Weber Smoky Mountain

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Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:49 pm

Thinking about taking the plunge. Just curious if the WSM users on board used the 18.5" or the 22.5" and if using the 18.5" ever regretted purchasing that instead of the 22.5" ?

I have read that the 22.5" uses a good bit more charcoal but the 18.5" looks pretty cramped for rib space.

Oh and damn are those things expensive. Had my weber kettle for about 11 years and if the WSM lasts that long and still looks that good I will consider it a good investment.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby hammb » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:52 am

I have the older model 18.5", and I have no regrets largely because when I bought mine the smaller size was all that they offered.

I have recommended the cooker to anyone that asks and will do the same to you. I recently talked my boss into buying one and we got one for my dad for Christmas this year. They both have the newer model, and both the 18.5" as well.

My answer on the size is unless you find yourself cooking for LARGE parties on a frequent basis go with the smaller one. For sure its going to use a lot more charcoal, that's just physics. And to make matters worse its going to use that extra charcoal even when you're not filling it up to capacity.

I'm sure the 22.5 is awesome but honestly I've never needed it and I routinely cook BBQ for groups of 15 or more. Typically when I do ribs for a group that size I'll do them on one rack with a pork butt or brisket on the other. With a rib rack I cm easily get 3-4 racks on one level of the wsm. I do cut the racks in half to cook them though. If you're anala about cooking the racks whole you may find you'll need the 22.5

I've done 6 pork butts on mine. I've done 4 racks of baby back ribs plus a whole brisket. Both of those probably had the cooker overloaded but still turned out good BBQ. I've never cooked on a 22.5 but I can't say I've ever really needed that extra capacity.

Good luck with your purchase and decision. I'm sure you'll love it whichever one you choose. Its a fantastic smoker.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:52 pm

Thanks Stabber of Cherries.

I also found "The Virtual Weber Bullet" and it seems like few people use the 22.5" bullet. Also it appears that people add additional racks for extra layers of ribs/meat.

Had a cheap bullet smoker before and was it kinda meh with temp control, but I am really looking forward to trying out the WSM.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby hammb » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:49 pm

Temp control is where the wsm really shines, IMO. Once you get the temp dialed in it will hold that for an easy 12+ hours with some simple adjustments of the vents. I routinely get 14-15 hours on a single load of charcoal.

Gotta get yourself so w rib racks for ribs...they're essential since the surface area is smaller, but they cook perfectly on them.

I've never seen anyone using a 22" one but you'll love the 18.5". The new one is really nice with having a built in thermometer and all...the older ones we have to jam a probe thermometer in the top. The charcoal door seems nicer on the new one as well.

Enjoy the q!
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Lord_Byron » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:44 am

The 18.5 is the way to go. We talked about it in my BBQ class and DivaQ said that the 22.5 just used more charcoal and was more difficult to control.

I'm with Hammb, unless you are cooking for huge audiences, you can get more than enough on the 18.5. If you are so inclined, you can do four pork-butts.

The lid thermometer is great, but I bought a probe thermometer that had a grate-probe. I found that my grate was 35-40 degrees hotter than my lid. So if I want 225 degrees at the grate, I need to run my lid at about 190-200.

Also, I did a retrofit and cut a little slit under the lid to run the wires, but the new ones come with a silicone grommet on the side. A nice feature for your probes.

PS (thread highjack) -- I still have to finish the thread on my BBQ class. Promise to do so. Just got back from vacation yesterday in Tennessee.

Hit three excellent BBQ restaurants:

Nashville -- Peg Leg Porker
Memphis -- Rendezvous BBQ
Decatur, AL -- Big Bob Gibson's

Of the three, Big Bob Gibson's shines the brightest. Winner of Memphis in May competition, it may be some of the best BBQ I've eaten. Worth the trip if you are within 100 miles.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby hammb » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:37 am

Good stuff Byron.

You can definitely do 4 butts on the 18.5, but as I said, I've actually done 6 on mine (probably in the 6# range each). It's cramped and they don't get as good a bark, but you can definitely do it.

Good idea on using a probe to get a grate temp...I've thought about doing so, but never have. I just try to keep my lid temp at about 200-225 and figure I'm good. I'm with you though that I think the grates run warmer than the lid, even though I'd heard from others that the opposite was true. People told me the heat rises, but even with water in the pan (which I usually don't do by default) I don't think that's the case.

Good stuff about the BBQ shacks too...I'm a bit obsessed with BBQ (to the point that in my recent wedding Tara's personal vows included the line of letting me to continue planning our vacation trips around BBQ spots :) ). We drove through Decatur a couple years back but Big Bob's was closed I think (I think it was a Sunday and they weren't open on Sundays?). That was a bummer to me. We drove out of our way on that trip to go through Lexington and get some Western NC BBQ, and I'll be damned if Lexington#1 wasn't closed for vacation that week too! A bummer for sure to miss out on 2 of the best BBQ places around, but we still had some good Q in Lexington.

If you ever get a chance to hit Allen & Son, their sauce is hand's down the best Eastern NC sauce I've ever had. So good.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Lord_Byron » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:51 am

Just saw this. I may buy it when it comes out .

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1624140998/ref ... 0G43Q5S60T
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby hammb » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:14 am

Ooh that might be an interesting book.

Speaking of BBQ books I've been hemming and hawing about This one for awhile.

Ever read it? I find with BBQ books I like the stories and history moreso than recipes. I've got some tried and true recipes that I use as a jumping off point and I don't really change things up that much...I'm more into classic BBQ. I do love reading stories and history stuff from old legends though!

My favorite BBQ Book is Peace, Love, and BBQ I'd HIGHLY recommend this one for any BBQ junkie. The stories are great, the recipes that I've used are also great. (Magic Dust & Apple City Sauce are the base recipes that I jump off from).
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Lord_Byron » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:53 am

So, Pete_S, did you buy the WSM?

Please regale us with tales of juicy brisket and pork. . .
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:40 pm

Sorry, I haven't pulled the trigger yet, I am hoping to pick one up before Labor Day. I am about going nuts between work and kids sports.

Funny story, my youngest (13) is playing fall baseball with the Ohio Trojans in Perrysburg. After splitting a double header we come home and Spencer looks at me and said "Dad, I'm Trojan Strong". I cannot believe I kept a straight face. I really thought about a good reply, then I looked over at my wife. I listened to the little voice inside. :axe:
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:38 pm

Purchased my WSM this weekend. It is GLORIOUS. Used my my standard rub with lump charcoal, no additional smoke wood, and I proclaim it as my best ribs (loin back) to date (sorry no pics so you will have to believe me). Super easy to control the heat and it rendered the fat out nicely.

Not sure what my next cut will be, chicken, beef, or pork. Looking forward to more BBQ. :drinkers:
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:18 am

12 hour cook of two boneless pork shoulders becomes...
Image
a heaping 9"x 13" baking dish full of smoked pork goodness. 14.3 lbs of raw pork rendered into 6 lbs 10 oz. of packaged meals to help out with fast dinners during those short Fall sports evenings.

As far as flavor, good smoke but it needed more salt and garlic powder.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby hammb » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:46 pm

Looks awesome.

For packaging do you have a foodsaver? It's a godsend for leftover BBQ. Just vacuum seal it, then when it comes time to heat up for dinner just plop the bag into some boiling water for a half hour or so (don't even have to thaw it first). When you cut open the bag it's like you just smoked a fresh piece of meat...

That is by FAR the best way I've found to keep leftover BBQ from drying out. LOVE it.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Lord_Byron » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:26 pm

Pete S,
You've got the fever, there's no going back.

You may want to try using your excess capacity to throw on some ABTs or Moink Balls while the main feature is smoking.

Earlier this summer, I did Vidalia onion rings dipped in Sriracha and wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar. Came out great.

Here's where I got the idea:

http://grilling24x7.com/oring.shtml

I did two five-pound butts on Saturday. We sent dinner to a friend whose husband is in the hospital and kept the other. First time I did a small one, but it came out great.

If you ever get a chance, try a pork belly.
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Re: Weber Smoky Mountain

Postby Pete Segaard » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:13 pm

Top rack had short term snacks cooking. A half turkey breast with Tony C's creole seasoning and some turkey italian sausage. Needed snacks while changing the throwout bearing on Logan's truck.

Hammb, on storage I just put it in a freezer ziplock bag and roll it up to evacuate as much air as possible. BBQ doesn't last long enough to get freezer burnt with two teenagers in the house (and me).
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