View Full Version : Ceramic or UDS or WSM?

08-23-2011, 09:49 AM
In terms of keeping temperatures steady as well as moisture inside the cooker which would give the best results?

Would the Q taste different from the three cookers?

08-23-2011, 10:08 AM
I think they all will give you steady temps but the ceramic will give you longer cooks without needing to add fuel. Not sure about moisture but I think ceramic is great for that as well. Of course I have a couple BGEs and don't own a UDS or a WSM so take my thoughts with a few grains of salt.:-P

Kenny Rogers
08-23-2011, 12:20 PM
The ceramic is dramitcally less effected by the ambient temperatures and/or any wind. I don't think they differ much in moisture, but the ceramic cookers typically have a tighter seal, which means less moisture escaping. Flavor shouldn't be significantly different, but the cooking method will vary.

I know when I cook chicken on my BGE it's easy to get too much smoke on the skin, and give it a really dark look, almost burnt looking, but the flavor is wonderful!

Dave Russell
08-23-2011, 01:27 PM
I've had and used a couple of UDS's, but now use a wsm. With a dry pan in my wsm, there's not as much moisture as in the UDS, and probably less than the ceramic cooker as well. Put water in the wsm pan though and it'll definately produce a steamier environment.

The UDS will add "fat in the fire" flavor if that's your thing. Personally though, it can be too much, especially if cooking more than just a couple of butts. It is a very good cooker for getting stuff done faster, though. However, I prefer my wsm, and I wouldn't get a ceramic cooker for smoking with since they just don't have the capacity I'd want for the $$ spent. Although I love my 18.5" wsm, I'd like the 22.5" wsm for the occasional BIG cook, and cooking ribs. The 18.5" wsm will overcook the ends of full racks unless rolling and skewering, but it's ok to just smoke half racks of ribs. With the big WSM though, you have the ease of glazing three whole slabs layed flat per rack.

08-23-2011, 02:24 PM
BGE has the advantage of steady temps and moisture, but not smokiness compared to a WSM or UDS.

08-23-2011, 02:48 PM
I hope to eventually one one of each. I want a ceramic for high heat cooks as well as low. I think, in the long run, the egg is the most versatile of the three.

Big Bears BBQ
08-23-2011, 02:52 PM
My BBQ buddy has a Primo , set it for get it for the most part. You get long burn times. Ribs chicken brisket pork butt all turn out great.......

08-23-2011, 07:57 PM
Somehow I would think that the ceramic would keep the moisture inside the cooker the best.

08-23-2011, 08:24 PM
Moisture in any cooker helps to maintain a more stable temperature. That's the main reason why water pans are used in UDSs and WSMs. The mass of the ceramic cooker is works the same way - therefore no water pan needed. Many folks have debunked (including Alton Brown) the thought that a moist environment = moist food. You can dry out anything (I'm proof positive unfortunately). I will say that I skip foiling when cooking in ceramics and woudln't think of skipping in the WSM. I don't have a UDS so I can't comment on the outcome. Get a pit controller for your cooker and temp control is no longer an issue. As far as taste - I've produced great food and crappy food on each of my grills. Steak for me is best on the infra-red gasser, but I do a reverse sear on the ceramic 90% of the time because it's more fun and still really tastes great. Buts are almost the same on both (no low n slow on infra-red). Ribs I like to cook on the ceramic. Like I said, I don't foil on the ceramic so it's easier. I always say it comes down to personal choice and budget. I like the BGE because you can buy it today, use it for however long, and sell it within a week for a pretty good price. WSM with a pit controller comes in second. Eats a lot of charcoal, but for the price differential you can afford it. UDS would be the most fun I think, but you have to have the time and skill set M2C.

08-29-2011, 10:20 AM
I have a WSM. No problem with moisture when using a water pan. Plus I have the ability to use something other than water (sand or apple juice).

For temperature control, the only issue I have is some minor temperature swings if I have my cooker in direct sunlight, and cook into the night. It's not a big deal and easy to maintain.

One concern of the ceramic is if your temperature is too hot, it may take a while to bring temps down.

One concern for the UDS is the burnt fat adding carcinogens.

I've also read the smoke flavor on a ceramic isn't the same as WSM or UDS. You need to have the wood smolder to get the best smoke flavor, and the ceramic is not the best for this. At least that's what I've read.

08-29-2011, 10:41 AM
Having owned and used three BGE's and two WSM's for extended periods-

if factors such as unit cost, ease of transportation, ability to grill/bake etc. were excluded in retrospect I'd take the WSM... Both hold consistent temps for long periods of time (sure the BGE may burn 24 hrs - but who's cooking for 24 hrs ?). I agree that the BGE is more difficult to get temps to come down compared to WSM.

For me, I've turned out good product on the BGE, but never to my expectation. I could always get very good to great product on the WSM. The biggest difference IMO was quality of the smoke.. While you won't get stickburner/offset quality wood flavor in a WSM, it can still be quite good.. The BGE's just doesn't get as close in this regard.

08-29-2011, 11:35 AM
I love my UDS. I have a diffuser to keep drippings from landing on the coals so that isn't a problem. Moisture doesn't ever seem to be a problem either. I can get almost 24 hours out of a single load of charcoal too. If you want to do more than smoke then the egg would be perfect. For just a smoker I would build a UDS.

Dave Russell
08-29-2011, 12:42 PM
Having owned and used three BGE's and two WSM's for extended periods-

...For me, I could always get very good to great product on the WSM...While you won't get stickburner/offset quality wood flavor in a WSM, it can still be quite good...

I completely agree, and I'd kind of just given up on getting NEAR as good a wsm smoke flavor for butts as I did with my old offsets.

Well, on my last butt cook I did a couple of things differently, but I was really surprised at just how much better it turned out. First of all, I used much fresher wood, even 50% green peach. Secondly, since this was a day cook, I checked my smoke ever so often and had to turn chunks over with my tongs a couple of times to keep the smoke up. I guess the lesson learned is that you never know what's going on with your smoke if you hit the sack too early, as the smoke flavor was MUCH better, and problem solved!

Although a stickburner is ideal, I'm back to planning on getting a big 22.5" wsm next year....as long as a steal of a nice stickburner doesn't present itself. :thumb: