Smokey Mountain, First Smoker?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by 1jimib, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. 1jimib

    1jimib Newbie

    I've been looking to get a smoker and doing a lot of research. Kind of a tight budget but decided against the typical electric smokers I've found at the big box stores. They just seemed so small, even though I'm only cooking for 2-6 on most days. Today however I went to a garden center with the wife and they have Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 on sale for $349. Within my budget for sure. I've noticed that there seems to be several small mods for these things. Now my newbie questions:

    Is it a good smoker for a beginner?

    How necessary are the mods?

    Is this my next addiction? 

    Thanks for any and all advice as well as witty sarcasm and beer recommendations...
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WSMs never seem to go on sale.  I'd snap that baby up in a heart beat.

    Is this a good smoker for a beginner?  Yep.  It's a simple to use smoker and is as close to hands off as you can get with a charcoal smoker. 

    Are mods necessary?  Nope.  They're nice, and give your family things to give you for Christmas and birthdays, but you can do without them.

    Is this your next addiction?  Yep.  You can use it for anything that can be fixed in an oven, including baked goods.  Meat is always at the top of the list though. 

    Edit: it took me many years to get into smoking because my friends who all had smokers all had complaints about theirs.  I decided to learn to smoke using a Weber Kettle, because I had two was sitting on the side of the house unused.  The Kettle required a lot of baby sitting, but I learned what I needed to in a very short time.  It would have been SOOOO much easier to start smoking with a WSM
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  3. 1jimib

    1jimib Newbie

    Thanks for the reply. My grill is a Weber and I was shocked to see it on sale. I'll be going back tomorrow to pick it up. I've read some more and I do think I'm going to get the insulation tape to seal up the door and lid..and roll from there. I have a working farm by me that's a meat market..fresh beef chicken and pork...seems perfect
  4. young j

    young j Fire Starter

    I agree with him. I have a WSM and I love it, it's the best charcoal smoker in that price range. Once you get good at controlling the temp it will stay there for hours.
  5. I have two regrets about my Weber Smokey Mountain:

    1. I didn't buy it sooner.

    2. I should have bought a larger model (I have the 14.5 inch model).

    I love my WSM. It's easy to use and fun to make BBQ with.
  6. mojavejoe

    mojavejoe Newbie

    Get it and don't look back. Took me about 3 times with my 22.5 to dial it in. I went through four or five smokers and wish I had found the wsm first. It keeps temperatures well and requires only moderate attention.

    I did just add the hinge mod to connect the lid to the body. It was an easy and beneficial mod in my opinion. Get a wireless thermometer if you'd don't already have one. I'd also suggest kingsford professional briquettes. I get them at Costco for 14.99 for 2 - 18lbs bags. I've tried a bunch of charcoal brands and this seems to work the best for me with the wsm.

    Again you won't regret buying a wsm.
  7. smokinal

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

    Jump on that deal!

    They never go on sale!

  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have the 18.5 WSM and wish I had gone with the 22.5

    You will love it,I sealed the door and the lid.

  9. 1jimib

    1jimib Newbie

    So I went back to the garden center today. The reason it was on sale was because it was the floor model. Obviously never used, no bends dents or dings...and I didn't have to assemble or pay for assembly. Sooo...this weekend I'll be breaking it in..can't wait!!
  10. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new smoker! I'll suggest a Cajun bandit rotisserie setup for its have one and use it on my kettle I still need to find a 22.5 WSM I bought the 18.5.
  11. adamr

    adamr Fire Starter

    You'll love that thing. I got the 18.5inch about a month ago. Have used it every weekend since. Lots of people on here have WSM's so you can always find answers for just about anything you can think of.
  12. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Great deal on that WSM!  I can't wait to see it in action!

  13. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Which seal kit is the best for the WSM and where do I purchase it? My door doesn't leak at all but my top is out of round and leaks smoke on opposite sides of each other pretty bad.

    Thanks for the help
  14. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The gasket kit I bought on Amazon was from BBQ Gaskets.  Price is about the same on their website, but I don't know if the website is free shipping.  Price on Amazon with shipping is $28. 

    There's also the Lavalock self adhesive nomex gasket.  About $10 cheaper on Amazon.  Since you only need the lid, that might be the way to go. 

  15. 1jimib

    1jimib Newbie

    I got 15' of the lava lock nomex tape off eBay for $13.95 plus free shipping.
  16. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Thank you gentleman for the quick response
  17. gr8day

    gr8day Smoke Blower

    Easy and cheap mod I would recommend is attaching the charcoal ring to the charcoal grate so you can pick it up as one piece and shake it out, I used 4 stainless steel hose clamps, my favorite mod was adding a lid hinge. 
  18. 1jimib

    1jimib Newbie

    I got the money gasket and picked up a charcoal grate to put on top of the one that came with it to make a grid for the charcoals. I found the charcoal grate for the 22 inch Weber kettle grill fits perfectly inside the charcoal ring for the WSM. I grabbed some stainless bolts, fender washers, lock washers and nuts to secure them together. About $15 worth of hardware including the grate.Going to finally use it tomorrow...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  19. troutman

    troutman Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Just a couple of comments on mods for the WSM.  I like to tinker with an already excellent design;

    - I used the Nomex self-stick gaskets on the lid and they work great, absolutely no leaks

    - I did buy the Cajun Bandit door replacements due to leakage and poor quality of the aluminum door, however, they're expensive ($50 a pop!).  Not only do you get a thick 305 gauge of stainless, the handle rotates then snaps into place pulling the door really tight against the smoker.  I really don't understand Weber opting for this cheap a component.

    - If you're handy, get yourself a set of inexpensive casters for the bottom legs.  I wheel mine in and out of the garage with ease.  Also if your cooking and a shower decides to hit you can roll it to a sheltered area so you don't loose your temperature.

    Just my humble suggestions.
  20. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on getting that deal!

    I for one went backwards. I started with offsets years ago, got a propane GOSM,  built a UDS, built a 60 gallon RF and now I'm eyeballing a WSM to replace my rusting out UDS..

    You will do fine with that smoker. In fact, you'll probably stay up later than ever reading posts about it.

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