This article offers some ideas on how to protect your patio or wooden deck while using the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.
As always...click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.
Undercar Oil Drip Pan
A large-sized automobile oil drip panóthe kind you place on the garage floor to catch oil drips under your caródoes a great job catching drips or spills from the cooker. It's also large enough to provide space for you to set down the lid and charcoal chimney without messing up your patio. In fact, you can light a charcoal chimney on the metal pan without scorching a concrete patio.
Made from galvanized steel, these pans resist rusting, clean up easily with soap and water, and can be stored away between uses.
Some people use a pan like this directly on a wooden deck. They report that there is enough air circulation around the bottom of the cooker that the wooden deck does not become scorched.
About $10 at auto parts stores.
Hot Water Heater Drip Pan
These aluminum pans are placed under a hot water heater to prevent leaks from damaging your home. They measure 24" in diameter and 1-3/4" deep, just the right size to hold a WSM.
Like the undercar oil drip pan, a hot water heater drip pan will not rust, can be cleaned easily with soap and water, and can be stored away after use.
David Ward sent in this photo of such a pan in use.
About $20 at home improvement stores.
Made of fiber cement, these pads will protect your wooden deck from radiated heat or sparks. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes; most are about 1/4" thick.
About $30-40 at barbecue specialty stores, home improvement stores, and Amazon.com.
An 18" square cement patio paver will do a fine job of protecting a wooden deck from heat or sparks.
About $5 at home improvement centers.
Chimney Starter Safety Tips
Never place a chimney starter on or near flammable materials like a wooden deck or dry grass.
Photos 7-8 from Greg Caesar of Houston, TX, show the damage caused by a chimney starter on his concrete driveway.
Safe locations to light a chimney include:
Photo of WSM on hot water
heater drip pan: 2005 by David Ward