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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-10-2012, 12:37 AM   #1
C J
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Default Diffuser alternatives for mini WSM?

I know the conventional wisdom is to use a 12" terra cota saucers as a diffuser, but I'm a bit concerned about the possible chemical release when these are heated. These are intended for gardening purposes, not cooking. Are there any good alternatives? If I simply drilled holes at the bottom of the stock pot, would that work as a diffuser, or would I still need something else?
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Unread 12-10-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
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That's what I did. i.e. no extra diffuser in my mini. I also left the tamale strainer in and made sure the holes were not lined up with those drilled in the pot. Cooked 3-4 pork butts with no issues.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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I cut the bottom out of mine so I can run it hot if I need to. I use the terra cotta pot for low and slow, but for higher heat I use a disposable aluminum pan. Does the trick for me. If you're really worried about chemicals, you could use a 12" cast iron skillet with the handle cut off. I don't think there are any issues though. The unglazed terra cotta pots really are just fired clay.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 04:18 AM   #4
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bowl of water
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Unread 12-10-2012, 05:04 AM   #5
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For those that drilled holes only, how hot are you able to get it to go? I am also in the process of building one. Although I plan to use it mainly for low and slow, I would like to occasionally run it at 300-350 temps. Can I do that without cutting out the bottom (drilling holes only) and using the bottom of the pot itself as the diffuser?
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Unread 12-10-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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I use a 12" stainless dog bowl that I found at target. I fill it with water or sand or leave it empty.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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Pizza plate from the restaurant supply store has seemed to work for me.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
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I'm using a stainless steel pie pan.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Also seen people use a disposable foil pie pan as a simple diffuser. Easy clean up, when it gets nasty, toss and replace.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdboatbum View Post
I cut the bottom out of mine so I can run it hot if I need to. I use the terra cotta pot for low and slow, but for higher heat I use a disposable aluminum pan. Does the trick for me. If you're really worried about chemicals, you could use a 12" cast iron skillet with the handle cut off. I don't think there are any issues though. The unglazed terra cotta pots really are just fired clay.
Is this unglazed?

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1
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Unread 12-10-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benniesdad View Post
For those that drilled holes only, how hot are you able to get it to go? I am also in the process of building one. Although I plan to use it mainly for low and slow, I would like to occasionally run it at 300-350 temps. Can I do that without cutting out the bottom (drilling holes only) and using the bottom of the pot itself as the diffuser?
Drilled holes in mine with no separate difusser. I have never seen 350. Maybe it has been up to 300.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Looks like the same one I use, so yes, it's unglazed. It mentions that it's absorbent, so it has to be unglazed.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 09:25 AM   #13
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I cut out the bottom of my Mini. I use the tamale insert as a diffuser. When i want to go low and slow I use a terra cotta saucer wrapped in foil under my bottom rack. If I want to go hot and fast I just put a cheap pie tin under the bottom rack for easy clean up.

I have gotten my mini past 325 and held as low as 200, great cookers for either low and slow or hot and fast and very efficient with the use of fuel.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
C J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdboatbum View Post
Looks like the same one I use, so yes, it's unglazed. It mentions that it's absorbent, so it has to be unglazed.
Thanks. I went ahead and placed an order for one. I have a Smokey Joe Silver, so I may try and drill holes first before cutting the bottom out. I heard the Silvers run a little hotter than the Golds due to the increased airflow. I'd like it to sit in the 225-250 range naturally.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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Figure I'll chime in too. I am using a 9" deep dish cake pan hevily foiled, dry under my botom rack, catches the drippings pretty good and can run it up over 350, or hold it down to 200 with just the bottom vent. I drilled the bottom using the steamer tray as a templet-same size and amount of holes. (12" pan would not get hot enough for me) I'm now using a variant of the Minion method, about 50/50 lit to unlit, heats up much faster, cleaner burn, and will still run a good 6+ hours.
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