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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
asmonro
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Default Thoughts on WSM?

Pretty sure I am going to get a WSM, however, still very undecided on which size to get. I normally cook for small groups of people (10-15) so I know that the 18.5 would be good for that, but I keep going back to the 22.5 because of the potential to do larger groups and ability to fit full racks of ribs and packer briskets. Amount of fuel is not an issue to me. Anyone have any thoughts on which one I should get?
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
BobM
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I have both an 18 1/2" and 22 1/2" WSM. I use them both. If I had to have just one, I'd get the 22 1/2" model.

Good luck.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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Get the 18.5in one and learn your craft. Catch the bbq bug and then build yourself a 2 rack UDS. UDS is the same concept as a WSM but with less area's where you can get air leaks.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
Frank Mahovlich
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All comes down to personal preference and what will be the best fit for you.

Did my first large-scale (for me, at least) cook for about 30 people. Smoked a 15lb brisket packer. Pulled it from the smoker and slipped it into the oven. Then put 12 racks of St. Louis spare ribs on the smoker. All ended up being done about the same time and I was able to feed this group with a ton of leftovers.

I don't plan on feeding big groups like that very often, but it's nice to know I have the horsepower should the need arise. I have the WSM 22.5. Size matters!
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
NeilH
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For 10-15 and potentially more, i'd go with the 22 as well for the ease of using.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
Frank Mahovlich
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Also- may be a good idea to keep tabs on Craigslist. Ya never know what ya might find. I checked there on a whim and ended up finding my WSM 22. Brand new, still in the box, $150. I couldn't afford not to buy it.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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I've watched CL for a year and never seen a WSM available, in my area that's why I'm working on the UDS.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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If $$$ is no object, go bigger.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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If you have the ability to, I'd say go with the 22. You can always do smaller cooks with your 22 but you can't do bigger cooks with the 18.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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I would go with the 22. It is what I have been running for two years. It has been great for everything from as small as two racks of spares up to 30# of brisket and 20# of butts. It could have held more, but that is the most I have put on it at once. It can also hold large briskets (17#+) or several rib racks flat on each level.

I also made a smaller charcoal ring out of expanded metal to do the smaller cooks.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
5string
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I have both, if I had to pick one it would be the 22.5
At least then you would have the option if more space is needed.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Go with the 22.5. You can do smaller cooks if you need to and just shut down all the vents to extinguish the coals. I always have left over coals for the next cook.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
asmonro
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Thank you all for the help in deciding. Now to convince the wife. Any major downfalls with the WSM? Also, are there any must do mods before use?
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Unread 08-15-2013, 05:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asmonro View Post
Thank you all for the help in deciding. Now to convince the wife. Any major downfalls with the WSM? Also, are there any must do mods before use?
I'd say a slot for your probes if you plan to use a temp device. Wheels won't hurt either.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #15
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There are many ways to get alot more meat on an 18.5. Rib racks, etc. If fuel is not a consideration, I say go with the 22. I can do up to a 16# full packer brisket on my 18.5 or 6 racks of ribs using rib racks (3 per shelf by bending them in a "U" shape) or 4 butts (2 per shelf). With about 12 lbs of KBB, I can run about 14 hours at 250*F +.

Turn a SS bowl upside down for a a large brisket:



Ribs on a rack:





You'll be happy either way. Good Luck!
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