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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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Old 04-12-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
prodano
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 08-25-07
Location: Oro Valley, AZ
Default Mini WSM temperature issues

I built a mini WSM a few weeks ago and have used it around 4 times now. My problem is I am having a hell of a time getting the temperature up. The max I was able to get it to was 240, and that's with more charcoal than I use in my 18.5" WSM. It also seems to be using a hell of a lot more charcoal than I expected. Is there something I am doing wrong?

I currently have a 12" terra cotta pot below the lower rack. I just bought a 10" terra cotta pot so I will give that a try. Will food on the racks above that are outside of the radius of the pot get burned?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
mwmac
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Join Date: 10-13-08
Location: boise, id
Default

SJ Gold or Silver, (btm vents vs side?), lump or briquets.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
mwmac
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Default

Also, did you drill the tamale pot or cut out the bottom? Sounds like you are definitely having an issue getting air to the fire. I use the 12" terra cotta with a SJS with bottom cut out of pot and lump with no temp issues reaching temp.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
Carbon
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Join Date: 08-24-08
Location: Los Angeles
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Is the tamale pot drilled out or cut out? A cut out bottom will allow more heat directly into the chamber. If drilled out the size and number of holes may be restricting heat flow.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
Carbon
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Just to add to my last post above, my tamale pot bottom is completely cut out and I use a 12" metal pizza pan as diffuser. I can easily reach up to 400° F. I am also using the Smokey Joe Silver, no charcoal ring, if that matters.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
prodano
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I have a gold SJ and drilled holes in the bottom of the tamale pot as I do not have a saw. I thought I drilled a ton of holes but maybe I should drill more. I also have the disc that came with the tamale pot in. Should I take it out? I am using kingsford briquettes and wood chunks for fuel.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
Carbon
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by prodano View Post
I have a gold SJ and drilled holes in the bottom of the tamale pot as I do not have a saw. I thought I drilled a ton of holes but maybe I should drill more. I also have the disc that came with the tamale pot in. Should I take it out?
You're definitely restricting your heat flow by having 2 perforated diffusers if I understand you correctly. Remove one and see what happens. That should make some difference.

If you decide to cut the bottom of the pot out you can use tin snips to make cuts between the holes.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
benniesdad
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Join Date: 09-26-12
Location: Locust Grove, GA
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I also have a SJ Gold with the bottom drilled, not cut out. I can't reach 400 with mine, but I am able to peak out around 300-325 without much effort. For me this is sufficient because of what I use mine for. I use a metal pie pan as a diffuser set on top of a trivet.

One thing that I have found is that if I want to hit higher temps with it, I need to start it hot with a bunch of lit charcoal initially. I use an entire lit mini chimney that is well ashed over and let it burn for a good 10 minutes before setting the pot on top.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
mbshop
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Join Date: 06-24-07
Location: visalia, ca
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i use a gold at the moment. pot is cut out. got a coal ring. i use the diffuser plate that came with the pot and either a tray or a terra cotta dish mostly to catch the grease. i use the minion method and have no problem getting to 300. i prefer about 250-275.

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0440.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0441.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0442.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0443.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0444.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0445.jpg

http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0446.jpg
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
rcbaughn
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Join Date: 09-27-12
Location: Birmingham, AL
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A Mini WSM is my only charcoal smoker and I designed it using the insert as a guide for the bottom holes. Drilled them them samek size and in the same fashion as it. I used a little wire rack about 3/4" tall to lift the 12" terra cotta saucer off the bottom so it wouldn't block the holes, and that's it. I also have a real crappy charcoal ring around the factory charcoal grate and I always have used the minion method with about 8 pieces of Kingsford that I let get really really ashy and hot.

Last time I actually had trouble keeping it below 250, saw it shoot up to a little over 300 when I opened the vent up just a little. Is your terra cotta saucer lifted off the bottom yeah? If not that would definitely help, and if so then I have no idea what to do. Never had trouble with mine really and I get about 6 hour burns from a full charcoal ring.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
HankB
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Location: Winfield, IL
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How does it cook? Mine seems to run cold according to the temperature indication but it seems to cook like it is actually hotter.
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