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View Full Version : Advice for multiple cookers for a new comp cook


jonobacon
03-11-2013, 03:07 AM
Hi All,

I currently have a WSM 22" which serves me well. Currently I only use the top rack and mainly do ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder on it.

I am getting interested in doing competitions (although very much as a hobby at first) and clearly need another grill, primarily for doing chicken thighs at a higher temp (I am using Myron Mixon's cupcake chicken approach, using the mold, and panned).

I don't really want to buy another WSM due to the cost (until I start winning and can justify the $$$) so I was thinking of a 22" Weber Gold and then shoveling the coals to one side and adding a water pan and smoke box so I can do the indirect cooking (I could also use a smokenator if needed).

Any thoughts on this? Do you think this would be a good solution as an additional cooker in companion to my WSM?

Thanks!

Crash
03-11-2013, 03:57 AM
I'd go get another WSM...18 or 22. Look on CL for a deal in your area.

If you plan on getting into competition BBQ.......do it for fun initially. Those winning checks seem to be few and far between for a lot of us.

Best of luck.

G$
03-11-2013, 08:22 AM
The cost of a well cared for used WSM will be the least of your competition cooking concerns. :wink:

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-11-2013, 08:30 AM
Yeah, one contest will cost you the price of a new WSM at the minimum.

However, a LOT of great chicken has been cooked on the kettle. Personally, I bought the el cheapo 26 kettle for less than the 22.5 OTS. Just don't tell my chicken. :oops:

Ron_L
03-11-2013, 08:47 AM
A kettle will do fine, but I don't think you need to worry about the water pan and smoke box just for chicken. Chicken is a short cook and it doesn't need a lot of smoke. Just back the coals on one side of the kettle and put in some chips or a couple of wood chunks.

But, if you can find a used WSM in good shape for a good price, that would be better.

Do you have the rest of the equipment? Coolers, tables, EZ-up, etc? That will cost you more than a WSM as well.

4uweque
03-11-2013, 08:51 AM
I use a kettle for chicken, I just offset the fire and ad a little wood. Works fine. I normally take 3 drums and a kettle, it's just easier for me to have a different cooker for each meat.

DawgPhan
03-11-2013, 08:52 AM
you could easily cook everything on a single 22 WSM. I would just focus on that. running a second cooker is generally a pain.

G$
03-11-2013, 09:23 AM
you could potentially cook everything on a single 22 WSM. I would not just focus on that. running a second cooker is generally a big help.


Fixed yer post! :wink:

(Opinions shouldn't be stated as absolutes)

K-Train
03-11-2013, 10:16 AM
I use an old beat up webber kettle to finish my chicken. However the majority of the cooking comes in a WSM. We run 2 22.5 wsm's, an offset, and the kettle. I'd rather have too much space then not enough.

nthole
03-11-2013, 10:24 AM
Honestly, to really compete you're going to need more than one WSM. If you don't want to buy another WSM you could build a drum. You can put in a diffuser and it will cook just like a WSM or you can leave it out and cook it distance direct. Gives you some options. (You can do the same with a WSM of course!)

Pigs on Fire
03-11-2013, 10:46 AM
Fixed yer post! :wink:

(Opinions shouldn't be stated as absolutes)

Like yours?

:wink:

G$
03-11-2013, 02:09 PM
Like yours?

:wink:

Exactly!

landarc
03-11-2013, 02:41 PM
I like Nthole's advice. I have seen a few teams that ran a kettle for chicken, and they seemed to do just fine. A kettle is certainly a way to save a little moola on the start up end of comps.

