It might take a while to get used to it, but it’s well worth the learning curve - you get that beautiful pink smoke ring that is the signature of perfectly smoked meat.
The Weber Smokey Mountain smoker model reviewed was the 18.5 charcoal smoker that is able to maintain low cooking temperatures – a definite benefit if you like that lovely smoked meat flavor that comes from slow smoking over long periods at 200-220 degrees F rather than hotter burners that cook the meat too quickly. It might take a while to get used to it, but it’s well worth the learning curve – you get that beautiful pink smoke ring that you only get with properly barbecued meat.
For those who want real smoked BBQ flavor
The Smokey Mountain cooker can also be used to cook quicker if you’re in a hurry, because the temperature control is excellent, but if that’s all you want, then you can find cheaper smokers that will do the same job. However, if want real barbecue flavor and ribs that are truly out of this world, then the Weber is worth the extra cost. It’s airtight with adjustable vents that are used to control the cooking temperature. Sometimes the thermometer might seem not to be working, but that’s just because the WSM holds its temperature so well.
It offers two cooking grates and is big enough for a turkey and brisket or two. Maybe one tiny fault is if you want to smoke a few whole racks of ribs it can get a bit tight, but slabs are easy enough – you can in even more if roll them and pin them with a skewer or use a bbq rib rack. The 18.5 inch model is fine for a family, but if you have lot of guests then you will be best with the larger 22.5 inch model.
Cook Low & Slow.
Smoke like the pros using your favorite smoke woods.
The charcoal chamber holds lots of fuel and it burns all your favorite smoke woods. It’s also easy to restock if needed, but it will burn for a long time on one charge of charcoal – if you want to add extra smoke wood, then a hinged door makes that an easy job. Some report getting up to 20 hours from a single loading of charcoal! That’s long enough for even the slowest cooking.
Maybe one criticism of the Weber Smokey Mountain would be the water pan – it’s pretty small, and some owners replace it with a larger one. This is particularly needed when to keep the meat moist when cooking for longer periods, but be careful not to cook too hot or the water will boil and you might end up with steamed meat!
The Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 inch charcoal smoker is an excellent family smoker barbeque, and about the best bullet smoker on the market for its price. It consists of three sections: the bottom holds the fuel and has three vents to feed in the air and control the temperature. The middle section has the hinged door to feed in fuel, and also holds the water pan and cooking grids, while the top section contains more food and another adjustable vent that can be opened to reduce the temperature. You can also drop a thermocouple down this for more temperature measurement.
If you have both lots of vents open, top and bottom, you get a fair amount of air movement through the whole system, and it’s very important to keep the water tray filled to prevent the food becoming too dry. The smoker is well constructed and very stable with a good weight, unlike some tinny machines that are easily knocked about.
All in all, the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is an excellent charcoal smoker and the 18.5 inch model is fine for the family and a few friends, but if you regularly entertain or have parties then you should consider the 22.5 inch 731001 smoker. The extra cost is worth the extra capacity. No real complaints except the thermometer might be slightly more accurate and the water pan could likely do with beefing up, but other than that it’s a winner.
Check Current Prices on the 18.5″ Smokey Mountain Smoker
NOTE: Prices below are for the 721001 18.5″ version only. In general, the 22.5″ 731001 will run about $100 more. So if shopping for the larger bullet, use the prices below as a guideline. Usually, if a vendor has a sale on the smaller unit, the larger unit will have a comparable discount. However, I would suggest not to wait around for a sale if you’re in any hurry to start smoking. The Weber Bullet is rarely found on sale.
© 2013, egriller.backcountrystoves.com. All rights reserved.