Need help picking out a new smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by thomaswalls, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. thomaswalls

    thomaswalls Fire Starter

    Hey, I was shopping around for a new smoker and I have narrowed it down to two.  The Weber Smokey Mountain or the Pit Barrel Cooker.  Has anyone used either of these? If so can you please let me know how they worked?  Im trying to decide on one or the other.  Thanks!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The WSM is a rock solid performer. I have the 18.5" and 4 home built mini-WSM's pretty much as set and forget as a charcoal smoker can be.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Should also mention that I have a home built UDS. Also a solid performer. I use the WSM's more often though.
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As Case said, the WSM is a very good unit. I used one for a number of years and it gave me a great product. It's basically a charcoal burner, but you can also use flavor chunks or some small splits. If you can spare the extra cash, I would suggest the 22.5". It will give you more overall room, especially good for racks of ribs. You can order a charcoal for an 18" unit and use it in your 22.5 for smaller or shorter smokes. Also, a lid hinge is a great mod, as well as, handles for the middle section. A new WSM will have a recepticle for therm probes. If you buy a used unit, you can get a conduit cable connector in the electrical dept. at Lowe's and drill a hole for it and use for the therm probes.

    Good luck with your research and purchase and good smokin', Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I looked at the same units and went with a 18.5 WSM,it's a great smoker! I didn't care for the hanging idea due to fear of the meat falling. I also think the WSM will hold up better in the long run due to its coating and how others have held up. I like to cut ribs in half or at least a few off the ends and wrap in bacon for snacks,brisket I cut a small hunk off which I wrap before going to bed and eat for breakfast in the morning.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I vote WSM too! I have 3 of them!!

  7. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    3 of the same smoker?! You must have a lot of yard/patio, Al!
    Ever have all three going at once? 🙂
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I should have said I have all 3 sizes. 22.5. 18.5, 14.5.

    Never had all three going at once, but 2 at once yes.

  9. thomaswalls

    thomaswalls Fire Starter

    I think im going to go with the WSM, hopefully i will be able to get a 22.5. The only problem i see with it is i will have to buy gaskets to seal the front door better. But overall for the money it seems the better smoker. Thanks for yoir opinions
  10. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The door is bendable and you can fit it real easy to fit. If there's a little gap, it only helps the cooker to breathe. I never really noticed a problem when I had a WSM. Also the 22.5"is a good choice. It allows you to get ribs on without cutting them and gives plenty of room for a spatched turkey. I would suggest getting a charcoal ring from an 18" to use for short cooks or small cooks. It will keep a smaller amount of coal together better.

    Good luck with it, Joe :grilling_smilie:
  11. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Thomas, I think you made a good choice.  I went that way about a month ago myself, and bought a 22.5 WSM.  Don't believe everything you read about the bad doors...they're all different.  And, you're not going to get many people mention in a thread that their door was great...only if they got a bad one.  Mine has been absolutely perfect from the get-go.  I'd read so much about that, that I almost ordered a new door and gaskets while I was waiting for it to be shipped.  Sure glad I didn't. 

    I've been smoking meat on stick burners for 35 years, and never could I have dreamed that smoking on a WSM could be so easy, or that the meat would turn out so well.  I've done three overnight smokes on mine already...a 12-hour pork shoulder, a 14-hour pork butt, and a 17-hour packer brisket.  All were amazing, and the WSM did all the work.  After the first pork shoulder, I actually bought an Auber temp controller to take it one step further.  It held my pork butt right on 235* for 14 hours, and my brisket right on 230* for 17 hours.  All I had to do is add a few handfuls of charcoal when I got up the next morning.  No more getting up at 2:00-3:00 in morning, putting on a butt or a brisket, and hoping it gets done in time. 

    And, with a stick burner I used a LOT of wood.  I try to keep a 1/3 cord of post oak, 1/3 cord of red oak, and 1/3 cord of hickory.  Now, I can take one of those splits, cut chunks out of it with my miter saw, and use one split for an entire smoke.  Basically just the opposite of my stick burner, as I only used a small amount of charcoal to get started, but a whole lot of wood when smoking least 1.5-2 splits an hour, depending on the weather.  And, I'm used to chasing temps on the stick burners until I was wore out when cooking anything.  Now, it's smooth sailing.

    Good luck...and I think you will thoroughly enjoy the 22.5 WSM

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