What is Weber Smokey Mountain?
This small grill is a compact charcoal smoker that is ideal for backyard smoking as well as smoking at the cottage or camping due to its light weight and ease of movement. This is why it is so popular among BBQ competition competitors. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest charcoal smokers available.
It’s a rather simple item with little automation, but it’s well-designed and user-friendly.
Remember, this is a smoker, and you’re not going to be speed-grilling burgers and dogs at a tailgate party. Although it can be used to grill, it is primarily intended for low and slow smoking.
For the record, the Weber Smokey Mountain 18” is only the second smoker I’ve ever bought, following a disastrously awful, extremely inexpensive offset smoker.
I adore this little thing, have owned it for many years, and usually recommend it as one of the best novice smokers and a terrific device for someone’s initial steps into low and slow BBQ.
For the rest of this review, I’ll concentrate on the 18″ model, but it also applies to the 22″ model. It’s the same, just bigger.
- Your purchase includes: One Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker + Cover
- Item overall dimensions: 14.7" W x 14.7" D x 31.4" H. Item weight: 24 lbs
- Cooking Grid Dimensions 13 1/2 X 13 1/2". Main Grilling Area 143 Sq. Inches. Total Grilling Area 286 Sq. Inches
- Easy assembly required, instructions avaialable in User Guide attachment.
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker reaches approximadetely 190°F inside temperature
What’s Inside the Weber Smokey Mountain Box?
Unfortunately, because my model is so ancient, I don’t have a picture of what’s inside the box. Sigh. So you only get a description!
The following items are included in the new box:
- The base, main cooking section, and lid are all made of porcelain.
- Two cooking grates made of stainless steel
- A ‘charcoal grate’ made of steel
- A charcoal chamber or ring of charcoal A water pan
- a door of entry
- A box with legs, a lid handle, an owner’s manual, nuts, bolts, and washers.
- This is a cover.
I appreciate that they include a cover to preserve your smoker between uses or while traveling it, because with every other smoker and grill I’ve purchased since, I’ve had to purchase the cover individually at an additional cost!
How Does a Weber Barbecue Smoker Differ from a Barbecue Grill?
Barbecue grills are designed for quick outdoor cooking over high temperatures, although grill models with lids like the kettle grills by Weber can be offset to smoke (group charcoal to one side and cook with the lid on). A dedicated smoker is, however, much easier to use, since there’s more distance between the fire and the food and better heat control.
What is a Bullet Smoker?
There are a variety of designs for wood smokers including barrel-style, rack-style, and water smokers. In addition, there are a number of ceramic smokers on the market. The bullet style by Weber is bullet shaped (hence the informal name – Smokey Mountain Bullet) and has a center water pan to provide moisture while smoking.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smokers Review
Temperature variations are kept under control
When it comes to smoking, temperature control is critical for both good cooking and producing enough smoke. The Weber Smokey Mountain, like most grills and smokers, has vents that control airflow and, hence, temperature, but it also has a pretty clever trick under its sleeve for controlling heat levels: a big water pan that rests immediately above the embers. The water functions as a heat sink, absorbing and slowly releasing heat to keep the temperature steady.
Designed with the job in mind
Everything about this smoker is intended to boost performance. A heat shield is an aluminum bowl-shaped device under the smoker that protects your deck from heat-related damage. The thermometer port keeps probe wires from coming into direct contact with heated metal. It also prevents heat from escaping and gathers all of the probe wires into a single location. The port contains a small hole that tightly accommodates a probe to check interior temperature and a long hole that can handle numerous probe wires to monitor food temperature.
While this is clearly intended to be a smoker, we thought it intriguing that it is so simple to convert to a conventional grill.
The water pan, as previously said, regulates the temperature, but it also creates a wet cooking environment and acts as a tray for catching fats and fluids that might otherwise cause flare-ups. You might also utilize the water bowl to flavor your food, such as adding apple cider when cooking pork. The sole disadvantage of the bowl configuration was that it was difficult to see the water level during cooking. We discovered, however, that even with the bowl filled to the brim, there was still plenty of water left after 10 hours of smoking.
The lid contains an adjustable vent, an integrated thermometer, and a cool-touch handle. The water basin and two cooking grates are located in the middle section of the smoker, which also has a door for adding charcoal, wood, or water and inspecting food on the lower grate. The base, which contains the fire grate and ring, includes three adjustable vents and three legs for support. Because the three sections do not lock together, they are merely stacked. When we had to move the smoker, we moved each component separately and admired how light each section was.
