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Weber Smokey Mountain Review: All Hype or Actually Worth Getting in 2020?

Every culinary artist–whether you’re a professional or a home cook foodie–knows that smoking meat is an important skill to have in your cooking arsenal. And when it comes to smoking, your appliance and tools are just as important as the quality of your meat and your hands-on experience.

In today’s Weber Smokey Mountain review, I’m going to discuss what has been called the Number 1 smoker in current times. This Smokey Mountain Cooker and Charcoal Smoker has lots of cool features and is extremely popular among smoking and grilling connoisseurs. But is this appliance a result of worldwide hype or is it really as good as everyone makes it out to be?

My Weber smoker review aims to find out just that. I’ll be talking about its design, performance, setup, and things I liked about the smoker. And in case you’re new to smoking and grilling, I’ll answer questions that people tend to have about their smokers!

If you want to watch me (figuratively) dissect this fancy smoker, keep on reading!

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker: An Overview

Weber is no stranger to making smoking and grilling appliances and is known for well-designed devices. This 18-inch smoker is no stranger to their innovations and looks promising from the get-go. It is shaped like a cylinder or capsule and is reasonably compact. The shiny black exterior makes it look pretty luxe; this smoker is totally eye-catching!

But what about its functions and capabilities? No joke, this Weber Smokey Mountain grilling device packs a punch in the performance department. But that’s not all there is to talk about so let’s go over each department bit by bit:

Temperature Control:

When it comes to grilling or smoking, temperature fluctuation can be an absolute nightmare. Uneven temperatures can turn your meat into a rubbery, unappetizing mess. And if the temperature shoots up too high or too quickly, you’ll end up with a pile of burned and charred meat that looks like a cremation gone wrong.

However, the weber smokey mountain cooker has a solid temperature control system. Like most other smokers, it has vents that direct the airflow, and thus the temperature as well. But it takes temperature control to the next level by including a large water pan directly above the coals.

This water pan acts as a heat sink when grilling or smoking. It absorbs heat and then releases it slowly over time. This keeps the temperature stable and lets your meat cook slowly, making it fork-tender and juicy. Weber Smokey Mountain temperature control is near flawless and makes smoking/grilling a real pleasure.

Design:

This Smokey Mountain grill was designed for efficiency, safety, and comfort. It has a thermometer port that protects probe wires from direct contact with the burning hot metal. However, it also stops the heat from escaping so you can keep track of the meat’s internal temperature without interfering in the smoking process.

The water pan also keeps the smoking/grilling environment a little damp, which stops the meat from drying out. Moreover, the lid has an adjustable vent to control the airflow and a heat resistant handle so you won’t accidentally burn yourself.

Size:

The 18-inch smoker is the perfect size for families and small gatherings. Since the appliance is rather tall, it can handle smoking almost anything–chickens, turkeys, fish, and even ribs. While it can be a little difficult for a whole pig, the size is just right for everything else.

The middle rack is perfect for ribs and larger fish like salmon. Furthermore, a Weber Smokey Mountain grilled brisket takes only 1.5 hours per pound so you won’t have to sweat too much when smoking large cuts of meat.

On the other hand, if you often have to feed a large crowd, the 22-inch model will be a better fit for you.

Material:

Nobody wants to spend a ton of money on a smoker, only to have it fall apart after a few months. Instead, invest in a durable smoker that will last you for years. The Smokey Mountain griller can withstand almost everything–extreme temperatures, wild weather, and time itself.

The powder-coated steel is extremely long-lasting and is resistant to rust and mold. The smoker’s legs, vents, and internal brackets for the grates are made from aluminum. The grates themselves are made from chrome-plated for easily cleaning. Also, the handles are all plastic and heat-resistant.

The high-quality materials make sure that you won’t need a replacement for years to come.

Accessories:

When it comes to handy add-ons, Weber Smokey Mountain accessories will have you covered. To start with, the smoker comes with its own jacket cover so you can smoke or grill in colder seasons.

There are lots of other accessories that can make your grilling easier, like this shredder. Whether it’s a meat probe thermometer or a water pan cover, these products are all compatible with the smoker and will make the smoking process a breeze.

Additional Features:

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-inch Smoker has some features that can come in handy whether you’ve just started smoking meat or have been in the grilling business for the past decade. And I must admit, while these features look simple and don’t seem like a big deal, they make a world of difference

First of all, the grates are made from steel and coated with chrome. Besides looking shiny, they last longer, don’t rust and are easy to clean. Whether you want to use your favorite grill cleaner, or you prefer natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar, the grease and caramelized bits will dissolve or slide right off.

The metal legs are resistant to rust and are removable. This makes the smoker easy to store since you can take it apart. They are also pretty easy to reassemble. Moreover, they are light, yet sturdy and won’t sink into the ground when grilling.

The built-in lid thermometer helps you keep an eye on the temperature so you won’t have to keep checking in with a probe thermometer. This makes it much more convenient, especially if you need to multitask while grilling. Also, the Weber grill reaches an internal temperature of 190F quickly which makes it ideal for smoking things like brisket.  

