Here are some ideas that Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker owners have come up with to hold the lid when it's not on top of the cooker.
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Oil Drip Pan
An oil drip pan—the kind you place underneath a car—is my preferred method for holding the WSM lid when it's not on the cooker. It protects my patio from drips from the cooker and gives me a place to set the lid. The one shown here measures 47" x 25" and cost less than $20 at an auto supply store.
Clark Hodgson from Wyocena, WI used scrap material to fashion the shepherd's crook shown in Photo 2. The hook swings from side to side so the lid can be moved out of the way. The vertical pipe is bolted to the table on which the cookers sit.
Tim Stork from Montgomery, IL noticed that his electric roasting pan had a lid holder design that could be adapted to the Weber Bullet. He installed a Weber lid handle on the side of the middle cooking section and added two L-shaped metal clips (Photos 4-5). This design allows the lid to be held in an open position or to hang down alongside the cooker.
Note that for stability, Tim aligns the lid hanger with one of the legs on the charcoal bowl.
Lid Hanger & Retaining Ring
Russ Turner designed this modification that allows him to hang the lid behind the cooker. It consists of a lid hanger and a retaining ring made from aluminum, which is strong but easy to work with. Thanks to Russ for provided the detailed instructions for this project.
Here is the materials list for this project, available from The Home Depot for under $20:
Fabricate The Lid Hanger
This modification uses the holes from one of the grill straps to hold the lid hanger, so pick one of the grill straps on the backside of the middle cooking section and remove it.
Take the 2" wide aluminum stock and starting from one end, measure and mark at 8-1/4" (first bend), at 9-1/4" (second bend), and at 14" (top end). The two bends will route the aluminum around the lip of the middle cooking section (Photo 11).
Do not cut the 2" wide stock to length until after you have marked and bent it! You can use that 36" length for leverage when making the bends.
Put the 2" stock into a bench vise and make the bends (Photo 12). Take your time...no hammering is required, just a little muscle.
To create a slight curve on the top end of the lid hanger, place it on a flat surface and put the WSM lid over the hanger at the 14" mark (the bent portion underneath the lid). Use a marking pen to trace the shape of the lid onto the hanger (Photo 13). Use a hack saw or electric saw with metal blade to cut the curved shape along the traced line. Use a metal file or fine sandpaper to smooth the cut edge and also the corners of the square end.
Take a few moments to hold the lid hanger up to your WSM to reassure yourself that it looks and fits right against the middle cooking section.
To make the fastening holes in the lid hanger, place it on your work surface with the long portion facing down (Photo 14). Place the grill strap on top of the long portion and push the top end of the strap tight up against the bend and center it from side to side (Photo 15). Use a marking pen to mark each hole and punch each spot with a center punch, if you have one.
Remove the grill strap—or use it as a drilling guide, if needed—and drill each hole using a 1/4" bit. Take a moment to compare the drilled lid hanger with the grill strap to ensure the holes are where they should be.
For aesthetics, use some fine steel wool to buff the lid hanger to remove any scratches and give the aluminum a flat stock look.
To install the lid hanger, place the grill strap screws through the hanger, then place the fiber washers on the screws, then push the screws through the middle cooking section. Place the grill strap over the screws and fasten using the grill strap nuts. The key is to make sure the fiber washer is between the lid hanger and the outside of the middle cooking section.
Fabricate The Retaining Ring
Take the 3/4" wide aluminum stock and drill a 1/4" hole in the center and 1/4" holes 2" in from each end—3 holes total. Using your hands or a vise, start bending and curving the piece so that it matches the shape of the inside of the lid. Keep bending and tweaking the shape until you have it just right.
Clamp the bent retaining ring inside the lid, about 3/4" above the lip, centered on either the vent side or the thermometer side of the lid. Hold the lid firmly on your work surface and drill through the center ring hole into the lid using a 1/4" bit. Place a fiber washer on one of the screws, insert it through the lid hole from the outside (Photo 16), then through the center hole in the retaining ring. Fasten with a lock washer and nut (Photo 17).
Repeat this process at each end of the retaining ring. Use clamps to hold the ring tightly in place and take your time while drilling the holes.
Your lid holder is now ready to use!
For maximum stability, align the lid hanger with one of the legs on the charcoal bowl (Photo 18).
Note that this design fits neatly inside the Weber Bullet's vinyl cover.
shepherd's crook: 2009 by Clark Hodgson