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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #1
rubizuk
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Default Mini WSM charcoal Ring

I followed the posts on how to build the Mini WSM here on BBQ Brethren and love the smoker. It has turned out to be my go to unit for 80% of my cooks.

I have been thinking about the charcoal ring and I think that it limits the amount of coal that I can use, thus it limits the cook times and temperatures.

Anyone else use the Mini WSM without the ring modification? Any thoughts?
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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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I haven't used a charcoal basket at all in my mini. I just load up the charcoal grate to the rim where the bowl sits w/ lump and wood chucks and leave a small hole in the middle. Then put about 1/4 of a chimney of lit coals into the middle and place the pot onto the bowl.

With Royal Oak I can get about 6-8hrs of cook time with a full load. 6 hours during the colder months of winter and 8ish hours when i was smoking stuff during the summer.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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I don't have a ring in mine( built on a SJS) but I have thought about making one to improve the air flow. However It does limit the amount of fuel, which leads me to building one that has a bowl shape that would mimic the contour of the base only 1" smaller so there is air flow around the fire.while increasing the capacity over the standard design.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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I use lump exclusively except I have just started to use it to be the coals going. It seems to me, there is still plenty of air flow. By the way, I am using the sjs also.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 05:34 PM   #5
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i use one and think it actually slows down the burning of the coals while keeping the heat steady. this is using the sjg.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbshop View Post
i use one and think it actually slows down the burning of the coals while keeping the heat steady. this is using the sjg.
From my experience, air flow controls the amount of heat. So adjusting the lower vents is what controls the temp, the more coals only gives the potential for higher heat. A good wind shield should stop any fluctuations.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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I don't use a basket in my mini. It is a SJG based unit. I get great results on cook duration. It does need a jacket for cold weather cooks to get up to temp.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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I don't use a charcoal basket in mine because I use a SJ Gold and I drilled holes in bottom of the tamale pot vs. cutting out the bottom. I think you are just limiting your charcoal capacity with a set up like mine. OTOH, if you have cut the bottom out of your pot, you can probably take advantage of the additional space and benefit greatly on long burns by using a charcoal basket.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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Thanks, I guess I will just have to try it
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Unread 02-10-2013, 10:58 PM   #10
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I always use charcoal rings in mine.

Here is the one in the Mini Cajun Bandit Smoker Joe



This one is in the Little Miss Sunshine Mini Smoker Joe with BDS intake vent mod.





Doin' that Reverse Sear thing!







use at your own peril!
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
I always use charcoal rings in mine.

Here is the one in the Mini Cajun Bandit Smoker Joe



This one is in the Little Miss Sunshine Mini Smoker Joe with BDS intake vent mod.





Doin' that Reverse Sear thing!







use at your own peril!
Q looks great. Looks like you are doing the reverse sear at the end of the cook.

As for the coal ring, how long can you Q with a ring at 275* is my concern as this seems to be one of my favorite temps, beside 325* - 350* for chicken?
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Unread 02-11-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubizuk View Post
Q looks great. Looks like you are doing the reverse sear at the end of the cook.

As for the coal ring, how long can you Q with a ring at 275* is my concern as this seems to be one of my favorite temps, beside 325* - 350* for chicken?
That's the plan.

I can get 2 or 3 cooks out of a full ring of charcoal doing short cooks like chicken or Reverse searing meats like Tri-tip, Flat Iron, Teres Major or Flank steaks. They are go to weeknight dinner cookers-fast to start, compact for Smok-grilling (275*-325*)and it gets the job done
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Unread 02-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
That's the plan.

I can get 2 or 3 cooks out of a full ring of charcoal doing short cooks like chicken or Reverse searing meats like Tri-tip, Flat Iron, Teres Major or Flank steaks. They are go to weeknight dinner cookers-fast to start, compact for Smok-grilling (275*-325*)and it gets the job done
Thanks for the input. Since I built my mini wsm, 90% of my Q has been with it, the greatest all around bbq for the 2 of us. By nature, I still have to check out all possibilities and experiment with something that even works as great as this does.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubizuk View Post
By nature, I still have to check out all possibilities and experiment with something that even works as great as this does.
thats a great point; also what makes this hobby so great.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 10:19 PM   #15
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I've been able to get 14hrs using lump in my SJG with a charcoal ring @ 275*F. Mind you, weather was around 80* last summer with a light breeze. Burn length really depends on your outdoor conditions but I've found that, on average, my burn length increased once I started using the charcoal basket.
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