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


 

Andy Harrington

TVWBB Member
Not knocking it if it works for you but IMO you can taste the difference between something cooked on gas, charcoal, or a stick burner. I would love to get a stick burner but to get a decent one is too expensive for me. I understand the issues/desire to not deal with fire management but why not buy a party q or something similar? IMO propane adds no flavor.
 

Ray J.

TVWBB Member
Very nicely done conversion. Good choice on the burner style since they are very quite, the turkey fryer style burners sound like a jet engine. I use those style of burners for my beer making setup, however I converted my burner to run off of natural gas (don't have to worry about a tank running empty).

I'm not a fan of cooking on propane (all of my grills are charcoal) but it's better than electric IMO.
 

RonT

New member
I wanted to be able to do a simple smoke but retain the ability to use charcoal at times. At first I tried a single 1100W hotplate inside my 18.5" WSM, mechanically it worked and was cheap ($15) and easy, but the highest temperature I could get was 205F. That meant finishing everything my oven. Workable but not what I wanted.

So I switched to propane since my grill is next to my smoker. My first try used a King Kooker burner and a Gas One regulator hose. I could not get a reliable temperature below 275F. The burner was too large and the regulator hose could not maintain a low enough flow. I needed a smaller burner.

Try number three was the ticket. I used a Redcamp portable backpacking stove with a propane adaptor ($30) and a Gas One Propane Adapter hose ($7). It works perfectly, holding the temp at 225, but allowing up to 260 with just a slight adjustment. I put the stove on an old grill rack in the bottom oof the smoker, ran the line out the corner of the door, and put my chips in a foil pack in the basin (which I keep dry for this; filling it with water cools the smoker to much for the small burner).

So for less than $40 my WSM is propane whenever I want.
 

BillSmith

TVWBB Pro
Try number three was the ticket. I used a Redcamp portable backpacking stove with a propane adaptor ($30) and a Gas One Propane Adapter hose ($7). It works perfectly, holding the temp at 225, but allowing up to 260 with just a slight adjustment. I put the stove on an old grill rack in the bottom oof the smoker, ran the line out the corner of the door, and put my chips in a foil pack in the basin (which I keep dry for this; filling it with water cools the smoker to much for the small burner).

So for less than $40 my WSM is propane whenever I want.

Interesting technique. Thanks for sharing it. I’m a long time gas guy who only started doing charcoal recently. I do have to say that my WSM holds temp pretty consistently. Have you had trouble regulating your temp with charcoal?
 

 

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