WSM 14.5 for direct traditional grilling?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by chipotleq, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. chipotleq

    chipotleq Smoke Blower

    I am interested in getting a WSM 14.5 for a portable smoker I could haul to the local park on my cargo bicycle along with two kids and a cooler. Can anybody advise if this smoker does direct grilling like using it as a smokey joe silver? I would be using this as an all purpose grill, sometimes smoke for set and forget and sometimes to cook some chicken, steak and veggies.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know. If you find it doesn't, build a mini wsm. It is 14 inch too. Great smoker and can grill with it too.
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could pull one of the grills off your 18.5" WSM, remove the top and middle section of the 14.5, and lay the larger grill over the coals in the bottom section.  That would work.

    Or just put one of the grills from the 14.5" on top of the charcoal ring.  That would put the meat pretty close to the fire, but it would work too.
  4. chipotleq

    chipotleq Smoke Blower

    I am still very undecided on what type of smoker I could get for my needs. I could really haul my 18.5wsm on that cargo bike, but it might be overkill for just four people. I usually feed 10-15 out of that 18.5. My other options is also a hasty bake ranger, but the 599 price tag on that grill would have me uneasy to just leave it unattended for a few minutes. 

    This thing is marketed as a smoker/grill combo. I know the larger units can do a good job on both task, I dont know about this one.
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow.  That's quite a beast with quite a price tag.  Plus it weighs 48 lbs vs 23 lbs for the 14.5" WSM, 38 lbs for the 18.5" WSM.  Exact same amount of cooking space as the 14.5".  $199 WSM or $599 HBR.  Yeah, I wouldn't have a problem making that choice but I'm sure the HBR is a fine piece of equipment.

    Overkill on the 18.5"? Nah.  Heck, it's just my wife and me. I fire up the 22.5" WSM every weekend to smoke enough for the week, but I ain't hauling that 68 lb beast anywhere. 

    Since you're looking at options why not get an 18.5" Weber Kettle and a Smokenator.  $170 total.  Grill, smoke, good to go. 
  6. chipotleq

    chipotleq Smoke Blower

    for a 5 hour max cook out at the park i would feel better hauling less charcoal for a smaller cooker vs the 18.5. I have never smoked on my wsm 18.5 with minimun charcoal, I always load it to get 8+. I wonder if the chamber would heat just as much using less charcoal.

    I am also looking for convenience factor. With the hasty bake going from grilling to smoking is just a matter of lowering the firebox and sliding a deflector plate from the side door in under a minute, but the price tag and weight is a killer for me. With a wsm 14.5 It would take a little more work to go from smoking to grilling.  I could also look into a smokey joe jumbo which is 18.5 diameter but not as big as the standard silver kettle. It would be more tail gate friendly I guess. I will do more research into the jumbo joe. Thanks
  7. chipotleq

    chipotleq Smoke Blower

    Anyone using a jumbo joe for smoking with coals to one side? Would it be a set and forget type of deal as with a standard 22.5 kettle I could get 3 hours of set and forget pretty much while holding a 250F +/-15F??
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only question I can answer is the light load in your 18.5" WSM.  Yes, you can light load it and it will heat up fine in CA weather.  I light load my 22.5" all the time for short smokes, 6 hours or less.  I dry smoke the majority of the time which helps too because all the heat is going into the meat and not water.
  9. chipotleq

    chipotleq Smoke Blower

    ok good to know I can work out the 18.5 wsm. Just the size, I will give a shot this weekend for our sunday family fitness day. This is my hauler I plan to load with two children, my road bike, my sons gt trainer bike, a yeti road cooler, and a smoker. The wifes bike would haul the rest, camping tent, chairs, groceries, utensils, etc...
  10. I say go with a WSM mini. Can be had for $80 with a bit of elbow grease. And yes you can grill on it too, since it is essentially a Smokey Joe that you have added parts to.

    I have a few kettles and a 22.5 WSM, but I am building a Mini right now just for wings, and have a vertical in the planning stages...

    But this  is always rolling around in my head for a build.

    Whatever you choose best of luck. Enjoying the outdoors with the family and cooking good food. Can't beat that. [​IMG]

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