Weber Smokey Mountain Review & Buying Guide

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If you’re ready to get serious about smoking meat in your own backyard, you’re probably thinking of getting a Weber Smokey Mountain.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all of the information you need before purchasing a Weber Smokey Mountain, such as how to choose the appropriate size, how it compares to other popular smokers, and how to get the most out of your new smoker.

But you want to be sure you’re getting the correct smoker, and with so much information available, it may be difficult to make the perfect choice.

Introducing the Weber Smokey Mountain

Weber Smokey Mountain Review & Buying Guide

Among smoked meat fans, the renowned Weber Smokey Mountain has developed a significant cult following. One of the primary benefits of purchasing one is the wealth of information accessible online for making the most of your WSM.

This smoker, often known as the Weber Bullet, has a long history. The WSM, which was first released in 1981, has had various modifications over the years, including additional sizes, a built-in thermometer, enhanced construction, and many more.

The WSM has earned the respect of even the most serious pitmasters.

Meathead Goldwyn, Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

WSMs are high-quality, bullet-shaped smokers that run on charcoal. They are often seen competing against giant commercial cookers in almost every tournament. And succeeding. They are quite simple to learn.

Smokey Mountains cook at a wonderfully consistent temperature for hours, and changing or reducing the temperature on this little model is simple simply opening and closing the vents.

The construction is sturdy, and the finish is stunning. Weber is an expert in creating long-lasting porcelain and chromium coatings. The legs are strong, and they are equipped with a bowl-shaped metal heat shield. If you’re cooking on a wood deck, we suggest using a grill mat.

How water smokers work

The Smokey Mountain is a kind of water smoker.

grills.They carry a lot of punch into a little package, like a bullet (another term). Excellent if you have limited room or want to purchase many smokes.

To create smoke and heat, the Smokey Mountain burns charcoal and wood bits.

The water basin that lies between the fire and the cooking greats is the important component that lends it its name. The water bowl keeps the smoking temperature consistent while also providing humidity to the smoke chamber.

Many WSM aficionados claim that this feature lets them to avoid the Texas shortcut of covering the meat in foil halfway through the cook.

A water smoker is usually divided into three sections:

  • A firebox for the charcoal and smoke wood, as well as a grate to regulate airflow
  • A cooking portion with a water pan, two cooking grates, and a door for adding charcoal or wood.
  • Weber domed lid with built-in temperature gauge

One of the primary reasons people favor vertical water smokers like the WSM over other types of smokers is their ease of usage.

Even a complete novice may start smoking with a WSM and have satisfactory results.

Heck, I learned to smoke on a Weber Smokey Mountain, and my first few attempts were rather successful.

Basic setup:

  1. Lit charcoal is heaped in the bottom charcoal ring.
  2. Fill the metal bowl with water or experiment with different liquids such as cider or apple juice (or beer if you have any on hand).
  3. Food goes on to the racks above the water bowl
  4. Adjust the vents and add wood pieces to the coals to get the required temperature of 225 degrees.
  5. Check the temperature every hour or so (the WSM has a built-in thermometer, but most users prefer to purchase something more precise, such as a Maverick Remote Thermometer).

More information about cooking with a Smokey Mountain may be found in the Resources section at the bottom of this page.

How to choose which Smokey Mountain size to buy

The Weber Smokey Mountain has been offered in three sizes since 2014.

The 14 Smokey Mountain Cooker is the most recent scaled-down model, followed by the 18 model and the big daddy 22 Smokey Mountain Cooker.

The size in the name relates to the breadth of the cooking grates in each instance.

Price per inch (each WSM come with 2 grates):

14.5 276 square feet at $0.72 per square foot18.5 481 square feet at $0.62 per square foot22.5 726 square feet at $0.55 per square foot

Think carefully about what you plan on cooking.

If you purchase the smaller model to save money but can’t fit a big enough brisket in it, you may wind up having to buy both and have two smokers filling up your yard (not the worst thing to have!).

Key things to consider

  • Consider the biggest thing you’ll be smoking (often a packer brisket or turkey).
  • Some individuals discover that they are unable to put a complete brisket or a rack of spare ribs flat on the 18.5.
  • The bigger two WSMs will use more charcoal, however this may be minimized using techniques like as the Snake method.
  • grilling combination?If you want to grill, 22.5 is your best choice, but it is not meant for this use.Will you be using the WSM as a dedicated smoker or as a smoker?

Deciding which Weber to buy really comes down to 2 things:

  1. Price If you can afford it, the 22 WSM will keep you from running out of space.
  2. How many people do you need to feed? If you intend on cooking many chickens or racks of ribs on a regular basis, I would suggest spending the additional money to acquire at least the 18-inch model.

