Info for the Winfo!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by twobeanbbq, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Weber Smokey Mountain 22 in.

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  2. Akorn Kamado Kooker

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Brinkmann Limited Offset Stick Burner

    0 vote(s)
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  4. Brinkmann 57 in. Vertical Smoker

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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. So, I'm an amateur bbqer, I would like to step my game up to competition level. I've been using inferior rigs, but have been able to put out respectable, well cooked BBQ. I have a chance for a bit of an upgrade, but my budget is around $400. I've narrowed it down to 4 and would love some input on other options or about the ones I've found, or you can simply just click on the poll and run right through this thread lol

    Smoker options: Weber Smokey Mountain 22 in., Char Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker, Brinkmann TrailMaster limited offset smoker, Brinkmann TrailMaster 57 in. Vertical Smoker

    As always I appreciate any and all info! Keep on Smokin on :grilling_smilie: :sausage:
     
  2. Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Anyone?
     
  3. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic

    No doubt about it, the 22" WSM! Best bang for the buck!
     
  4. tonybel

    tonybel Smoking Fanatic

    In my experience and research I made a WSM is perfect. I just to have a UDS buy the WSM is way better.
     
  5. Well, I'm a biased voter, because I've only had my WSM. Got a pork butt on it right now (started 45 minutes ago). If you end up getting one, search on this site for WSM mods.

    JIRodriguez provided me with a lot of help! (Johnny: if you're out there, I just got the welding blanket while it was on sale a month ago. Got the clips, too. I'm now ready for the winter!)
     
  6. Here's the link for Johnny's temp probe holes (I recommend the Maverick  ET 732):

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/94076/wsm-mods

    I bought some gasket material, also. Here's a link with my pictures:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/138825/first-smoke-in-my-new-wsm#post_960590

    You don't have to do any "dry runs" with these: there are no oils or anything like that on any of the surfaces, so there's nothing to cook off on them.

    I read that they run a little hot the first few times, so I started with chicken leg quarters: very forgiving. I've learned that ABTs are good to start with as well: they're very difficult to foul up!

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  7. I'm thinking the WSM wins by a landslide! I'm just wondering what the charcoal use is like and if I could se a pork butt over night and wake up at or around the same temp like the BGE. I love the extra cooking space though on the WSM. Anymore awesome info on the WSM? I appreciate the links big time!
     
  8. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    I vote WSM too. I have the 22.5 and it holds tempos very well. I used to have a vertical brinkmann (not sure if its the same one you're asking about) and it was a pain to keep a good temp. I had to babysit it a lot. It was good for a beginner as far as price goes and learning the importance of temp control and air flow.

    If you are looking to upgrade, I recommend the WSM.There is a huge community here and all over the web for the WSM's and a lot of mods you can find to do to it.
     
  9. Regarding charcoal, you can't be timid, especially for the longer smokes. I always wait for the Lowe's or Home Depot sales, usually around the holidays, and buy several two-pack bags. You don't want to run out in the middle of a smoke!

    With the gaskets, when I close it down, it burns out fairly quickly, so I can reuse whatever's left.

    Have you heard of the "Minoin Method"? We're not supposed to provide links to external web sites, but since this is a "sister site" of Jeff's, I hope it's OK! (My apologies to the moderators if it's not.) If the link gets removed, just do a search for Minion Method on the Internet.

    http://www.smoking-meat.com/minion-method-weber-smokey-mountain

    Jeff uses lump, but I use Kingsford blue because it burns more evenly, and I'm no pro! I recommend the Weber chimney starter: it far outlasts the cheaper ones. You definitely don't want to use lighter fluid or Match Light charcoal.

    If you buy the 22.5", you can buy a charcoal grate (not the cooking grate), that's made for the 18.5" Weber kettle grill. It fits right inside the charcoal ring in the WSM, and you lay it in there perpendicular to the WSM charcoal grate. The criss-cross pattern helps prevend coals from dropping to the bottom as they burn.

    When the fire is out (or before my next smoke), I stir the leftover coals around to get the loose ash to drop. I carefully lift out both grates and the ring as one, so that the used coals stay in place. Then, I dump the ashes from the bottom bowl. I got lazy a couple of  times and didn't dump the ashes. I don't do that anymore: It seems to really hinder the air flow.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. That's some excellent info right there! I've read about the minion method a few times, I'm a bit behind I guess. I haven't even made a charcoal basket for my smoker, I've just been using a late amount of lit charcoals and pour them on top of unlit. Works pretty well, but my smoker cannot keep a temp to save its life, or mine! Haha that sounds like a great idea with the charcoal grate in the WSM.

    What's the longest you guys have ever held a consistent temp on a WSM without tending to it?

    I just got a wireless thermometer and it's wonderful to walk away, but know exactly what's going on.
     
