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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-12-2005, 10:12 AM   #1
CarbonToe
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Default Which Smoker - Brinkmann Vertical Smoker or WSM

The time has come to purchase a smoker. As I live in the UK choice is limited to mainly the Brinkmann range or the Weber Smokey Mountain (unless someone here knows otherwise).

I've checked around a few local Iron/Steel workers but the Smoker concept is totally alien and commisioning one would cost more than the BSKD as it's a one off cusom job.

Looking at the Brinkmann range the best bang for your buck looks like the Brinkmann Vertical Smoker.

So........what are the pros and cons or the Brinkmann Vertical Smoker (http://www.brinkmannsmokers.co.uk/vertical_smoker.htm) Vs the WSM (http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/grill/2...cg_sg_smk.aspx).

From what I can tell the BVS is about $50 cheaper than the WSM ($400 over $453 for the WSM) and looks better built (I cannot test or see them for myself as I don't live near any stockists). Having a full length door should make loading and unloading easier. I'd like some input from people who have used both if possible as people tend to prefer items they own!!

Also to muddy the water, is the Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe worth the extra $400 over the Vertical (i.e. an outlay of $845 - So serious arm twisting will have to occur between myself and my better half!!). Does the offset firebox make it easlier to maintain low and even temps over a long period of time.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Unread 09-12-2005, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default RE: Which Smoker - Brinkmann Vertical Smoker or WSM

first of... comparing the wsm to the skd is apples and oranges.

one is a vertical offset, the other is a bullet. They work differently and have different characteristics. The WSM will give you from a 8 to 14 hours nearly unattended burn. The SKD is a stick burner that you need to feed every 45-90 minutes. The offset cooker will not give you unattnded burn for extended periods unless you use a charcoal backet or some time of specialized technique. Both can use charcoal or lump, for longer burns, but only the SKD can be used for all wood which will give you heavier smoke flavor if wanted and thicker rings(not that that matters). The SKD will also allow you those days of therapy with a cold beer, pile of wood and a few hours of tending and cooking and unwinding. The WSM you can go to bed and wake up to brisket for breakfast. Capacity however cannot be compared. The SKD will hold 4-5-6 timres more than the WSM or more if u buy additional shelves.

forget the access issue. The wsm s a set and forget device.. u dont need extensive access. If your lookin you aint cooking... and with the limited capacity, you wont be opening it to add more food that often. I have never heard someone complain about access, but capacity is more of the issue.

for the extra 50 dollars, go with the WSM. Built and designed better than the brinkman. I had an older brinkman bullet, and it did not perform nearly as well as the wsm. You still need to babysit the brinkman bullet.

bottom line, decide what u want between the wsm and the skd. Forget the brinkman bullet.

Want to set and forget and no need for large capacity. Go with the WSM. Champions cook on WSM's so u know the result is excellent.

baby sit a stick burner, get smokey and sooty and play with fire all day.. feed lots of people.. go with the SKD.

And one more thing to add... the cost of 2 WSMS may be less or equal to a SKD, so that is a way to double your capacity should u want to set and forget, but capacity of one isnt enuf.
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Unread 09-12-2005, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default RE: Which Smoker - Brinkmann Vertical Smoker or WSM

Listen to Phil, sometimes he may ramble but this is not one of them. He knows his smokers and when he suggests one it is a good one.
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Unread 09-12-2005, 10:22 PM   #4
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Default RE: Which Smoker - Brinkmann Vertical Smoker or WSM

I agree with Trout, listen to Phil. I faced the same decision as you, and I ended up with the BSKD (Although at a substatially lower price!), and I love it. But I will say that I am impressed with the quality of the Weber products. Half the fun of my BSKD was making and installing the mods, which made this cooker much more effecient. As far as I know, the webers need very little modification to cook championship que. For $50.00, there is no question that I would go with the WSM over the BVS, but if you can swing it, I think that you would love the BSKD. Just decide on what and how you want to cook, as Phil stated above.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 02:06 AM   #5
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Default RE: Which Smoker - Brinkmann Vertical Smoker or WSM

Thanks guys. So that rules out the BSKD, if I want to muck about with the coals I can alway play with my Kettle!!! The idea of fire it up and forget is very appealing.

The BVS looks like the best of both worlds, it's a vertical style smoker with a cupboard style smoke compartment.

