Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Choose a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker

By Dru Chai

Ahh, it seemed like only yesterday that my beloved Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker (WSM) arrived at my doorsteps. Hard to imagine that was over 2 years ago. Below is a picture of the smoker fresh out of the box, brand spankin' new, and clean as a whistle.

Brand spankin' new, fresh outta the box

So how does it look now? Well, just the complete opposite. The smoker is just filthy, greasy, and borderline disgusting... and I love it. Sure, I'll do a few wipe downs on the exterior, but I haven't touched anything inside.

Why? Because all that smokey residue, smell, and gunk that has been accumulating inside for over 2 years helps with the seasoning and flavor for future meat smoking. That's why I will never smoke any fish in there -- I'll have to buy another WSM, one that is dedicated just for smoking fish and seafood.

Shhh, the smoker is sleeping

Amazon is the best place to buy a WSM. Weber currently makes 3 different sizes for their popular Weber Smokey Mountain. So how do you know which one is right for you?

22.5" - The biggest one available. There's more than enough room and rack space if you need to smoke a lot of meat at one time, especially for a very large BBQ party. On the downside, it requires a lot more charcoal and wood. Buy the 22.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.

18.5" - The most popular size, the sweet spot. It's perfect for medium-sized barbecue gatherings -- you can comfortably fit one type of meat per rack. I can smoke a couple slabs of spare ribs on one rack, and either a 10-12 pound brisket or pork shoulder on the other. Buy the 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.

14.5" - This "personal" sized WSM was available in the market at one time (long before I got started into BBQ). Now, Weber decided it was time for a comeback. According to Amazon, it will start shipping sometime this month. If you're more of a one-man BBQ wolf pack on a budget, then look no further. Buy the 14.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.