Originally Posted by the_hunchback
Question for you guys that have experience with both a UDS and WSM (18.5). Which one would you get if you had the choice. I can possibly get a WSM for around $150 but am trying to decide which way to go. Thanks.
I have an 18.5 WSM and two drums, so I guess I qualify as a responder. I like both units. The WSM is easier to move around and bring someplace if need be. The porcelain coating will last a very long time and the cooker will not rust. The WSM has a long history of success and has been engineered to work well. Large customer base and fountain of knowledge is available to you along with a web site devoted to the WSM, The Virtual Weber Bullet. Produces quality food and is very economical to operate. You do not need to fabricate it yourself, for some this is an issue. I have cooked 6 pork butts at once in my 18.5 WSM. Ribs and brisket can be an issue with the small grate size. For $150 I'd go with the bullet as you will spend close to that, or more, building your drum. Not to mention your time.
Now for the other side. With both units cooking away side by side, people will always make a comment about the drum and the fact it is a home built unit. That buzz is a nice conversation starter. Depending on the size of the charcoal basket, mine is 14" wide x 12" tall, you will get a really long burn time. In excess of 20 hours. With a diffuser plate of some sort, the product you produces will taste the same as off the WSM. Rack size allows for full packers and racks of ribs laid flat, my preference. So, in making a recomendation? Buy the WSM and then while you are cooking up the first batch of ribs start building a drum as you will want both.
A bunch of wise men have said "You can never have too many smokers!"