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View Full Version : Just Scored a WSM 22.5 for $160! What to mod first???


AKMIMNAK
06-02-2018, 10:38 PM
I constantly scan facebook in my area for Webers, smokers, etc. If it's a nice piece and good price, it only lasts a few hours usually. Learned this the hard way on a beautiful red Weber Performer a few weeks back.

Tonight I saw a real nice WSM 22.5 for $200. Offered $150 and immediate pickup. He countered at $160. I shook on it. :clap2:

Drove 40 minutes to his place, and she was as clean as the pictures suggested. Less than 10 cooks on er. And man, these WSMs are bigger than they look! Wow, this thing has some capacity.

I've smoked plenty on my Weber grill, but this'll be my first row with a WSM. Where should I start with mods???

Thanks for your input!

SmittyJonz
06-02-2018, 10:44 PM
I’d shove a Brisket in its Azz.........

scp
06-02-2018, 10:45 PM
I have prolly all mods avail on mine...the first I would do is the hinge kit from cajun bandit... then would be kandles on the body to help with lifting ... and another for me was adding casters on it.

BruceB
06-02-2018, 11:09 PM
Nice catch on the WSM, if it was me I'd want to learn how to use it before I go changing it. But if you must, I'd buy another charcoal grate and place it perpendicular to the one thats in there to prevent coals from falling through. Next, I'd make sure I have a good digital thermometer that can monitor temps at grate level, then......I'd buy a couple pork butts and fire that mother up and learn how to control the temps and have some pulled pork.

aerotech11
06-02-2018, 11:24 PM
Nice score. I got mine in the same manner. Craigslist find. 3 cooks on it. Picked it up for $120. It’s a great cooker. I haven’t done any mods yet just learning the basics before I go messing with it. I’ve got it pretty well dialed in now. Did a few racks of ribs right off the bat since they are a shorter cook. Learned how she liked to run before a long cook. Just did my first long brisket cook on it and it ran great. It was an 11 hr cook so after I pulled it I just let it run to see how long a full basket would go. It ran at 230-250 for the next 5 hours until it started losing temp. All in all it ran for about 17 hrs at Cook temps. Next day the ash pile was still hot because I didn’t close the vents. Great cooker. You’re going to love it.

el luchador
06-02-2018, 11:29 PM
Heater meter . True set and forget operation

Czarbecue
06-03-2018, 02:30 AM
Get the Hunsaker Vortex basket or just the deflector.

Monkey Uncle
06-03-2018, 05:31 AM
I sealed mine with lava lock gasket. I did the door, the joint between the bottom and the middle, and the joint between the middle and the lid. It has almost no leaks now. The door is probably the most important thing. It is pretty ill-fitting.

It'll probably cook fine without sealing anything; you just compensate by closing the intake vents a little more than you would if it was sealed. But I think you'll have problems saving charcoal from one cook to the next if it isn't sealed.

Sid Post
06-03-2018, 05:43 AM
I sealed mine with lava lock gasket. I did the door, the joint between the bottom and the middle, and the joint between the middle and the lid. It has almost no leaks now. The door is probably the most important thing. It is pretty ill-fitting.

It'll probably cook fine without sealing anything; you just compensate by closing the intake vents a little more than you would if it was sealed. But I think you'll have problems saving charcoal from one cook to the next if it isn't sealed.

I don't get the focus on sealing these up, maybe mine don't leak as much? :boxing:

effinUker
06-03-2018, 09:36 AM
I modify a full rack of spares from raw to ready to eat.

HankB
06-03-2018, 10:37 AM
Consider adding three bolts midway between upper and lower rack so you can smoke 50% more ribs or briskets laying flat.

I ran a small bead of high temperature silicone sealer around the grooves in the joints for a better seal. (An alternative to the gasket.)

Remember to turn the middle section upside down when not using so rain doesn't pool in the bottom. I drilled a couple small holes to drain the bottom for when I forget to remember this.

aks801
06-03-2018, 12:59 PM
Nice catch on the WSM, if it was me I'd want to learn how to use it before I go changing it. But if you must, I'd buy another charcoal grate and place it perpendicular to the one thats in there to prevent coals from falling through. Next, I'd make sure I have a good digital thermometer that can monitor temps at grate level, then......I'd buy a couple pork butts and fire that mother up and learn how to control the temps and have some pulled pork.

