- 170 Posts. Joined 2/2006
- Location: Meadville, MO
- Points: 11
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I am a Weber fan myself and I absolutely love my WSM. They are very easy for a beginner to learn on, and they work so well even some of the pro's continue to use them in competition
As for size, I remember asking myself the same question before I purchased mine... I decided to "go big or go home" and bought the 22.5" (first haha). My reasoning behind the choice was my own love for ribs! Ribs, ribs, and more ribs... that was what my main intended use of the smoker would be, so the larger diameter was a no-brainer decision for me. The 22.5" can hold 6 full racks of St. Louis cuts all laying flat (3 rib racks per smoker rack) My bro-in-law owns the 18.5" and it works just fine as well, although he is limited to only using babyback cuts which are shorter in length, and he can only hold 2 per rack.
3 years of happy smoking later, I decided to add the 14.5" to my collection and I love it just the same. It is compact enough to easily transport to a friends or to bring camping... if I am going to do Chicken quarters or maybe smoke a Fatty I use the small one
I suggest you go look at them in person... the size difference between 18.5" and 22.5" doesn't sound like much, but you will be surprised in the overall size difference between them!
I was digging through my photos and found this pic showing my 22.5" next to my bro's 18.5" for reference
I cant seem to find any pics of my 22.5" next to my 14.5" aside from this one showing only the base with barrel and lid removed for lighting...
Cant fit all this good grub (at once) on the smaller ones... this is just the top rack, still room for more down on second rack...
I haven't met a brisket I couldn't fit in my 18.5 yet, but there's been some close calls. As for ribs, I just fold 'em under. That being said, if you have the cash burning a hole and plan on loading it right up, I'd go 22.5.