Thinking about a WSM...

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by texasrob, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    Hey gang....thinking about adding to the collection of cookers. I have a Masterforge propane and a Kamado Joe Big Joe. I am thinkimg about a WSM. Now for the age old question....22.5 or 18.5. To give some background....its just the wife and I...we sometimes entertain, not often. We are more a ribs, pulled pork, beer can chicken family vs turkey or brisket family. Very rarely do an overnight cook.

    I know my gut is telling me go with 18.5...based on our cook the $100.00 and stretch out my charcoal and wood consumption. Few reasons Im even considering the 22.5 is the door/hinge seems to be better and it appears the factory temp gauge appears to better.

    Also the fact is that this would be my 3rd cooker..Im thinking 18.5.

    Anyone with the 18.5 have any issues with the door hinge staying closed or issues opening it while cooking to add wood or charcoal? How about the factory temp gauge?


  2. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hi Rob,

    I've had my 18.5 for over two years now and have no issues with the door.  I cook for me and my gf and daughter, and the 18.5 is plenty of smoker for us.  I sometimes get 22.5 envy when trying to cook large racks of ribs but they taste the same after cutting them to fit the 18.5.  I use a Maverick 733 for monitoring temp.  The lid therm can be off quite a bit.

  3. Noobie here. I have an 18.5. The door always worked OK for me, although I did buy the Cajun Bandit replacement door. It is a bit sturdier, doesn't seem to seal any better.

    I did my first smokes, chickens and babybacks, using just the stock thermometer in the dome. Not trusting it I purchased a thermometer to monitor the smoker temps. I found the Weber stock gauge to be very close to the actual temp. I'm still glad I have the new thermometers, though.

    It seems to be a nice smoker and easy to control. Good luck.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Really the only benefit is the extra room, both units perform well and are built with the same quality. I have the 22.5" and love having the room, but I do a lot of extra cooking for the neighbors plus our family of 4. I usually notify my neighbors when I'm firing up my smoker and have some extra room on it - then if they have some meat they want to add to the pile I let them.

    As Mike pointed out you have to cut rib in half for the 18.5" (or roll them), but other than that most everything else is going to fit just fine.
  5. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    Thank you very much to everyone who replied back. I'm torn....I'd rather not have to cut the rack of ribs to cook....but its just the wife and I. As it is now...when I do ribs on my Masterforge, I only cook 2 racks of baby backs...and I hàve leftovers for a couple of days. So I'm having trouble justifying the need for a 22.5 at this point.. The diff of the $100.00 can be used for acessories.

    Does anyone who has a 18.5 use a rib rack? Can a rib rack be used without having to cut the ribs, if so I think it would prob be a deal breaker for me.


  6. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I bought a rib rack and cut it to fit the 18.5, I've also rolled the ribs for a multiple rack cook.  I can smoke a full rack in the center of the top and bottom grates.  If I'm doing more than two racks, I will cut them in half.

  7. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First of all. The built in thermometer should not be the deciding factor . They alll are there for show and do not tell you the grill level temp only lid temp that is like 25-40 degrees different. The 22.5 is large and and holds the temp great . And one day you will say I should of spent the xtra $100 and bought the bigger one. Go for it now!

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