There are no words that can adequately describe the aroma of slow cooked meat coming from a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker, or any other smoker for that matter.
I recently moved to Reno, Nevada only to discover that every year around Labor Day, neighboring Sparks plays host to the Annual Best of the West Nuggett Rib Cook-off. A drive on I-80 around the Nugget casino during that week will certainly play havoc with your salivary glands. Personally, I don’t think there is any other cooking aroma other than the smell of smoking meat that really says “I gotta have some.”
I must say that since this is competition barbecue, you will find all kinds of smokers in use. You will find a full range or barbecue smokers; from home built to large made to order smokers.
Where does that leave those of us that may be just the average outdoor chef feeding our families or groups of friends? We should not despair because there are smokers designed for home use that hold their own on the competition circuit.
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker is one appliance that has definitely had its share of wins in various barbecue competitions. Visit Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ to see the grills their team uses for competition.
Click Here to get the same Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker from Amazon that the Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ team has used to win several barbecue competitions. At the time of this post, this item is eligible for free shipping.
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, or WMS for short, is what is commonly called a water smoker. Simply put, a water smoker is a vertical bullet shaped smoker with a fire bowl on the bottom, cooking grates on top and a pan of water between the grates and the fire.
Let’s take a little closer look at this gem of a smoker. Do you get a sense that I like this smoker?
What is this smoker all about?
FIRST, this smoker comes in two sizes. There is the 18.5 inch size as well as the large 22.5 inch size. Now when you think about it, that is a lot of cooking surface since there are 2 racks or grates for holding your meat.
SECOND, the two cooking grates are made of heavy duty plated steel and provide a total of about 481 square inches of cooking surface for the 18.5 WSM and approximately 726 square inches for the 22.5. That is plenty of cooking space for the average family and for those that frequently host guests.
THIRD, with a 41 inch height for the 18.5 and a 48.5 inch height for the 22.5, there is adequate space for cooking a full size turkey and a complete ham simultaneously. With that great smokey flavor that only a charcoal fire and some wet wood chips can provide, there will be plenty of food to last until the next smoke fest.
FOURTH, when smoking your favorite piece of meat you want to keep it moist. With smoke and heat rising and recirculating in the smoker there is a tendency for the meat to dry out. Weber has taken this into account by inserting a large porcelain-enameled steel water pan between the fire bowl and the cooking grates. This water pan not only provides moisture, it also serves as a barrier preventing the dripping fats a juices from reaching the fire resulting in flare-ups. This pan also serves to deflect the heat so you are cooking with indirect heat rather than direct heat.
As an alternative, you can smoke your meat without the water pan being filled. Just cover the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up and do a dry smoke. This will add add a crust (commonly called bark) to your meat faster. Once the crust has set, does not come off when gently scraped with your fingernail, you can then add moisture by periodically spraying with a water bottle.
It may take a couple of times with the smoker to determine which method your prefer.
FIFTH, there are 3 vent dampers on the bottom of the smoker, 4 on the 22.5 inch, and one in the lid which allow for better temperature control. You just need to find that sweet spot for your cooking style to maintain your low and slow smoking temperature in the 225 – 240 degree range.
SIXTH, this smoker has a lid mounted thermometer which allows you to see what the internal temperature is without opening the lid and breaking the smoking seal. Some users have reported that this thermometer may not always register accurately and they have substituted their own digital probes. Also, the lid thermometer will not tell you the internal temperature of your meat.
SEVENTH, this smoker is sturdily built and will withstand many of the rigors of being outdoors. It comes with pedestal style legs but some users that are handy with a few home improvement tools have bolted the legs to a platform they have made with wood and casters for ease in moving from one location to another. If you choose to do this, you should use at least one locking caster to prevent movement when it is not desired.
Is there a downside to this grill?
For me, there was one major downside. Once the smoke gets going and the juices start flowing, the aroma coming from the top vent damper makes you wish there was a fast forward button so you can enjoy that rich smoky flavored meat.
Video – From set up through first cook
What are others saying about this cooker smoker?
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker – 18.5 inch
The previous smoker was an easy 5 stars in my book. I guess I’d have to give this one 6 stars, because it’s better!
They work flawlessly and are easy to use and clean up.
money well spent
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker – 22.5 inch
This new cooker by Weber will quickly become a classic just like the smaller one has.
The first ‘smoke’ with a WSM22.5 was a raging success, resulting in moist flavorful meat cooked from scratch, not parboiled.
Best Smoker under $400.