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Old 01-05-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Need Advice - WSM

First off, this is my first post to the site although I have been reading for a good while now. You all offer a lot of great advice on this site and it keeps me coming back. I've been smoking for about a year or so and it progressively moving from a hobby into a downright addiction, which is only a bad thing as it relates to my waist and cholesterol. I have fairly crappy equipment at this point which I am looking at slowly upgrading. It is highly likely my first upgrade is going to be the purchase of a WSM...the only question is whether I should go with the 18 or the 22.5. I'd like to know, approximately, what I can expect to fit on the 18 (ribs, chicken, butts, and brisket)??? Needless to say, I don't want to spend the extra $100 if I don't need to.

Alright pros, help the new guy out!
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

If you have the cash get the 22.5 and if not get the 18. I have a 18 and it's dome me right fine. I've cooked a whole brisket packer, and a turkey along with other tasty treats. Keep us posted on what you decide on.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I would suggest building a UDS.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

If you will only be cookin' for one or two the 18.5 would be fine, but if you have friends, neighbors and a big family you should consider the 22.5, you won't need a shoehorn to put that big brisket or six butts on And welcome to the Forum!
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I have an 18". When I do pulled pork for our firemens fair, I can fit 6 shoulders on it. 3 up and 3 down. Total weight is about 50 - 55 lbs. I set them up teepee style and it works well
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Thanks for the feedback so far. At this point I'm leaning towards the 22.5 just for the ease of cooking ribs...we'll see if I can get that past Mrs. Heel...
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I have the 18.5 and its a great smoker. The most I have had on it at once was 3 butts, two on the top rack, one on the lower with some sausages filling in the empty spaces. The main thing I would consider when buying, especially with ribs, is the usable space on the lower rack. I have found that the way the WSM is set up, all of the heat travels through space between the rim of the water pan and the wall of the smoker. I know.... no kidding Einstein. The thing is that the temp on these outer edges of the bottom rack become much hotter than the rest of the cooking space. Its not a deal breaker by any means and easy to work around. You just might get some crispy edges on some of your ribs. But, If you want to cook a lot of ribs at once, get the 22''. It looks a lot more impressive when you stand next to it as well.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I like the 22 for cooking ribs flat, but it burns quite a bit more charcoal. You'll be happy with either.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #9
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Roll your ribs and stand them on end. You can keep them out of the heat tunnel that way.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

again, happy either way, but I think the 18 will handle just about everything
you need. The 22 does make laying ribs flat pretty easy, but the 18 will
do nicely. Go Heels
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I'm with Cappy and Griff
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:03 PM   #12
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Prochilo
I have an 18". When I do pulled pork for our firemens fair, I can fit 6 shoulders on it. 3 up and 3 down. Total weight is about 50 - 55 lbs. I set them up teepee style and it works well
In order not to confuse a newbee.......you are not putting 6 'shoulder's' on your WSM, you are putting 6 shoulder portions on your WSM. Whether it be a boston butt or a picnic, you could not fit 6 'shoulders's' on a WSM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:36 AM   #13
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

[quote=Larry Wolfe]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Nick Prochilo":331d3jya
I have an 18". When I do pulled pork for our firemens fair, I can fit 6 shoulders on it. 3 up and 3 down. Total weight is about 50 - 55 lbs. I set them up tee pee style and it works well
In order not to confuse a newbee.......you are not putting 6 'shoulder's' on your WSM, you are putting 6 shoulder portions on your WSM. Whether it be a boston butt or a picnic, you could not fit 6 'shoulders's' on a WSM.[/quote:331d3jya]


Total weight would explain that! Yes, it is in fact 6 picnics, not whole shoulders. The butts wouldn't work either, they are too rectangular to fit tee pee style. Thanks for helping clarify this!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

get the 22
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

I wrestled with that question as well and ended up with the 18. The thinking was that if I ever needed more space I would just get another 18. The cost per square inch is slightly higher with the 18 but it is so close...

In addition, I am going to be in my first BBQ Competition this spring so getting a second grill had appeal.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnm
I wrestled with that question as well and ended up with the 18. The thinking was that if I ever needed more space I would just get another 18. The cost per square inch is slightly higher with the 18 but it is so close...

In addition, I am going to be in my first BBQ Competition this spring so getting a second grill had appeal.

I like the way you think!
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #17
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Is any of the big dawgs of comp cooking using and/or winning on them bullets? Now chicken do not count. Even a few dumb Texicans know in addition to the creosote factory with a highway axle and a hitch a person also needs a chicken blaster. A WSM could pass for a chicken blaster but it have to cuz somebody to break out the drill. Got to get some air to the fire on that deal.

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Old 01-13-2011, 10:12 AM   #18
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnm
I wrestled with that question as well and ended up with the 18. The thinking was that if I ever needed more space I would just get another 18. The cost per square inch is slightly higher with the 18 but it is so close...

In addition, I am going to be in my first BBQ Competition this spring so getting a second grill had appeal.

I like your thinking, but I'm pretty sure I'm going with the 22. I see you are located in Charlotte...are you in a competition somewhere in this area? I'm in Kannapolis so it might be something worth checking out.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:56 PM   #19
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Re: Need Advice - WSM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2001Heel
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnm
I wrestled with that question as well and ended up with the 18. The thinking was that if I ever needed more space I would just get another 18. The cost per square inch is slightly higher with the 18 but it is so close...

In addition, I am going to be in my first BBQ Competition this spring so getting a second grill had appeal.

I like your thinking, but I'm pretty sure I'm going with the 22. I see you are located in Charlotte...are you in a competition somewhere in this area? I'm in Kannapolis so it might be something worth checking out.
Sorry for the delay, I normally follow-up the discussions a bit better. The competition that I am planning on doing is in Lexington NC. Here are the details

CONTEST DATES: April 22 - 23, 2011

For additional information, please email us at uptownlex@lexcominc.net or contact
Chad Hodges, 336-906-2889 or Jo Ellen Edwards at 336-249-0383.

email/message me and I can forward you the sign-up sheet.

My team name is Losing Time BBQ so if you are there stop by!
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