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Editor’s Note: The Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)  is one of the best no-frills smokers available in 2018. If you’re a complete beginner with smokers or a seasoned BBQ expert – it makes little difference. They’re extremely efficient & easy to use. Put simply, they open an entirely new world of cooking. Briskets, turkeys, ribs, chicken – it cooks everything as good or better than any other smoker out there (in our opinion). The WSM comes in 3 basic sizes, the 14″, 18″, and 22″. Get the 22″ if you want more room to cook bigger racks of ribs, turkeys, and more. The WSM makes a fantastic gift, and it makes an even better personal addition to your backyard grilling arsenal. The best part? All 3 models are made in America (with globally sourced components). 

Smokey Mnt. 22.5"

Cooks for 10+

  • 22.5″
  • 761 sq. in. of cooking space
  • Perfect for big parties of 10+ people

4.7 

1,994 Reviews

Smokey Mnt. 18"

Cooks for 6-8

  • 18″
  • 469 sq. in. of cooking space
  • Perfect for medium sized parties of 6-8 people

4.7 

1,994 Reviews

Smokey Mnt. 14"

Cooks for 4-6

  • 14″
  • 363 sq. in. of cooking space
    Perfect for small gatherings of 4-6 people

4.7 

1,994 Reviews

Weber Smokey Mountain Review

Weber Smokey Mountain review
Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5″ on Amazon

Weber’s Smokey Mountain is a natural progression in any grillers evolution, and it should be the main staple in any serious BBQers arsenal. It does an amazing job holding near-exact temperatures for hours at a time. The best part? Finished food literally melts in your mouth. 

Continue below for a complete breakdown of all 3 WSM sizes, including their 22.5″, 18″, and 14″ sizes. Each size has it’s pros and cons (which we cover below). We also compare the WSM it to the popular Big Green Egg & Komado style. We also include assembly instructions, temperature controls & tips (with a noteworthy upgrade), and more.

1. Weber Smokey Mountain Review 22.5" (Weber 731001)

Best Price-To-Performance Designed To Cook For 10+ People

Last Product Update: 2019-03-20 | Current Price: from $199.00 | Reviews: 1,994 Reviews | Rating: 4.7
  • Made in America
  • Built-in thermometer
  • 726 sq. in. of total cooking space
  • Holds temperatures well
  • Price
  • No lid-holder
  • Messy cleanup
  • Uses a lot of charcoal

WSM 22.5 open lidVerdictWeber’s 22″ Smokey Mountain is probably the only cooking device you’ll need in 2018. It really doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or novice. A short learning curve is all it takes to master the Smokey Mountain. Compared to the 18″ and 14″ versions, the 22.5″ is the best-performing smoker if you need additional cooking space. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever utilize all the space the 22″ Smokey Mountain provides, chances are you probably might. The WSM is built like a tank, and it should easily last you 10-15+ years with normal use and minimal repairs.

WSM 22.5 bottom tier basketThe WSM holds temperatures better than any cooking device we’ve seen. 10+ hours at steady temperatures is what you can expect. Don’t be fooled by the slow cook times. The WSM can easily cook much quicker. The difference between long & slow cooks times is how you light and adjust the vents.

Weber’s Smokey Mountain is made in America, so you can expect a long, durable life of at least 10-15+ years with normal use. It’s made of porcelain-enameled steel and nylon handles that resist heat very well. The 22.5″ has a total 726 sq. in. of rust-resistant aluminum with an included heat shield. Built-in thermometer, individual vents to control temperatures, and a water pan are all additional accessories that come with.

The only minor complaints we have with the Weber Smokey Mountain is cleanup. It’s by no means a chore, but cleanup vs. other charcoal grills (not smokers) adds a few extra minutes to the process. Lid placement is another slight annoyance. There’s no perch or cutout to place your lid when adjusting items inside the Smoker. Weber could have easily added a hinge or wire-frame to rest the lid on, but this is a minor quibble that shouldn’t effect your decision to buy the WSM.

There’s really nothing we can say about this grill that isn’t completely stellar. We can quibble on price, but spending $399 (at the time of this post, can change in the future) should easily last you 15-20 years with good care & normal use. 