If I can't find a loyal following for the BVM I'll go with the WSM and get out the drill and start modding!!!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 07:07 AM   #6
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Holy crap on them prices Carbon!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 07:09 AM   #7
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what modding would u do the the WSM? Its excellent right out of the box. Only mod i considered was a couple of handles on the side so its easier to lift.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
what modding would u do the the WSM? Its excellent right out of the box. Only mod i considered was a couple of handles on the side so its easier to lift.
Here are my winter WSM projects...

- Side handles
- BBQ Guru eyelets (replace the grate bracket bolts and have a hole in the middle for thermometer wires) http://secure.thebbqguru.com/product...uct=82#details
- Wire the charcoal ring to thre charcoal grate (easier cleanup, takes about two minutes)
- Mount thermometer in the lid
- Add a gutter bracket to the outside to hang remote thermometer on

None of these are necessary, but just make life easier. The WSM cooks great out of the box!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
what modding would u do the the WSM? Its excellent right out of the box. Only mod i considered was a couple of handles on the side so its easier to lift.
I was going to fit a thermometer into the lid.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98
Holy crap on them prices Carbon!
Welcome to the UK!!!! It's not like we earn big bucks, it just means that you have to be more of a fanatic to buy one.

I've just found a WSM for $362 inc shipping & taxes and they'll throw in a Chimney Starter, Weber BBQ Book, and a Weber BBQ Lighter. I don't need the extras (I have the Weber Starter already) but I can always make some money back on eBay!!! Tempted..... :P
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Unread 09-13-2005, 08:18 AM   #11
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Don't forget to get a larger water pan for the WSM if you go that way. Nothing wrong with the one in the box, but you will like the advantage of not having to refill the water pan for longer cooks.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 08:30 AM   #12
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I've been debating drilling a hole and putting this $25 grill/smoker thermometer in my WSM's lid also... but if it is as inaccurate as the one in the door of my SKD, I don't know if it would be worth the trouble. Gotta buy a special drill bit just for one hole if I do.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:36 AM   #13
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heres a couple 2 cent points.

One, a thermometer in the lid is going to give you lid temps, which will be significantly higher than the pit. Personally, i use a probe dropped thru the top vent and placed at grate level. A lid one can at best just be a general gauge.

The WSM is porcelin(sp). Be vewy vewy careful drilling that stuff. i didnt bother with a special bit, just used a new/sharp one, went slow and kept the bit oiled up. You dont want to take a chunk of procelin off when u drill thru.

Handles are the best mod of all. Thats on my list.


Regarding the oversize brinkman charcoal pan for use as a water pan. I have been using it for a few years. the stock Weber pan holds mabe a gallon of water, the brinkman hold maybe 2-3? Woud make sense that the brinkman will last longer right? well.. wrong, not always. :? :? Many times, while using 2 WSM's side by side, running at temps within the same range(225-250), the bigger water pan dried out faster.

Not sure of exactly why, but my theories: 1 - The bigger pan is much deeper, which brings it closer to the coals and it boils out faster. 2- the wsm pan is convex on the bottom, the brinkman is flat. The flatter pan allows more surface area to me in contact with more heat, which also adds to faster boiling.

Both work, but side by side, there have been times where the stock pan lasted longer and i was refilling the larger pan. Personally, i stopped using the brinkman pan as much.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 10:39 AM   #14
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Interesting observation on the water pan, Poob... Your theories makes sense. I have both pans, but only one WSM, so I'll have to observe on seperate cooks (unless someone wants to donate a WSM to me in the name of science! :) ).

I have noticed that the temp at the top of the dome is about 10 degrees hotter than at the top grate. I like a thermometer at the dome just to monitor temperature trends. I still use a probe at grate level for true cooking temp on occasion, but all of those wires coming through the lid vents get in the way! The BBQ Guru eyelets should help with that.

CarbonToe... Have you looked into what it would cost for someone in the US to buy a WSM and ship it to you? It may end up being more expensive, but ya never know!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L
CarbonToe... Have you looked into what it would cost for someone in the US to buy a WSM and ship it to you? It may end up being more expensive, but ya never know!
I've a friend of a freind who works for Etnies who sometimes sends me stuff over, but you have to be careful to make the item look second hand/or a present or the government chaage tax, postage for something that big/heavy has got to cost.....

...................Anyway, to coin a phrase I've bitten the bullet - I've just ordered a WSM!!!!
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