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View Full Version : WSM 18.5" Mod advise.


gooffy140
01-01-2013, 12:00 PM
Thank You to Tish and everyone here on BBQBRETHREN. Rush for having the contest for the WSM, and BBQBRETHREN for having such w great site that became a subscribing member.

Now that I'm going to be a proud owner of a 18.5" WSM, I'm looking for must have mod's for it Any and all suggestions would be appreciated..:clap2:

J'ville Grill
01-01-2013, 12:03 PM
There are no must have mods for an 18.5 WSM. it's fine the way it is right out of the box. After a few good cooks to season it up it will run rock steady for hours and hours.

Kirk
01-01-2013, 12:05 PM
I have a bad habit of not being able to leave things alone. That being said the only changes I've made to my WSMs over the years was to add a thermometer (older models didn't come with one) and if I'm using lump charcoal I lay a second charcoal grate, turned 90 degrees, on top of the first so the smaller bits don't fall through. That's it. The WSM does so well on its own I haven't had to do anything else. A Stoker or a Guru might be a nice addition but they hold temp so well that I could never justify buying one.

Smoking Westy
01-01-2013, 12:09 PM
Wheels!

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/mjweste/Grilling/null-6.jpg

That's the only mod I've done to my 22.5" so far. Other than that feed it lots of meat and charcoal.

BobM
01-01-2013, 12:13 PM
gooffy, congrats on winning the 18 1/2" WSM.

I agree with "J'ville Grill", leave it stock, it works great. Get some cooks under your belt then you can look at mods.

I don't use water, I use a foiled clay flower pot base in the foiled water pan.
I've done a probe grommet mod and a thermometer mod.
I plan on adding side handles and a separate port for my ATC.

I've had a WSM for over 2 years, and like "Kirk", I just can't leave things alone.

Bob

Smoke House Moe
01-01-2013, 12:14 PM
Goofy,
As the others have said, you are basically set with a great cooker in the WSM. However, I see you are also from MN. The other weekend I had to open all vents 100% and maxed out at 275 degrees, which is where I wanted the temp. It just took about 90 minutes to get there.
So on those colder it would help to have a guru for temp control, or you can pick up a thick, fire safe blanket to wrap around the midsection of you WSM. Moving blankets work great.
Holding the temp is pretty easy with WSM's. Getting to that temp when it is 5 degrees out with a wind...that's something else.

Harbormaster
01-01-2013, 12:19 PM
...and if I'm using lump charcoal I lay a second charcoal grate, turned 90 degrees, on top of the first so the smaller bits don't fall through. That's it.

^^^This, and handles on the center section are mods I make to all of my WSMs.

In all honesty, there are very few performance mods you can make to a WSM, and most mods are just for convenience.

Congratulations on winning the WSM. You will love it.

RW
01-01-2013, 12:30 PM
A pair of handles for the center section. They make lifting it on and off and whole lot easier.
Genie garage door handles are just the right fit.

benniesdad
01-01-2013, 01:35 PM
Mine is an older model. I have added a dome thermometer, second charcoal grate, larger water pan, and probe eyelet from BBQ Guru.

I would not want to do without any of those.

Bonewagon
01-01-2013, 01:43 PM
Congratulations on winning! I run mine stock/no mods, but the wheel mod interests me.

Ron_L
01-01-2013, 01:48 PM
Geez... You don't even have it yet and you're modifying it?

:-D :-D :-D

Congrats! The second charcoal grate "mod" is great if you want to use lump, but not needed for briquettes. Handles on the middle section are a great add-on as are wheels.

But, one of the most useful mods I made to mine is to add the BBQ Guru pass-through eyelets for thermometer wires.

http://www.bbqguru.com/products/weber-eyelets.html

Much better than trying to feed the wires through the top vent or the door.

Also, at some point you should decide is you want to use water in the pan or not. If you want to use water then a larger water pan is a good idea so you don't have to refill it on longer cooks. Most folks bought a charcoal pan from a Brinkmann smoker that fits the WSM and is deeper than the original water pan.

HankB
01-01-2013, 01:51 PM
No mods are required. But... Here is what I've done with mine.