2. Weber Smokey Mountain Review 18" (Weber 721001)

Best Bang For Your Buck Designed To Cook For 6-8 People

Last Product Update: 2019-03-20 | Current Price: from $199.00 | Reviews: 1,994 Reviews | Rating: 4.7
  • Made in America
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • 481 sq. in. of total cooking space
  • Holds temperatures very well
  • Price
  • No lid-holder
  • Messy cleanup
Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 review
Weber Smokey Mountain 18″

VerdictWeber’s 18″ Smokey Mountain has all the same features that make the 22.5″ so good. The 18″ WSM is probably the best bang for your buck Smoker compared to the 14″ and 22.5″. Unless you host parties of 10+ on a consistent basis, the 18″ large capacity (with 2 levels) is more than enough for most people (with the 14″ too small for some applications). The bottom line? 18″ is the sweet spot for the majority of people. We’ve seen 12-14 lb turkeys cooked at a time on the 18″, and 30 lbs + of pulled pork with room to spare.

Portability is another factor. The 18″ is much more portable. Even if you’re moving the WSM to a different area in your backyard, even picking a 22″ up is simply not possible for some people. 

Like the 22.5″, the 18″ WSM holds temperatures as well (if not slightly better) than the 22″. The reason why it might hold temps even better is because it has a more compact structure. A tighter inner-core means more concentrated and reliable heat distribution. This is a minor quibble that has negligible real world impact, but it’s something we felt worth mentioning.

The 18″ is made in America just like the 22.5″, so you can expect a long, reliable life expectancy of 10-15+ years. Build materials are the same, too. Porcelain-enameled steel and nylon handles. Cooking surface changes substantially with the 18″, going from 726 sq. in. of cooking surface on the 22.5″ all the way down to 481 sq. in. on the 18″. 

3. Weber Smokey Mountain Review 14" (Weber 711001)

Best Price For Limited Budgets & Small Gatherings Of 4-6 People

Last Product Update: 2019-03-20 | Current Price: from $199.00 | Reviews: 1,994 Reviews | Rating: 4.7
  • Price
  • Made in America
  • Uses less charcoal
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • 363 sq. in. of total cooking space
  • Holds temperatures extremely well
  • No lid-holder
  • Messy cleanup
Weber Smokey Mountain 14 review
Weber Smokey Mountain 14″

VerdictWeber’s 14″ Smokey Mountain is the smallest of the 3 WSM sizes. For some, the 14″ is way too small, but others claim the 14″ is the perfect size. It all depends on how many people you cook for. It’s hard to deny the 14″‘s price, small footprint, and easy portability. The 14.5″ WSM easily cooks 8-12 lbs of meat, and it can easily fit and cook a 6 lb brisket on a racket. 12 lb briskets need to be cut in half, however. Ribs are simple too, you’ll just have to cut them in half or tie them. A Weber rib rack (on Amazon) is a ‘must‘ for situations like this. 

One of the best parts about the 14″ is it’s weight – weighing almost half of what the 22″ weighs. Weight initially doesn’t factor into most people’s purchases, but trust us, it’s a big deal. A smaller, more compact smoker like Weber’s 14″ SM is a huge convenience, especially if you don’t cook for big parties of people. Cooking for less people in a smaller profile Smokey Mountain means much less cleanup too, something we really appreciate.

Just like the 18″ and 22.5″, the 14″ WSM is built incredibly well. 

The 14.5″ WSM holds temperatures especially well given it’s small, compact design. 

Weber Smokey Mountain Reviews From Real Customers

Last product update: 2019-03-20 | Current Price: $439.00 | Reviews: 227 Reviews | Rating: 4.5

We scanned through every Weber Smokey Mountain Review online. Hundreds, to be exact. Why? To find all obscured pros & cons, complaints & praises. Below, we link directly to real customer reviews from Amazon for all 3 model sizes. Click through & read them to get an idea of what real, verified customers have to say. Skim through them, read what customers have to say. Real, verified customer reviews, not just ours. 

Weber Smokey Mountain Temperature Control

Temperature control is a huge part in what makes the Weber Smokey Mountain so good. There’s a slight learning curve to properly adjusting temperatures with the WSM, but once you figure it out, you’ll unlock an unlimited amount of cooking configurations.

To start, there’s 2 main things to think about when controlling temperatures with your WSM. They are:

Fuel: Using the right amount of fuel is extremely important. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re cooking.

  • Chicken (about 2-2.5 hrs) – fill 1/3 the bottom ring up with briskets
  • Ribs (about 5-6 hrs) – fill the bottom ring 2/3
  • Pork Butts & Briskets (12+ hours) – fill the bottom rung all the way up, almost until it spills over

Keep temps around 250 – 275 degrees depending on if it’s chicken, ribs, or briskets.

Weber Smokey Mountain exhaust vents
WSM exhaust

Exhaust & Vents: You’ll never master the Weber Smokey Mountain without knowing how to properly manipulate the exhausts & vents. The key to being a pro with the WSM comes with your ability to specifically control and manipulate the top vent. Opening the exhaust vent on the WSM creates a vacuum of hot air that rushes out of the WSM. Learning how to skillfully control the top vent so hot air doesn’t rush out is key. Learning this skill will turn you into a WSM master. The problem? Many novice grillers constantly adjust & tinker with the intake dampers, hoping to create a constant temperature.

