Keep WSM 18.5 and add Kettle 22.5 or upgrade to WSM 22.5?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by geordon, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. I currently have one an early model Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5", and use it dual-purpose as a smoker and a kettle grill (without center section). When I smoke, it is almost always with top grate, as I don't like to hassle with removing the loaded grate to access the meat below on the middle grate. I often will also use the bottom grate to throw corn on the cob or potatoes through the door near the end of the smoke, or pull everything off the bottom, and put the meat over the hot coals to caramelize a sauce or crisp the skin. Other times, I will just use the bottom and top as a kettle grill for burgers, brats, steaks, or veggies. I mostly smoke chicken (splatted, thighs, or wings), beef roasts, pork butts, and the occasion rack of spare ribs. I also use Grill Grates for burgers and steaks to avoid flair-ups and loss of meat or veggies through the grate.

    Lately, I have gotten frustrated with a lack of surface area for the grilling portion, and want to move up to a larger grill. I could sell my WSM 18.5 to help fund a new WSM 22.5 and have the option to get the Cajun rotisserie, and keep using the WSM as a dual-purpose smoker or kettle grill, at the expense of fuel costs and more manual effort to move the smoker from my garage to the smoking location whenever I use it, or pulling off the top sections at the end of a smoke to use it as a grill. My second option would be keep the 18.5", forego the rotisserie for smoking, and simply add a Silver or Gold Kettle 22.5 for my larger grilling needs. The one drawback I see to having two, is that the smoke then grill procedure would become smoke, transfer coals from smoker to kettle, then grill.

    Having separate smoker and grill gives me a little more flexibility, is cheaper than a bigger smoker, more fuel efficient, on the one hand, but I give up having that big smoker, and I need more storage space.

    Anything I am missing in my analysis? Any recommendations? If I add the Kettle, is the cost difference worth it for the Gold over the Silver to have the ash bucket and one-touch over the ash pan?

    Thank you,

  2. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I'd recommend getting a 22.5 kettle off of Craigslist.
  3. smokeygator

    smokeygator Newbie

    Everyone should own a Weber Kettle.  I have both a gold and a silver - the gold is well worth the extra $$, as no muss, no fuss. I also have an 18.5 WSM, which I use for smoking, not grilling.  I think having both is the way to go.   
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll second the Craigslist buy. I've seen almost new Kettles of all types for as low as 50% the price of a new one. Keep the WSM.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the 22.5" WSM and the 22.5" kettle. I like being able to take the top rack from the WSM and drop it onto the kettle to sear stuff at the end.

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