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Looking for suggestions for first smoker

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get a smoker for myself. I've been looking heavily at the Weber Smokey Mountain in either 18" or 22", but figured I'd come here and ask the hive. Looking for under $4-500 setup. Woud like one i can also grill on and is reliable. Thanks for any suggestions
post #2 of 45
I'm totally new to the forums and to smoking in general but here are my 2c.

I started with an ecb because I wanted to make sure that A - my family and I actually liked smoked meat and B - the cost investment was small, so it allowed me to get started. Now do not get me wrong, I loved the food I made on my ecb BUT it was so fiddly, required so much babysitting that within a month I upgraded to a wsm and I love it.

Once you are up to temp you literally are set and forget, so from one noob to another I highly recommend it :)
post #3 of 45
Well. Either you going to smoke or grill.. A smoker has the heat away from direct contact of the food. A grill
Has the heat right at the meat.. My advice is. Buy a Weber 26 kettle. You can offset the heat and smoke on the other side away from the coal.. And the cook directly above the coals for a nice scear
post #4 of 45
A WSM is great! A Weber charcoal grill works well also I just bought a used Weber Performer and added a rotisserie and Ribolator to it,it also fits a 22.5 WSM I only have an 18.5, it's a cool add on! How many people are you cooking for and how much/what do you plan on cooking,that info can help others suggest better choices as well as how much effort you want to put into the smoking of said food. If you like the WSM,there nice, go into a store and lay some items around the size of the food you plan to cook on it to see how it fits. Here's a pic of the setup I put on my kettle,it includes a rotisserie,Ribolator and expansion ring. The setup takes just a little practice for placement but it's a fun way to cook!

post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 

Right now its just My wife,4 month old and myself in the house, but we occasionally have friends over. I like the idea of the weber having no real moving parts or electronics to depend on. I am somewhat interested in the idea of a pellet grill, but have heard the cheaper ones are no good.


Budget is in the $400-500 range but could be slightly flexible for a dependable, long lasting setup

post #6 of 45
Did you look into a big green egg.. They do both. But
A little out of your price
post #7 of 45
Thread Starter 

Id like something that is dependable and will last. The Weber seems to be somewhat sturdy, has good reviews and a deent following

post #8 of 45
A properly cared for Weber can last forever. I suggest the 18.5,I only wish for the 22.5 with whole briskets but I cut a hunk off to fit the 18.5 and eat the hunk for breakfast with some eggs!
post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

Im not opposed to spending up for the 22, just want to make sure the weber is worth it

post #10 of 45
Originally Posted by dnmccoy View Post

Im not opposed to spending up for the 22, just want to make sure the weber is worth it

It's worth it Weber makes great stuff.
post #11 of 45
I just picked up a 22" WSM two days ago and pulled my first hunk of meat off of it today. I went to the WSM from a horizontal offset that I had before I moved, and I now wonder why I waited so long. I poured a blue bag of Kingsford in the charcoal grate, poured some hot coals in the center and filled up the water pan. She held temp in the 225 range nearly ALL NIGHT! I do like to play fire manager from time to time, and had no choice with my offset, but I appreciated the sleep the WSM afforded me last night.

She was nearly fire and forget on the first smoke. I chose the 22" because of the ability to lay a 14# packer brisket flat out on the grate. I think I could put as many as 8 pork shoulders in that thing. I would definitely recommend it for a first time smoker!

Happy Smoking!


post #12 of 45

Can't beat a WSM!


I'd go for the 22.5!



post #13 of 45
I have two. Go for the WSM you won't be sorry.. But it's not a grill it's only a smoker ..yes you can take it apart and put a hill over the fire ring and eliminate the center section.. But it's a PITA! Buy a 22.5 Weber gold kettle also
post #14 of 45
My 18.5 WSM is the only thing smokin at my house. I smoke on it, grill on it, every thing. I just got home a few days in Vicksburg and I will probably throw some chicken legs on it tonight and some ribs tomorrow. For grilling chicken I just build the fire in the bottom, for burgers, brats, or steaks I place the charcoal grate over the lower cooking grate and build my fire there. About the only thing I can't cook on it is a whole hog. I will say this. I would have liked to have the 22 but $300 was about all I could talk the mrs into at the time. However, after 4-5 yrs, the caliber of food I have turned out has her actually considering a new stick burner of consideriably higher cost. I honestly think you would be hard pressed to find a better charcoal cooker than the WSM. Good luck with your hunt.
post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 

I like the options with the weber. I am also researching it vs a pellet stove or the bradley type of smoker with the pucks.Ive been talking with three guys I work with, one has a 18WSM,one has the bradley, and another has the typical masterbuilt electric. Its confusing, Im just trying to figure out which would hold up the longest and run reliably

post #16 of 45

Smoke canyon vertical smoker at pro bass shop $269

post #17 of 45

I use a Weber 22" kettle and added the slow N sear. Turns really good Q and also grill and reverse sear.

post #18 of 45

I would suggest to you to build a UDS from a kit-Big Poppa! With this kit you can smoke and raise the charcoal basket and grill also!  Kit-139.00 plus a food grade barrel.

Edited by Garvinque - 6/27/16 at 12:47pm
post #19 of 45

Cant beat the 22.5" WSM, even if you only use one rack regularly it will be nice to have the extra space for when you need it.

post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Have a link i can check out the kits?
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