Smoke'n Ice
03-11-2013, 04:15 PM
The entry fees, ancillary equipment, product cost, charcoal, wood cost, travel cost, creature comfort cost for one contest should preclude the idea of going into it half-a$$ without the proper cooking equipment. If you can't afford the cost of the minimum amount of cooker space, then you really can't afford to become a "was also there and couldn't compete". Two 22" wsm or one 22" and one 19" would give you enough cooker space and can be transported easily on a bumper buddy.

jketron
03-11-2013, 06:30 PM
Its really hard to beat a WSM, they are great values for the money. There are plenty of folks using them and beating people using 20K pits. I use a WSM (not in comps..yet) and I will for comps. The reason I'm entertaining another smoker besides the WSM is personal choice. I like the idea of large single cooking surface versus taking off the top to get to the bottom. This wont make me a better cook but I will be happy cooking :)

CBQ
03-11-2013, 06:54 PM
I like the idea of large single cooking surface versus taking off the top to get to the bottom. This wont make me a better cook but I will be happy cooking :)

There is something to be said for making it easy on yourself.

nmayeux
03-12-2013, 08:00 AM
Didn't Slap Yo Daddy win one of the TOY awards cooking all for categories on a single WSM?

However, cooking space is a really nice asset to have at a competition, as well as not having to put all of your eggs in one basket!

Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
03-12-2013, 08:52 AM
Didn't Slap Yo Daddy win one of the TOY awards cooking all for categories on a single WSM?

However, cooking space is a really nice asset to have at a competition, as well as not having to put all of your eggs in one basket!

I believe he did. And I think he uses one bag of charcoal per comp too.

Might be time to invest in a drum.

DawgPhan
03-12-2013, 12:26 PM
Didn't Slap Yo Daddy win one of the TOY awards cooking all for categories on a single WSM?

However, cooking space is a really nice asset to have at a competition, as well as not having to put all of your eggs in one basket!


an 18.5 to boot. Harry could probably do 2 turn ins from a 22"

jonobacon
03-13-2013, 11:47 PM
Hi All,

Thanks for all the great responses!

So now I am judging between a Weber Smokey Mountain 18" or a Weber Kettle 22" + Smokenator. The difference is about $50, and I like the 22" size for doing ribs without pinwheeling and I get the impression that the kettle will be more fuel efficient. I mainly want to do chicken and ribs on there. I like the idea of the extra space with a second cooker, and I suspect I would find the 22" more flexible, but I don't want to comprimise with a kettle if you folks recommend an 18" WSM is better.

Anyone have any experience of temp control of the kettle with the smokenator and how well in general it works? Meathead seems to like it.

Feedback is welcome! Thanks! :-)

porkingINpublic
03-14-2013, 05:25 AM
I'd find a buddy to cook with me that already had a smoker...

Untraceable
03-14-2013, 06:35 AM
I'd find a buddy to cook with me that already had a smoker...

yep, split those costs up.

tnjimbob
03-14-2013, 10:14 AM
Temp control with or without the Smokenator is not difficult in a kettle. Practice, practice, practice and use a good thermometer to monitor temps. There are many good methods to maintain good smoking temps in a Weber kettle, but most of all you should learn temp management by controlling the intake vents.

Kettles make excellent small capacity smokers, but are much more sensitive to weather conditions and vent adjustments than other purpose built smokers.

swamprb
03-14-2013, 12:15 PM
Hi All,

I currently have a WSM 22" which serves me well. Currently I only use the top rack and mainly do ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder on it.

I am getting interested in doing competitions (although very much as a hobby at first) and clearly need another grill, primarily for doing chicken thighs at a higher temp (I am using Myron Mixon's cupcake chicken approach, using the mold, and panned).

I don't really want to buy another WSM due to the cost (until I start winning and can justify the $$$) so I was thinking of a 22" Weber Gold and then shoveling the coals to one side and adding a water pan and smoke box so I can do the indirect cooking (I could also use a smokenator if needed).

Any thoughts on this? Do you think this would be a good solution as an additional cooker in companion to my WSM?

Thanks!

If you are going to go with a Weber Gold kettle and that's your plan to cook bird bath, consider adding a Cajun Bandit kettle conversion. The setup for indirect and the ability to easily get a good smoke and higher temps will make life much simpler. More grate space than an 18" WSM investment.