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Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 18″ Review

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Weber Smokey Mountain 18"

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18″ is the original and mid-size version of their popular charcoal smoker. WSMs are high quality, charcoal fueled, bullet-shaped smokers. They are often seen competing head to head with large commercial cookers at practically every BBQ competition. And winning. They take very little time to master, and there are a lot of tricks the experts use to produce incredible food.

Smokey Mountains cook at a remarkably steady temp for hours and raising or lowering temp on this small model is fairly easy by opening and closing the vents.

Construction is solid and finish is beautiful. Weber really knows how to make long lasting porcelain and chrome coatings. The legs are sturdy and there is a bowl-shaped aluminum heat shield attached to them. If you cook on a wood deck, we recommend setting your WSM on a grill mat.

It has an inaccurate bi-metal thermometer built into the lid, but in 2014 they added a soft grommet on the right side for easy insertion of your digital thermometer. There is a side door for adding coal, wood, and water, although adding water and lit coals through the door is tricky. The door leaks smoke and lets in oxygen, making it hard to shut down the supply of oxygen and kill the coals. We bent ours slightly to make it fit better, but wondered how Weber could craft the door so poorly after crafting the other parts so well.

We also wish WSM had a wider lid. It rests inside a lip in the center section allowing rain and melting snow to get in. We would prefer that the lid overlap the center section, just like the lid on the Weber Kettle.

If you are trying to decide between the Smokey Mountain 18″ and the 22″, keep in mind that a full slab of ribs will not fit onto the cooking grates of the smaller unit without some trickery, and if the meat gets too close to the sides the heat rising around the water pan can scorch it. On the other hand, it is hard to get temp down below 275F on the 22.5 incher.

The WSM has a fanatical following and a good independent website devoted to its use.

  • Model:
    Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 18"
  • Item Price:
    $ 350
  • Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
  • Made in USA:
    yes
  • Review Method:
    Cooked On It
    We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
  • Primary Function:
    Smoker
  • Fuel:
    Charcoal
  • Primary Capacity:
    481 square inches

Published On: 3/24/2013 Last Modified: 11/8/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

 

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