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Eyeing a WSM

ivysmom

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Joined Sep 19, 2012
Good evening, y'all! First, let me introduce myself and give a little background...

My name is Holly, and I am in and from Houston, TX. I have very fond memories of my dad's home-built big (like, 6' tall, 3' deep) brick smoker. Brisket was divine, and Thanksgiving turkeys were started on Wednesday nights. Nothing but charcoal and small logs of mesquite. Fast forward 30-something years, and here I am with my own family and (finally, as of 2 years ago) a house of my own. Convinced the husband that we needed to build a patio in the back yard, and so with a lot of sweat equity, we now have an awesome 13' x 13' raised up patio, and a 10' x 10' patio at its feet. Only thing missing is some means of cooking outside.

I'd thought about a full-on outdoor kitchen with an island, but man those things are expensive... and it seems like most of the options are gas grills. I'm more of a charcoal gal. Then I looked at the Duo 5050 and thought that looked good for the versatility, but my heart really wants to get into smoking more than just grilling (got a little portable for that, which works for now). So, a little more research and I've narrowed it down to one: a WSM. Most likely the 18.5" model.

So, what I'm hoping you more seasoned vets can help me out with is... is this something which seasonally goes on sale? I'm hoping so. After the patio we're on a little tighter budget than I'd like (rather just go get one NOW, but why spend more than you have to), so... what say y'all? Does this typically show up on Black Friday sales, or "summer clearout" or "hey, it's football and grilling season" type sales?

I've registered at SlickDeals.net to get notified of stuff that others see, and I check online occasionally as well.

Anyhow, I'll be a novice smoker myself, and am totally inspired by the fatty throwdown this month. Wow, nice!

Hope to hear from folks soon :)
 

smoke king

Smoke Blower
145
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Joined May 16, 2010
Last December, Amazon had their 22.5" WSM on sale for $328 with free shipping.  They are currently selling on Amazon for $399 with free shipping. I'm not sure if they had a similar deal on the 18.5".
 

lght

Meat Mopper
255
14
Joined May 26, 2008
They almost NEVER go on sale, but I actually found out that Home Depot where no longer selling the WSM in the stores and any and all remaining stock was put on sale.  The out the door price was about $53 for the 18" so of course I picked up 2 at the store close to home put 1 on hold at a store an hour away and found 1 demo unit in a store in AZ as I was visiting family that weekend.  All in all I came home with 4 18" WSM's for the price of 1.  I sold 3 on craigslist and to my surprise even selling them at $220 NEW they only lasted about 6 hours. 

If you want to find a good deal I would check the local craigslist or Ebay.
 
 

scarbelly

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Hello Holly 

I am sure others will be along to give you advice on where to buy your smoker 

A lot of folks around here use Craigslist and Amazon to find things so you might want to check there as well

Please do us a favor and add your location to your profile then drop by our Roll Call Forum and do your introduction so can give you a SMF welcome  
 

smokinhusker

Legendary Pitmaster
8,182
76
Joined Oct 20, 2010
I'd check the local Craigslist as suggested. When you get a chance would you swing by Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can give you a proper SMF Welcome? If you could update your profile to include your location would be helpful as well. Thanks!
 

pgsmoker64

Master of the Pit
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You can't go wrong with the WMS but it may take a little getting used to.  I got mine at Amazon for about $300 with free shipping two years ago.  Many a pork butt and racks of ribs have gone on that beauty.  I have the 22.5" but the 18.5" works great too.

Be sure to check-in in the Roll call section for a quick introduction.

P.S. - we like pictures (see below - my WMS in action).  We call it Q-view.  Be sure to include q-view when sharing your experiences.


Take care and good smoking.

Bill
 

ivysmom

Newbie
Thread starter
22
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Joined Sep 19, 2012
Wow, now THAT is cleaning up!

I've scanned Craigslist and eBay since I started looking, and haven't seen anything pop up. Looks like sales on the WSM don't come along too often, so I'll probably just go buy one today. One tip I did see somewhere is that you can get $50 Lowe's cards for $40 at Michael's, so I MAY go that route, if any of the Lowe's around here have them in stock (can you tell I'm itchy to get going? haha... even with rain this weekend). If not, there's a place a couple miles from work that has them in stock now for the $299 price.

