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Rich M
07-18-2015, 03:49 PM
Being a newbie...ready to get my first smoker..before I take the plunge into building a UDS :wink:

Since I'm very familiar with Weber Kettle grills over the years, and have owned over a dozen, thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing a WSM... Since it will be the first smoker I've owned..and being a newbie, I'm thinking on the 18.5" Dia in lieu of the 22.0"....

Input would be appreciated...

On a side note..When I was regularly traveling to Slovakia to visit the in laws..there was a homemade smokehouse in every other house in the village that I visited... October is generally the Hog slaughtering time of year..and the mountain aired smelled wonderful that time of year..and the eats were awesome. Typical smokers were built from corrugated steel, could hold up to 350 lbs of hog, and smoked with Oak....

Have a great weekend everyone...

Rich

yakdung
07-18-2015, 03:52 PM
Smart move on the WSM. The smoke houses you describe remind me of years gone by in South Louisiana.
http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/2008/01/building-cold-smoker-smokehouse.html

THoey1963
07-18-2015, 03:55 PM
If you think the 18.5" is good enough for you, get the 22.5". Decide the size you need and then get the next bigger. You may not need all the space, all the time, but it is better to have too much space than not enough space.

Love my 22.5, but out grew it in a years time...

Big_Alvin
07-18-2015, 04:11 PM
you can't go wrong with the wsm, but i will second Terry's advice, go for the 22.5" you'll be glad you didi

Rich M
07-18-2015, 04:21 PM
^^^^^^

Thank you kindly for the advise... I was thinking the same...

Unfortunately, can't find a 22" at a local distributor..so more than likely need to do the internet thing ....

yakdung
07-18-2015, 04:25 PM
^^^^^^

Thank you kindly for the advise... I was thinking the same...

Unfortunately, can't find a 22" at a local distributor..so more than likely need to do the internet thing ....

I also own a 22" WSM. Found mine at a local ACE hardware dealer. This is as good as any on the net:
Amazon.com : Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 22-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black : Patio, Lawn & Garden@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41-Nd4eZplL.@@AMEPARAM@@41-Nd4eZplL

Rich M
07-18-2015, 04:49 PM
^^^^^^^^

Thanks yakdung!

Found an Ace store on the other side of the Hudson in Westchester county that has 22" WSM availability... Going to call them in the morning to confirm, and if so, off I go....

PaulstheRibList
07-18-2015, 04:51 PM
I liked my 22.5" so much...I got a 2nd one!

yakdung
07-18-2015, 04:53 PM
^^^^^^^^

Thanks yakdung!

Found an Ace store on the other side of the Hudson in Westchester county that has 22" WSM availability... Going to call them in the morning to confirm, and if so, off I go....
Congrats! I know you will enjoy it!

:clap:

Harbormaster
07-18-2015, 05:17 PM
I liked the 18.5" WSM so much, I bought 9 more.

Seriously, when I'm cooking for my family of five, the 18.5" is more than enough. I can do up to 4 or 5 butts, or 2 briskets, or at least 6 racks of ribs on the top grate, or enough wings for 2 or 3 meals, you name it.

Fwismoker
07-18-2015, 05:20 PM
Ya know there's a hanging rack for it too.

smoke ninja
07-18-2015, 05:25 PM
The 18 holds a lot. Plenty if you get creative. A few kettles can supplement it for bigger cooks. Maybe im just cheap but fuel adds up and 95% (if not more) of my cooks could be done on one 18 and a kettle. Ymmv

robert-r
07-18-2015, 05:25 PM
You will want two of them. The 14.5 for small everyday cooks & an 18.5 or 22.5 for party time.

zanna5910
07-18-2015, 07:16 PM
I bought the 22 because I like the space of putting full packers regardless of weight in there without bending and also ribs lay flat on the grate.

Meatguyver
07-18-2015, 07:50 PM
I like the idea of a 22. I used to live in washington state when i took the plunge and went with the 18 for use with less fuel. It worked great even on snowy days. Either size will work!

Happy Hapgood
07-18-2015, 08:21 PM
The 18 is a Great choice. Just the wife and I here so my 18.5 handles our needs and is still big enough to handle a large group around holidays and such.

I like the fuel economy of the 18.5 but there is no wrong way to go when it comes to a WSM..

cowgirl
07-18-2015, 09:35 PM
Smart move on the WSM. The smoke houses you describe remind me of years gone by in South Louisiana.
http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/2008/01/building-cold-smoker-smokehouse.html

My smokehouse is old but I'm still getting a lot of use out of it. Used the trench and barrel method before that to smoke hams. I can get a couple pigs worth of hams and bacon in my house. :thumb:

robbq
07-18-2015, 10:27 PM
I've got the 18.5 and I love it. The only time I wanted a bigger one is when I tried to put a really huge brisket on there, and I had to make a hump in the middle so it would fit. Other than that, I routinely cook for big parties (30-50 people) and have no problem with the size.

Shadowdog500
07-18-2015, 10:42 PM
I have an 18 and a 22. I origionally bought the 18 when it was the only size they made. I love the darn thing. The only thing is that I sometimes needed was more capacity. And it was sometimes a pain fitting a few racks of ribs on the 18".

I eventually upgraded when the 22 came out and I love it just as much. I can fit anything I want in the thing and just modded mine to fit a third rack between the two that are already there.

If I could only have one it would be the 22.

Get an IQ110 or other temperature controller for it. The WSM is dead easy to keep on temp, but you still have to watch it at first to get it on temp and stabalise it there, and you really should check the temps every hour or so once it is stabilized.

The "set it and forget it" simplicity of a temperature controller takes it to a whole new level, you just turn the knob to whatever temp you want and walk away so you can do other things like fix the car or mow the grass, while the smoker is going or you can go back to sleep after throwing the 3AM brisket In the smoker.

Chris

Richard1233
07-19-2015, 05:07 AM
I love my wsm for smaller cooks that I do. It also gives me time to fix up my stick burner and still be able to smoke meat when I want to. I grill on it all the time as well, it's a lot better at grilling then I was lead to believe. U will be very happy u paid for one no matter if u get the 18 or 22.

Unfathomable Bastid
07-19-2015, 05:55 AM
I bought the 22 because I like the space of putting full packers regardless of weight in there without bending and also ribs lay flat on the grate.

^ This.

Trying to jam larger cuts of meat into a smaller cooker is a buzzkill.

scp
07-19-2015, 06:46 AM
I was in the same shoes a couple of years ago...18 seemed big enough and when researching someone said I have heard a few people who bought an 18 say they wished they had a 22...but never anyone who bought a 22 say they wish they had an 18.

Agree with shadowdog....if budget allows get a temp controller. I love be able to start smoker at bed time and not worry. I did some overnighters w/o one and didn't sleep all that well. Doable....but just didn't trust it w/o one.

Rich M
07-19-2015, 07:13 AM
Really appreciate all the details and advise everyone...

That IQ110 controller is an awesome device indeed... That's Hitec BBQ'ing right there....

THoey1963
07-19-2015, 07:34 AM
I got the 120 for mine. I liked the big readout better than the 110. I used it a handful of times, but most times, I didn't. Between it and a Maverick, I was able to nap during over night cooks.

Rusty Kettle
07-19-2015, 09:38 AM
I like my 14.5" best and I own the 22.5" also. I can get 4 racks of St. Louis spare ribs in the top rack. Not kidding.

I will admit I love pushing the limits of this smoker. When we go pro next year we are going to compete with 1 or 2 14.5" WSMs.

It's a good smoker for a butt or if you don't mind you can split a packer brisket on the fat line seperating the point and the flat and cook it by stacking it or one on each grate level. I can do pretty much anything with it.

The 22.5" is a fuel hog so it is not for small cooks at all. You better load that pit up if you use it. A full pit is a happy pit. :)

Get a 22.5" WSM and also get a 14.5" WSM. The 14.5" WSM is the work horse and the 22.5" is the show for larger gatherings. Either size can be used successfully in competition if you plan it correctly.

Ron_L
07-19-2015, 09:50 AM
I bought the 22 because I like the space of putting full packers regardless of weight in there without bending and also ribs lay flat on the grate.

This is the main reason for getting the 22.5! As Clark said, you can get a lot of food into the 18.5, but the 22.5 makes life easier.

You can also buy the charcoal rings for the 18.5 or make one to reduce fuel consumption for short cooks.

zanna5910
07-19-2015, 10:21 AM
You can also use a fuse over the minion for short Cookson the 22. I just ran fuse on a 5ish hour cook at 250 and still have a little unburned Left over.

Shadowdog500
07-19-2015, 12:13 PM
You can also use a fuse over the minion for short Cookson the 22. I just ran fuse on a 5ish hour cook at 250 and still have a little unburned Left over.

What is a fuse???

Chris

Rusty Kettle
07-19-2015, 12:32 PM
A lot of guys like to cook their briskets whole and while it definitly takes some serious skill. I like to seperate mine for a couple reasons.

It is easier to cook two seperate pieces of meat. The point and the flat will finish differently so at some point in the cook for burnt ends most, not all, people will seperate it on the cooker. This is fine and it works with practice many people can get great results.

I like to cook it seperated as there is more surface area exposed to dry rub and it allows for more bark formation. Bark=flavor and most people love bark so more bark= more flavor and a better tasting product.

You can get a great product both ways but I think that seperating them right from the start is the best way to get more flavor. Also, it allows you to cook with a smaller cooker and still get a great product.

I cook on very small smokers and grills most days. I like the challenge and I feel that I can get a better product that way.

zanna5910
07-19-2015, 01:08 PM
What is a fuse???

Chris



Fuse or snake method. Basically make 3/4 of a semi circle of charcoal in the wsm base and pour lit coals on one end and it slowly burns like a fuse over the unlit charcoal over the course of the cook.

Kyle Serlington
07-19-2015, 02:30 PM
i got my WSM 4 years ago and for just being a backyard cook, i haven't felt the need to upgrade at all. i went with the 22.5" because i wanted to make sure i could fit ribs on there without having to bend the racks. it's a great cooker and once you get used to it it's super easy to predict how it will cook and it's very easy to operate. i've done 5 butts on it at once before for catering, so it can definitely handle a good amount of food, unless you're doing chicken. i made wings for my cousin's grad party recently and i could only fit about 56 wings on there and they went pretty fast at the party, but other than that, it's great, and like one other guy said, you can always add a 3rd grate, which i may end up doing at some point

Rich M
07-19-2015, 05:11 PM
Well...could not find any local stores that had the 22" in stock today..so purchased an 18.5" from Home Depot...

Going to put it together early this week at the Son's home..and lite it up...

From all the advise I've read on this thread...more than sure that a 22" will be on the near horizon...

Much thanks again for everyone's input and advise.. I really appreciate it...

All the Best!

Rich

RapidCityBBQ
07-19-2015, 05:25 PM
You could not have made a wrong decision. The WSM is great. Take care of it, and it will help you make great food for years to come.

KevinJ
07-19-2015, 05:27 PM
Congrats Rich, planning on picking up a WSM 18.5 this week myself.

Ray43050
07-19-2015, 05:34 PM
I love my 18.5 WSM and there are only a small few times where I wish it was bigger but I always get by. It's a great smoker

Shadowdog500
07-23-2015, 10:16 PM
Congrats, you will love that WSM!!!

Chris

Shadowdog500
07-23-2015, 10:18 PM
Fuse or snake method. Basically make 3/4 of a semi circle of charcoal in the wsm base and pour lit coals on one end and it slowly burns like a fuse over the unlit charcoal over the course of the cook.

Thanks! I use the minion method for everything. I may try a fuse this weekend on some chicken.

Thanks!

Chris