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Unread 07-14-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
bacchus99
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Default What to do 18.5 or 22.5 WSM

I know there has been a million threads on this but my situation is a little unique. I know most folks will recommend the 22.5 but i have 80 bucks in gift cards to a retailer that only carries the 18.5 :(.

With that said the money isn't a huge factor but I love a deal so getting an 18.5 for $220 or so sounds nice.

I'm thinking the max i would ever need to cook would be 8 racks of ribs, 30lb of butts, or a full packer brisket or 2(maybe once a year). Most of the time i'd be cooking for just the wife and I or no more than about 8 people.

What would you do? Thanks!
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Unread 07-14-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
touchdowntodd
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then id get the 18 for sure .. i have an 18 and it seems able to hold more than ill ever need to put on it!

strategically placed i think you can fit all that on a 18 (unsure about the ribs, but possible depending on how you do it i think)
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Unread 07-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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I have an 18.5, and I don't think I could handle eight racks of ribs, at least not without some mods. The butts and brisket would work.

I do have a could of OTGs, though, for overflow.

With the gift card, and my tight finances, I would go with the 18.5 for $220. But, if money is no object, buy whatever you really want.

CD
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Unread 07-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
HoosierTrooper
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I have both and you should be able to easily do those amounts on the 18.5.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
ksu1971
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Sounds like the 18" is the way to go. As it was mentioned with some creative placement you can get more on there then you think. I know some guys purchase a folding rack made for the BGE that sits nicely on the top rack for more room when needed. I am loving my WSM already and I am only on my first cook.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
yakdung
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Sounds like the 18 to me. Now go buy it and get smokin...
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
Smoking Westy
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Will a full packer fit on an 18?

I was recently in this predicament and settled on the 22.5". Peace of mind of having the extra capacity finally made the decision,that and my wife looked at them side by side and say the 18 was tiny compared the 22.5". Sold...give me the big one!

I can get 4 ribs on each grill with my 22.5". If you wanted to do 8 on the 18 I would think you'd need to use rib racks or some other mod.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
Big slick
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Go bigger. It's always better to have the extra room. I find that I hate starting my smoker up for 1 butt so I usually smoke stuff for friends as well. It's nice having the extra room.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #9
bacchus99
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I'm assuming the door on the 18.5 is too small to get beans into to catch drippings like some folks do on the 22.5?

I failed to mention i do have a 22.5 weber kettle as well that i have learned how to smoke on.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
Bluesman
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Get the 22.5. The day will come when you got...............Fark! I should have gotten the big one. Then you will buy the big one and have two. I suppose either way you can't lose.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
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Gift cards or not, I would still get the 22.5". More flexibility, especially for ribs and packer briskets.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:52 PM   #12
caseydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacchus99 View Post
I'm assuming the door on the 18.5 is too small to get beans into to catch drippings like some folks do on the 22.5?

I failed to mention i do have a 22.5 weber kettle as well that i have learned how to smoke on.
The doors on either one should not help you when it comes to adding beans. It is bellow the cooking grates. I'm not sure what "some folks" are doing.

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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:52 PM   #13
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I just got a 18.5 to cook for a family of 4 and think I have plenty of room. I think with a rib rack on each shelf you should be able to do 8 racks of ribs. I used mine for the first time yesterday and loved it the temp control is amazing.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
caseydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTG View Post
Gift cards or not, I would still get the 22.5". More flexibility, especially for ribs and packer briskets.
I guess I have a different philosophy. To me, buying a bigger smoker for the three times a year you need it is like driving a super-duty pickup everyday because you tow a boat to the lake three times a year -- and I know people who do that.

I tend to buy what I'll use most of the time, and find a way to do what I need to do if I have to on rare occasions.

We are looking at 220 bucks vs. 400 bucks, and more charcoal wasted cooking most of his cooks -- and he has a 22.5 kettle if he needs it. That's something to consider.

CD
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Unread 07-14-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
PatAttack
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^^^As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with CD.
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