I got some 1" (or 3/4"?) expanded metal from the big box home repair store to lay on top of the charcoal grate. I use lump and it helps to keep the smaller pieces from falling through.

I put a bead of high temperature silicone along the groove on the bottom joint on the middle section to provide better sealing.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-oRsW-v4CVq4/UN55FAE6UKI/AAAAAAAANys/vXHem2pvKU0/s800/DSC_1315-PP.JPG

I installed one eyelet for routing temperature probes. You can buy a very nice hollow bolt that does this but I just got brass eyelets for much less at the H/W store.

I added some short bolts midway between the bottom and top racks that I can set an additional 18" rack on. For stuff that's not too tall like chicken legs or ribs lying flat it gives me 50% more cooking surface.

I didn't put casters on mine because my brick patio is too uneven to make them useful. Nor have I bothered to add handles to the midsection.

Other popular mods are to substitute a clay pan for the water pan (and use it dry, I think.) I haven't done that either. I recommend trying a couple smokes with the water pan used as intended to hone your skills at temperature control before you try that if you are so inclined.

The mod I most highly recommend is a few hot coals on top of a bed of charcoal and smoking wood (search for Minion method) in the bottom and a couple butts or racks of ribs - properly seasoned - on the grates. Remove when done and enjoy!

Freddy j
01-01-2013, 01:58 PM
I find the sensor grommets useful for my probes


http://cajunbandit.com/wsm-parts-mods/

gooffy140
01-01-2013, 01:59 PM
Thanks for all the advise. I have a 22" Weber kettle grill that was handed down to me from my folks. They got it when they first got married in the early 60's, if it stands up half as well as the old kettle, I'm sure I will be one happy camper.

I like the eyelet mod idea. For Christmas, I got a ready-chek ET-732 therm. It has the curved probe for meat, how did you guys who did the eyelet mod get the threaded ferrel over the probe. Will the probe stand up to being straightened? Once straightened did you leave it that way? I did get a second food probe so leaving it installed in the WSM won't be a big problem. Just curious.

jeffsee
01-01-2013, 02:00 PM
^^^This, and handles on the center section are mods I make to all of my WSMs.

In all honesty, there are very few performance mods you can make to a WSM, and most mods are just for convenience.

Congratulations on winning the WSM. You will love it.

Harbormaster....what handles to you put on your WSMs?

Happy Hapgood
01-01-2013, 02:04 PM
Stanley garage door handles and grommets for temp probes.

http://i42.tinypic.com/mszsxg.jpg

Happy Hapgood
01-01-2013, 02:07 PM
These for handles:

Weber Smokey Mountain Handles - YouTube

Kirk
01-01-2013, 02:30 PM
Stanley garage door handles and grommets for temp probes.
Those grommets are nice. I have them on 2 of 3 WSMs.

Foxfire
01-01-2013, 03:05 PM
I find the sensor grommets useful for my probes


http://cajunbandit.com/wsm-parts-mods/


I'm thinking I might like to put those on my Weber kettle. Hate pinching the cable with the lid. Any reason to think the 3/8" grommets wouldn't work on a kettle?

PS: Huge grats Gooffy! :thumb:

BBQ Bandit
01-01-2013, 03:25 PM
1. Assemble
2. Wipe down
3. Cook on it!

Ron_L
01-01-2013, 03:36 PM
Thanks for all the advise. I have a 22" Weber kettle grill that was handed down to me from my folks. They got it when they first got married in the early 60's, if it stands up half as well as the old kettle, I'm sure I will be one happy camper.

I like the eyelet mod idea. For Christmas, I got a ready-chek ET-732 therm. It has the curved probe for meat, how did you guys who did the eyelet mod get the threaded ferrel over the probe. Will the probe stand up to being straightened? Once straightened did you leave it that way? I did get a second food probe so leaving it installed in the WSM won't be a big problem. Just curious.

I wouldn't straighten it. It would void any warranty and they do fail. I've never had a problem getting mine in and out. Just stick the pointy end into the eyelet and feed it in and follow the bend in the probe. The eyelet isn't very thick.