The supplied smoker cover was a lovely addition, and it fit tightly enough on the smoker to keep it from flying away. A single hook-and-loop fastener strap allows you to tie the cover to one of the smoker legs for more security, but we didn’t think we’d need it.
Because this smoker is tall rather than broad, you won’t be able to cook a complete pig on it, but the height allows you to roast a beer-can style turkey vertically with ease. A rack of ribs or a side of salmon will easily fit through the grates. We chopped the rib racks in half for easy handling and even smoking while using grates on both levels for making ribs. They all fit onto the top grate when we were ready to sauce them.
High-quality for long-term use.
The smoker body is constructed of heat-resistant powder-coated steel, while the legs, vents, legs, and internal brackets that support the grates are made of aluminum. Because the top handle and the access door handle are made of plastic, they remain cool during cooking. The cooking grates are easy to clean and chrome-plated.
Setup was simple, although the diagrams were not very clear
This smoker needs only the legs, brackets, and the plastic shroud for the lid handle to be attached. We had to go to the manufacturer’s website for clarification because the instructions were simple illustrations and the two types of washers seemed identical. Short answer: Fiber washers are placed against the smoker’s exterior shell to protect the paint surface from chips and cracks.
Setting up a smoker is almost as simple as setting up a charcoal grill
You need fire to make smoke. Although charcoal briquettes are advised, many users prefer lump charcoal or a mix of the two. We used a chimney starter as well as wax fire starters to ignite the fire. We didn’t have enough charcoal for one chimney, so we dumped it onto the grate, then added more charcoal and waited for it to get ash-coated. We used wax starters to light the fire and placed all of the charcoal we desired in a generous pyramid.
Once the coals were set, we added dry chunks of smoking wood before putting the smoker’s middle part in place, along with the empty water bowl. We began by adding water, followed by the grates and lid. We were ready to cook when the smoker reached a consistent temperature. Checking the smoker every 15 minutes is a good idea when changing the vents to reach the appropriate temperature, according to Weber. While the inbuilt thermometer is good when you’re close to the grill, we recommend utilizing a remote thermometer for long smoking sessions so you can monitor it from a distance.
Heating Capacity is similar to a charcoal barbecue
The smoker heats up rapidly, and it doesn’t take long for the temperature to settle. The temperature kept within around 20 degrees of our target smoking temperature for the most of a 6-hour rib smoking session. Temperature changes are to be expected because factors such as wind, weather, and sunlight can all influence the temperature.
Cleaning is simpler than cleaning your oven
Scrubbing the grates with a grill brush or crumpled aluminum foil, properly cleaning the water bowl, and dumping of the cold ashes and unburned charcoal are all examples of minimal maintenance for proper cooking. If you intend to use the integrated lid thermometer to check the inside temperature, wipe the stem as well.
The interior of the smoker is expected to develop a patina from the collected smoke, and the grates, like any grill, will discolor. The accumulated smoke, on the other hand, can get thick enough to flake off the interior. It’s a good idea to clean stuff off, especially the underside of the lid, so that the flakes don’t fall onto the meal. The exterior is easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
It is more than simply a smoker
While this is clearly intended to be a smoker, we thought it intriguing that it is so simple to convert to a conventional grill. The fire grate and ring fit precisely where the water bowl would ordinarily lay, and the top grate is repositioned for grilling.
The 18-inch smoker is ideal for families and small gatherings. Because the smoker is so tall, it can smoke nearly anything–chickens, turkeys, fish, and even ribs. While a whole pig may be a little challenging, the size is ideal for everything else.
The middle rack is ideal for ribs and larger fish, such as salmon. Furthermore, a Weber Smokey Mountain barbecued brisket only takes 1.5 hours per pound, so you won’t have to work up a sweat when smoking massive slabs of meat.
If you frequently have to feed a large audience, the 22-inch model will be a better choice for you.
Expensive, but well worth it
Because the Weber name carries a high level of expectation of quality, it’s possible that you’re paying a little more for the nameplate. This smoker, on the other hand, is designed for performance, is simple enough for a beginner to understand, and is highly regarded by experienced smokers.
Weber Smokey Mountain VS Kettle Grill
If you’re upgrading to a dedicated smoker, you’re probably already familiar with the Kettle Grill, so feel free to continue ahead.
If this is your first smoker, you may be wondering if it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars on a Smokey Mountain when a normal Weber Kettle Grill will cost you approximately a hundred dollars.
It all boils down to what matters most to you. The Weber Kettle is less expensive and more versatile. While designed as a grill, the Kettle may be simply turned into a smoker.
