Why do WSM's cost so much? - BBQ Central

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Old 09-20-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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Why do WSM's cost so much?

I've been poking around the BBQ world for some time, and have smoked on grills both gas and coal as well as offset, vertical, electric, etc. smokers. From what I've experienced you can get good quality BBQ out of most anything, the biggest difference is the level of attention and coaxing the unit takes. My old COS's were like newborns in a nursery, you couldn't leave them alone for more than a minute. My current smoker mostly runs itself once I get it tuned in to atmospheric conditions.

I have never cooked on a WSM, so maybe that's the missing link. I have been around them up close and personal, and have eaten food off of them. They seem to produce good BBQ with a minimal amount of tending, a huge plus. Someday I want to try one. But I cannot understand for the life of me where the cost comes from.

I can still buy a 22.5" Weber Grill for $100. How does the 22.5" WSM warrant four times the cost? We add a cylinder with a door and some brackets, a couple more grates, and a water pan. The legs are probably about the same, the bowl and lid about the same. I could see double the price, maybe even 2-1/2 times, but $400 seems like it is priced solely on popularity.

A couple years a go I bought a Cabela's branded electric smoker made by Masterbuilt. Cabela's, purveyor's of all things overpriced. I bought it to experience electric smoking to see if I like it. I don't, so I sold it. But the point here is that the roughly 14 or 15 inch smoker cost $129 with essentially the same components as a WSM plus a set of legs, a work table, and an electric element. It had the same type of tough baked on enamel finish, etc.

So, what is it in your opinion that makes them worth the cost?
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:03 PM   #2
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Because they are worth it. Really they are not all that much, I mean $400 for a 22.5", a Trager starts out at $700 for about the same size. But if you want cheap you could do a Brinkmann Vertical, and constantly be screwing with it to get it to keep temperature. Or you could build a UDS, normally is around $100-$150, unless you get a kit, that would run around $300.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:22 PM   #3
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It's not cost. I easily have as much wrapped up in my smoker. In fact, the 22" WSM was on my shortlist before I went a different direction.


It's about cost V. value as compared to their kettles. I just keep looking at the kettle and imagine that the production costs can't possibly be 4 times less than their WSM counterpart. Think about it, a 14" SJ is what, $29? A 14" SM is $200. that's more like 6-1/2 times. the 18" kettle is $80 or so, and the 18SM is $300, and so on. It just doesn't seem justified.


I know they're worth it. Maybe I should just be thankful, that kettles aren't more!
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:25 PM   #4
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I am not sure it is fair the way you are trying to compare the Weber products. You are trying to compare a grill to a smoker. But even with that, lets look into some details.

The largest Weber kettle lists for $ 1499.00 dollars and the largest Weber smoker lists for $ 499.00 dollars. Hell, looks to me like the big WSM is a bargain.

Another thing, production costs are only a small part of how a business will price it's product. The very first thing a business should consider in pricing it's product is how much the market will pay for your product. If it's a hundred times the production costs so be it.

Get you one of these fine cookers and I am sure you won't be sorry. I have used them for over 20 years along with many other cookers in their category and I am a very satisfied customer. Talk about inflated costs, my first WSM cost $119.00.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
Because they are worth it. Really they are not all that much, I mean $400 for a 22.5", a Trager starts out at $700 for about the same size. But if you want cheap you could do a Brinkmann Vertical, and constantly be screwing with it to get it to keep temperature. Or you could build a UDS, normally is around $100-$150, unless you get a kit, that would run around $300.
What Max said. (Did I really type that?)
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:10 PM   #6
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Well, again...thanks, but not looking for recommendations. I'm happy with my current smoker. I am more trying to sort out in my head how Weber justifies the cost differential when they're so similar.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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LoL, Thanks for the vote of confidence there Bob.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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If you have never owned a Weber and you have a closed mind, you will NEVER understand. For starters, think CUSTOMER SERVICE! Nobody comes close to Weber customer service, although few ever need any.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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I have the same 22" kettle I purchased new in 1986. I have a mid 90's Genesis 1000.


Try and separate "Weber is overpriced" or "Weber isn't worth it." from my question. Not sure why you see that, when I am specifically asking:

"Why do the WSM's cost 4X as much as the kettles?"
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Its not burned View Post
I have the same 22" kettle I purchased new in 1986. I have a mid 90's Genesis 1000.


Try and separate "Weber is overpriced" or "Weber isn't worth it." from my question. Not sure why you see that, when I am specifically asking:

"Why do the WSM's cost 4X as much as the kettles?"
Because with use, a Weber is WORTH 4X as much as other kettles/grills/smokers of the same type.

Don't like the price? Don't buy one.
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