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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 02-08-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
Freddy j
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Default Mini WSM Questions

gonna drill the holes in my tamale pot soon.

i think id like to install 2 cooking grates. can my brethren help me out with some ideas on how to mount the grates (as in how deep to mount in the pot)?

thanks y'all in advance!
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Unread 02-08-2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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My bottom grate sits on top of the supports for the water bowl. IOW, as low as I can get it and still have room for a bowl or whatever you plan to use between coals and bottom grate. (I have cut the bottom out rather than drill holes.)

My top grate is just below the top edge of the cooker and is too high. I lack clearance under the lid. Some day when I'm a little more energetic I'm going to measure the distance between top grate and lid and between the grates, split the difference and remount the supports for the top grate.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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[quote=HankB;2359173]My bottom grate sits on top of the supports for the water bowl. IOW, as low as I can get it and still have room for a bowl or whatever you plan to use between coals and bottom grate. (I have cut the bottom out rather than drill holes.)

ok, i am also going to cut out the bottom. did you put a grate right on the very bottom of the pan where the cut out is made or up higher where the diffuser would sit in?


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Originally Posted by HankB View Post
My top grate is just below the top edge of the cooker and is too high. I lack clearance under the lid. Some day when I'm a little more energetic I'm going to measure the distance between top grate and lid and between the grates, split the difference and remount the supports for the top grate.
thats what i was looking for there. id like to have equal cooking height available on both racks.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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I only have 1 grate in mine it is 1" below the bottom of the handle rivets.
The center of the thermo is 1" below the grate
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #5
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I drilled holes with a step bit. Bunch of them. One grate sits perfectly in the tamale steamer location. I put the top grate five inches down from the lip. Installed a thermometer 6 inches down for ease of grate removal. Make sure to use only three stainless screws for the top grate support about 15" apart. 4 support screws will inevitably be uneven.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I only have 1 grate in mine it is 1" below the bottom of the handle rivets.
The center of the thermo is 1" below the grate
thats a nice machine! I'm thinking 1" below the handles gives you great clearance on the top grate and you could even add a grate with a good bit of clearance on the bottom lip if you wanted to.


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Originally Posted by 16Adams View Post
I drilled holes with a step bit. Bunch of them. One grate sits perfectly in the tamale steamer location. I put the top grate five inches down from the lip. Installed a thermometer 6 inches down for ease of grate removal. Make sure to use only three stainless screws for the top grate support about 15" apart. 4 support screws will inevitably be uneven.
great info, thank you Adams. any pics ?
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
ok, i am also going to cut out the bottom. did you put a grate right on the very bottom of the pan where the cut out is made or up higher where the diffuser would sit in?
I'll get a picture a little later. I'm smoking in it right now.

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thats what i was looking for there. id like to have equal cooking height available on both racks.
Yeah, don't make the same mistake I did.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I'll get a picture a little later. I'm smoking in it right now.

Yeah, don't make the same mistake I did.

Awesome Hank, Thanks! what you cooking?
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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Freddy J, check your PM
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Unread 02-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Awesome Hank, Thanks! what you cooking?
Couple firsts - sausage 'n eggs. (Would be known as fatties 'round here.) Here they are as they went on.



Eggs were off half an hour ago and the fatty is at 153° F now - be done soon.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #11
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Sorry to sidetrack a bid but would a 15 or 16 gallon drum fit on the Smokey Joe kettle?
I've been thinking of modding my Smokey Joe also but was wondering if the drum would work as well as the tamale pot. Thanks.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbon View Post
Sorry to sidetrack a bid but would a 15 or 16 gallon drum fit on the Smokey Joe kettle?
I've been thinking of modding my Smokey Joe also but was wondering if the drum would work as well as the tamale pot. Thanks.
ive seen it done with a drum (not sure 15 or 16 gallon) one thing to be mindful of is the height vs width (could be top heavy) but id like to see a drum cut down just a bit taller than the tamale pot to make it work. if you do it, id love to see the build!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
Couple firsts - sausage 'n eggs. (Would be known as fatties 'round here.) Here they are as they went on.



Eggs were off half an hour ago and the fatty is at 153° F now - be done soon.
that is awesome! thank you for posting. what is that pan under the grate?
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Unread 02-08-2013, 01:56 PM   #13
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FreddyJ I cut the bottom on mine I left a 1" lip so to keep the structural integrity i used the steamer tray for my diffuser.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
ive seen it done with a drum (not sure 15 or 16 gallon) one thing to be mindful of is the height vs width (could be top heavy) but id like to see a drum cut down just a bit taller than the tamale pot to make it work. if you do it, id love to see the build!
I'd like to keep it full length so I can hang a couple of slabs of ribs in it.
Stability wise I realize it'll be tall vs the narrow width but I also plan on modifying the legs of the kettle to give it a much wider footprint using larger aluminum bar stock.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
that is awesome! thank you for posting. what is that pan under the grate?
That's a new water pan on it's first smoke. Two previous large SS water bowls I got at a local pet shop developed leaks so I ordered this "heavy duty" one of Amazon. I hope it lasts a little longer.

Here are some more pictures of my build.

While it was still clean and relatively unused. You can see where the screws are that hold the water pan brackets.


Here's an upside down can over the holes in the bottom to keep ash from blocking the holes on long smokes.



Charcoal ring sitting on the charcoal grate.


Crappy picture of the brackets that support the water bowl. They're angle brackets mounted as low in the pot as I could go. The ends that protrude in are bent up - probably about 1/2" to provide the right diameter for the water bowl. The grate sits on the top edge of these brackets since it is a snug fit inside the cooker. Stacking height is pretty tight at the bottom of the cooker. With a full load of charcoal, the bowl actually sits on top of it until it burns down a bit. The bottom grate is less than an inch above the bowl.



Edit: I took them off when the probe read 160° and they were bleeding on the plate. They went back on and came off - done this time - at 169° after 2:10 on the cooker.



One of the things I love about my mini-WSM is that there is no smoke too small to be worth firing it up.
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Last edited by HankB; 02-08-2013 at 02:37 PM..
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