However, if you are serious about smoking meat, the WSM is a far superior smoker. In comparison to a Kettle, the WSM will provide you with:
- Significantly higher temperature stability – Smoking meat necessitates steady heat over lengthy periods of time. While a Kettle can be used for this, it takes frequent adjustments to the airflow and can take a lot of practice (and sub-par BBQ) to perfect. The WSM, on the other hand, can work for hours on end without tiring.
- Maintain lower temperatures — In addition to providing greater overall temperature control, the WSM enables you to maintain lower temperatures while avoiding temperature spikes. You’ll constantly be up against direct heat radiation with the Kettle.
- Amount of food you can fit — Because of the twin grill design and the lack of multi-zone cooking required by a Kettle, you have substantially greater cooking area.
- Cold smoking – If you want to attempt cold smoking fish or cheese, the WSM has a few possibilities. You can utilize the snake method to fill the reservoir with ice by stacking 22 charcoal stacks with wood on top. Alternatively, if you like less trouble, you may purchase a pellet smoker tube to insert at the bottom of your grill.
The Weber Kettle is an excellent and flexible grill. Smoking meat is a skill that can be honed with experience and a plethora of potential accoutrements.
If you don’t frequently smoke a lot of meat at once, the Kettle may be a better option. But, if you’re serious about smoking meat, the Smokey Mountain is unquestionably superior and well worth the extra money.
How Does the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Work?
The Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker includes three main body parts. The bottom is a fire bowl to hold charcoal, wood or a combination (charcoal with wet wood chips). The center is a cylinder that holds the water bowl and also puts some distance between the heat and the top grate. The unit then has a domed lid that allows for good heat circulation and has enough space to put on large cuts of meat like Boston butts and whole chickens.
To smoke foods, the outdoor chef simply builds a fire in the bottom section and lets the coals cook down to a gray color. The center piece is placed on the base with water or other liquids in the water pan that sits near the center of the unit. Food is placed on the grate, and then the lid is placed over the food.
The smoker vents (top and bottom) are used to control the coals and temperature. More charcoal or wood can be added as needed. Water can be refreshed through an aluminum door on the cylinder.
If you’ve never used a Weber grill or smoker before, this cooker may seem intimidating. But there’s no need to panic because I’ll show you how to get the most out of your Smokey Mountain cooker.
- In the charcoal bowl, place a lump or two of charcoal and some Firestarter in the center. Light your flames using a lighter or a match.
- Allow the fire to smolder and build up steam for a few minutes. You can also build a small pile of charcoal around and above the flames to aid in catching. Place the middle section on top of the charcoal bowl after the flames catch on and grow larger.
- Place the water pan in the cooker and fill it with nearly 2 litres of cold water.
- Set a stick of wood or 4-6 fist-sized bits of wood over the charcoal close to the middle when you place your food on the grate.
- Close the smoker’s lid. Close the access door and adjust the vents to half-open when the temperature hits 200 degrees.
- When the temperature reaches 225 degrees, close the vents so that they are barely a quarter open and adjust them to keep the temperature at your desired level.
- Keep an eye on the temperature monitor and the bowl’s water level. The temperature will not change significantly, but you can adjust the vents to enhance or decrease the intensity of the heat.
It’s a good idea to start with a dry run if you’ve never used a smoker before. This will season your grill and assist you in calibrating it, as well as getting you acclimated to handling it.
On the other hand, if you’re new to cooking, you can feel overwhelmed by all of your options. If you’re looking for a Weber Smokey Mountain recipe list, look no further. And if you still can’t decide, remember that A Smoky Mountain BBQ is always a safe bet!
Installing Your Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
The cooker is far easier to assemble than it appears. What you must realize is that the smoker is made up of three primary elements, which must be assembled on three different levels. Here’s what you should do.
- Connect the legs to the bottom of the stove. Place it upright on the ground. This is where the coal is stored.
- Place the middle part on top of the base. The water pan and two grates are located in this portion. The water pan is placed at the bottom of the center area, and the racks are placed on top of it.
- Finally, the smoker’s cover is located on the top section. Place the lid on top, making sure it completely covers the racks. The lid contains vents and a thermometer for controlling the smoker’s temperature.
- Grilling and smoking will seem straightforward once you’ve mastered the assembly and use of the cooker.
Follow these procedures to convert your cooker to a griller.
- Place the charcoal grate and charcoal chamber on the flanges in the middle cooking section instead of the water pan.
- Set the top grate to its normal position.
- Set aside the bottom or lower cooking, as you will not need it for grilling.
If you want a very good sear on your steak, acquire a substitute charcoal grate and position it where the bottom cooking grate normally goes.
