What to do when yer Smokey Joe gives up the ghost?

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
So since the installation of the tamale pot lid on the bottom of the pot so you could stack multiple pots together, I was thinking if my Smokey Joe ever bit the dust from rust...I could use a tamale pot as its replacement. It would be designed to hold an integrated charcoal basket/chimney fer a super long burn time with a huge ash reserve. ;)

The tamale pot(s) would easily stack on top and you could still use yer Weber lid or the unused tamale lid.

You really wouldn't have to worry about the tamale pot matching up/sealing with the charcoal base because this system was meant to be together! It won't rust out like the Smokey Joe charcoal base will. What do y'all think about that? :D

I guess this would be a mini UDS tamale pot mod then? ;)
 
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CaseT

TVWBB Gold Member
The only issue that I have is that all my pot bottoms are cut out! I did melt an aluminum basket once in my UDS. I tried a basket that came with a turkey fryer, must of got super hot!
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
The only issue that I have is that all my pot bottoms are cut out! I did melt an aluminum basket once in my UDS. I tried a basket that came with a turkey fryer, must of got super hot!
Well...I was thinking about buying a new IMUSA pot from Walmart fer $20 and using that instead of an already converted pot. The integrated charcoal basket/chimney would be made out of expanded metal and would be self supporting in the pot. ;)

I guess I have to build one and then post piccies of it, right? :D
 

CaseT

TVWBB Gold Member
Well...I was thinking about buying a new IMUSA pot from Walmart fer $20 and using that instead of an already converted pot. The integrated charcoal basket/chimney would be made out of expanded metal and would be self supporting in the pot. ;)

I guess I have to build one and then post piccies of it, right? :D
Does Walmart have them in stock again? I haven't seen one for sale since I bought my last two a year ago.
 

CaseT

TVWBB Gold Member
Holy smokes, both Walmart and Target have them available online right now. Walmart is $21.47 and Target is $29.99
 

Todd Phillips

TVWBB Pro
I just got another one from Target via internet a couple of days ago. Came in pancaked. They sent me a replacement two days later.
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
Does Walmart have them in stock again? I haven't seen one for sale since I bought my last two a year ago.
Since I'm in Texas...they pretty much carry them all year round. Since December is when most people make/sell/eat tamales...I will see a ton of the tamale steamers git stocked up in my area. ;)
 

Tommy B

TVWBB Pro
Holy smokes, both Walmart and Target have them available online right now. Walmart is $21.47 and Target is $29.99
the imusa pot or that vasconia? The imusa has been available its the vasconia that has been out of stock everywhere.
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
I'm using a Weber 18.5" charcoal grate, 3 self tapping screws to support the grate, and a Dole pineapple chunks (20oz) can as the center support. That gives the bottom 5" x 13.75" to hold ash and upper 8" x 13.75" to hold charcoal. ;)

The volume to hold the charcoal will be approximately 1187.9 cubic inches while ash volume will be just under 742 cubic inches.

Air supply will be via a metal tube/pipe that will terminate inside the pineapple can. The pineapple can will have holes to allow the air to flow through. Vent control might be via a simple flap. :D
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
Some quick piccies...

Pot drilled with self-tapping screws.


Pineapple can for center support of charcoal grate.


Charcoal grate over pineapple can.


Had to try to figure out a way to introduce air into the pot...so I found this part in the electrical section of Home Depot. An aluminum 1¼" conduit body seemed like a good direction to go ($9 fer the conduit body). I'll have to cut a hole in the side of the pot and then secure the body either with a screw on the bottom or from the side of the pot with a threaded pipe/nut. Airflow can be controlled with either a flap or restrictor plug.


Bottom plate removed.


A quick mock up under the grate.


The pineapple can would be tied to the charcoal grate and cut to slip over on top of the body with holes near the top to allow the air to flow into the pot.
 
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Earl P (BamZipPow)

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It's done! :D

I had to git additional parts from the electrical and plumbing departments:
1¼" close nipple
1¼" lock nuts (2 in package)
1¼" thread to sleeve adapter (electrical)
1¼" to ½" reducer (plumbing)
½" plug (plumbing)

I used a 1¾" hole saw to cut the holes in the pot and cover plate. I ended up free bending the cover plate from the conduit body to use as a reinforcing plate fer the air intake. I used the provided gasket as well. I drilled eight 3/8" holes using a step bit in the 20oz can to make sure to allow fer maximum air flow from the massive 1¼" air intake pipe. ;)



I will have to apply some silicone to around the conduit body and the pot to make sure there aren't any air leaks.










Yes, I know it's plastic and may be prone to melt depending on the temps but this will only git installed when I need to go slow and low.


Plastic reducer to limit the air flow. Not sure if this is the right size...it will take a few trials to find out.
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
There are numerous advantages to this setup compared to the original Weber Smokey Joe charcoal base:

Massive enclosed ash catcher (5" deep)
Massive fuel capacity (8" deep)
Will not rust
Charcoal grate will not droop
Replacement parts are readily available
Internal parts can be easily transferred to another pot
No wobbly legs to compromise the pot

I know I want to install some expanded metal on top of the charcoal grate to maximize the coal burn time. :D
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
I have found that the original lids of the IMUSA pots that the Weber Smokey Joe lid fit perfectly on didn't fit on top of the new IMUSA pots with the wider lip. They were too tight and wouldn't fit without pounding them in place. :(

I'll be cutting the my final "new" lid so I can fit my first mini WSM pot on top of the rig and do a quick burn in. Not sure what I want to test with just yet. ;)
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
Three levels fer now... ;)

Level 3...(middle pot hasn't been built out yet)


Level 2...


Level 1...


I figure I can load the charcoal pot with about 16lbs of charcoal and still have room fer my starter coals.

How's this fer risky? Since the ashes are completely enclosed with no real way of any embers leaking out, I could actually transport my rig while it was cooking or still hot in the back of my pickup. I'd just have to make sure it was locked down really well and not able to tip over or leak any air in to the charcoal pot. I could even put water inside the bottom of the charcoal pot so when any embers fall down, they would git extinguished. ;)
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
Did a test burn with 2 spatchcocked chickens (5.81lbs on the bottom rack and 5.3lbs on the upper rack) in the 2 level setup...just using the top pot. With all the vents open, the temps settled around 250°F and my cook time increased from 1.5hrs (normally 300-350°F) to reach 165°F at the breast to 2.5hrs for the bottom chicken to hit the temp. After pulling the bottom chicken out (it fell apart into 2 leg quarters and the breast), it took another 20 minutes for the upper chicken to hit 165°F. I will have to rethink about the chicken setup next time. Maybe a steamer rack that's inverted.


Even though I only used garlic salt and onion powder, the chicken was flavorful and more tender than my standard single pot setup. I think my next product test in both pots will be my smoke roasted meatloaf. ;)
 

Earl P (BamZipPow)

TVWBB Member
Did a 3 pot level cook on Saturday. Ambient temp was 70°F, starting temp of a 5lb spatchcocked chicken was 41°F, smoker temp stabilized at 175°F with all vents fully opened...temps eventually climbed to 240°F. Chicken was on the top rack of the top pot. Smoke roasted to a temp of 165°F at the breast. Time to smoke roast the chicken was just over 3 hours. The chicken turned out okay...I was happier with the results of the 2 pot level setup instead of this 3 pot setup.



 

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