I've updated my profile, and will drop in at the Roll Call forum a little later :)

Thanks everyone! I'll be posting pix of my shiny purchase soon. Planning to take some chickes and maybe a pork butt to it today, maybe a fatty in the morning, and then brisket Saturday night (weather permitting) for Sunday enjoyment. No sense tiptoeing in!
 

pgsmoker64

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Wow, now THAT is cleaning up!

I've scanned Craigslist and eBay since I started looking, and haven't seen anything pop up. Looks like sales on the WSM don't come along too often, so I'll probably just go buy one today. One tip I did see somewhere is that you can get $50 Lowe's cards for $40 at Michael's, so I MAY go that route, if any of the Lowe's around here have them in stock (can you tell I'm itchy to get going? haha... even with rain this weekend). If not, there's a place a couple miles from work that has them in stock now for the $299 price.

I've updated my profile, and will drop in at the Roll Call forum a little later :)

Thanks everyone! I'll be posting pix of my shiny purchase soon. Planning to take some chickes and maybe a pork butt to it today, maybe a fatty in the morning, and then brisket Saturday night (weather permitting) for Sunday enjoyment. No sense tiptoeing in!
I love it!!!!!  Way to go miss Holly!  
sausage.gif
 

smokinhusker

Legendary Pitmaster
8,182
76
Joined Oct 20, 2010
Wow, now THAT is cleaning up!

I've scanned Craigslist and eBay since I started looking, and haven't seen anything pop up. Looks like sales on the WSM don't come along too often, so I'll probably just go buy one today. One tip I did see somewhere is that you can get $50 Lowe's cards for $40 at Michael's, so I MAY go that route, if any of the Lowe's around here have them in stock (can you tell I'm itchy to get going? haha... even with rain this weekend). If not, there's a place a couple miles from work that has them in stock now for the $299 price.

I've updated my profile, and will drop in at the Roll Call forum a little later :)

Thanks everyone! I'll be posting pix of my shiny purchase soon. Planning to take some chickes and maybe a pork butt to it today, maybe a fatty in the morning, and then brisket Saturday night (weather permitting) for Sunday enjoyment. No sense tiptoeing in!
Getting right to it! Just keep in mind if you are doing the pork butt for pulled pork, figure on 1.5-2 hrs per lb if you are going to smoke it low and slow (225-250*) and an internal meat temp of 205*. Same general rule of thumb on the 1.5-2 hrs per lb goes for the brisket as well. I don't foil either any more, we like the bark, and I only take my brisket to 170 or so for slicing. Higher if you are going to pull it.
 

ivysmom

Newbie
Thread starter
22
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Joined Sep 19, 2012
Getting right to it! Just keep in mind if you are doing the pork butt for pulled pork, figure on 1.5-2 hrs per lb if you are going to smoke it low and slow (225-250*) and an internal meat temp of 205*. Same general rule of thumb on the 1.5-2 hrs per lb goes for the brisket as well. I don't foil either any more, we like the bark, and I only take my brisket to 170 or so for slicing. Higher if you are going to pull it.
Pork butt will be for pulled pork, yup. Thanks for the rule of thumb :) I got a remote thermometer -- figured it can only help, until I learn my way around the smoker and get some experience under my belt. I won't foil the brisket (Dad never did) but I probably will the pork butt, since we like the shredded/pulled stuff to not have any "crunch" to it. I still need to go out and buy the meat, and right now I want to get one of everything, haha. Got seasoning for beer butt chicken and the pork butt. Not sure what I'll do on the brisket except probably a dry rub -- in these parts most folks rely on the smoking to add most of the flavor to brisket (as opposed to sauce or marinade). Can't say I'm worried at ALL about trying out various approaches! Also got a rib holder and will probably do some babybacks too (those DO get slathered up). Yumm!

drool.gif


So I had to go to 4 places before I found somewhere with a WSM in stock. Took me a little longer driving around as a result, but there he is (I'm calling this one a he, in honor of my Dad). Let's see if I can get a Q-View here:


There he is on the new patio, all shiny and happy.


