Once you have all the pieces for the Mini WSM you have a few decisions to make on the setup. This is the part of the project that makes your smoker truly custom.
One very important decision is the placement of your grill. It can be as high or as low as you want. In our case, we planned to add a second grate in the future so we made sure to leave enough space underneath. Ours was placed just below the handle, so there was plenty of space under the lid on top. We used three bolts to hold our grate, and it has no problem holding the weight of whatever we put on it.
Another decision is the placement of your thermometer. We went with the middle of the pot on ours, wanting to find a spot that better suited the future two-tier setup. If you plan to go with only one grate, you can certainly locate it closer to your cook height. Weber places the thermometer of a WSM in the lid. You want two thermometers? Sure, why not? It’s your smoker!
There are two popular options for the heat diffuser in a Mini WSM. Some drill holes in the bottom of the pot, and others cut out the bottom almost entirely, intending to use a terra-cotta plate or something similar. What did we do? We did both.
It is redundant, of course, but we are still experimenting with the setup. We can always cut out the bottom later and just stick to the terra-cotta plate if we so choose. Right now we keep it suspended above the bottom with a wire stand-off, so none of the holes are blocked.
We used the steamer insert that came with the pot as a guide for spacing the holes before drilling.
Note the holes pictured above are not the final size. We used a step drill bit to make them much bigger.
With that it’s all set to go. Next up, grab some charcoal and wood chunks and get ready to smoke!