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post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My name is Dennis and I live in San Diego, CA and work in the aerospace industry (civilian).


I have been interested in smoking for some time. I expect to start with pork ribs and chicken and move on from there. Right now I am considering buying the Weber 18" SM. I don't expect to cook for large groups and I like the smaller size, the reviews and the Weber name. It is also nicely priced at about $300. Most of the time I would be cooking for just me, my girlfriend and her two daughters (one of which doesn't like BBQ). Occasionally my son and his girlfriend will come up for a BBQ. I expect this grill will be big enough for my needs but I do welcome others' opinions. I have had regular propane grills but my next propane one will also be a Weber. My GF's backyard patio is a bit small so the smaller size of the Weber smoker is a plus there. I also want a smoker that uses charcoal. I do miss the smell (hell, ambiance)


Also, if there is one book you would buy about smoking what would be your choice?


I'm looking forward to reading some threads. Probably the questions I just asked have already been answered on here.

post #2 of 6

Hi Dennis! welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're glad you found us! You will find a lot of WSM users here so you should be able to learn everything you want to about using it.

The one book I would buy would have to be this one:

post #3 of 6

Hello Dennis and welcome to SMF! Lots of WSM owners here.


Here's a free smoking basics e-course offered by TulsaJeff:


I don't have it yet, but I'd recommend Jeff's book as well.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just ordered Jeff's book. Amazon says it usually ships in 1-3 months. So what does he do, hand type each one as they're ordered?

post #5 of 6

Hello Dennis and welcome1.gif SMF - glad to have you here 

Probably designed the security in your facility = 


Glad to have another So Cal guy here - please consider joining our So Cal Smokers group

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Scarbelly View Post

Hello Dennis and welcome1.gif SMF - glad to have you here 

Probably designed the security in your facility = 


Glad to have another So Cal guy here - please consider joining our So Cal Smokers group


Baby steps. I don't even own a smoker yet. I am at KSEE so let me know what kind of security you designed here. I did have an issue a few months back when I didn't wait for the gate to close and an FAA guy followed me to my office to chew my ass off. He was red faced. Have to say he was "well done." Not sure if my response cooled him off any because I thought he was being a total A-hole.


I just had some ribs that my gf's neighbor smoked. OK, being a newbie I don't know a damned thing about good ribs. You could taste the smoke but I do think he left the membrane on. These ribs weren't fresh, I had to reheat them so I do give some leeway here. But, on the underside it seemed like the "sauce" was piled on the underside and what looked like the membrane came off and the meat underneath was done but didn't have the same color. I'll let those that know here tell me if I'm right. I don't know much but I do know you have to remove the membrane and trim the ribs to allow the smoke to penetrate evenly. My gf told me that these were the best ribs she has had, which was what put me over the hump in deciding to expand my grilling horizon. After having these I told her, "I will do better." I know I will.


I live in a condo and smokers are not allowed. On my deck all I have is a portable Weber gas grill. On the weekends I am at her place. I've always liked to grill so I started doing it for her. She had an ancient Thermos "Big Easy" for me to start on. The burner plates were burnt through and cooking on it was about on par with what the cavemen did. On Superbowl Sunday I pretty much ruined some Harvest Ranch Maui Ribs because of the flameups. Those go for about $21/pound and it really pissed me off. So, I ended up buying a cheap Charbroil thinking that when we got her backyard done I would finally get a nice Weber and the CB would only be in service for a year or so. That grill ain't much better than what she had IMHO. But I think we are in agreement that getting a smoker now would be a pretty good decision. I am pretty much sold on getting a WSM 18.5 even before I started reading about it on here. It seems to be a good one to start with but also one that will do the job even if I really get into smoking.

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