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Have had mine about 4 years I guess. No mods so far. Did get a digital thermo to monitor top grate temp level.

That suggestion about a second charcoal grate is spot on, I have been meaning to do that.

Just use it for a while and determine if you really want or need to change anything. It kicks a** bone stock.

WilliamKY
06-03-2018, 01:04 PM
Has the silicon temperature port on the side too (I installed one of these on the side of my stick burner).That price is a steal. Great find.
Check Cajun Bandit for a stainless door.

bucko
06-03-2018, 03:33 PM
Jump right in and fire that mother up

Vicar
06-03-2018, 04:08 PM
Great score.
Fire it up first and see where the leaks are, then go from there.
Happy smoking.

Bubba Gup
06-03-2018, 04:42 PM
Remember to turn the middle section upside down when not using so rain doesn't pool in the bottom. I drilled a couple small holes to drain the bottom for when I forget to remember this.

This is farking brilliant!

Monkey Uncle
06-03-2018, 07:06 PM
I don't get the focus on sealing these up, maybe mine don't leak as much? :boxing:

Before I got the WSM, I did all my smoking on a very leaky COS. I was determined that I was finally going to be able to have complete control over the fire using the air intake and exhaust!

Blizzard
06-03-2018, 08:08 PM
I have a WSM and mine doesnít leak either...Iíve never bothered with a gasket or anything. Usually all the vents are set to about half open. Not s single problem....

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 09:57 PM
I have prolly all mods avail on mine...the first I would do is the hinge kit from cajun bandit... then would be kandles on the body to help with lifting ... and another for me was adding casters on it.

What size casters did you use? Did you just drill the feet and bolt on?

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 09:58 PM
Nice score. I got mine in the same manner. Craigslist find. 3 cooks on it. Picked it up for $120. Itís a great cooker. I havenít done any mods yet just learning the basics before I go messing with it. Iíve got it pretty well dialed in now. Did a few racks of ribs right off the bat since they are a shorter cook. Learned how she liked to run before a long cook. Just did my first long brisket cook on it and it ran great. It was an 11 hr cook so after I pulled it I just let it run to see how long a full basket would go. It ran at 230-250 for the next 5 hours until it started losing temp. All in all it ran for about 17 hrs at Cook temps. Next day the ash pile was still hot because I didnít close the vents. Great cooker. Youíre going to love it.

How'd you set it up for that long brisket cook? Minion? How much unlit vs lit charcoal? Vent setup? I'm all ears to learn from you :)

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 10:00 PM
Heater meter . True set and forget operation

That thing looks like I have to graduate from MIT before using. How hard is it to setup?

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 10:14 PM
Get the Hunsaker Vortex basket or just the deflector.

Will the deflector just sit on my stock charcoal basket? Is it as effective? Thanks for the input!

aerotech11
06-03-2018, 10:35 PM
How'd you set it up for that long brisket cook? Minion? How much unlit vs lit charcoal? Vent setup? I'm all ears to learn from you :)

Yes I used the minion method. Full basket of unlit briquettes. Made a well in the middle and lit up about 15 bricks in the chimney. When they were ashed over. About 10 minutes. I dumped them in the well in the center of the unlit charcoal. I had about 5 wood chunks spread around the top of the unlit coals. As soon as I put the lit charcoal in I threw a chunk of wood right on the hot spot. Put the whole thing back together. Initially all vents wide open until around 200 then I closed the three bottom vents to about 1/4 inch. When I reached my target temp of about 250 I took all vents down to about 1/8th of an inch. I ended up fully closing one of the vents and it ran at 247-253 for the rest of the cook. Top vent fully open the whole time. It was so steady I was even able to get some sleep. If you donít already have one get a digital thermometer with at least 2 probes. Mine has the unit I can take with me so I can monitor temps remotely. Highly recommended.