Personally, I choose the middle 18 variant and am delighted. I can put two medium chickens on one rack while doing a pork butt or a couple racks of ribs on the other.

Smokey Mountain alternatives compared

One of the most prevalent concerns when purchasing a Smokey Mountain is how it compares to other popular smokes.

The Smokey Mountain consistently receives high marks and is a popular presence at barbecue contests.

Having said that, it’s still interesting seeing how the WSM stacks up against other popular smokes.

Weber Smokey Mountain VS Kettle Grill

If you’re upgrading to a dedicated smoker, chances are you already own a Kettle Grill, so go ahead and skip ahead.

whether this is your first smoker, you may be thinking whether it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars on a Smokey Mountain when a normal Weber Kettle Grill would cost you approximately a hundred dollars.

It all boils down to your priorities. The Weber Kettle is less expensive and more flexible. While built as a grill, the Kettle may be simply turned into a smoker.

However, if you are serious about smoking meat, the WSM is a much superior smoker. In comparison to a Kettle, the WSM provides:

  • Temperature is far more steady. Smoking meat requires constant heat over lengthy periods of time. While a Kettle may be used for this, it takes frequent adjustments to the airflow and can take a lot of work (and subpar BBQ) to achieve. The WSM, on the other hand, can keep going for hours and hours.
  • Keep temps low. In addition to improved overall temperature management, the WSM enables you to maintain lower temperatures without the possibility of temperature spikes. You will constantly be fighting direct heat radiation with the Kettle.
  • How much food you can fit You get substantially greater cooking space with the twin grill design and avoid the multi zone cooking necessary with a Kettle.
  • chilly smoking If you want to attempt cold smoking fish or cheese, the WSM has a few possibilities. You may utilize the snake technique to fill the reservoir with ice by stacking 22 charcoal stacks with wood on top. If you want, you may purchase a pellet smoker tube to insert at the bottom of your grill.

The Weber Kettle is an excellent and flexible grill. You may obtain excellent results smoking meat with sufficient skill and a variety of available equipment.

If you don’t regularly smoke a lot of meat at once, the Kettle may be a better option. But, if you’re serious about smoking meat, the Smokey Mountain is unquestionably superior and well worth the additional money.

Weber Smokey Mountain VS BIG Green Egg

Despite the fact that the BGE is a Kamado Cooker, the Weber Smokey Mountain is often compared to it. This kind of cooker, which gets its name from the Japanese word for stove, may be manufactured of a number of materials, including ceramic.

CC Image courtesy of Bryan Adams on Flickr

You may wonder why you would purchase this wonderfully built Kamado type smoker.

Meathead Goldwyn,Big Green Egg Ceramic Cooker

Many consider the Big Green Egg to be the Weber of Kamados. They pioneered the use of Kamado cookers in the United States and are widely regarded as the industry standard.

The Large Egg can hold a 20-pound turkey and features an 18-inch-diameter grate. The BGE design is simple, engineered to endure, and comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.

For most recipes, round Kamados perform as well as or better than ordinary charcoal grills. They are great ovens and smokers by design since the ceramic maintains at the appropriate temperature for hours.

Some advantages of buying the Big Green Egg

  • The biggest benefit that Big Green Egg aficionados believe is improved air control and insulation.
  • The WSM is inefficient and will use more gasoline.
  • If you cook often at low temperatures, the ceramic Big Green Egg will be less damaged by cold weather and snow.
  • Can double as an oven without any modifications.
  • Cook pizza, bread, and anything else that would ordinarily be cooked in an oven. WSM can accomplish this as well, but it needs a Pizza Oven Kit (as well as the removal of the central piece of your WSM).

The BGE is a superior combination grill, but for the sake of this article, we will concentrate on what makes the finest smoker. For what it’s worth, the BGE doesn’t qualify for Meathead Goldwyn since it can’t be set up for real 2-zone cooking.

Before we crown the BGE…

So far, the BGE seems terrific, but we’ve been ignoring the elephant in the room. The BGE will cost you substantially more money.

The WSM provides larger cooking area for a lower cost than the BGE, particularly when comparing the 22.5 model.

XL Big Green Egg 452 square inches Large Big Green Egg 262 square inches481 square inches at 18.5 WSM726 square inches, 22.5 WSM

  • Making the WSM considerably less expensive! Even the biggest WSM will cost you far less than the $849.00 Large BGE.
  • Big Green Eggs are only available via authorized dealers, thus this is merely the recommended retail price.
  • The 22.5 WSM costs $0.55 per square foot against $3.20 for the Large BGE.

