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WSM 18 or 22?

WSM 18 or 22?

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Joined Aug 3, 2017
So 7 years ago I purchased a Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker and heavily modified it.

Last weekend I noticed after cleaning up, that the cooking chamber and charcoal pan had developed holes from rust. I have convinced my wife that it is time to replace the Brinkmann. Seeing as I basically made my Brinkmann into a WSM it feels right to just get the WSM.
I am conflicted as to what size to get. Both the 18 and 22 are larger than my current set up. Do the cook the same? Does the 22 waste fuel or have a more user friendly door size? Also I have seen people sayi g to keep the water bowl dry when cooking on the WSM. Why? I have always had good results with water in the pan.

Also here is the results of my labor from last weekend. I have a OK Joe Highland as well that I used for the brisket, burnt ends, and chicken wings.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Most will tell you 22 . Go by the store and see which one you like better . I have a 14 . They run good . Which ever you choose I think you will be happy .


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 30, 2008
Trust me. There will come a time when you are going to want that extra space that the 22 gives you..


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I have the 22". That said, the extra space is nice to have, but not really needed in most instances. I normally only cook for the wife and I, as the kids have long since moved out. It gets used for longer cooks(brisket/butts) and I usually fill at least the top grate when I fire it up. I hate seeing all that empty real estate go to waste. It will burn more charcoal then the smaller units and comes in really handy for when I do family get-togethers. Which is about 3 times a year. I don't use water in my WSM. I hate using up good coal heating the water up when I'm gonna be running the WSM at 250*. The door on my WSM has been opened about twice since I've owned it so as to it being friendly as long as it stays on then I consider it friendly. As for your question: which size? it depends on how much space is needed for your cooks. If your cooking for 2-3 people only then the smaller sizes will work just fine. If you have a larger family or do parties then the 22" is probably a better choice.



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 18, 2013
I have the 18, was a $100 Craigslist find about a decade ago... Had hardly been used, sitting covered in a garage. I really like the WSM cookers, they are excellent. Though I can't complain due to the price I paid for the 18... I will say that there have been times I wished it was a 22, for just a little bit of extra space.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
When you stock up on charcoal in the Spring and Summer when it is on sale, $50 gets you 200 lbs. Most years I go through about 400-500 lbs a year split between my 22" WSM and 22" Kettle; 200-250 lbs in a slow year. It's just me and my wife, but that cost is relatively small compared to our other utility bills.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jul 15, 2013
Nice looking spread of grub you cooked up boardgames! I think you will really enjoy your new Weber whatever size you end up choosing.
I am definitely a huge fan of the WSM, so much so I have now acquired one of each size haha! And I use them all...
The 14”er is nice for being portable and taking camping etc. It is perfect for doing a couple TriTip at a time and I’ve developed a method of using it to reverse sear and it works great!
The 18” is “just right” for most of my needs and gets the most use overall, and the difference in efficiency and coal consumption over the 14” is negligible.
The 22” is great if you do large cooks or like smoking multiple racks of SPARE ribs... You can easily fit 6 full racks of spare ribs laying flat, or 4-6 spiral cut hams, or 8-10 pork shoulders all at once! It does hold and consume substantially more fuel compared to the smaller sizes, but it is still efficient and it’s larger size helps it hold your target temp better with less fluctuations or need for tinkering with vent adjustments.
If I was forced to choose only one I think I would go with the 22” just for the huge capacity. I suppose it really boils down to the volume of food you intend to prepare at once.

Happy Smoking!


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 6, 2014
+1 for the 22 I have had the 22 for many years and love it. I do multiple pork butts at a time and fill the freezer. Never worried if i can get enough ribs on. It does take some time to heat up. I am wanting a 14 for after work cooks of chicken, abts, smaller cooks, and to have an additional space when doing more.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 6, 2019
I have an 18 and a 22

Short answer, definitely get the 22.

The 18 can get crowded real fast. And when you load it down with food, it can take forever for things to cook.

The 22 can also double as a 22in kettle by using the middle grate as the charcoal grate, putting the charcoal ring on the second grate, and using the top grate for food.

Of course, this will shorten the life of your middle grate, the hot coals resting on it. But I change my grates every season anyway.
Last edited:


Thread starter
Joined Aug 3, 2017
Thank you all for your advice. I think I will end up going with the 22 because of the capacity. I have a OK Joe Highland but you can always not use available space but you can't ever get space you don't already have. I tend to always max out my current rigs when cooking so I think I just need a bit more space. Said like the meat junkie that I am.

When I cook I make a lot and throw-down for everyone I know. Thank you for the complement Squatch on the spread. We normally treat it as a pot luck where we make the meat, sauce, and a couple of sides and ask the guests to bring something to complement the meat. This seems to work out for us.

As for the water debate I can understand not wanting to waste energy but I always saw the water pan as a heat sink and moisture generator. For my Brinkmann it helped moderate/ insulate the meat from the direct heat of the fire and produced a moist environment for smoke penetration.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 6, 2014
I have the cyberq wifi so I just foil my water pan and it helps extend my charcoal use and allows for good airflow. I found using the cyberq with water that i was either having stale air flow because the fan wouldn't run enough or that the temps would get to high because the water worked as such a good heat sink.

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