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Which size Weber Smokey Mountain would be best? 18 or 22?

tatts4life

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So I've had an electric barrel shaped smoker for probably 8 years now and it works great. But it can only cook 2 pork butts at a time or 1 ham. I tried cooking ribs and it never worked. Brisket has always been out of the question because of the size. I would REALLY love an off set smoker but that unfortunately isn't gonna happen any time soon. So I've been looking at the WSM and can't decide which size I want. As far as the amount of meat I would like to be able to cook 3-4 racks of ribs and a brisket or pork butt at the same time. Obviously I would start the brisket or pork butt first and then add the ribs near the end so they finish at as close to the same time as possible. Between the 18 and 22 which would work best for me? Also When I smoke my pork butt in my electric smoker I love to use the juices that collect in the drip pan to add back into the meat for added flavor. How would I do something like that with a WSM? Would I leave the water pan empty and collect it in that?
 

mike243

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If I could afford 1 it would be the 22, you might not always need that much space but they quit making stretcher's for the 14-18" a long time ago lol
 

sawhorseray

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You won't often hear someone say they wish they had a smaller smoker, go big. RAY
 

noboundaries

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22". Don't use the water pan as a fat/juice collector if you intend to use the drippings for your flavor profile. They'll burn in the water pan. I don't put water in the pan at all and just use it as a heat deflector.
Lots of options for catching the drippings for use.
1. You can smoke the butts uncovered in a 9×13 aluminum pan.
2. You can use the same sized pan and put an 8x10 cooling rack in the pan to keep the butt out of the juices.
3. You can put an aluminum roaster or a large round cake pan on the lower level to catch the drippings.
4. My favorite is to use a 15" paella pan with a 13" round cooling rack. Two 9-10 lb butts will fit on the cooling rack in the paella pan.
5. You can put the paella pan on the lower rack and catch the drippings from the butts on the upper rack.

Buy the 22". Briskets and full racks fit nicely.
 
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SmokingUPnorth

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I was debating the same thing as you and decided on the 22” (once spring gets here) I got the mes 30 for my first smoker and regretted not getting the mes40. Not making that mistake when I get my wsm. I made a post like you and everyone agreed on the 22”
 

daspyknows

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Size matters. That's what she said too. If you go for the smaller one there will be times where you need more room which is a problem. With the bigger one you may use a bit more fuel but you can always cook more food. I had both for awhile and used the smaller one more but when I did brisket, pork butt or turkey I could only use the larger one.
 

Dantij

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Get the 22 and never doubt your decision. I've been told that the 22 holds temps better and has less temp fluctuations .
 

bill1

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I agree with others. The only downsides are size/storage, the initial cost difference, and a slight operational cost (fuel usage) penalty. If those aren't issues for you, the flexibility advantages alone of the big one are substantial.

If they made 4' ones, the weight, bulkiness, and handling would become issues, but unless you have some serious health or physical limitations, I doubt you'll have trouble handling the 22".
 

tatts4life

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Well then 22 it is. Has anyone had issues ordering theirs from Amazon? None of the hardware stores near me have it in stock and that seems the easiest way to get it.
 

Dantij

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BTW, I always use the water pan when smoking butts, brisket , and ribs. Never had a problem with the fat burning in the water pan. There are a few things I love cooking without the pan though.
 

hopkinsb

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Joined Dec 29, 2020
Well then 22 it is. Has anyone had issues ordering theirs from Amazon? None of the hardware stores near me have it in stock and that seems the easiest way to get it.
They just had their best year ever, personally if it were me I'd look for more for something localish before giving up.
 

SmokinAl

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Get the 22, go big or go home!
If you get the 18, you will be buying the 22 in a few months. I have owned the 14,18, & 22. I sold the 14 & 18, but still have the 22, with a BBQ Guru setup. Have had it for 8 or 9 years & it still works like new. BTW I’m in Florida & leave it outside in the weather, with a cover on it & still have no problems.
Al
 

SlowmotionQue

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A little late to this, but I have an 18 and a 22. I bought the 18 first and discovered that it was too small for what I wanted to do, which is similar to what the original poster mentioned that he was looking to do.

Go with the 22in and you won't look back.
 

archer75

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Need the 22 to fit a full packer brisket without having to cut it in half. That's why I went with the big one.
I do put water in my pan. But I got an aluminum plate that goes on top of it and I cover that with foil which makes clean up easy.
 

gmc2003

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As far as the amount of meat I would like to be able to cook 3-4 racks of ribs and a brisket or pork butt at the same time. Obviously I would start the brisket or pork butt first and then add the ribs near the end so they finish at as close to the same time as possible.
Definitely a 22". I still think you'll be hard pressed to fit 4 racks of ribs and a brisket without a rib rack or some serious finagling.

Chris
 

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