Herecy!!! I know, but I made an electric WSM.....


 

Brad L

TVWBB Member
Has anyone tried this on a 22.5" yet? I have been doing a ton of sausage and beef sticks lately and would love to add electric power to it. My biggest concern is the much larger volume of air to heat up.

I already have an A-Maze-N tube smoker, but find it doesn't put out as much smoke when the temps are higher in the smoker, it also like to go out on me. Have you had any trouble with your tray staying lit?

Great Mod!!!
 

David Ward

TVWBB Fan
No issues with the pellet tray staying lit. I leave all the bottom vents open and I have tried experimenting with adjusting the top vent to 50% with no adverse affects. In the 18.5" the element I used is like it was made for that size. It is perfectly centered in the WSM body. It would be a little off center in a 22.5", but it will probably not matter as I'm using an empty water bowl (older shallow style from 2005) as a heat shield and drip guard to protect the element. So the heat should be rolling around the water pan anyway.

I recently added a "plug & play" Auber Instruments PID controller. I got tired of fiddling with the analog dial when doing snack sticks. It's hard to dial in that small increase in temps to step up for the next time period with that dial. I found I was chasing the over and under shoot and by the time I got it right, it was time to dial it up to the next step in the process. PID is a dream for this mod. This particular unit was $135 and has the multi-step programming capability so I can program it for all the temp stages by time in a snack stick or sausage smoke. In theory, I should not have to touch a thing once it's going with this PID. Yes, there are cheaper units on Ebay, but this thing is in a heavy metal case and built like a tank.

Here is the thread on the PID upgrade to the e-WSM.

http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?61641-e-WSM-gets-an-upgrade

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David Ward

TVWBB Fan
Yep, it sure was.

I thought I would be ok with the analog dial to keep it inexpensive. But after a few snack stick smokes and chasing the temp I knew a PID was in my future (overshoot, undershoot, repeat but a little closer each time.... oh crap, time to adjust up to the next temp step and start the process all over again). I have a Omega controller for a commercial textile dryer I keep saying I'm going to rebuild (13,500 watt screen print dryer, that will make the meter turn rather quickly at 55amps 230v). But the output on that one is 120vAC and not set for a SSR. With Auber selling this unit for $135 with the probe, I don't know if I could build this quality for less. Sure I could use cheap China parts from eBay, but this thing is built like a tank in a very nice metal case (with Auber's warranty too). I'm very pleased with this unit and it performs great. The older unit they sold had a dry contact relay, this one has a SSR with heat sink. They just came out with this unit in late June 2015.
 

Kevin RI

New member
This looks like a great mod. I can see myself utilizing this when my charcoal runs out and I'm too lazy to replenish new coals for the final few hours of cooking. Has anyone tried this out with the newer WSM with the deeper water tray? I took a look at my 18.5" WSM and it looks like the water tray is too deep to implement this mod. I'm curious if anyone has a workaround...
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
I'm curious if anyone has a workaround...
Hi Kevin,

Are you referring to the photos at the beginning of this thread where the electric element is sitting on the charcoal grate? If so, the deeper water pan won't interfere.

Personally, I don't see how you combine using charcoal and electric in the same cook. Maybe I'm missing something. If you're doing a long cook of brisket or pork butt and run out of charcoal, you can wrap the meat in butcher paper or foil and move it into your kitchen oven at 275*F to finish. Wrapped meat doesn't care whether it's in a cooker or in an oven.
 
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Kevin RI

New member
Hi Kevin,

Are you referring to the photos at the beginning of this thread where the electric element is sitting on the charcoal grate? If so, the deeper water pan won't interfere.

Personally, I don't see how you combine using charcoal and electric in the same cook. Maybe I'm missing something. If you're doing a long cook of brisket or pork butt and run out of charcoal, you can wrap the meat in butcher paper or foil and move it into your kitchen oven at 275*F to finish. Wrapped meat doesn't care whether it's in a cooker or in an oven.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your response. I love your videos and blog posts!

Yes, I'm referring to the photos at the beginning of this thread. I think if you attach the electric element to the bottom of the door, it will not clear the water pan (at least with the 18.5" WSM model I own). I was just thinking of alternative ways to keep cooking in the WSM after my coals run out. I've found that it can be quite a pain to replenish with new coals. Especially with the deep water tray and in the final few hours of cooking (I wish I could just run up the heat by turning a knob). The Texas Crutch is always a good move. However, I feel as if I'm compromising the bark by wrapping in tin foil.

My idea was to simply throw an electric element in the WSM for the final few hours (if my coals don't make it that long). That way the food can stay put and I don't need to wrap and transport to the oven. At the end of the day, this project might be too much work for what I'm trying to accomplish. Let me know if you have any other cool ideas.
 