BTW, before you use the probes get some heat shrink tubing at Radio Shack and put a piece of heat shrink on the probe where the wire enters the metal part and shrink it. Water getting into the probe will kill it.

Marrs
01-01-2013, 03:40 PM
Of all the different mods I've done, the one I think that's been most useful, other than the charcoal grate mod, is adding two more cooking grates to the top of the top grate. It gives a good place to do small stuff without crowding the main grates too much. I rarely use the bottom grate anymore since I have three on top. I did it by cutting a regular grate in half and then using four long bolts with nuts and washers to secure them in place. Not necessary by any means. As others have said, it cooks great out of the box.

Something you may want to do is build a screen to go around it to block wind and cold. I used the frame from a portable dog kennel covered with reflectix. Works great and helps save fuel. When I'm done it folds up and goes back in the shed.

Fat Freddy
01-01-2013, 03:50 PM
Congrats on winning the WSM. The only "mod" I would suggest is cover the water pan with foil. Makes for much easier clean up no matter if you use water, sand or an empty water pan.

Dirtbuddy
01-01-2013, 05:07 PM
+1 on all the other mods mentioned

I also put big u-bolts on the charcoal grate for easy lifting in / out....

2x u-bolts
8x nuts
8x washers

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r127/dirtbuddy420/Stefans%20BBQ/P1010246.jpg

Ton's of WSM info HERE (http://tvwbb.com/forum.php)

Freddy j
01-01-2013, 06:31 PM
Thanks for all the advise. I have a 22" Weber kettle grill that was handed down to me from my folks. They got it when they first got married in the early 60's, if it stands up half as well as the old kettle, I'm sure I will be one happy camper.

I like the eyelet idea... willl the probe stand up to being straightened? Once straightened did you leave it that way? I did get a second food probe so leaving it installed in the WSM won't be a big problem. Just curious.

Just stick the other end of the probe through fom the inside of the pit to the outside then plug in to the unit.

accuseal
01-01-2013, 08:00 PM
I'd consider a Cajun Bandit SS door. Big improvement over the factory aluminum.

Sent from my SCH-I905 using Tapatalk HD

NS Mike D
01-01-2013, 10:07 PM
more two cents ...


The grommets are a must, IMO, if you are going to use a probe, the larger ones from cajun bandit accommodate just about any probe. On the 18, I run an iQue with a maverick through one grommet hole.


IMO, no need for the clay pot. An empty foiled water pan works well and is lighter. Plus I can decide if I want to use water without any changes.

I often consider the handles for my 22s. Compared to the 22s, the 18 is feather light. I don't think twice about handles for the 18 using a good set of oven/heat gloves. Picks up pretty easily.

I have the bandit door on one of my 22s. It looks nice and fits tight, but I don't notice any difference cooking-wise from the 22 with the stock door.

Harbormaster
01-01-2013, 10:10 PM
Harbormaster....what handles to you put on your WSMs?

I don't use the ones Toast does. I get them at Menards, and you need to mod them in a vice to get them to fit. They're more like a steel strap handle.

Kind of like these (http://www.menards.com/main/doors-windows/exterior-doors/garage-doors/parts-accessories/bottom-lift-handle-5-with-carriage-bolts-steel-2-ea/p-1313205.htm).

Zak
01-02-2013, 07:45 AM
The only mods i've done to both of mine are adding a thermometer to the lid(which is usually dont use because they're off over 250 and never bothered to replace them), access door mod for high heat cooks and i installed a bolt in the lid so it can hang off the side instead of putting it on the ground.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/accessdoor_photos/door7.jpg

chickenchoker
01-02-2013, 07:54 AM
I switched to the foiled clay saucer and will not go back to water in the pan....I can cook form 220-300 with the clay saucer but basically was glued to 250 with water. I also swear by the PRO Q stackers as they not only add another level of cooking space but seem to not effect temps at all.

NickTheGreat
01-02-2013, 08:34 AM
The only 'mod' I've done is the foil clay saucer. But I really want to add the temp grommets for my Maverick this winter. Every time I smoke, I say I'll do this soon.

The wheels would be handy, but I'm also looking to build my outdoor kitchen and give it a more permanent home.