Note: We strongly recommend looking at long gloves that go to your elbows. Whenever you reach inside the WSM, your arms tough the edges of the cooker. Short gloves won’t do it. Sure, temperatures aren’t 500+ degrees, but even a simmering 250 degrees will cause damage. Check out our favorite grilling gloves on Amazon here

How Accurate Is The Smokey Mountain Thermometer?

weber smokey mountain temperature control
WSM built-in temperature gauge

The Smokey Mountain thermometer is accurate enough for most grillers. Is it the most accurate thermometer? Absolutely not. But it does stay within 5-10 degrees of real temperatures (if it does deviate).

Like with any smoker, it’s a bit of an art to keep temperatures the same over the course of several hours.

If you’re looking for a digital thermometer to assist you with developing your skills, check out Next thing I’m getting is a good remote digital thermometer so I can monitor the temperature inside (on the nasty days) . Thanks and happy BBQ’ing

Weber Smokey Mountain Thermometer Upgrade

Upgrading to a digital thermometer is one of the best investments you can make if you’re still in the process of learning proper temperature control. Having a digital thermometer (especially one that’s remotely accessible) allows you to tinker and learn what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to adjusting exhausts & vents. A remote allows you to learn what combination of starting methods, coal amounts and vent/exhaust openings you need to keep the correct temperature range (without inconveniently kneeling over the grill) 

We believe Soraken’s Bluetooth Meat Thermometer for Grilling from Amazon is a crucial accessory to genuinely learning the right way. Trial and error is a must with temperature mastery, and a good digital thermometer gives you that convenience.

Weber Smokey Mountain Setup & Assembly Instructions

Setting up the Weber Smokey Mountain Assembly is a 30 minute job. It’s infinitely easier than other grills and smokers out there.

Make no mistaker, there is some assembly with the WSM. It arrives at your home in a large box (regardless of which model you get).

Assembly includes:

  • Attaching the legs to the charcoal chamber
  • Installing the hooks for grill grates &  water pan.
  • Attaching the handles and dome-lid. 

Pro Tip: Keep track of small nuts & bolts! This will not only save you time, but hassle as well. If you lose any nuts or bolts it could mean not being able to fully assemble the grill. 

Weber Smokey Mountain Table - Does It Need One?

Using a table with the Weber Smokey Mountain is an overall bad idea, at least if you plan on balancing a WSM on one. Don’t do it! Smoking on a table is dangerous. If it tips, you can burn yourself, your friends, or start a fire. 

Granted, we wish Weber equipped this with a small table, but alas – they don’t.

Comparing Weber Smokey Mountain 14 vs 18 vs 22

Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 14-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black vs Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker vs Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 22 Inch Smoker

Comparing all 3 available sizes for the Weber Smokey Mountain is a lot easier than you think. Continue below for a quick recap on which size is best for what: 

Smokey Mountain 22″ – The 22″ is built for big items. Full rib racks, briskets, or just a lot of items cooking at one time. Charcoal requirements are extremely high – about double compared to the 14″. The 22″ is great because it can smoke 5-6 racks at once. The 22″ also has a larger water pan, and you’re able to purchase really cool attachments, like a rotisserie rod (on Amazon), ribolator (on Amazon), and much more. The only real con with the 22″ is longer time to heat up, and slightly more cumbersome cleanup. 

Smokey Mountain 18″  The WSM 18″ is perfect for almost all types of cooking, and really sits at a nice price-to-value ratio. Rib racks fit, but you may have to cut them down to size (depending on how big they are). The 18″ requires much less brisquettes too (about 100). If cooking for huge amounts of people at one time is not  requirement for you, the 18″ is a fantastic compromise that maintains all elements that make the 22″ so great. Less fuel, better heat retention (from it’s smaller size), and less money.