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 11:08 PM
Yes I used the minion method. Full basket of unlit briquettes. Made a well in the middle and lit up about 15 bricks in the chimney. When they were ashed over. About 10 minutes. I dumped them in the well in the center of the unlit charcoal. I had about 5 wood chunks spread around the top of the unlit coals. As soon as I put the lit charcoal in I threw a chunk of wood right on the hot spot. Put the whole thing back together. Initially all vents wide open until around 200 then I closed the three bottom vents to about 1/4 inch. When I reached my target temp of about 250 I took all vents down to about 1/8th of an inch. I ended up fully closing one of the vents and it ran at 247-253 for the rest of the cook. Top vent fully open the whole time. It was so steady I was even able to get some sleep. If you donít already have one get a digital thermometer with at least 2 probes. Mine has the unit I can take with me so I can monitor temps remotely. Highly recommended.

So helpful, thank you!

I have the meater and am considering a flame boss also.

kenthanson
06-03-2018, 11:08 PM
Buy the original hinge kit from unknown bbq and then cook away. I have the Cajun bandit door but it doesn't do much over the original for the price.

RemoGaggi
06-03-2018, 11:27 PM
I suggest the hunsaker vortex basket and get a Gateway 22" Hanging Kit. Hanging chicken from these is life-changing.

AKMIMNAK
06-03-2018, 11:32 PM
If the casters I want to install do not attach using a single bolt, but instead use a square plate with four bolts, how would you attach that style caster to each wsm leg?

scp
06-04-2018, 07:55 AM
I used these casters
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-in-TPR-Threaded-Stem-Swivel-Caster-with-Brake-175-lb-Load-Rating-4031346EB/300356761

If I was to do it over I would use 4"...might roll over cracks and such better.

I used these handles
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-3-4-in-Black-Door-Pull-15449/202033978

This hinge kit
https://www.cajunbandit.com/Universal-WSM-Hinge-Kit-p/wsm_hingekit.htm

Also there has been some question whether the cover would still work...and yes it will..it is tight fitting over the hinge...but slides easily over the handles.

bobaftt
06-04-2018, 07:58 AM
I really like the cajun bandit hinge. It's a great mod. Make sure the hinge is aligned with a leg though.

Frank Mahovlich
06-04-2018, 10:53 AM
So helpful, thank you!

I have the meater and am considering a flame boss also.

Welcome to the Weber world! Couple things I would share with a new WSM owner based on my own experience as a complete newby to any & all things BBQ. I’m far from an expert, but here is some of what I have learned:

I totally over-thought my cook temps to start. If I found a recipe that called for cooking at 225 or 250, I spent way too much time wrestling with the temperature. I eventually figured out that 25 or 50 degrees either way really doesn’t make much difference to me.

I light my WSM using the Minion Method. Essentially, I fill the chamber with unlit Kingsford Blue charcoal, while leaving a small circular shaped depression in the middle. I also place 3 or 4 wood chunks on top of the unlit, around the outside of the center area. Then, using a chimney starter, I light a handful of briquettes. When those briquettes have heated up to the point of being totally grayed-over, I dump those lit coals into the center of the chamber on top of the unlit. Then I put the middle section of the cooker in place, put the lid on, and let it come up to temp.

Here are the variables involved in WSM temp control:
• Starting method
• How many coals are lit at start-up
• Vent management
• Weather conditions
• Water pan utilization

I eventually figure out that by adding 12 lit coals on top of a chamber of unlit, and running the bottom vents about 1/3 open, and the top vent 100% open (I almost always cook with top vent 100% open), and with an empty water pan, my smoker will settle in and chug along at 280 for about 10 hours. And for my cooking style, 280 works for just about everything I cook.

Regarding the water pan, I would only put water in it if I were trying to cook at lower temps like around 225. Otherwise, I have found it much easier for me to just wrap the water pan in foil, and leave it empty. This is purely for ease of clean-up. Some people use water, others fill their water pan with sand and then wrap with foil, still others use a clay pot base for a water sink.

*Temps are significantly easier to manage on the way up. What I mean by that is it is much easier to take the temp up on a cool smoker than it is to bring it down on a hot smoker. If I want to cook lower, like at 225 for example, I start with less lit. And if I'm still having trouble getting down to 225, adding water to the pan can help cool the temp a bit. Accordingly, if I want to get up into 325-350, I would use more lit to start and open up the bottom vents to almost 100% and adjust from there.