Darren L

TVWBB Member
I know this is an old thread, but still feels relevant. I built a smaller version of this using, coincidentally, the same hot plate and AMAZN that the OP used. On the first run the pellets caught on fire which melted the hotplate and the smoker hit 500+ degrees. The toxic black smoke tainted the summer sausage. That's what prompted me to a search that lead me here. I'm now building one using the other element with the door mod on a 22in WSM. I built a PID controller, although now I see the Auber and that would've been a lot easier. If I can't get the temps in the 22 I'll switch to a 240v oven element. I also have an older 18in WSM, but I like the room in the 22 and have the Cajun Bandit Stacker for it. If it doesn't offend the OP I'll post pics and the results in the next few days. I can tell you at this point the door mod on the 22 puts the element up too high to rest on the charcoal ring. For now I have a baking pan upside down on the ring and that provides enough height to rest the element. Cutting out two of the small vent holes would place the element perfectly on the charcoal grate, but I'm saving that option for after the proof of concept. I have the silicone cover for the 22, so that may also get my temps up if the 1500w element won't. My biggest question is do I need a drip pan or can the grease drip on the element? Thanks.
 

Dave Z

New member
That is awesome! Nice job...I have some spare original doors and know what I am going to try. Thank you!!
 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
I know this is an old thread, but still feels relevant. I built a smaller version of this using, coincidentally, the same hot plate and AMAZN that the OP used. On the first run the pellets caught on fire which melted the hotplate and the smoker hit 500+ degrees. The toxic black smoke tainted the summer sausage. That's what prompted me to a search that lead me here. I'm now building one using the other element with the door mod on a 22in WSM. I built a PID controller, although now I see the Auber and that would've been a lot easier. If I can't get the temps in the 22 I'll switch to a 240v oven element. I also have an older 18in WSM, but I like the room in the 22 and have the Cajun Bandit Stacker for it. If it doesn't offend the OP I'll post pics and the results in the next few days. I can tell you at this point the door mod on the 22 puts the element up too high to rest on the charcoal ring. For now I have a baking pan upside down on the ring and that provides enough height to rest the element. Cutting out two of the small vent holes would place the element perfectly on the charcoal grate, but I'm saving that option for after the proof of concept. I have the silicone cover for the 22, so that may also get my temps up if the 1500w element won't. My biggest question is do I need a drip pan or can the grease drip on the element? Thanks.
You’ll need a grease drip pan.
 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
I hope it’s okay that I post my electric heating element vertical cooker here. It’s not a Weber, but I have plenty of Weber cookers.

A few years ago I purchased a Lockwood retarder cabinet ( Part#: CA60-RR25) on CL for $180.

Unit is 18-1/2” x 21-1/2” x 60”. Cabinet is all aluminum on interior and exterior.

Outside was skinned with 1/2” plywood to help insulate. Fire bricks were cut and laid in the floor with a piece of aluminum angle to hold them in place.

Stanbroil analog 1500w heating element was installed. I looked at Auber PID controllers, but can’t justify the extra expense.

Box holds temps exceptionally well, I smoke bacon, sausage, snack sticks and summer sausage. I do not need pit temp above 200F, but it can get up to 250F. I would not cook a pork shoulder or brisket in this unit.

To generate smoke I use the tray type AMAZN.

I smoked 40 pounds of summer sausage a few weeks ago, cook time was 16 hours. Most SS and snack stick cooks are in the 10-20 pound with cook times of 8-12 hours.
 

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Darren L

TVWBB Member
That is awesome. I'm doing my first electric SS in the 22.5 WSM today. Using the water pan for the grease. So far everything is going as planned. That cabinet is perfect. Why not a pork butt or brisket?
 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
That is awesome. I'm doing my first electric SS in the 22.5 WSM today. Using the water pan for the grease. So far everything is going as planned. That cabinet is perfect. Why not a pork butt or brisket?
Thanks!
I’m sure I could bbq brisket and pork in the cabinet, but I like to use my 18” or 22” wsm.

Good luck with your SS cook today! Not sure if you ice bath after reaching IT. If you don’t it’s best to ice bath until IT is 100f. After ice bath, dry with paper towels and hang to bloom for a few hours.

Let’s see a few pics of your finished product!
 

Darren L

TVWBB Member
I ran smoke for the entire cook. Really can't taste it. I'm thinking it doesn't get past the casing much.
 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
I ran smoke for the entire cook. Really can't taste it. I'm thinking it doesn't get past the casing much.
Nice looking first smoke and tasty looking jalapeno SS. You did not render the fat or over cook which is a good thing.

Let them sit a few days in the refrigerator and the smoke flavor will increase.

Are your SS venison or beef?
 

 

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