decide to gasket the lid/middle interface, be sure to install the gasket BEFORE you install the hinge.

I ordered my gasket and hinge kit from It included the same gasket and adhesive shown in Thoey's thread. It looks messy and a little intimidating, but it was a very easy process.


TVWBB Super Fan
Ill echo above, most poor fit problems ive read if, were the 22. In stores ive seen doors on 22 that were horrible fit. They just probably get bent up easier since larger.

My 18 has no need for gaskets. I tried CB door, it fit no better than stock and flexed the wsm shell because it was rigid with poor bend at bottom. So i sold it.

Id try cooking with it a few times before you start adding gaskets.

I have hinge on 22 kettle, decided against it on 18 wsm. I like removing would be in way often if attached, imo. On a 22 wsm....maybe id want it...dont know.

Best mods, imo.......cut slot for thermometer wires. Handles on shell. Add ATC. Make coal ring taller with expanded metal (at least for 18"). Replace water pan with something else.

Have fun, its a really great cooker
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