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Unread 11-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
PhilB
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Talking Cajun Bandit conversion pictorial and (WSM) questions

OK, went across the border to pick up my new toy...

What's in the kit: The middle section, the legs, a big water pan (actually a 20" mixing bowl), the coal ring (thing of beauty there) and a brand new Weber brand 22" grate):


Step 1 (after I took the opportunity to clean all the old kettle parts): Remove original legs, put on kit legs, mark for hole locations:


Drill, put legs back on, fasten them on:


Install coal ring, put original charcoal grate in that:


Throw on the middle section (man, that door shuts *tight*):


Put in the water pan, bottom grate (using my old kettle grate there) and top grate. Roxy is wondering why meat isn't coming out of the magic blue thing as usual:


View inside the door:


Observations and questions:

  • The quality on this looks great. I believe the tolerances on it are better than the Weber ones. My lid has been dropped once, and it was slightly deformed. I beat it back into shape as best as possible. The fit is so tight that it almost "springs" on the Cajun Bandit section. Also feels like it wants to "spring" off. I will solve this with 4 large paper clips like someone else here does with their kettle to make sure the lid is tight and doesn't fall off.
  • I've never had a WSM. Is the bottom grate always that close to the water pan? If so, is there a large difference between the bottom grate temperature and the top grate temperature?
  • Chris from C&C was kind enough to include a few thermometer wire grommets. I didn't drill one in yet. I presume if one puts it near the top (to measure top grate temperature and, eventually, meat temperature when I get the new ET-732), one needs not worry about the extra air hole, since it would basically be like the top vent that is always open?
  • I've never had a WSM, and will get to the Weber site for destructions, but from my reading, I presume that I: Fill the coal ring, then throw on X amount of lit coal for the Minion method, fill the water pan, wait for the temperature to come up, then control with the bottom vent like usual. Am I missing anything?
Even worse, I don't think I have time for a cook until this weekend .

Hope this helps someone that had questions about the kit.

Phil
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Unread 11-02-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
swamprb
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Nice review Phil!

You have the right idea on firing the Cajun Bandit, except that it will reach higher temps faster than the 22" WSM with the One Touch vents fully open, so be careful.
The CB waterpan is indeed deeper and closer to the coals than the WSM.
I usually use a smaller charcoal ring on both the Cajun Bandit and WSM unless I'm doing an overnighter, they are both fuel hogs with the large ring IMO.



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.....coming soon-the Mini Cajun Bandit!!
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Unread 11-03-2010, 12:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
Nice review Phil!

You have the right idea on firing the Cajun Bandit, except that it will reach higher temps faster than the 22" WSM with the One Touch vents fully open, so be careful.
Duly noted. Shut her down quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
The CB waterpan is indeed deeper and closer to the coals than the WSM.
I was wondering more if the bottom cooking grate should be that close to the top of the water pan and, if so, is there a large difference between the temperatures at both cooking grates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
I usually use a smaller charcoal ring on both the Cajun Bandit and WSM unless I'm doing an overnighter, they are both fuel hogs with the large ring IMO.
I guess a ring from an 18" WSM would work? Or maybe I can just fill it halfway?

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Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
.....coming soon-the Mini Cajun Bandit!!
Hmmm...what will that be?

Phil
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Unread 11-03-2010, 01:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
.....coming soon-the Mini Cajun Bandit!!
Have you fired 'er up at all yet Brian? Anxious to come check it out!!
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Unread 11-03-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Yes, the bottom grate is that close to the top of the water pan in my WSM's.
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Unread 11-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
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I posted this in a WSM thread a while back but it should apply to the Cajun Bandit conversion as well...

Minion Method Start - Named after Jim Minion. Fill the charcoal ring with unlit charcoal (your choice of lump or briquettes, briquettes will typically last longer). The amount to use depends on how long you are going to be cooking. Arrange the charcoal so that there is a depression in the middle Some guys stick a coffee can in the middle and then pull it out. You want a sort of donut of charcoal. Then pour some more charcoal into a charcoal chimney (go buy the Weber chimney if you don't have one). the amount in the chimney depends on the temp of your cook. About 1/2 chimney (maybe less) for a typical low and slow cook. Light the charcoal in the chimney (use a wad of newspaper, a starter cube, a paper towel soaked with cooking oil, your choice) and when the charcoal in the chimney is fully lit (covered in white ash) dump it in the middle of the donut in the base of the WSM. Then assemble the WSM. If you are putting water in the pan start with hot water!

Catch the temps on the way up - Start with all of the vents wide open and watch the temp at the dome (if you don't have a thermometer in the dome you can stick one through one of the top vents. A digital thermometer with a probe on a wire is great for this. As the temp climbs towards your desired temp (say 240 for low and slow) begin closing the bottom three vents. You really don't want the temp to go higher than your desired temp if you can help it because it takes a long time to come back down. If it does get too hot just close the bottom vents more and it will evventually come down. Make small adjustments and give the WSM time to react. Once you have it at the right temp you probably won't have to touch the vents for hours. BTW, I leave my top vent wide open all of the time. Others will use this for fine tuning the temp.

Put your meat on - Have it seasoned and ready to go. Don't worry if the WSM temp drops when you put the meat on. You just stuck a large, cold objec in there. it will recover.

Check your temps in a couple of hours - Just to make sure. i usually check it 30 minutes after putting he meat in and then again in a couple of hours. Resist the temptation to lift the lid. If you're lookin' you're not cookin'

Check again in 8 hours - This is the real beauty of the WSM. You can set it and forget it. Of course, if you really want to you can set a chair next to it, grab a cooler of beer and pretend to have to keep an eye on it

That's really it. Go cook something! chicken is good since it is cheap and is a relatively short cook (two to three hours for awhole bird). If you want to attempt something longer a pork butt is great because it won't care if your temperature control is sloppy. Invest in a remote thermometer hat you can stick in the meat so you can monitor the internal temp without lifting the lid. cook the pork butt to an internal temp of 195 - 205. Test it with the thermometer probe. it should lide in likeit is going into butter.

Oh yeah... Post some pictures!
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