Smokey Mountain 14″ – The WSM 14″ model is ideal for those who don’t have a ton of room around the house that still want the delicious smokey-food flavor. The 14 requires the least amount of fuel (70-80 briquettes). It’s more than adequate for small groups (4-6 people). If you’re cooking for a few close family & friends and don’t need a grill for 6+ guests or large parties, the 14″ is the right compromise between size, cost, and overall quality

22.5" WSM
  • 726 sq. in cooking space
  • Porcelain-enameled steel 
  • 2 nickel-plated 22-1/2 inch cooking grates
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Heat resistant nylon handle
  • Water pan
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Individual vents on bowl and lid
  • Storage cover
  • Uses up to 150 charcoal brisquettes
  • 10-year warranty
  • 24 x 23 x 48.5 inches
  • 68 pounds
18" WSM
  • 469 sq. in cooking space
  • Porcelain-enameled steel 
  • 2 nickel-plated 22-1/2 inch cooking grates
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Heat resistant nylon handle
  • Water pan
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Individual vents on bowl and lid
  • Storage cover
  • Uses up to 100 charcoal brisquettes
  • 10-year warranty
  • 21 x 19 x 41 inches
  • 39.1 pounds
14" WSM
  • 363 sq. in cooking space
  • Porcelain-enameled steel 
  • 2 nickel-plated 22-1/2 inch cooking grates
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Heat resistant nylon handle
  • Water pan
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Individual vents on bowl and lid
  • Storage cover
  • Uses up to 75 charcoal brisquettes
  • 10-year warranty
  • 31.4 x 14.8 x 14.8 inches
  • 23 pounds

Weber Smokey Mountain vs Big Green Egg (7 differences)

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker vs Weber Smokey Mountain vs Big Green Egg

There’s 7 main differences worth mentioning between the Weber Smokey Mountain & Big Green Egg.

These 7 differences include

  1. WSM has much easier access to coals than the BGE. This is a big part of the smoking process, so this can add up to a lot of frustration over time. 
  2. WSM is much easier to use through the cooker. 
  3. Weber Smokey Mountain costs a lot less than the BGE, at least several hundred dollars (at the time of this post). However, the Egg does use fuel a little more efficiently (therefore using less brisquettes).
  4. Also, the WSM cannot cook pizza at 700 degrees like the Egg can, but for smoking alone, the Smokey Mountain is as good (if not better).
  5. The WSM water pan does a much better job delivering even cooking temperatures. The water pan itself can be removed for even higher heat (intended for cooking rib roast, etc). Keep in mind the WSM isn’t designed to handle extremely high heats, but it can get up there if you want it to (and still perform admirably). 
  6. The BGE is much more expensive than the WSM. Unless you need the BGE for food that requires really high temperatures in excess of 700 degrees, the Smokey Mountain is ideal for smoking needs at a fraction of the price.
  7. The WSM is much more portable than the BGE. Make no mistake, the BGE is heavy, durable, and extremely well made while the SM is small, light-weight, and nimble. 

Warning: One major potential issue we found about the BGE is it’s tendency to do something called a “flashover.” A ‘flashover” is a flash-fire that occurs when you open the BGE and air rushes into the compartment. There’s steps you can take to avoid this, but we felt a responsibility to mention this so you can perform your own research and make the most informed possible decision.

Weber Smokey Mountain vs Kamado

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker vs Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal kamado Grill

The WSM is not only extremely well designed (compared to the Komada-style ceramic grills), they’re also a fraction of the price. Kamado style grills usually go for 5-10x more for a similarly sized model compared to the Weber Smokey Mountain. Skipping Kamado style ceramic grills also completely eliminates the risk of a ‘flash’ as we earlier discussed (a huge potential issue).

Do Weber Smokers Ever Go On Sale?

Weber Smokey Mountain Sales
'Weber Smoker' Google Trends

Like most Weber grills & smokers, the Weber Smokey Mountain rarely (if ever)  goes directly on sale. This includes not only just the WSM, but all Weber smokers (in general). . Sure, stores might throw in a free accessory with a purchase of one, but never discounted off the actual price. Therefore sales are usually not worth waiting for.

Weber Smokey Mountain Sales & Deals (14" and 18" models)

Weber grills usually never go on sale. Weber Smokey Mountains are even worse. Why? Because they’re so darn popular. And it makes sense, too. Weber has no incentive to offer sales or deals on their Weber Smokey Mountain 14″ and 18″ models because they’re in such high demand.

We do recommend saving one of the links above (either the 14″ or 18″ on Amazon) and checking back during major holidays if you’re really keen on snagging a potential deal. Otherwise, our recommendation is simple. Buy it! There’s no sense wasting several months in hopes for a rare chance at a deal. Good luck!

Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5" Sale

Like the 14″ and 18″ Smokey Mountain models, the 22.5″ WSM usually never goes on sale either. All for the same reasons Weber grills in general never go on sale. We usually shy away from sites like Craigslist, Ebay, and used models in general. Why? There’s usually a good reason why someone is selling their Old Smokey Mountain! Hidden problems & other issues can plague used models being touted as like-new, or ‘lightly-used’. 

Proceed buying a used Smokey Mountain with extreme caution!  

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