S.J. Silver/Gold Mini WSM Smoker: Part 2

Gerald Raucamp

TVWBB Member
Would it be an idea to make the first post of this thread a bit of an introductory post? With a link to the previous thread, and some basic information about the Mini WSM, including (but not exhaustive) some links to notable pictorials/pictures of the mini wsm? I've read the previous 50 (in the old forum, now 100) pages of the Mini WSM discussion, and there was a lot of information there that could be condensed into a great opening post for new people.
 

Charlie L

TVWBB Super Fan
After having some great pulled pork on memorial day, My Brother and Law decided "We" needed a smoker for the family. Since "I" have a backyard, and "He" lives in an apartment. "We" became "Me". With a new house and baby on the way I was not in a position to Drop $300 on a WSM. Since I wasn't sure how enthusiastic the rest of the family was going to be, I decided to go the cheap route. Even if we only used it once or twice its fine if we kept the cost down.

I did the research and thought a Modified ECB would work for us. Grabbed the $40 ECB at home depot. The Next 6 weeks were spent scouring message boards for directions, and scouring Craigslist for the items I would need to make my Super Brinkmann. I grabbed a used a second brinkmann because it had the closed bottom charcoal pan I needed and Grabbed a used SJS for the dampers and charcoal grates I need. Grabbed 1 on CL for $10 because the used grill was less than the new grate alone. Thought having a tailgate grill would come in handy anyway.

As I did more research and got more frustrated chasing temps on the ECB, I kept seeing the Mini WSM posts. Since at this point I already had compiled a SJS, and and a Maverick ET 73, all I needed was the pot.

After reading this site and some other boards I decided to pull the trigger and get to work.
I grabbed the last Vasconia Pot in my area (Long Island/New York City) at the target near my office. At first it looked like the lid was a perfect fit but after I went at the bottom with the step drill I realized the fit wasn’t perfect. Since it was the last pot in the area and I already drilled out the bottom. I was stuck with it and decided to follow the advice and crimp the pot rim a bit.

My Mini was born. After the time and effort I put in with my first smoker project I decided to do a first smoke right away before I spent any more time working another failed smoker project.



The Mini worked MUCH better than my ECB project. Temp stayed right in the 225 range i was shooting for without babysitting it.

When i first decided to build I was going to skip the paint job, as I'm not much of a painter but seeing the results of a black pot with a black SJ was just too much to pass up. I saw some Guys go custom with some Stencil work using masking tape too.

The design i wanted was going to be too much detail work with tape so i bought a window decal from a local car wash ($7). I put the decal on, painted over it it with the 1200 degree paint and then removed the decal with an hobby knife to reveal my finished design



The paint job came out pretty good and really easy. I'm loving the mini. Cannot wait to use it more.

One other thing i came up with along the way:
Since i have the SJS, keeping the lid on during transport was an issue. Also i wanted to make the smoker portable for tailgates/picnics, etc.

http://www.homedepot.com/Husky/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ12kxZrd/R-202311429/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=tool+belt&storeId=10051


These $3 toolbelts are great for strapping down the grill and lit. I can clip two straps together and carry the assembled smoker Kettle, pot, and Lid as one piece. (sorry no Photo).

A huge thank you to everyone who posted their successes and failures in the original thread. You saved me and other readers a ton of time and money by sharing what works and what doesn't.
 

Steve_A (Tatoosh)

TVWBB Super Fan
Okay, sorry if this is a bit dumb, but I want my SJ-G primarily for grilling but occasionally for smoking. So when converting to an effective smoker, it looks like only the addition of a charcoal grate, center section (via a cut out stock pot or similar) and extra food grate possibly. Are there other modifications necessary that are going to make it hard to use it as originally designed, such as carrying to the beach or where ever for a smaller convenient barbecue kettle?

Also, since I do want to use it for grilling, any opinions on if it is better to get a cast iron food grate (Craycort) for grilling or the GrillGrates? Any significant advantages one over the other for a Smokey Joe?
 

