Weber Smokey Mountain 18" or 22"?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ericwww, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Hello, first post here. Great forum you have :) 

    I'm going back and forth on if I should get the 18" model or the 22" model. This would be my first smoker. I've done some "fake" smoking with a CharBroil infrared gas grille and decided I want to do the real thing. I've done alot of research and so far it seems like the WSM series is the best choice.

    I should note- I'm a single guy who lives alone and primarily cooks for myself. I rarely (maybe 1-3x a year) cook for a large group, thus I first considered the 18". Then I started thinking- space is not really a concern, so for the extra $100 the 22" may be a better value since I plan on using this for at least the next 10+ years. I'd hate to buy the 18" only to find I wish I had the 22" later on cause who knows what happens in the next few years family wise lol. 

    For 18"


    For 22"

    Just $100 more 

    Obviously much more capacity with the double racks.

    My question though- does the 22" use alot more charcoal than the 18" If it guzzles alot more, it may lean me to the 18". Also- performance wise is one harder to regulate the temp than the other? Sounds like they're both very stable. 


  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Eric!  Welcome to SMF!  See that this is your first post with us!  Would you mind popping over to Roll Call?  We can give you a proper SMF Welcome!

    Personally....I would go with the 22.5 WSM.  Better to have more room and not need it...than have a big party and wish you had the room.

    Probably you could use less charcoal...with smaller things being cooked.  The other WSM owners will chime in soon.

  3. megt123

    megt123 Smoke Blower

    Go with the 22. I have a UDS and it is as big as a 22 and I am glad I have the room just in case.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, I was told a long time ago,get one size bigger Smoker than you will think you will need...the 22" is the better route.IMHO
  5. Sounds good! I searched before and just found that other thread on 18.5 vs 22.5". Thanks for the links too, that will certainly help get things started. 

    In any case in the grand scheme of things the extra $100 split over the usable life of this unit is really minimal. I'll order one soon, trying to hold off on cooking equipment as I just bought a new range & hood last week too lol. 
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I dont buy into the bigger is better routine..

    My 18 is perfect for my cooking..

    One 20 pound bag of charcoal lasts thru 3-4 cooks..

    I have had 12 people eat a holiday meal here on several occasions and all of the food was cooked in the 18..

    The 22 is a charcoal amazes me how much they use..

    What really gets me is that all three of the other commenter's dont own a WSM!!!!


  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

  8. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I will as soon as I can lay my hands on some more moooolah!  I love my Weber Kettle...and have been drooling over WSM's now.  My next toy!  [​IMG]

  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Another vote for the 18 for all the reasons Craig listed. I have one and I have cooked 3 racks of ribs , a pork shoulder and a whole chicken all at once.
    And don't forget , you'll still have your grill! Even if you have a big party you prob'ly won't smoke everything. You can do burgers and dogs or veggies and whatnot on the grill and smoke a bunch a stuff on the WSM...I cook mostly for me n sweetie , but when my 2 boys come over( and those lads can eat) I have yet to wish I had the 22 WSM . And like Craig said , it's a fuel hog too. So when you wanna cook for just you , you're firin up that behemoth to cook 4 chicken wings.
    Whatever you decide , brother , I hope you enjoy it.
  11. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have the 22.5" model and love it, but I'm also a

    Your best bet is to ask Tim Taylor [​IMG]
  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well..who can dispute The Tool Man!!!!!


    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    The same design smoker but only bigger will hold more meat but burn more fuel....Duh   lol, this back and forth is comical. [​IMG]
  14. This seems to be a question that pops up now and then in different forms.  I must say from the start that I have neither size WSM.  I think this is more of a size question than which smoker iis best.  This is also a question from a "new" smoker.  If we take his question at face value, ie what he needs now; the 18 is probably bigger than needed.  A cheaper, smaller smoker which uses less fuel ( of any type ) should be his choice.  Say maybe a weber kettle as KathrynN uses.  Those are really great units.  He is looking for a be all end all smoker. Many folks here own more than one smoker.  I have 2 now. Just sold 1 and about to build another.  Different smokers for what we intend to smoke.  I don't fire up my 36" offset to smoke two thick ribeye steak for me and Mrs. KC..  Too much fuel for too short a cook.  We are trying to compare apples and oranges.  The question has to be : if you only could ever own 1 smoker which size would it be?  EricWww, as you have read fpnmf has cooked for a party of 12 on his smaller WSM.  If you will never cook for more folks than that or you will never smoke more meat than that and freeze it for yourself, then the 18 is the better option.  If however that might not be the case then the 22 is best.  My opinion is that there is really no one size fits all answer to your question.  If I had to just chose just 1 I would chose the bigger is better option.  I like the option of extra space if needed.  Just my 2 cents.  Hope it helps.  Keep Smokin!

  15. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    i went through this last year and am glad i went with the 22. i sometimes find it small. remember there are only 2 racks. and i haven't cooked for more than 10 people yet.. one rack can hold one brisket and one butt at a time and the other rack can hold 2 st luis cut or 3 baby back ribs or one spatchcock chicken and one rack of ribs. it gets small quickly. 

    BTW i bought mine last november on sale for $320 fully assembled locally. 
  16. Quick question. Do you have any other BBQ? Do you plan to only use whatever you buy now as your sole source of outside Q'ing?

    I have 2-22.5" Weber kettles and a WSM 22.5". The 22.5 does use up some charcoal, but I can get three rib smokes out of one 20 lb bag and I can just lay the ribs out instead of trying to puzzle piece them in somehow.

    My buddie has the 18" and it works great as well. When we cook at his house we cut the racks in half and position as carefully as possible to keep the meats from touching.

    That being said if you are going to use this thing to smoke briskets and butts and ribs I would personally prefer the 22.5 just for the easy space usage. One con to the 22.5" That lid is heavy, and will need to be taken off and put somewhere. No lifting with one arm and saucing here.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  17. I don't regret buying the 22.5. In a couple of weeks I'm going to do two turkeys (I think I can do two on one grill) but for Thanksgiving I will be doing 3 or 4. I just did 6 slabs of STL spares a week ago and I didn't have to rack them. Since I didn't foil them I spritzed them 3-4 times when they were on the grill and with them laying flat that was easier to accomplish (I didn't foil them). If I decide to glaze them they are easier when flat. I also like the fact that the ribs on the top grill would drip onto the ones on the lower grill which makes me more apt to glaze the ribs on the top and serve the ribs on the bottom dry.

    I only have one smoker so I wanted one that would handle anything that I might encounter. I can tell you that when I cook I am not short of friends. The next door neighbor was over and his wife mentioned how good it smells when I smoke (a not so subtle hint). I don't think you can go wrong with either size WSM myself. I think it is a great smoker for the cost regardless of the size.

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