  11. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    I used mine yesterday and it held good temps between 205 and 235 for 6 hours. I basically had a chimney's worth of unlir coals in a ring and dumped a lit chimney in the middle. The only tending I needed to do every so often was opening the vents throughout the cook. I did add about two handfuls of unlit coals towards the very end, but that was it.
     

  12. Yea I'm mainly trying to get a smoker that doesn't need constant babysitting like my offset. We do a lot of tailgating for saints games here, which is in need of BBQ. I work nights though so when I get off I can't tend to a smoker for 6+ hours. I'd like to set my temps and wake up 6 hours later and have some BBQ nearing ready for tailgating.
     
  13. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    It's a good backyard smoker, but I wouldn't take it to tailgate with, because it's a 3 part unit and not easy for transporting in my opinion. I tailgate for Redskins games all the time, but we just take a grill to warm up whatever I smoke the day prior.
     
  14. Oh yea I would never try to bring it tailgating. I do like that I can break it down, but I was more saying I'd like to have a shoulder smoking while I sleep then wake up and carry it in a cooler. Think I can set it and forget it for about 6ish hours?
     
  15. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    Maybe... I'm still new to mine. It may be possible if you added more unlit coals in the beginning.

    If you had an automatic stoker, I'm sure it would last 6+ hours without you needing to tend to it as long as you had plenty of fuel.
     
  16. I think that you might want to get used to it for a while before you try to "set it and forget it". I've especially had to keep an eye on things when the winds are constantly changing. It seems to be easier to get temps to drop by closing vents than to get temps to raise (by opening vents, adding coals, or whatever), so I've been very careful not to let it drop too much.

    I sometimes wonder if I'm being too careful to keep it in a certain temperature range for longer smokes...that maybe it's OK to let it get a little high or a little low for a while. (I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on this!)

    The important thing is to make sure you get the meat temp up soon enough to be safe to eat...

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/121168/40-140-in-4-hours-discussion

    I've never had a problem with this...everything I've smoked has gotten well into the safe zone within a couple of hours.
     

  17. I used to work my butt of to get it to a certain temp and keep it there, but on my inferior sheet metal offset smoker it's impossible. Then I read a quote from Myron mixon's book that someone told him. "don't get yourself all wrapped up with trying to stay at one temp, cook the meat until its done." changed the way I worked at that offset. As long as I'm in a +25 or -10 degree window and my meat thermometer is working I'm worry free. It's produced the same results every time. I will definitely play with it before I even think about a set and forget. I know if I put a BBQ guru on it and build a wind shield around it I will be good to go. I watched a WSM win best ribs over Johnny trigg, mixon, tuffy, and Chris Lilly. That's when I knew the WSM could be my winner. I'm ordering it tonight.
     
  18. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    You'll like it! It's a good smoker. There are plenty of mods people have done to it to fit their cooking style.
     
  19. I've been eyeing the BBQ Guru myself, but I haven't made the leap quite yet. So far, I haven't cooked anything large enough to require an overnight smoke (although I've had a night or two where I've had to stay up a bit later than I had planned...poor planning on my part), but I've been dying to do a packer brisket. Might have to break down and get a Guru some day soon.

    As for the wind shield, I bought a welding blanket and clips as I mentioned above...per Johnny's advice. Got them at a local Harbor Freight store when they were on sale. Here's the link to Johnny's thread:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/115085/twas-the-night-before-christmas-and-all-through-the-smoke

    Haven't needed it yet, but I'm sure I will someday.

    Keep us posted with your first few tries with your new WSM. I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion!
     
  20. I've been looking at a few mods. I'm more than likely going to paint a gold pig on it and look into a sealer for the door. Or I might turn it into a black and gold R2D2. I have to have it for a little while to let go of that brand new look haha


    It's funny you say that, sooo many nights I've run later than expected. It was either later starts, or getting an itch to smoke something late at night haha. I owned a catering company for a little while and we started out small time, but for one event we smoked about 240 lbs of pork butts. 60 lbs at a time first half on the offset with no insulation then ride it out in an electric master built 40". We'd find ourselves staying up until 9 and 10am pulling and vacuum sealing pork. As tedious as it was, they say when you love your job, you don't work a day in your life. That's when I knew BBQ was my passion.

    I saw Harry su use the welding blankets, that's a great idea. I've been thinking about buying the heavy duty rolling cart from harbor freight, and putting some ceramic tiles under the feet of the WSM then possibly build a plywood wall fixed to the cart around the WSM. Just roll that sucker around to where the wind is right or just turn the wall to it. If only the build will come out as great as it sounds hmmmm haha I ordered the WSM tonight, can't believe no where around here sells it smh it does help that I have home depot gift cards though .
     

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