KevinUnruh

New member
not a jets fan but that sticker looks awesome, lines came off really clean kinda sad mine is already painted good work!
 

KevinUnruh

New member
Finished my Mini WSM a few weeks ago had to chance to do a pork butt about 9lbs it went really well didn't get any photos while doing it wish i had maybe next time.

photo by Kunruh13, on Flickr

photo-2 by Kunruh13, on Flickr
For the set up i went with two grates 6inches apart and another 13.5 grate i squeezed into the bottom of the steamer pot to hold the 9inch pie pan i used as a heat diffuser. I used the pie pan because i didn't want to lose to much heat as i can control the heat with the vents, it worked really well it held 225-250 for 9 hours and ran at that temp for another 3 hours after i removed the pork butt, i let it keep going just to see how long i could have gone with a full load of coals needless to say i was impressed by the efficiency. This is far and above the performance of my old Brinkmann square box smoker i had to heavily modify to hold a good temp. This is the best smoker IMHO for around 100 dollars
 
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KevinUnruh

New member
I used Kingsford briquettes I have a SJG filled it as full as i could without blocking the vents, but some variables that i should probably note where the temperature that day was around 100 degrees and very little wind so maintaining the temps in the smoker was rather easy
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Kevin,

I clicked the "Share" button above your photo, then "Grab the HTML/BBCode", changed the radio button to "BBCode" (this is the code used by bulletin boards to format posts, insert images, etc) then copied/pasted that code into your post.

Regards,
Chris
 

Charlie L

TVWBB Super Fan
not a jets fan but that sticker looks awesome, lines came off really clean kinda sad mine is already painted good work!
Thanks Kevin.

PS: Did my 2nd Mini smoke friday (5th smoke overall). Baby Rack Ribs 5 hours (2-2-1) with very little maintenance. By far my best results yet.
 

BobbyTuck

New member
I mentioned this in another thread, but another reason to go with the Smokey Joe Gold (as opposed to the Silver) is that the Gold has the side vents, and it's simple to hook up a temp controller like a BBQ Guru. Not necessary, perhaps, given the temp stability of the minis, but I do like the ability to monitor the pit and food temps via wifi. The Guru Weber adapter screws right into the side hole (while blocking the other side hole with the tape). The other set of vents can be closed entirely or (what I've been doing) leaving open slightly to get increased airflow for higher temps.

I don't have a SJ silver, but my understanding is that silver has only the bottom vents, so you'd need to drill a side vent to mount the Weber adapter (or any other adapter).
 

RCBaughn

TVWBB Super Fan
Who is the original creator of the mini WSM? Whoever thought to add a tamale pot to the bottom section of a Smokey Joe is damn near a genius. I would love to shake his hand and thank him for creating a cheap smoker that cranks out meat as good as anything I've ever seen and tasted.
 

RCBaughn

TVWBB Super Fan
Well I shake his hand through the internet then! Even though my pastrami turned out like leather and my ribs were overcooked and too tender, this thing is amazing and all that was my fault. The thing holds heat amazingly and looks so much nicer than the little cheap Brinkmann ones (Because it's a Weber duh!) I don't think that a full size WSM could do much better really all but holding a lot more meat, and for my uses this little guy holds all I need it too. :) I am so thankful to have it instead of my electric one now.
 

Brian_S

TVWBB Fan
Somehow I missed this topic/section for my first nearly year as a member of this great site. Hoping Santa brings me all the necessary parts to make my mini.
 

Rick Body

TVWBB Pro
Somehow I missed this topic/section for my first nearly year as a member of this great site. Hoping Santa brings me all the necessary parts to make my mini.
Brian, I just saw on another thread that you just painted your mini. So how did it come out? I am thinking about doing one
 

Brian_S

TVWBB Fan
Brian, I just saw on another thread that you just painted your mini. So how did it come out? I am thinking about doing one
I'll let you be the judge, I am happy with it. If I had a bit more patience i might have done another coat or just a clear cloat finish of some type.

 
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