WSM Wind Screen


Chuck R

I was going to cook some Beer Can Chicken, but on the planned day, it was blowing about 40 MPH. I looked around for a suitable wind screen. I had a sheet of ¾” birch ply that I could cut down to a 4 panel - 2’ X 4’ hinged screen, but that would weigh a ton and I couldn’t get to the plywood without cleaning out half the garage. It wasn’t outdoor ply so I would have to put a finish on it to withstand outdoor conditions. Too much work!

I then spotted a portable dog fence that I no longer use. It had 24” wide panels, 3’ tall.

They normally come with eight panels. I removed some of the hinge clips to make it into a four sided section. You can buy these as well as a cage 4’ tall X 24” – 8 panels. at places like Petco. Split the cost with another cooker and each use four panels

I went to the local BORG bought two rolls of 4’ X 10’ Reflectix Foil Insulation, which has a bubble wrap type interior clad in a Millar type exterior. I also got three rolls of Aluminum tape, however, I ended up reinforcing that and finishing up with duct tape, so I’d skip the aluminum tape and go with the duct tape.

I cut the panels 23 ¾ wide so they would fit inside the wire, so it would fold up a little better without crushing the edges too much, and attached them to the wire frame with the tape, two top, two bottom and one in the middle.

I used the full 4’ height and double sided each panel to add a little rigidity to the un-reinforced top section. I slipped the tape under the wire, sticky side up and gently pressed the second panel to the tape. I then bound the top, bottom and un-hinged edges completely with tape.

On the hinged edges, I slipped a three inch length of tape between the wire edges and folded it over the Reflectix, top, middle and bottom, to hold it in place. Don’t wrap it around the adjacent panel edge as the Millar will stretch. I then folded the panels up in “storage mode”, and ran a length of duct tape down each outside corner of the folded panels. I flattened out the panel and ran a length of duct tape down each inside corners.

This is what it looks like with two panels installed, without the hinge strip.

Completed four sided panel.

I placed my WSM and the panels on a drip pan so there is some air draw to the lower vents. When needed, the front panel may be opened.

This is the screen folded and ready for storage.
Nicely done. Can I put the photos on the main part of the website? Also, does it have enough weight to stay put in that 40mph wind you mentioned?


Sure, go ahead and use the photo's.

Naturally, since that one day, we have had 70-80 degree wrather wit ZERO wind so I haven’t test “flown” it yet.

Let me take it upstairs and weigh it. And I’ll let you know.

It weighs 16 lbs. That’s as much as a man’s bowling ball, so I think it would stay put. I’ll put it out in the next big wind we have and let you know.

Chuck, not to sound stupid but" You went to the local "borg" ? What or where is that? This sounds like a mod I could help to keep the cold winter chill out of the cooker here in N. Carolina.

The BORG is the Big Orange Retail Giant, also known as Home Depot, similar to Lowes. Don’t know if you have them in NC, but probably any large hardware store would have it.
Originally posted by rod culver:
Chuck, not to sound stupid but" You went to the local "borg" ? What or where is that? This sounds like a mod I could help to keep the cold winter chill out of the cooker here in N. Carolina.

Rod, I saw the insulation material at the new Lowe's in Winston-Salem the other day. Their website shows it at the 2350 W. Roosevelt Blvd. store in Monroe, also.
I already had a cage that I wasn’t using, but a new 8 panel, 24” X 36” like I have is $54 at Petco. If I bought new, I would get the 8 panel, 24” X 48” for $67. Go in with another cooker and the cage is $33.50.

A roll of Reflectix, 4’ X 26’ is $50 at Lowes.

A roll of duct tape is about $7

So, if you can split the cost of the cage, the total cost would be about $90.
If wind is the main problem, seems like the Reflectix is overkill in that design.

Given the large air gap between the smoker and the Reflectix, and the open top, the "R-rating" of the material will probably not matter a detectable amount IMHO if wind speed is > 5-10mph.
Matt G,
Being just a simple old man, I’m not sure what you mean. I trying to block the wind, not insulate the smoker. I used Reflectix rather than wood or cardboard because it is somewhat more heat resistant. There is about 2.5 inches between the cooker and the inside wall of the screen. Am I missing something? What would you suggest?
With a Class 1 fire rating, and ease of assembly,
IMO Reflectix was a wise choice.
Nice job Chuck.

I see, in that case I agree. I read a bit on the reflectix and with the safety factor, temp and fire resitance, light weight, that makes it the best choice of any material I've seen.

I guess I was (incorrectly) focusing only on the insulative factor, which in an open design wouldn't be expected to help much under windy conditions, and thus wouldn't justify the $50 on that basis alone.

I’m ready to crank up the WSM in a few hours to BBQ some brined chicken. It’s supposed to start raining so I made a little Pagoda hat for it to protect it from the rain.

Pagoda Hat

It is functional even with the door open if you need to get to the door or vents.

Here in San Ramon, just a few miles down the road from you, we might get down to freezing a few days out of the year, but I think that would get to me more than the cooker.