And here's the context -- just finished the raised patio yesterday (started that project in July!) The lower patio and arbor were built in March. Back yard has been a WIP for awhile, and we are RIGHT THERE on the edge of completion, finally!

yahoo.gif
 

pgsmoker64

Master of the Pit
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Joined Apr 23, 2010
Nice smoker!  Luv my WSM.

Great pics, I really like that patio!!!!  Enjoy your WSM.
 

ronrude

Meat Mopper
292
12
Joined Dec 16, 2011
Way to jump in with both feet!  I had a coworker tell me some guys in Texas told him they put beer can chickens above the brisket to marinate the brisket.  Chicken for the first meal and then the brisket later.  Sounds like a win win to me.

Congratulations on the patio completion amd the new smoker!  Remember, if it doesn't come out perfect the first time, practice, practice, practice!
 

ivysmom

Newbie
Thread starter
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Joined Sep 19, 2012
Good idea, ron! I have a couple of fryers for beer butt chicken (which will be rootbeer butt chicken for us). I got intimidated by the briskets at the butcher yesterday, LOL! Smallest one was $25 and just LOOKED big, so I'll pick up just a flat at the grocer's instead, when I try that. Today, there's a half-pound breakfast fatty on top (sitting on tinfoil), and a 5# pork butt in a glass dish with this rub I picked up at the store where I got the WSM. The 4YO helped me rub that sucker up, heh. Smelled great just raw, so I can't wait to see how it is in a few hours (for dinner -- pulled pork sandwiches). Got some spare ribs in addition to the fryers, so plenty to work with for today and tomorrow.

Next weekend I'll probably be in Dallas for the state fair -- this time tasting around for ideas, yay! -- so the brisket may be 2 weeks off.

So far this thing is great though the aluminum door isn't as flush as I'd expect -- smoke leaks out around it (maybe a mod for that is out there... haven't looked yet) but after I got the coals going (Minion method, with 4 chunks of hickory in the basket) and put the water pan in, I seem to have found the right vent setting for what looks like 220 or so, and it's been sitting there quite steadily. Eventually I'll quit checking on it like I did my kid when she was a newborn at sleep (you know, to make sure she was still breathing, or in this case to make sure the temp is holding steady) because I figure that's about where it belongs for low-and-slow).

I'll put some before and after pix up once we're all done with this first run.
 

pgsmoker64

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Good idea, ron! I have a couple of fryers for beer butt chicken (which will be rootbeer butt chicken for us). I got intimidated by the briskets at the butcher yesterday, LOL! Smallest one was $25 and just LOOKED big, so I'll pick up just a flat at the grocer's instead, when I try that. Today, there's a half-pound breakfast fatty on top (sitting on tinfoil), and a 5# pork butt in a glass dish with this rub I picked up at the store where I got the WSM. The 4YO helped me rub that sucker up, heh. Smelled great just raw, so I can't wait to see how it is in a few hours (for dinner -- pulled pork sandwiches). Got some spare ribs in addition to the fryers, so plenty to work with for today and tomorrow.

Next weekend I'll probably be in Dallas for the state fair -- this time tasting around for ideas, yay! -- so the brisket may be 2 weeks off.

So far this thing is great though the aluminum door isn't as flush as I'd expect -- smoke leaks out around it (maybe a mod for that is out there... haven't looked yet) but after I got the coals going (Minion method, with 4 chunks of hickory in the basket) and put the water pan in, I seem to have found the right vent setting for what looks like 220 or so, and it's been sitting there quite steadily. Eventually I'll quit checking on it like I did my kid when she was a newborn at sleep (you know, to make sure she was still breathing, or in this case to make sure the temp is holding steady) because I figure that's about where it belongs for low-and-slow).

I'll put some before and after pix up once we're all done with this first run.
Don't forget the q-view...we love to see the process and progress.  

Sounds like you put Ivy to work!
 

ivysmom

Newbie
Thread starter
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Joined Sep 19, 2012
A little Q-View update. Total success with the fatty. Sooooo good, and the smoke comes through terrifically!


