Originally Posted by BroilerKing
Hi I noticed your thread about the kettle and wsm. I learned on a 22.5 kettle then upgraded to the smokenator. Recently, I picked up a smoke vault 24" natural gasser. I've been missing the charcoal life and the taste that goes along with it. Lately, I've been checking out the WSM 22.5 and the smaller 18.5 at depot and am wondering if it'd make long brisket smokes easier. I still have to babysit and regulate temp frequently with my gas smoker. Are the temps SIGNIFICANTLY more stable with less tending to than the kettle? I wonder if it's worth me selling the smoke vault for a WSM. There is one for sale near me for $325 new. What are your thoughts?
Hey BK. Yes, the temps are significantly more stable with the WSM than they are with the Kettle/Smokenator. About the longest I could go without futzing with the Kettle/SN was 90 minutes, and that took quite a bit of practice. The WSM can go for hours and hours.
My WSM was one leaky son-of-a-gun when I received it. I could tell it had been smushed a little bit at some point during shipping. Not out of round enough that things didn't fit, just off enough that it wasn't going to seal with use. It liked to cruise along for hours at 260-270 due to all the leaks. Trust me, you can smoke nicely at that temp and I did for about 6 months, 4-6 times a month.
I sealed it in June with a $25 WSM gasket kit and even though I started using a blower at the same time to control temps, I have no doubt it would cruise nicely at 225F-235F now that it is sealed without the blower. With the blower I did a wet-to-dry 225F smoke for 17 hours recently and futzed with the vents twice during the entire smoke, once after the water pan went dry, and once when I cranked the temp up to 250F on the blower for the last three hours of the smoke. With the blower it is almost like setting your oven temp.
If you can get a 22.5" WSM for $325, get it. You'll be glad you did.