The BGE costs 481.8% more per square inch of cooking surface.

The plain reality is that pricing will drive many customers to pick the WSM over the BGE. However, if money is not a concern and you want the utmost degree of temperature control, the BGE may be for you.

If you’re interested in this kind of smoker, check out our comprehensive guide to the top Kamado grills.

Offset Smoker VS WSM

Offset smokers (also known as horizontal smokers) are another popular option for those interested in learning how to smoke meat. While the cooking fundamentals are the identical, fire management on an offset design smoker is an entirely different experience.

In his outstanding guide on smoking brisket, Aaron Franklin uses an offset smoker.

Then there’s the issue of cost. With a nice offset smoker costing upwards of $1,000, you may believe they’re a step up from the WSM.

But what you’re actually paying for is higher capacity at the risk of burning through a lot more fuel and needing to manage the fire a lot more to keep it steady.

Even with the 12.5 WSM you are getting a top quality smoker. An offset smoker in that price range could make a nice table, but it won’t be really useful for anything else.

Main differences between an offset and a WSM

  • Offset smokers often have larger capacity, which is beneficial if you need to cook a large amount of meat at once.
  • If you have a conveniently accessible supply of inexpensive firewood, such as oak, hickory, cedar, or maple.
  • The WSM is a more set-it-and-forget-it style of cooker, while the offset smoker requires much more fire control.

The WSM is substantially more cost-effective in terms of both price and gasoline. The Weber, according to most people, provides greater temperature control.

There are some decent offsets out there if you want to experiment with burning wood and don’t mind paying more, but the WSM is hands far superior value.

WSM VS Traeger pellet smoker

So far, every smoker we’ve investigated makes use of charcoal (or wood). But, if all of this discussion about fire control has made you nervous, there is another alternative to consider.

Pallet smokers resemble offset smokers but lack a firebox in favor of a side-mounted hopper loaded with cylindrical wood pellets. These pellets are transferred from the hopper to a fire pot equipped with an ignition. The heat and smoke produced by the combustion of the pellets smokes the meat.

Pellet smokers run on home electricity and have a digital controller that lets you to choose whatever temperature you wish.

Steven Raichlen, Pellet Grills, New Kid on the Block

It is simple.Maybe a touch too simple, I warned the audience of Barbecue University students gathered around the world’s first wood pellet barbecue. People nodded; we had reached an agreement, right?

Smoking and grilling are both considered difficult activities. If not cutting wood, at least breathing in charcoal dust and smoke and working hard to keep a consistent temperature during a barbeque session that may continue all day. Or at night.

No self-respecting pit boss would adhere to the “set it and forget it” mentality. Pellet grills are a craze, I reasoned, and would burn out quickly.

That was five years ago.

The Traeger is a good middle-of-the-road pellet smoker. The Traeger pellet grill has earned the moniker “Big cheating outdoor oven!” because to its exceptional control, convenience, and flavor.

  • charcaol, and don’t want to deal with heat management The Traeger might be an excellent choice.If you dislike the procedure of experimenting with fire,
  • The WSM will still provide greater value, since the smaller Traeger grill costs more for 292 square inches of cooking surface against 481 square inches on the 18.5 WSM.

A Traeger is an excellent alternative if you don’t mind spending a little more for the set it and forget it method and are certain you won’t miss the heat control.In my perspective, it takes away part of the joy and romanticism of smoking.

That includes some of the most important Smokey Mountain options that consumers often compare. I hope I’ve given you enough knowledge to make your own decision.

How to setup your new Smokey Mountain

If you’ve chosen to buy your own WSM, there are a few things you should know beforehand. Before you begin cooking with your new WSM, you need acquire some crucial smoker accessories. These will make your life much simpler.

A decent wireless thermometer and a chimney starter are required at the very least. After that, you may go shopping for further items as needed. While not required, some individuals end up creating their own modifications to the Smokey Mountain, such as putting a hinge to the lid, repairing leaks, or adding wheels.

Season your new WSM before cooking with it, just like you would a fine cast iron pan or wok.

Harry Soo Seasoning a new WSM

The First Phase Cover the water pan fully with aluminum foil and run a full load of lighted Kingsford blue bag briquets to burn out any manufacturing residue (above 350F) with no water in the pan. Remove the ash.

In the center, there are two lighted Kingsford briquet chimneys. On a 72°F day, this will allow for a leisurely burn for three to five hours.2 briquets are lighted. Make a charcoal donut by hollowing out the middle to expose the grate. Then add a 1Phase Two -Fill the Charcoal Basket

Adjust the vents until the dome thermometer reads 275F. Put in bacon pieces, chicken bits, pig fat, or any other leftover meat. The idea is to obtain fatty foods to produce a large amount of vapors. To make smoke, toss in a couple of tennis ball-sized wood bits.