The grid. This was just cheapy thin bacon from the grocery store. About a 10" square area. I used half of a 1-pound roll of JD breakfast sausage. Only had enough bacon to make one, so now I know the ratio (2:1 bacon:sausage).


The guts. I went quick and easy this time around and used one of those "steam in the bag" egg scramblers from the frozen food section. Eggs, chunks of potato, red & green bell peppers and "cheese sauce." Pretty tasty, actually. On top is mild Tillamook shredded cheddar.


Rolled fatty. The seam where the edges came together was wanting to separate/split on the finished product, so I took the remaining 3 strips of bacon and wrapped around to help hold it closed. What I learned here is to prepare the meat stuff in advance. While I was making this, the WSM was getting up to temp, so it was all ready to go at the same time.


2.5 hours later, the finished product. It's not crispy on the outside, but the inside is done and just right. No dryness at ALL, and man that hickory tastes GOOOD!


Cross section view. Yummm!

I'm calling this one a success!
 

ivysmom

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Joined Sep 19, 2012
Update to show the pork butt so far. It'll be probably another 3 hours or so until it's finished... Got a Weber "Style"digital thermometer, and it's not even registering an internal temp yet, after about 3 hours. This is a 5# pork butt (half a shoulder), with a dry rub on it that's "pulled pork" type seasoning. I've done something similar in the oven for the Pioneer Woman's recipe (which is a can of Dr. Pepper and a can of chipotle pepper in abo-something sauce for about 7 hours at 275... drool), so we'll see how this compares.

Before/prep:
 


After about 2.5 or 3 hours:


Holding steady pretty well. I'd say the vents are about 1/4 open on top and bottom:

 

s2k9k

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Way to jump in with both feet!  I had a coworker tell me some guys in Texas told him they put beer can chickens above the brisket to marinate the brisket.  Chicken for the first meal and then the brisket later.  Sounds like a win win to me.

Congratulations on the patio completion amd the new smoker!  Remember, if it doesn't come out perfect the first time, practice, practice, practice!
For safety sake I never put poultry above any other meat.

The patio looks Great Ivysmom! And so does that fatty! looking forward to seeing more!
 

ivysmom

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Not quite as good a result on the pork butt. It came out more like a very moist roast than something for pulled pork. I think there may have been a slight smoke ring, though so I feel good about that. :) The digital thermometer never registered a temperature, though, which is kinda weird.


 

JckDanls 07

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Everything's looking "GRRRRREAT" (tony the tiger voice)... my only suggestion would be is to put the meat directly on the grate.. not in a pan... just put a cheap foil pan on the rack under it to catch drippings...it will absorb smoke a lot better...
 

cybergoon

Fire Starter
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Joined Mar 23, 2012
Not quite as good a result on the pork butt. It came out more like a very moist roast than something for pulled pork. I think there may have been a slight smoke ring, though so I feel good about that. :) The digital thermometer never registered a temperature, though, which is kinda weird.


It sounds to me like it didn't cook long enough. I cook until internal temperature is minimum of 195*, but usually shoot for 200*. Under 195*, the meat doesn't like to pull apart very well.

I would also agree that getting the meat out of the pan is a good idea. I put it right on the rack and use a foil drip pan on top of my foiled clay saucers in the water pan. Sounds to me like your digital thermometer is faulty. Might want to boil some water and hold it in the steam and see what the temperature reads.

Also, I saw you mention something about the door not fitting very well. I had the same issue with my 22.5" WSM and just did a mod to fix it. I purchased http://www.bbqgaskets.com/cusnom_1.html and installed it a couple of weeks ago. I opted for the more difficult install since it is rated to 2000*, so instead of sticky back tape gasket, I had to apply adhesive, then the gasket and finally brought the smoker up to around 500* for a couple hours to "cure" the adhesive. I did this to the door and the lid. I didn't have any leakage around the bottom of the center section like many people have. FYI...I cut the Nomex in half, so I wouldn't have excess hanging out all over the place. It works great. Now, when I close all my vents, it takes less than an hour before my smoker is cool to the touch. Before, it would sometimes take 3 hours to cool down.

Good luck! Keep the Q'View coming!!!

-Marc
 

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