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WSM, what makes it different from a drum?

txsmokering

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Joined Sep 19, 2021
I’ve recently started using a wsm 22. I came from a Traeger 22 and using my Weber kettle as a smoker which I will say once figured out makes some good bbq. Currently the only mods I have on the wsm are a Hunsaker floating hinge and the the Hunsaker firebox with vortex. Yeah I should have bought a Hunsaker after the money I’ve thrown into it. I also have the Cajun bandit door but have yet to put it on. I don’t use the water pan since I have the diffuser and have been able to keep the wsm at 225 and up to 300 for cooks I’ve done. I’m currently looking at a gateway drum. I love the look and the bbq I’ve seen it turn out but is the wsm not kinda their with the gateway as far as what type of smoker they are? I’ve got my eye on an offset to cook more traditional slow cooks due to the spike in temps I get every time I open the wsm to spritz my food. Opinions, thoughts? The offset I’m looking at is the asf smaller offset. I can probably fit 2 small briskets or 4 butts on it.
 

unclebubbas bbq

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I would have to say that there are very small differences between the two. The end product is the same to me. The drum is more air tight but the wsm can be made air tight. With all the mods I have into my wsm it's right around about $1,000, it includes the cost of the smoker, a Digi Que 2 temp controller, a baffle and no water pan, I made an oversize charcoal basket so it can hold 20 lbs of charcoal, added a hinge for the lid, a cajun bandit door, nomex gaskets, and finally casters. It now cooks the same as a $800 gateway drum with the same results. I went 20 plus hours @ 250 on a full basket of charcoal recently
 

SmokinAl

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The main difference between a drum & a WSM is the drum has no water pan & the grease from the meat drips on the fire, and gives a great flavor to the meat.
Al
 

txsmokering

Newbie
4
1
Joined Sep 19, 2021
I would have to say that there are very small differences between the two. The end product is the same to me. The drum is more air tight but the wsm can be made air tight. With all the mods I have into my wsm it's right around about $1,000, it includes the cost of the smoker, a Digi Que 2 temp controller, a baffle and no water pan, I made an oversize charcoal basket so it can hold 20 lbs of charcoal, added a hinge for the lid, a cajun bandit door, nomex gaskets, and finally casters. It now cooks the same as a $800 gateway drum with the same results. I went 20 plus hours @ 250 on a full basket of charcoal recently
So with all the money you’ve invested into the Smokey Mountain, if you could do it over again would you have just went with a drum
 

txsmokering

Newbie
4
1
Joined Sep 19, 2021
The main difference between a drum & a WSM is the drum has no water pan & the grease from the meat drips on the fire, and gives a great flavor to the meat.
Al
Is the sole purpose of the water pan to get lower temps within the smoker? If I want drum performance I guess removing the pan will give me this?
 

unclebubbas bbq

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Joined Jun 26, 2013
That's a tough question still. I love my wsm and didn't mind spending the time to tweek it to what I ended up with. The easy answer is to go get the Gateway drum.
 

JWFokker

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445
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Joined Mar 5, 2019
In my experience, drums run hotter, and yes, you get the flavor of vaporized drippings, if you like the taste of burnt grease. Not my style, but the popularity of 'flavorizer' bars on gas grills indicates that many have become accustomed to it.

Long story short, the WSM is a dedicated smoker while the drums tend to give more of a grilled flavor.

Btw, the WSM will get air tight with some creosote buildup.
 

SlowmotionQue

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Joined Feb 6, 2019
Is the sole purpose of the water pan to get lower temps within the smoker? If I want drum performance I guess removing the pan will give me this?
Yes. That is the main purpose of the water pan. It gives the fire another task. That other task being to heat the water as well as the food. That helps to keep it to tamp the heat down from it some.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Feb 6, 2019
I would have to say that there are very small differences between the two. The end product is the same to me. The drum is more air tight but the wsm can be made air tight. With all the mods I have into my wsm it's right around about $1,000, it includes the cost of the smoker, a Digi Que 2 temp controller, a baffle and no water pan, I made an oversize charcoal basket so it can hold 20 lbs of charcoal, added a hinge for the lid, a cajun bandit door, nomex gaskets, and finally casters. It now cooks the same as a $800 gateway drum with the same results. I went 20 plus hours @ 250 on a full basket of charcoal recently
Yep. You just described the fun of running that WSM. I also have a good bit of coin in mine, and it is my favorite of my smokers.
 

chesterinflorida

Fire Starter
65
29
Joined Nov 10, 2020
I always hate cleaning my UDS, so much so that I quite using it completely once I got my Gravity fed smoker. Seemed like a pain in the arse. Always get covered in grease when cleaning. Never had a WSM, but think I would like the ability to disassemble it for easier cleaning,
 

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