Repeat the preceding process at least twice before cooking the meat. To prevent fires and the stench of rancid old oil, always drain the ash from the bottom and grease from the foiled water pan before cooking.

It’s also critical to learn how to adjust the temperature on your new smoker. While the fundamentals are simple, it’s useful to grasp some of the physics underlying temperature and how to avoid some of the most typical rookie errors.

Where to Buy your new Smokey Mountain

When it comes to purchasing your new WSM, you have a few alternatives. The simplest alternatives are to order from Amazon or BBQGuys.com, both of which provide free delivery if you reside in the United States.

If you want to view it in person before you purchase, Weber provides a locate a dealer option on their website.

The WSM is seldom (if ever) on sale, but if you’re looking to save money, you can typically find some decent used Weber Smokey Mountains on Ebay.

Resources for getting the most out of your new WSM

Probably the finest source of detailed WSM information. From history to product information to unpacking to tips and methods for utilizing your new WSM, virtualweberbullet.com has it everything.http:

A virtualweberbullet-connected discussion forum. You may find the solution to any query among millions of postings. Excellent forum for discussing your WSM.tvwbb.comhttp:

The finest WSM setup and add-ons Setting up your WSM, seasoning, and other cooking techniques are all covered in detail.

Smoking Baby Back Ribs for Barbecue (Video) Watch a WSM at work smoking ribs.

Using a WSM to Smoke Amazing Ribs Step-by-step instructions for smoking ribs on the WSM, with plenty of photos to help you along the way.

Feeding the Fire: Barbecue and Grilling Recipes and Techniques Joe Carroll’s BBQ book isn’t specifically for a WSM, however the tips provided therein is applicable to utilizing your new WSM.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoking Techniques A good selection of recipes and techniques to get you started smoking with the WSM.

That brings us to the end of my definitive guide to purchasing a Smokey Mountain. Hopefully, you’ve discovered some valuable information to help you make a more informed choice. Please leave a comment if you believe there is anything more I should have included.

FAQs

Is Weber Smokey Mountain 14 Big Enough?

Very tiny. It won’t smoke a pair of full-sized briskets or even complete racks of ribs without splitting them in half, but it will smoke enough for someone with a small family.

Is a 18 WSM big enough?

When cooking in the backyard, the 18.5′′ WSM seems to meet the demands of the majority of people most of the time. The 18.5′′ WSM delivers the cooking capacity that most people need at home, with the ability to effortlessly handle 2 briskets, 4 pork butts, 4 chickens, or 8 wrapped racks of baby back ribs.

How long does the Weber Smokey Mountain last?

What is the lifespan of Weber Smokey Mountain? If you wish to cook for a lengthy amount of time (up to 18 hours of 225F cooking has been recorded), the chamber can be filled all the way to the top. If you require less cooking time, the chamber may be filled less.

Can Weber Smokey Mountain be used as normal BBQ?

“Can the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker be used as a grill?” a few people have questioned. Yes, the answer is yes! It has the same cooking capacity as the Weber 18.5′′ kettle grill and is capable of producing a nice grilled steak or burger.

How big of a turkey can I fit in a Weber Smokey Mountain?

A 12-15 pound turkey is suggested for the Weber Smokey Mountain, which has two cooking shelves. Best of all, cooking two 12- to 15-pound turkeys at the same time is no longer difficult. This is true for the medium (18.5′′) and big (22.5′′) WSM sizes, but not the tiny 14′′ smoker.

How many ribs can you cook in a Weber Smokey Mountain 22?

The 22.5′′ WSM can handle three slabs of ribs exactly straight, and it can easily accommodate six slabs of rolled ribs on the top grate.

What size smoker do I need?

900 square inches (and higher) provides enough space to cook many big portions of meat at the same time, such as full briskets, pig shoulders, numerous racks of ribs, and more. It’s the ideal size if you’re holding a large gathering at your house and need to serve a large number of visitors.

What is the largest Weber Smokey Mountain?

The Smokey Mountain Cooker smoker boasts two cooking grates for smoking many foods at once, as well as a retractable door and readily adjustable dampers to keep you in control of the heat—and your feast. There are three sizes available: 14″, 18″, and 22″ (or, if you’re like us, 2, 4, or 6 racks of ribs!)

Should I use water in my Weber Smokey Mountain?

It is OK to use water whenever you cook with your WSM. If you appreciate the outcomes and are happy with the process, don’t feel obligated to make any changes. However, after you’ve mastered water, you may wish to try waterless cooking.

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