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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.
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.
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).