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If you are serious about BBQ in general and smoking in particular, you must have heard of Weber before. With this Weber Smokey Mountain review, we will examine their flagship carefully to show you the reason Weber is an industry leader.
Before we can start with the in-depth review, however, it’s important that you should first learn something about the product.
Also called the Weber Bullet, there is no denying that this smoker has carved out quite a history since 1981. The bullet part clearly gives away that it follows the design philosophy of the water smoker line. After all, almost all smokers of this style have the shape of a bullet.
A Weber smokey mountain typically has three main parts, the lid, the smoke chamber, and the pan. Each of these parts also has its own smaller compartments.
To be more specific, the lid consists of a temperature gauge and an exhaust damper. The smoke chamber houses the water bowl and the cooking grates. Finally, the firebox has a base pan supporting the charcoal pan with some intake dampers.
The key feature making all the difference in the WSM is the water pan. With it, the smoking temperature is always at a stable level. The humidity level is also high enough to keep the meat juicy.
Now that we know what the WSM is let’s dive into the meat of the article, the comprehensive review.
The temperature maintenance process is always extremely vital for cooking in general and smoking in particular. At the end of the day, cooking itself is just us making use of temperature to turn raw foods into edibles. This is especially true for smoking, as its heat application is more indirect.
In this aspect, we must say that the WSM has done quite a spectacular job with the ventilation system. We all know that one of the biggest problems of bullet smokers, in general, is their heat distribution. With the smartly placed and easily adjustable vents, it is a non-issue with the WSM.
Of course, there is also the star of the show, the water pan, which also has a smart placement. It is directly below the first cooking grate, meaning it will absorb all the heat and release them slowly. In other words, it functions as a heat sink.
You should not underestimate this water pan placement. A piece of common knowledge is that heat will always travel upward, losing steam the higher they go. As a result, foods placed on the lower grates will almost always receive a whole lot more heat.
With the water pan there, its heat sink nature can absorb all the unnecessary heat before they can touch your foods. This water pan can also improve the humidity of the smoke. Consequently, your foods rarely get burned nor dry.
Every single detail of this smoker focuses on only one goal, to improve its functionality. For example, the bowl-shaped attachment made from aluminum isn’t there to look pretty but to serve as a heat shield under the smoker. This shield prevents your desk from getting heat damage.
The probe wires are never strong against heat, so the WSM has a thermometer port protecting them. With this protection, they never have to contact the hot metal directly. Also, it keeps every probe wire in one single area and traps the heat.
Material & Construction
The body of the smoker is mainly powder-coated steel, which is notoriously good against heat as well as weather damages. We are sure that you must have heard of these two, as they are the main cause of smokers breaking. With the protection of this outer layer, the WSM can last quite a while.
This powder coating is also pretty good at keeping the heat firmly inside, which is incredibly vital for smoking.
On the other hand, the legs, vents, and internal brackets are all aluminum. Due to the fact that aluminum is among the lightest and also strongest materials, it lessens the weight significantly.
Ease Of Use
There is almost no difficulty in assembling this smoker. All you need to do is attach the plastic shroud onto the lid handle, the legs, and brackets to the body.
After setting up, you will see that this smoker’s firebox is also quite easy to start. You simply add in some charcoal briquettes to start things off and then some smoking woods to keep it going. We do suggest checking the thermometer out every 15 minutes to control the temperature.
The WSM is, truthfully, among the easiest to clean smokers that we have seen. After use, you only need to scrub the grates quickly with a crumpled aluminum foil or a grill brush. You then give the water bowl a thorough wash after disposing of all the ashes and leftover charcoals.
Most smokers don’t give you the ability to pick a size suitable for your own situation. That is not the case with the Weber Smokey Mountain. There is a total of 3 choices in size, 14″, 18″ and 22″. Their smoking areas are 286 square inches, 481 square inches, and 726 square inches, respectively.
A good way to solidify your decision is to take into account the biggest meat cut that you would smoke. The two smaller modes are more than enough if you are only smoking cut pieces of meat.
However, if you are someone who loves to cook a full brisket, they may not be able to satisfy you. The only option capable of doing so is the 22” variation.
The only conclusion that we can come up with is that Weber surely did not disappoint with the WSM. We hope that after reading through this Weber Smokey Mountain review, you can make your own decision.
All you need to remember is that this smoker is simply perfect for people who have limited space. After all, it has the space-saving advantage of vertical smokers with none of their weaknesses.