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Getting a WSM, but which one?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by sully151, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. sully151

    sully151 Newbie

    So  after much deliberation and taking the advice from you guys, I am going to buy a WSM.

    Now the question I have is which one? 18.5 or 22.5

    I am new, so all advice will be considered.

    I will, in the beginning at least, only cooking for 4-6 people, mostly ribs, brisket and chicken. But I do love leftovers. This would make me lean towards the 18, but the 22 might offer more advantages down the road.

    I don't want to have too much room, but I don't want to run out either.

    I will also have a gasser for quick meals like burgers and such.
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Bigger is always better when it comes to a smoker.
  3. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have to tell you to go large.  If you can afford it, 22.5" is the answer.  It shouldn't cost anymore to run, and you'll have plenty of room.  Nothing worse then knowing you could have d=had more room IF you had bought the right one.

  4. smokingeagle

    smokingeagle Smoke Blower

    I would go with the 22.5 because when your friends and other family members find out  you like to smoke food they will standing in line to eat it. GO BIG!!!!
  5. sully151

    sully151 Newbie

    Do you think there would be any negatives to the larger one. More fuel I assume, but what if I am only cooking for a couple of people?
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    From what I understand they are so efficient it shouldn't matter on fuel
  7. bbqnuts

    bbqnuts Fire Starter

    I have the 18.5 and wish I wen t with the 22.5.  Take the above advice!  Either way you'll love the smoker.
  8. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead


    I too have an 18.5 (can't complain, it was given to me for free from my F-I-L)  but sure wish I had a little more room sometimes.
  9. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not a problem. I have the 22.5 and when I'm done cooking I just close down the vents and it puts the lump out leaving plenty to use for the next cook. Before the next cook I stir the coals in the basket with a pokerr to knock all the ash to the bottom then empty the ash out, add fresh lump if needed, make my minion mound, add chunks and start the chimney.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get the BIG DOG [​IMG]

    I have the 22.5 and usually I just plan my weekend smokes to load it up with lots of differant things. Then I vacuum pack a lot of it for use in various dinners throughout the week. Your fuel consumption has a lot to do with how long of a smoke you are going to do. For short smokes like chicken and ribs you can load it 1/2 full or less, then for long smokes you can fill it up and let it go for 18-20 hrs. on one load.
  11. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I vote for the big'un, I have a 18.5 and I fill it up most of the time and it's just the Mrs, our niece and myself.  Once you have it dialed in you will find all kind of things to cook, for example, your cooking chicken and then find you have room for a fattie, you can always freeze the fattie and have it later, we have three fridges and the freezers are full of smoked meats, if I come home late from work, no problem, a little time in the microwave and we have a fresh smoked dinner.

    Enjoy whatever you buy and post some Q-view,

  12. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I vote for the 22.5" WSM. You will want a larger smoker even after you purchase this one.

    I just bought the 22.5" at aim to find.com, the small one is much less expensive, but less capacity, I was checking prices at every website I could find for a couple of weeks and aim to find.com had the cheapest price for a 22.5" (arrived in 2 and a half days). 

    You can even smoke sweet corn and burgers and Dutch's wicked bake beans at the same time on a 22.5" WSM.

    Hope this helps, RP
  13. sully151

    sully151 Newbie

    I have read that there may be moisture lost if I use such a large smoker without a full load of meat. Have any of you experienced this with a 22.5 and a smaller cook, say a couple of chickens or a couple of racks of ribs?
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nothing that I have noticed. There is a honkin huge water pan in it that helps keep the air inside moist, and as long as your temps are under 250° you aren't gonna dry out anything unless you really try. It really is a super easy to use smoker - which is why it is soooo popular, Smoking for Dummies! lol
  15. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    As stated there is a water pan in there and as long as you keep water in it and keep an eye on your temps of the smoker and your meat, it is pretty hard to dry anything out in it, at least in my experience.  Mine was old enough it did not a have a temp gauge on it, and I ran it for a long time without one, and after I put a gauge on it I know I was running over temp when I was using it before, and I still hardly ever dried anything out except maybe ribs every once in a while.  

    Sorry for the run on sentences, hope this helps.