My WSM Mini Build


S Sturn

New member
First, I want to thank everyone who has gone before me and shared their build. I'm a big believer in not reinventing the wheel so almost everything I did I stole from you guys. I really appreciate it. After going back and forth, I decided to go with the Smokey Joe "Gold". I thought I would have better air control and didn't want to have to deal with making an ash blocker. I went with cutting out the whole bottom of the pot. This way I have a little more room for the charcoal basket and I thought it looked a little cleaner. At first I used tin snips, but I wound up using my jigsaw with a thin metal blade. It was easier on the thin aluminum.

I went with 2 cooking grates. The main grate is 4" from the top of the pot. The second grate is 5"s below that. The thermometer is just below the first grate. The holes for the 12" terra cotta defuser are just below the notch in tamale pot.

Of course I couldn't just paint it. I found a stencil on the web and then customized it for the pot. I used high temp engine paint. 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of color, and 2 coats of clear and 1 hour in a 200 degree oven to cure. I'm not that good with paint, so there was no way I was going to add additional colors. Anyway, I kind of like the silver and black. This is when I just pulled off the masking tape.

Here is the charcoal basket. I used the rain gutter guard from Home Depot and held it together with stainless wire. It's 4"s tall so it goes into the pot about an inch.

And here is the finished Mini.....I can't wait to fire it up. I'll post pics when I do.

Thanks again!!
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You found stainless rain gutter guard at Home Depot? I think my local store only had galvanized.
Thanks guys. I can't wait to fire it up. If I have the time, I'm going to try this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.
After the paint job how long did you wait before curing it in the oven? Some people have wait a week, others only a few days so I'm just curious. thanks.
After the paint job how long did you wait before curing it in the oven? Some people have wait a week, others only a few days so I'm just curious. thanks.

I actually followed the instructions on the paint can. The instructions say to bake it within 24 hours of painting. They also say that the paint is still not fully cured until after a week. I waited the full week before I assembled it. The paint definitely seems durable, but only time will tell. I have new found respect for people who do custom paint jobs. Masking and cutting out the design was very tedious. When I pulled the masking off there were a few spots with some paint bleed and a few spots that peeled off. I had to mask off some areas again and reprime and then repaint. In the end, it came out better than I thought it would. After a couple of cooks, it won't matter anyway.
I finally got a chance to fire up the mini. As small as it is, it held the temperature really well. I'm really glad I used a the Gold model for the build. The air flow was good and during the 7 hour cook, ashes were never a problem. This first pic is from yesterday when I did a 4 hour burn to season the smoker.

This is the butt going on the smoker.

About 4 -5 hours in, right before foiling.

Unfoiled and started pulling.

Fully pulled. You can see some nice smoke ring and pieces of bark.

All in all, the mini exceeded my expectations. If anyone is thinking about building one, I definitely recommend it.
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That is certainly a VERY nice job all 'round!!

Good work!

I've only done a couple of cooks on my mini, so far, but I am EXTREMELY impressed!