New maxi-mini build

Bob R in SC

New member
Hi y'all. I've been wanting to build a WSM mini for a long time. I've had the Smokey Joe for years, but I never saw the tamale pot and I've seen so many people with issues about fitting them correctly. Also, I have a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker that I modified with functioning bottom vents which has been working really well. But the bottom has rusted and the vents don't seal anymore so the temperature runs away. Since Brinkmann went bankrupt it's harder to find parts.

I was talking with my wife and she suggested I should get a smaller smoker, and I was seriously tempted by the 14" WSM, but then I remembered the mini idea and realized I could take the body off the Brinkmann, cut it and reform it to fit and have a mini. Except the Brinkmann body is taller than a tamale pot, hence the maxi-mini ;-)

I'll have some photos as I go along. I'm ready to pop rivet the body back together, so maybe I'll put some photos up tonight after I do that.

Mike Willis

TVWBB All-Star
Sounds like an interesting conversion Bob! Looking forward to the pictures.
And welcome to "The Greatest Smoke On Earth"!! You're gonna love it here! :wsm:


TVWBB Member
Interested in seeing the photos! Great idea to reuse your old cooker and not needing to purchase other items.

Bob R in SC

New member
So I've cooked on it a few times. It holds temperature well. I have discovered that at higher altitude I need more charcoal. At home I can fill my chimney to the first set of holes and it will burn at 220F for four hours.

I have three racks. One is five inches up, and one is about five inches above that. The highest rack is at the top of the body. Since the lid is shallow it's only good for flat racks of ribs or wings. I use a 12" pizza pan with holes for the top rack. It doesn't let nearly as much smoke through.

The racks are too hard to put in and I need to make some modifications, but I'm not sure exactly what.

Here's what it looks like:

Here is a five pound roast: