MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 11-06-2019, 10:00 PM   #16
bowhnter
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When I had the 18” I had planned on buying a 22” before I bought the primo. If it was me, I would buy the 22” just so you wish you hadn’t later.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:14 PM   #17
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I think that you're getting great advice here, which is a common thing with this site. I think that you'll be happy with either size, so don't sweat it too much. As far as accessories go, these suggestions are more generic:

a good instant read thermometer. You'll use it a lot and then just as a probe instead of reading temps.

I like cooking with disposable pans and have a small collection of racks that fit inside. Less cleaning.

For me part of fun is experimenting with different woods, rubs, etc.

I don't think you'll need a GUru or other type of regulator. Use the money of brisket.

Looking forward to pics.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mjr View Post
@blazinfire
That looks delicious! Is that the 18" model you're using?

Can I thank more than one of you? I'd like to click the "Thanks" button for all of you!

yes indeed it is a 18.5 WSM..
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:39 PM   #19
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My advice? Do some short cooks to get the feel of it. Pork tenderloins, boneless skinless chicken or turkey, ribs. Once you are comfortable try chuck roast. Get familiar with how much smoke flavor you like and when your fire is clean enough to cook on. Get a Thermopop, maybe a dual probe temp unit. Don’t go overboard on accessories. Buy a few bags of different wood chunks and try them for flavor.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:38 AM   #20
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Just my .02, I've had the 18" going for quite afew years. Love It! Just the wife and me now. Can still cook for 25 if need be.



This rig can go 16 hours constant for smoking brisket etc. with minimal coal use.


Great choice with any of the WSM's!
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
I made charcoal reducing baskets for my mini-WSM, couldn't you make a 14" ring like the WSM-18 uses and use in the WSM-22 when you are doing smaller cooks?


I really like the look of those. I'm going to have to make one of them. Honestly, I never thought of that!

I usually use my kettle on smaller cooks, but I like the idea of a smaller basket in the 22.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:18 AM   #22
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Just a couple thoughts...

WSM is a great choice and you will be happy with the 18" or 22" and I remember at the beginning of this year I was going through the same decision. I went with the 22" because if I ever needed the extra space I wanted to have it. I was also told of the excessive fuel usage. I looked at it this way, when charcoal goes on sale I am going to get it for pretty cheap anyway so it's not that big of a deal.

As far as accessories definitely wait except for maybe a dual probe thermometer. This way you can see how far off your dome thermometer is and you can see how close your meat is to being done without opening the smoker everytime. You will also see a lot of people who talk about putting gasket tape on the door and I am sure it will help and I may do it one day, but mine has ran excellent and the smoke coming out the door doesn't bother me personally.

Water pan usage. I have used water in it once and it worked fine I have had many cooks without water and it works fine as well. 100% personal preference. However, definitely line it with aluminum foil either way. It will save time and energy. The foil pan method is something I am about to look into as well. Makes a lot of sense.

Good luck and good smoking! Waiting on pics already.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morningwoodbbq View Post
But doesn’t it still take more charcoal to heat a 22” chamber than an 18” chamber?
The charcoal ring on a WSM-22 is pretty big, and it needs to be when your are cooking a full load of meats for a long period of time. But, I think with a more compact (contained) fire in a smaller diameter ring or basket (but maybe taller), I could achieve similar pit temps, just over a shorter period of time and use less charcoal. So, let's say you want to cook a pork loin roast, a prime rib, a meatloaf, several fatties... with a smaller ring you may get a 3, 4, 5 hour burn time.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgross88 View Post
I really like the look of those. I'm going to have to make one of them. Honestly, I never thought of that!

I usually use my kettle on smaller cooks, but I like the idea of a smaller basket in the 22.
A small basket will also allow you to do semi-cold smoking, just arrange your chops or whatever around the perimeter of the pit. I just use bolts with washers for the ring, and SS wire to tie the ring to the base. No welding. The thinner expando that is 'flat' profile is easy to roll in either direction, and in this ^^ example I rolled them the 'long way' of the diamond. However, if you use heavier expando or a 'raised' profile, rolling the 'short' way is easier.

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Old 11-07-2019, 11:16 AM   #25
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I have had the 18.5 for around 5 years now and have cooked 18 pound briskets on it and as many as 5 pork shoulders at one time. I think if you want the 18 go with that. It will cook hotter at first due to the inside being so shiny. After a few cooks the temperature will be more manageable. I like to just add 1 or 2 wood chunks at a time to have more control of how much smoke flavor there will be. I have never used water in mine so I couldn't tell you how that works. I just cover mine with foil and have a pizza pan in it to use as a heat sink. The thermometer that comes with the smoker is useless so a maverick or similar is what I use and it is a life saver. Good luck on whatever you choose to do.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
A small basket will also allow you to do semi-cold smoking, just arrange your chops or whatever around the perimeter of the pit. I just use bolts with washers for the ring, and SS wire to tie the ring to the base. No welding. The thinner expando that is 'flat' profile is easy to roll in either direction, and in this ^^ example I rolled them the 'long way' of the diamond. However, if you use heavier expando or a 'raised' profile, rolling the 'short' way is easier.
I have 4 different coal baskets for my drum.
On low temp and on short cooks, going indirect with drip pan. I use my mini wsm coal basket. I'm guessing it would work good on an 18" or the 22" wsm.
Here is my mini coal basket( 10.5" dia, 3" high sides) inside my 17" weber coal grate.
Just a thought.
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File Type: jpg 10. 5 mini wsm coal basket in 17 grate.jpg (92.3 KB, 106 views)

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Old 11-08-2019, 08:02 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjr View Post
I believe I've decided on the Weber Smokey Mountain.

But I have a few questions:

Do I need to season the smoker first? A buddy of mine who has one seems to think I don't need to. I can just assemble and cook. That doesn't quite sound right.I would season it. Good practice for managing your fire.

How big? I'm leaning toward the 18 inch model. That's what my friend suggested to me. There's only 3 of us in my family, and I don't see myself really smoking large amounts of food at once, but I might actually want to throw a brisket on there from time to time. If you can afford the 22", get it. You won't regret.

Any accessories I should look into? Rib racks?

What woods would be recommended for the various foods? For instance, do you use a different wood for pork butt versus baby back ribs? And why? What about brisket? Chicken? Lamb? Personally I think the choice of wood is over rated. I've used a WSM and UDS for over 10 years.

I've heard that we shouldn't use mesquite. Use it all the time. Don't see anything wrong with it.

What about the "water bowl"? I've heard using other liquids (i.e. beer, apple cider vinegar, etc.) doesn't really make a difference in flavor. I quit using the water bowl after the first year. Just wrapped a clay plate used for planter bowl, and put it in the water bowl. Ive never even had a heat sink in my UDS and don't see much difference in the cooks.

How much wood to use? I'm planning on cooking with the Minion Method. I usually use 4-5 fist size chunks.

Again, any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated! When I do my first cook I'll be sure to take pictures!
See comments in blue.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:02 AM   #28
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I've had a 22" WSM for nearly 2 years now. Here's a few of my observations:
- It ran hot for the first few cooks. I prefer using lump charcoal over briquettes but couldn't do it for the first 5 or 6 cooks. After that it got a little gunked up and got easier to control lower temps after that.
- I used the water pan once, didn't like the clean up. Switched to a foil wrapped terra cotta planter saucer and still able to maintain lower temps.
- I like the 22" for the option of the extra space.
- I wouldn't worry too much about mods or accessories to start. I added gasket tape to the aluminum door because my OCD didn't like the gaps, but I'm not sure if that was even necessary. I like having a digital thermometer with a transmitter so I can monitor temps while I'm in the house preparing sides.
- I use seasoned oak firewood chunks. Easy to get in my area and a nice flavor.
- Really happy with the WSM. Maintains temps with minimal adjustments.
Good luck with your WSM. Great choice
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:02 PM   #29
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Just saw this https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?79236-Worth-it and remembered this thread. Might be useful. And I'll second someone else's recommendation to check out all the info over at https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

To the OP, I vote for an 18" if you're not planning on smoking for a large group several times a year, which it doesn't sound like you are.
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:31 PM   #30
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Don't knock the smaller WSM's. How many of us want more than ~16# of pulled pork at one time very often? My 14" will do two large butts but, airflow management is a bit tricky with that much meat.

The 18" model is definitely more than most families need at one time. You can do a whole lot at one time in one of those.

Honestly, my 22" doesn't see much use because I can do everything I want in the other two and they are just plain easier to work with being smaller, lighter, easier to handle, etc. Now for a big family gathering (>8~12 people), the 22" model gets the call these days.

I will repeat myself again, shop Craigslist, eBay, Letsgo, etc. and buy a 14" and 18" model for ~$200 combined and spend the savings on meat and charcoal.
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