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New WSM any additional equipment needed?


Joined Feb 11, 2014
Hi all, first time poster here and first time smoker. Thinking of buying a WSM 18.5 or 22 but first needing to justify the 22 as I will mainly be cooking for 2-4 people 99% of the time. What do you guys think?

Also for additional equipment I am thinking a wireless temp probe and also a WSM jacket from Bbq guru as I will be in negative numbers half the year here In good ol Wisconsin. Is there anything else needed? Any difference in opinion? I am thinking I will be using the minion method do I need additional equip for that?


Joined Dec 29, 2012
No I think u will be fine once you get use to it....I live in South Dakota and I have no problem getting and holding temps in very cold weather.. A temp probe would be excellent idea but I just purchased bbq guru digi q 2 and love it with my wsm. 18.5. As far as only cooking for 2-4 ppl I think. The 18.5 is more than big enough... Search weber smoky moutain mods there is a post giving a wed site with tons of cheap add on to apply to it


Joined Feb 11, 2014
How much was it for the bbq guru? They ended up being quite a bit more than I originally bought when you add all the adapters and everything

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Meat Mopper
Joined Jan 20, 2014
I cook for five including me. I have a cheap electric smoker (smoke hallow). I'm planning on getting a new Weber as well. I've got the money and would love the 22.5 WSM but I'm leaning towards the 26.75 kettle with the add-on Smokenator. I only grill with charcoal and I need a new grill. I've been craving both and I'm trying to swing both (convince the wife) by spring. I want to have charcoal and electric smoking abilities, since electric is so easy.

Get the 22.5 WSM, if you don't you'll be questioning your purchase as soon as you bring it home. When I smoke, I always cook more than we need. The 22.5 will do that and then some. Leftovers are awesome. Why smoke one brisket/pork butt when you can smoke two or three? With the 22.5 you'll have room for your family smokes and additional get-to-gethers as well. Good luck with your choice. 22.5 is it IMHO.
I use a Maverick ET 732 + a couple of cheap Walmart wireless probes. I've smoked on my 22.5 kettles and never needed an automated air flow but now that I'm getting older, it sounds like a great idea.
Let us know what you choose.


Smoke Blower
Joined Oct 18, 2013
I got my 18.5 in October as an anniversary gift. If I had to do it over I wouldn't change a thing. It's an awesome smoker. Also my first purchase for it was the Maverick 732. Temp probe is a necessity, everything else is just to make it easier on you.

Now me, I like the easy route. So a few days ago I bought a BBQ Guru digiQ DX2. I never had a problem maintaining temp other than user error (I left the top off while foiling ribs and it made the temp spike), but I like the fact that in case something happens on a long smoke, the digiQ will adjust it for me. The downside to the digiQ is I practically spent another 18.5 to get it.

Try a few smokes with it stock and see how it goes. Down the road you can always add on the luxuries.


Joined Feb 11, 2014
I too was just in your position.   Both trying to determine which size to get and trying to convince the wife...   :D

I went with the 22.5" WSM as you can cook less on it if needed, but it is hard to cook a lot more on an 18.5" if needed.   After cooking on it once, I ordered the seals and the replacement door for it.   Probably about $100 more, but once I add them on this week, I am pretty sure I will have all leaks sealed and be able to lock onto temps.   I have the Maverick ET-733 and it works great.  


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 24, 2010
I bought my 18" WSM in 2009. The only extra piece of equipment I bought was a good thermometer and installed just below the top grate. I have great cooks with out all the extra gadgets. But it's up you.My WSM works just fine like it came out of the box.


Joined Feb 11, 2014
Thanks everyone for the info. Going with an 18.5 because I had to buy a bunch of extras (gloves, therms, welding blanket, etc) to get started. I am excited to get in fired up soon, won't have it for a week or two

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Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 18, 2013
Personally have the 18.5 and cook for 4. It has plenty of room for me, just my 2 cents ! Post some pics when ya get it !
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Meat Mopper
Joined Dec 4, 2013
I have both. The 22 is nice for packer briskets and ribs because of the size, however they can be done on the 18. 

