Got A Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 inch for christmas

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jul 15, 2010
Nebraska - Go Big Red!
I got a Weber smokey mountain 18.5 inch for Christmas form the in-laws. I am pretty excited to use it. All I had before was two little Cheap Barrel smokers, and I do love those little guys. My wife's biggest complaint when I smoked was that I had to go check those little smoker every couple hours to keep them around 225. I hear that the WSM holds heat really well and you can go a long time with out having to mess with it. Is that true? Also I live in Nebraska and it gets pretty cold in the winter. I have never used my little cheap guys i the winter because they don;t hold heat well enough. Will I be able to use the WSM when it is in the teens and twenty outside or should I still wait for spring? Anyway I am pretty excited to use it. Good thing I have a bunch of smoked meat in the freezer since I have a big craving for it now.
Congrats on the new gift and welcome to the WSM club.

Yes it is true that you won't have to mess with the WSM much, and what little messing you would have to do is simply adjust the bottom vents.

Yes, you should be able to use your WSM outside in the winter without any issues.
Is it true you can fire up a smokey mountain full of charcoal and go to bed for 8 hours and let it cook with little worry? If so that would be amazing!!
The WSM is darn near bullet proof.  I'm up in northern Iowa so I see the same temp swings that you do.  I smoked a turkey breast on my WSM 18.5", just like you have, on Christmas eve in 5 degree weather.  My smoker was holding right at 289 (per my Maverick Therm, get one, you'll want it), for the three hours I had the turkey on.  I left after I shut it down, but I'm sure it would have held that temp for several hours without me having to get out of my comfy chair!  Oh, it was snowing and blowing too!  I had it just inside my garage so it was out of the wind, but it still worked flawlessly, like it usually does!

If you have ANY questions, feel free to shoot me a PM.  Since we are so geographically similar (temp wise), I've already ran through about any and all weather issues that you'll run through!

Good luck and have fun smoking!
I've never had an issue with cold, the lowest temp I've used my WSM  was 18. Wind, however can be a problem. I set mine up so it is sheltered from the wind. I have also seen improvised wind breaks and welders blankets used for this purpose.
I will echo bad moons experience. I have an unattached garage that's concrete on 3 sides , so I can set up out of the wind , but you can also rig up a wind break pretty easily with some plywood or even a picnic table turned on its side. I've seen all kinds of improvised stuff on the bbq forums that I read. You will love the WSM , though , that is a certainty.
Any suggestions on seasoning my new WSM? I had read before to rub the inside a new smoker with olive oil or spray it with PAM and then get the smoker up as hot as you can for a few hours. Any other suggestions?
Buy a welding blanket and some big spring clamps - you will be able to smoke in all kinds of weather and temps with little to no worry. I can load my 22.5" WSM get it running at 250°, wrap it up, and go to bed for the night. It will be cruising along right at 250° when I get up in the morning - I start all my "overnight" smokes around midnight and go to bed till about 6 or 7 AM. You will almost feal guilty with how easy it is to do long smokes.

I have heard of that before JIRodriguez. How big of welding blanket do you use?
For my 22.5" WSM I use a 6 ft. x 8 ft. blanket and have to wrap the 8 ft. part around the smoker. Best bet is to wrap a piece of string or rope around your 18.5" WSM, mark it, then mesure the length. Buy a blanket that is at least 1 foot longer than that measured length and at least as tall as your smoker. When you arrange the blanket on the lid I just make sure the exhaust isn't blocked and I can see the lid therm. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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