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WSM - Which One ??
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N8DCJ
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 9:54 pm    Post subject: WSM - Which One ?? Reply with quote

I currently have a Char Griller Trio and an 18" Weber Kettle... I have found myself recently using the kettle for smoking since I do not have to tend to it so much , and I can control the temperature much better. But , the Weber is small and I can barely fit a PB in it , so , I thought I would get the larger kettle , then , I read all the good comments regarding the WSM. Well , I decided to go that route , I figure with the 3 units I can cover just about anything I may need to do. My girlfriend says that everything I have done on the Trio has been good , but , I think that with the WSM I should be able to do better , especially if I can control the temps better than I currently can in the Trio... I would like to be able to turn out food like some of the stuff I see you guys doing on here , I have a ways to go on that ...

Hopefully my logic is sound on this one ???

Now to my actual question ...

There appear to be two sizes an 18.5" and 22.5" , at $300 & $400 , Since I am only cooking for a few people at most , is there any reason to go with the larger more expensive model ? While I am now back to work I dont want to spend the extra $$ if it isn't really warranted..

Thoughts...

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all !!

Dan
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would go with the smaller one, I have cooked 6 x 8lb butts at a single time... you do need to stand them on their sides to get 6 in but that will give you a pretty good amount, should you need it.

The only thing that is slightly more difficult to do is ribs, you can do 5 per grate with rib racks, or if you learn to roll them you can get 7 racks of St Louis cut spares on each grate.

The bigger one is good too, but can use 2.5 times the fuel that the smaller one uses, to cook for the same amount of time.
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N8DCJ
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy

Ok , thanks for the advice , one question , when you say 5 per grate ???

Dan

p.s. sorry about the double post , not sure how that happened...
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion the 18" will work just fine for a family sized cooker, and use less fuel, however cooking full spare ribs and large briskets can be too big for the 18. It can be done though.
Personally Id go with the 22 mostly because I already have an 18.

A UDS might be a good option for you since you can get one together for about $100 and it has lots of extra space inside if you need it.
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Beertooth
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Fire makes an excellent point.

Before you spend the cash, take some time to check around for UDS parts. I made one for next to nothing & it has the same capacity as the $400 WSM.

The nice thing about a UDS is that you can make a really simple one to get you going, then add to it later as needed.

If you end up getting a WSM I have a 18.5" & love it. Most of the time it is all that I need for capacity.
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Remmy
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Fire Grill is right. The 18" will work just fine.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind more cooking space with the 22.5" WSM. But I've owned an 18" WSM for 5 years now and this thing fits my needs perfectly.

I've cooked 4 pork butts at a time, 2 big briskets at a time, three chickens, 24-lb. turkeys every Thanksgiving, 90 wings at a time, etc. It always performs great.

I invested in a vacuum-sealer last year and it allows me to save my food for long periods of time (not that it lasts that long to begin with). So, I don't mind packing the smoker with a lot of food because I can always save it.

One thing is for certain - If you buy a WSM (no matter which size), I guarantee you will not regret A PENNY of what you spent on the thing. These cookers are fantastic.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rib racks that fit inside a WSM have 3 slots, but with practice you can add an extra 2 ribs on the outside resting against the 3 ribs on the rib rack.

There are 2 grates in the WSM the lower grate and the upper grate, so with 2 rib racks you can cook 10 racks of ribs in an 18" WSM, you do need to take your time and move things around, in order to cook them all evenly!
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Beertooth
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PostPosted: Sat May 26 12 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N8DCJ - I would hit these links quick!

Here are a couple in your area:

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/hsh/3017385442.html

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/for/3025107411.html
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BriGreentea
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both are nice looking and perhaps interested and also both are 100 dollars too high.
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BigOrson
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience is that you can never have too much capacity. You can have too little. I'd go with the 22". You never know when you're going to have a big event and want to cook more than usual.
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italian skewer
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm agreeing totally with Big Orson. Bought the 18.5" first, used it, loved it, got comfortable with it, then when i would wanna do some extra cooking for extra people, i remember always saying to myself, i wish i had the 22.5". Conclusion? Last month i went out and bought my 22.5" and i think at $400, it was money well spent. Don't regret a penny i spent. Got the luxury now of small cooks for the family and bigger cooks for guests. Originally even i thought i was going to be cooking just for the family. WRONG!!!!
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Oregon smoker
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigOrson wrote:
My experience is that you can never have too much capacity. You can have too little. I'd go with the 22". You never know when you're going to have a big event and want to cook more than usual.


My feelings exactly. And why i have 2 Char Broil offsets is that i outgrew 1. Also the reason i have several kettle grills, a Big John grill that is 2' x 5'.
But with those 2 links to the smaller WSM i would snatch one of those up quickly and start out offering $150.
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Remmy
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Italian skewer, stop it. You're making me jealous.
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italian skewer
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remmy wrote:
Italian skewer, stop it. You're making me jealous.