I have done 6 8# butts on the 18, it wasn't ideal but it can be done. 

Personally I would use the WSM as it comes a few times to get used to it, then decide what extras you want/need. It will run a little hot the first few times until it seals up, and the dome thermo is usually not too accurate.

You will enjoy it, they are cooking machines!


Joined Feb 11, 2014
Ok everyone thanks for all the info, here's the first two weekends worth

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Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 19, 2014
Just another opinion. I have a WSM that is sitting covered outside on the side of our deck. It has been used about 10 times in the past six years or so.  The last time was about 1.5 years ago. The build the fire, get it going, try to control the heart, clean the mess up afterwards, has been an impediment to frequent usage. I did like what it produced. 

This January I bought a MES and a AMZNTS. I've used them five times  - two pork loins, ribs, brisket, and trout. The ease of use and cleanup has me sold. The results have been great. The only thing you don't get is the smoke ring. 

I don't recall the exact numbers, but I'd have to guess that I half the amount of money into the MES and its toys than the WSM

Again, just an opinion (and we all know what opinions are). 


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Interesting thread.  Kind of reminds me why it took me so long to buy my first smoker.  Too many friends had too many issues with their smokers and I just didn't want a steep or expensive learning curve that involved a lot of trial and error until I found something that worked for me.  Started with a Weber Kettle I had and a Smokenator.  Loved the results then moved up to a WSM for more stable temp control and greater capacity.

Once you have your WSM "procedure" down, it's a breeze to set up the WSM. There's a little bit of a learning curve there, but once you have it down you can do complete cleaning, charcoal/wood loading, probe set up, chimney dump, reassembly, and water load in about 20 minutes.  I actually enjoy the whole procedure. The longest part of the process is waiting for the white smoke to start changing to blue so you can load the meat.

I always use the roasting pans or paella pans with cooling racks described below as drip pans because I HATE cleaning a greasy grill or smoker.  Just a personal preference and it makes no difference in the taste of the final product.

Stuff I bought or had on hand I could probably use with any smoker.

Large cooler for resting smoked meat.

Heavy towels for resting smoked meat.

HD aluminum foil.

Long grill tongs

Silicone gloves

Heavy leather gloves

XL Nitrile sterile gloves

Maverick ET-732 with two short probes.

2 six foot aftermarket chamber probes.

2 six foot aftermarket food probes.

Rib racks

9x13 aluminum disposable roasting pans

8x10 cooling racks to put in the roasting pans to keep the meat off the bottom of the roaster while smoking.

15" diameter paella pans (2) with 13.25" round cooling racks (2) to use for larger cuts of meat or more cuts of meat.

Double beer can chicken rack.

Turkey cannon.

Aluminum half bakers sheets (2) for prepping meat.

Home Depot buckets with lids to store charcoal and wood close to outdoor cooking area.

45 gallon Sterilite snap lid container to keep things close and dry to the outdoor cooking area

Stuff specifically for WSM

22.5" WSM with cover.

Briquette charcoal

Lump charcoal

Wood chunks:  Mesquite, Hickory, Apple, Pecan, and Cherry.

Charcoal chimney

Weber ash shovel (makes cleanup a breeze!)

6 gallon Behren's snap lid metal bucket for storing/smothering used ashes.

Extra charcoal grate for 22.5" Weber Kettle to set at 90 degree angle to charcoal grate that came with WSM to prevent lump and small briquettes from dropping through grate.

I'm sure there's more, but it's time to get ready for work.  A lot of what I have is "optional" personal preference kind of stuff, but to me the stuff is like tools, and you can never have enough tools.

I'm contemplating a BBQ Guru DigiQ2 but I haven't convinced myself yet I need it.   

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