Early on, I would recommend keeping notes on how what you do affects your smoker temp. I would highly recommend keeping notes on your cooks, as well. There are a million ways to do most of this stuff. Like a golf swing, getting it dialed-in to a repeatable action with predictable results is the trick. I would further submit that there isn’t necessarily a ‘right or wrong’ way of doing it. Figure out what works best for you, and focus on that.

Regards,
FM

AKMIMNAK
06-04-2018, 05:50 PM
I used these casters
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-in-TPR-Threaded-Stem-Swivel-Caster-with-Brake-175-lb-Load-Rating-4031346EB/300356761

If I was to do it over I would use 4"...might roll over cracks and such better.

I used these handles
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-3-4-in-Black-Door-Pull-15449/202033978

This hinge kit
https://www.cajunbandit.com/Universal-WSM-Hinge-Kit-p/wsm_hingekit.htm

Also there has been some question whether the cover would still work...and yes it will..it is tight fitting over the hinge...but slides easily over the handles.

Are the handles holding up ok with just the self tapping screws?

AKMIMNAK
06-04-2018, 05:54 PM
Welcome to the Weber world! Couple things I would share with a new WSM owner based on my own experience as a complete newby to any & all things BBQ. Iím far from an expert, but here is some of what I have learned:

I totally over-thought my cook temps to start. If I found a recipe that called for cooking at 225 or 250, I spent way too much time wrestling with the temperature. I eventually figured out that 25 or 50 degrees either way really doesnít make much difference to me.

I light my WSM using the Minion Method. Essentially, I fill the chamber with unlit Kingsford Blue charcoal, while leaving a small circular shaped depression in the middle. I also place 3 or 4 wood chunks on top of the unlit, around the outside of the center area. Then, using a chimney starter, I light a handful of briquettes. When those briquettes have heated up to the point of being totally grayed-over, I dump those lit coals into the center of the chamber on top of the unlit. Then I put the middle section of the cooker in place, put the lid on, and let it come up to temp.

Here are the variables involved in WSM temp control:
ē Starting method
ē How many coals are lit at start-up
ē Vent management
ē Weather conditions
ē Water pan utilization

I eventually figure out that by adding 12 lit coals on top of a chamber of unlit, and running the bottom vents about 1/3 open, and the top vent 100% open (I almost always cook with top vent 100% open), and with an empty water pan, my smoker will settle in and chug along at 280 for about 10 hours. And for my cooking style, 280 works for just about everything I cook.

Regarding the water pan, I would only put water in it if I were trying to cook at lower temps like around 225. Otherwise, I have found it much easier for me to just wrap the water pan in foil, and leave it empty. This is purely for ease of clean-up. Some people use water, others fill their water pan with sand and then wrap with foil, still others use a clay pot base for a water sink.

*Temps are significantly easier to manage on the way up. What I mean by that is it is much easier to take the temp up on a cool smoker than it is to bring it down on a hot smoker. If I want to cook lower, like at 225 for example, I start with less lit. And if I'm still having trouble getting down to 225, adding water to the pan can help cool the temp a bit. Accordingly, if I want to get up into 325-350, I would use more lit to start and open up the bottom vents to almost 100% and adjust from there.

Early on, I would recommend keeping notes on how what you do affects your smoker temp. I would highly recommend keeping notes on your cooks, as well. There are a million ways to do most of this stuff. Like a golf swing, getting it dialed-in to a repeatable action with predictable results is the trick. I would further submit that there isnít necessarily a Ďright or wrongí way of doing it. Figure out what works best for you, and focus on that.

Regards,
FM

Frank, what a great post! Thank you for taking the time. I will utilize this info for sure. Do you do any comps in the twin cities area?

Frank Mahovlich
06-04-2018, 07:15 PM
You're very welcome, AKMINAK. Just did my first comp (backyard) last weekend. It was a blast, and more rewarding than I could have imagined, but an awful lot of work as well. Won't be a regular thing for me at all, too much going on with kids on the go & being a single dad. But once or twice a summer, maybe. And backyard only, no way I'm going up against some of those pros.

scp
06-04-2018, 07:18 PM
Are the handles holding up ok with just the self tapping screws?

Nope used.... machine screws and nuts. These are meant for a window ...but were easy to form/bend to the shaped needed.