Here's my take on it. Both cookers have been shown to product quality Q. It's a tool. You get out of it what you put into it. With either one you have to learn the tool and adapt it to you own cooking style. You need to sit back and decide what features of each are important to you. Do you want the shortest learning curve? Then go with the WSM. Do you want the satisfaction of building it yourself? Then build an UDS.
For me, there was no decision. I am not handy at all so building a UDS was out of the question.
Originally Posted by Azinine
cons: The 18" diameter kinda sucks sometimes... It costs $200.
Just a couple of thoughts on this.
1. The 18" diameter can be an issue with long racks of ribs or with a large brisket. Just roll the ribs. For a large brisket drape it over a rib rack or a stainless bowl.
2. For me, the WSM was cheaper. Until recently the only choice to buy a UDS was the Big Drum Smoker and thier smallest model as $325.
So... Meatburner... Here's a thought... If you are good with tools, build a UDS. It will give you some good experience and would be a fun project. If you don't like it start watching Craig's List and eBay for a deal on a WSM. You can still cook in the UDS in the mean time. I bought my first WSM for $140 brand new before the price increased a couple of years ago and I bought my second one for $60 (I think) off of eBay from a guy who clears out houses before demolition. You can get a deal on one if you are patient.