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Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 05, 2020 05:41AM
I have a 12-15 year old Weber Genesis propane grill which is still in great shape and still has many years of life left in it. I've been wanting Big Green Egg forever but I I just can't do it. They are so pricey and not sure I'd get the use out of it. So, based on what I've been reading and what my buddy has told me about his is that it's a great smoker!!! So, I'm looking at the 18" Smokey Mountain and looking at anyone's thoughts? If you have one do you like it?
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 07:28AM
Yeah man I have that one, the small 14.5” also. Both acquired used during my collecting years. They can do amazing things, depending on your expectations.

Like anything charcoal (multi-hundred dollar eggs included) there can be a learning curve but that’s mostly because there is more than one “correct” way to use them. As with a charcoal grill you can mix methods and potentially screw things up. If you enjoy the process you’ll enjoy the smoker. If you don’t, there are always pellets or gas or electric smokers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2020 07:30AM by deckeda.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 07:40AM
Buy used. The 18 can be had for a third of retail. The bullet shape contributes to mold inside. One good run of hot charcoal deletes that. As with any grill that normally uses nickel-plated steel grates, scrape a little rust off and then add cooking oil. Regular use and grease buildup is good ... no more rust near food. Balance that with occasional mold build up you then burn off again.

If I'm painting a picture here where regular use is better than occasion use it's true. None are show stoppers, but that doesn't stop people from buying, using a couple times and then selling at a loss.

As with any Weber charcoal there are accessories from 3rd parties. I have a SS door and I've added hardware store wheels to my 18. The grill grate from the 18 Weber grill fits it, which means so will any aftermarket SS or cast iron grate.

You can fancy it up with nice wood handle ... or even a lid hinge if not too scared to drill through metal. You get the idea.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 07:49AM
There are ways to think about cook capacity, horizontal and vertical. Since smoking is inherently indirect you can use the entire surface of a grate. This is good for multiple Boston Butts or whatever. And each Weber has two cook grates. A common mod is to attach SS u-bolts/washers/nuts to the lower grate so as to create lifting handles on it. Otherwise you're reaching down with gloves to extract hot meat when done.

Alternatively, you can do fish, sausage, bacon, veggies all vertically. You can use these "smokers" as a hot-and-fast grill instead. It's not as easy to get high heat out of them but it can be done. But what you can try is (for example) a long-distance direct cook. Remove the water pan, get it hot and cook chicken or beef on the upper. As grease drips down it'll create flame that never reaches the meat ... it's too far away. I'm not saying it's better, but it's different.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 07:58AM
1) Spend more time with your buddy to learn how and WHY and WHEN he uses his. Friends saying, "Oh its great" is never enough of a reason to buy anything, right? If your habits don't dovetail with his you'll have to find or learn your own habits if such a thing will be useful to you.

2) If all you need or want is a charcoal smoker for smaller capacity uses consider first the ubiquitous Weber 22 grill. They are cheaper because they're all over craigslist and FB Marketplace. Yes they can lock in 200-250 temps all day long. Yes it's easy to do. They won't go quite as as long as the smoker will, but it nay not matter. The Weber 22 grill can be set up to go unattended 4-8 hours, and the Smokey Mountain smoker for almost double that.

But you can still do a long term brisket properly on the grill so long as you replenish fuel.

All of this is methodology, not "gear" (well, a remote thermometer helps.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2020 07:59AM by deckeda.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: d4
Date: June 05, 2020 08:06AM
I've had a Weber propane grill for years and years.
Have always wanted a smoker as well, until....

I was staying at a friends house for a week and he asked me to tend to his smoker for the day while he was out on a call. He left detailed instructions. After that experience, I knew 100% I was not cut out to own a smoker. Leave that stuff to the pros. I will gladly pay a restaurant to do the smoking for me. Sit, order, eat, pay and leave. YMMV of course.



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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: June 05, 2020 09:15AM
Hey spacescape!
I’m with you re: the green egg prices. I think I rather spend on the Summit charcoal. And I almost fell for an Akorn on sale a lil’while ago.
But I always come back to the fact that a 22 kettle is capable of doing all the smoking I care to do.
Perhaps you want to consider what you want to accomplish, and let that guide your methodology.
Everything said before my post, all solid advice.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 05, 2020 09:29AM
I have a smaller Weber Charcoal Grill. Guess I could try to smoke a pork but in it one day to see if I can hold temperature and see how that goes before jumping on a dedicated smoker. I have smoked ribs and pork butts in my Weber Genesis before. Just the way the burners are in mine (left to right) you need to be very careful to not burn / overcook. But, I can usually keep the temperature around 200-225 degrees. Just try to keep two of the burners off and one and then toss some blocks of hickory or cherry or apple on the burner to create smoke (don't even soak it). Usually it's very very good. But, it works.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 05, 2020 09:35AM
......does the person have to be named Weber.....and doesn't smoking cause cancer.....???



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 10:34AM
space, you have the right idea regarding the Genesis. It can be done there also. Which “smaller” Weber grill do you have?

22.5” (the regular size)?
18.5”
Smokey Joes are 14.5”

Check out YouTube for “snake method” and pay attention to both upper and lower vents. Make small adjustments and WAIT for the effect. You can easily do a dry run some day (no meat) to see what it’ll do. There are zillions of gadgets or add-ons for the 22.
........

I’m with rich in distress. I want a Summit Charcoal but can’t yet justify it. A few more Webers on my porch would have to go ... not because I have money tied up in them (sshhhh!) but because of the floor space and “lack of need.”

The Summit won’t crack like an egg can, and just as flexible if not more so. Insulated, with significantly reduced fuel usage.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 05, 2020 10:37AM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
......does the person have to be named Weber.....and doesn't smoking cause cancer.....???

I’ve learned I need to filter my searches to reduce instances of basketball player shirts, music amp speakers, and gay soft porn framed pictures.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: June 05, 2020 10:45AM
Craigslist is your friend.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 05, 2020 11:16AM
I have had my 18" Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker for nearly 20 years. It is a great smoker and you can do amazing things with it. There have been many BBQ competitions won using it.

However, there are a couple of things to consider.

Smoking requires long cook times at low temps. You need to hold the temperature at 220-240 for upwards of 18 hours for larger cuts of meat (ribs are closer to 4 hours). Using charcoal, that is not as easy as it sounds and will mean getting up every few hours at night to check it.

you will want to use charcoal with soaked wood chips in a foil pack. Do not use just wood - it is too small of a smoker and the smoke will be too strong (especially if you use mesquite)

Learn the Minion Method of arranging your charcoal - it works. The other option (and what I have done) is too convert it to gas. I use a simple camp stove in the bottom the heats up a skillet holding my wood pellets covered by foil. Once I have the temp set, it holds steady.

You will want a dual probe Bluetooth thermometer. One probe goes in your food, the other dangles in the smoker to measure ambient temperature. Knowing your temp is the key to successful smoking.

If you just want an occasional smoker and would like to keep things simple - get an electric smoker from Masterbuilt. I cannot stress enough that smoking requires temperature control - it doesn't matter where that temperature is coming from - wood, charcoal, electric, gas - all will work.

This site is your friend -- [www.virtualweberbullet.com]

Finally, get a good quality cover the breaths to protect your investment. This is what I use -- [smile.amazon.com]



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2020 11:19AM by Ombligo.
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 06, 2020 01:04PM
.....Bruce Weber.....??



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Looking at Weber Smokers. Anyone have one?
Posted by: spacescape
Date: June 08, 2020 11:03AM
Thank you guys. Still shopping and "thinking about it". ha ha. We did get a pool so we are home a lot more so "hey, I'm home anyways".
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