Remmy. I got lots of money, i gotta spend it somewhere. I can't keep it all can i? Laughing Wink Laughing
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El Ropo
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a UDS, and IMO, it's very fuel efficient. Maybe second most fuel efficient to a ceramic cooker.

So I gotta say this... stating that a 22.5 WSM (same diameter, only shorter than a UDS) is 2.5 times less fuel efficient than a 18.5" WSM, doesn't make sense to me.

I can maybe get a grasp on "a tad less fuel efficient".

Some day you'll want to toss on some large ribs, and briskets. It's hard to fit that stuff on an 18.5.

I say if you have the extra $bill, go for the larger one. If it cooks anything like a UDS, you'll be thrilled to death.

One more comment on WSMs, if you use a full water pan, they will burn through more fuel. If you use sand in the pan, or something else besides water, they'll be more efficient.

It costs a lot of BTU's to keep that water up to temp.... Just sayin'.
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italian skewer
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Ropo wrote:
I have a UDS, and IMO, it's very fuel efficient. Maybe second most fuel efficient to a ceramic cooker.

So I gotta say this... stating that a 22.5 WSM (same diameter, only shorter than a UDS) is 2.5 times less fuel efficient than a 18.5" WSM, doesn't make sense to me.

I can maybe get a grasp on "a tad less fuel efficient".

Some day you'll want to toss on some large ribs, and briskets. It's hard to fit that stuff on an 18.5.

I say if you have the extra $bill, go for the larger one. If it cooks anything like a UDS, you'll be thrilled to death.

One more comment on WSMs, if you use a full water pan, they will burn through more fuel. If you use sand in the pan, or something else besides water, they'll be more efficient.

It costs a lot of BTU's to keep that water up to temp.... Just sayin'.


Well i could be wrong, but all this talk about fuel consumption. Are we all talking about the same source of fuel. What time frames are we talkin here first of all. I've filled my 18.5" with one lump and it's taken me to 16 hrs. Used lump #2, and it kept me going for 13 hrs. Plus to conclude regarding this fuel consumption, i really don't care. If i'm cooking something, i'm gonna cook it even if it takes a full bag of charcoal. And i'm paying $23 a bag for mine. If i wanna eat, ain't nothing gonna stop me. Fire goes out? Hell put more charcoal.
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a bit awkward. I just got a 18.5 WSM last week and I'm doing my first real smoke as I write this. 8 lb boston butt for guests tomorrow. For the person that asked the original question, I think it has ample space for cooking for a party of 15-20. If you have more than that, throw some burgers on a kettle and everyone's happy. My take is that the larger model isn't really practical for smaller cooks. I'm in the same boat that you are...I'm not cooking for a small army. All things considered the 18.5 would be your better bet.
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jeepdad
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are only cooking for a small group as you said then go with the 18 inch. It does have its drawbacks if you ever do want to cook for more than your small group. Yes, you can contort ribs, briskets, and butts to make it work.

I have a 22.5 and love it. I can do huge turkeys with ease, full foil pans with beans or mac and cheese, or beef roast, huge briskets, multiple pork butts and chickens, etc. If you even remotely think you will cook for larger groups then go 22.5 you will not be sorry. I love my 22.5 WSM.

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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have both the 18.5" and the 22.5". Both are fantastic cookers and have their purpose, the smaller one is great for smaller cooks such as a Butt or picnic and as stated by SoEzzy and Dan you can with some creativity load them up. It is a lot easier to use the larger cooker for ribs, briskets and turkeys. The 22.5" is not as consistent on temps as the smaller one but it is just a learning curve and once you know the quirks it is a pleasure to cook on.
Sand is a poor heat sink and using the WSM's with out water will result in higher temps than normal in my experience. The 22.5" has a huge pan but we only use about 1gall in it at a time.
As said it will depend on your needs and I thought when I got the 18.5" it would be all we need until I cooked on the 22.5". Wink
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SteevieG



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PostPosted: Sun May 27 12 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have both as well and use the 18 most of the time. At Thanksgiving the 22.5 burned, badly and put a hole in the door. I ended up using the 18 for the turkey. It fit, but just barely.

Today I'm using the 22 for the first time since then and I forgot I didn't have a door since I keep it covered. I have HD foil covering the hole where the door would be with some aluminum tape holding it on and the thing has never run so consistently. I am loving it. Apparently the door didn't fit real well.

With the tape and foil I'm finding the fuel use does not seem as excessive as before and the temp control is effortless. So, if this is the way the cooker can run, I would go ahead and get the larger model and just be sure the door is tight.
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