That’s all there is to it! You may now effortlessly smoke and grill as much as you like.
Pro-Tip: Did you know you can also grill fruit? Grill stone fruit such as mangoes and peaches for a light and refreshing dessert after all that meat. Sear them in halves until the surface is caramelized. Impress your guests by serving with a sprinkle of honey!
What are the Advantages of Going with a Weber Bullet Smoker?
Since Weber is a big name, it’s easy to find replacement parts for a Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet smoker. In addition, the company offers smoking assistance and grill help by phone and by email. Weber users and fans also provide help and recipes with specific tips on how much to open/close smoker vents and when to do so to have perfectly smoked foods at the Virtual Bullet web page.
The Smokey Mountain Bullet is easy to use in general and even more so with the addition of a thermometer in the lid to gauge temperatures. The bullet shape is more forgiving than some of the other style smoker models. The Weber bullet is also lightweight, so it can be moved around as needed. Bullets are considerably less heavy than ceramic smokers for example. The original WSM is less than 50 pounds compared to many outdoor smokers than weigh over one hundred pounds on up to over 600 pounds.
Smoked meats and other foods turn out fabulous on the Smokey Mountain Outdoor Cooker. The smoker units (the traditional 18.5 inch and the new 22.5 inch) are well designed with good heat and smoke flow. Foods come out cooked evenly and with lots of outdoor smoked flavor.
Weber Bullets cost less than most other quality home barbecue smokers. A small Smokey Mountain Bullet is around $300 while many good smokers top the $1000 mark.
Any Disadvantages with the Bullet Smoker by Weber?
It does take time and work to smoke foods, but the Weber smoker is low maintenance. While it often takes 8 to 12 hours to smoke recipes, the Bullet can be left unattended for long stretches (unlike offset grill smoking on home barbecue grills).
The WSM is designed as a home barbecue smoker, so it’s not a huge party or catering smoker. The small size is good for families and small parties. The 22.5 inch smoker will handle enough food for a pretty good crowd – 20 to 30 people on average (depending on what is smoked).
Is it okay to use wood in my Smokey Mountain Cooker?
It’s better to avoid using wood in your smokey mountain cooker. Because burning wood requires a lot of air flow, the smoker wasn’t designed for only that. Furthermore, wood requires a significantly greater temperature to burn. Charcoal is a far superior fuel source for your smokey mountain cooker.
Can I use my Smokey Mountain Cooker to grill?
Without much difficulty, you may turn your smoker into a grill. Simply remove the water pan and the cooking grate from the bottom. Instead, set the charcoal grate and chamber on your cooker’s bottom flange. That’s all!
Is It Necessary to Season My Weber Cooker?
Unlike a cast iron skillet, your smoker does not need to be seasoned. Your new Smokey Mountain grill is constructed of steel and has a porcelain enamel finish on both the interior and outside. As a result, there is no need to season it because it will not rust.
What Size Cooker Should I Purchase?
There’s no need to be concerned if you’re unsure about which cooker size is best for you. It’s simple; if you cook little amounts of meat for a few people, the 14-inch model is ideal. The 18-inch cooker is ideal for backyard barbecues and cooking for a small group.
However, if you plan on cooking a lot of meat for a large group, the 22-inch smoker will be necessary.
Is it necessary to flip the meat when smoking it?
When smoking or roasting, do not flip the meat. To slowly cook the meat, the cooker uses a slightly lower temperature. Because of the indirect heat, the entire piece of meat will be cooked through on all sides. It’s also not a good idea to open your smoker halfway through cooking.
How Do I Reduce the Temperature of My Smokey Mountain Cooker?
If the temperature in your smoker is too high, you can lower it by adjusting the air vents and limiting the supply of air. Close the valves at 14 to 12 inch intervals to gradually lessen the temperature until the fire is out.
What Is The Oily, Black Liquid Dripping From The Smoking Cooker?
The sticky black liquid is not an indication that your smoker is broken. It’s a combination of grease and smoke that pours down the inside walls of the stove and spills out the bottom vents. Place a large, flat pan beneath the cooker to capture this liquid and keep it from ruining your patio or backyard.
How Do I Remove Mold From the Inside of My Cooker?
If you don’t use your cooker for an extended period of time, mold may grow on it. The simplest technique to get rid of mold is to ‘burn out’ your smoker. You must run the smoker with the vents open while it is empty. Allow it to become as hot as possible until the fire is out.
Remove the ashes and brush the inside of the cooker once it has cooled. Whatever remains can be washed away with warm soapy water.
Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API