Product Information:

  • Dimensions: 21 x 19 x 41 inches
  • Weight: 39.1 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Weber

The Pros:

  • Easy to use and assemble. Whether you’re a grill newbie or a pro, you can use the smoker with ease and confidence.
  • Durable and long-lasting. This smoker may be the only one you’ll need in a decade-it is resistant to moisture and high temperatures. It can also handle frequent use and heavy handling without breaking down.
  • Excellent temperature control. There is no temperature fluctuation, and the water pan helps the meat cook slowly and evenly. This prevents burning and keeps your meat soft and tender.
  • Good design. The Weber smoker is built to be safe and easy to use. The lid thermometer and plastic handles make it safe to operate at high temperatures.
  • The size is perfect for feeding most families and for parties. It is large enough to smoke a large amount of meat but small enough to be stored or transported with ease.
  • Versatile. You can use it for smoking, grilling, and barbecuing without making too many adjustments or changes.
  • Great for grilling. This cooker gives your meat an authentic flavor, whether you’re barbecuing ribs or smoking ribs. This reliable taste makes this smoker one in a million.

The Cons:

  • Instructions that come with the grill aren’t very clear. However, the assemblage is simple and most people can figure it out from the different parts.

Why I Recommend the Smokey Mountain Cooker:

This smoker is unique because of how well designed it is. I loved the Weber cooker because it gives you exact control over the grilling temperature, making your meat smoke at the perfect temperature. You can even add things like apple cider to the water in the pan to give your meat a distinct flavor.

The versatility is another popular feature. You can smoke meat and BBQ the cuts of your choice. The size is just right and helps you cook in bulk. Above all, the cooker is safe and easy to use and is great for new cooks and professionals alike.

What I Liked about This Smoker

This part of my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker review takes a closer look at the things I enjoyed about the cooker.

Flexibility:

This cooker is more than just a smoker. You can also use it as a grill or a barbecue. But what was impressive was that you don’t have to make any dramatic changes when using it as a grill.

Instead of the water pan, just place a fire grate and ring at the bottom. They should fit perfectly and not feel awkward. The top grate is placed in its usual area when grilling. And that’s it! Your smoker is now a grill that works just as well as any BBQ.

Minimal Smoke:

Smoke is inevitable when grilling but this Weber model produces less smoke than many cookers out there. This is helpful because you can grill for longer without being irritated by the smell of the smoke. Also, it doesn’t irritate your eyes or cause breathing difficulties.

The acrid smell of smoke tends to seep into our clothes and cling to the skin. This can be annoying, especially if you’re at a picnic or backyard cookout. Because of the little smoke, your grilling will be less likely to affect your guests.

Easy Cleanup:

Like I mentioned, the chrome-plated grates are easy to clean. But that isn’t all. Cleaning this smoker is extremely simple. Besides scrubbing the grates, you just need to clean out the water pan and get rid of the ashes and unused charcoal.

It is also advised to wipe down the interior with a damp cloth after the grill has cooled. This will prevent the accumulated smoke from flaking off and falling into your food. As far as external maintenance goes, you just have to wipe the outside of the cooker with a cloth after every use.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 101: How to Use This Smoker

If you’ve never used a Weber grill or smoker before, you might feel intimidated by this cooker. But there’s absolutely nothing to worry about and I’ll show you how you can get the most out of your Smokey Mountain cooker.

  • Add a lump or two of charcoal to the charcoal bowl and add some Firestarter in the center. Ignite your flames using a lighter or match.
  • Let the fire smolder for a bit and build up steam. You can also make a small pile of charcoal around and above the flames to help it catch better. Once the flames catch on and get larger, place the middle section on top of the charcoal bowl.
  • Fill the water pan with almost 2 gallons of cold water and place it in the cooker.
  • When you place your food on the grate, place a stick of wood or 4-6 fist-sized chunks of wood over the charcoal close to the center.
  • Put the lid on the smoker. When the temperature reaches 200 degrees, shut the access door and adjust the vents so that they are half-open
  • Once the temperature increases to 225 degrees, close the vents so that they are only a quarter open and adjust them so you can maintain your target temperature.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and the water level in the bowl. The temperature won’t fluctuate much but keep adjusting the vents to increase or decrease the intensity of the heat.

If you’ve never used a smoker before, it’s a good idea to start with a dry run. This will season your grill and help you calibrate it, as well as help you get used to handling it.

On the other hand, if you’re new to cooking, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices you have. If you’re looking for a Weber Smokey Mountain recipe list, this will have you covered. And if you still can’t decide what to make, remember, you can never go wrong with A Smoky Mountain barbecue!

Setting Up Your Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Assembling the cooker is way easier than it looks. What you have to understand is that the smoker has three main parts and so you have to put it together on three levels. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Take the bottom of the cooker and attach the legs to it. Set it on the ground upright. This is where the coal goes.
  • Next, place the middle section over the base. This section contains the water pan and two grates. The water pan is set at the bottom of the middle section and the racks go over it.
  • Finally, the top section is the smoker’s lid. The lid is placed on top, and make sure it covers the racks completely. The lid has the vents and a thermometer to control the temperature of the smoker.
  • Once you get the hang of assembling and using the cooker, grilling and smoking will seem effortless to you.

If you want to convert your cooker to a griller, follow these steps.

  • Remove the water pan, and instead, put the charcoal grate and charcoal chamber on the flanges in the middle cooking section.
  • Place the top grate in the regular position.
  • Set the bottom or lower cooking aside, as you won’t need it for grilling.

If you want a really good sear on your steak, you can get a replacement charcoal grate and place it where you would normally place the bottom cooking grate.

That’s pretty much it! Now you can easily smoke and grill to your heart’s content.

Pro-Tip: Did you know you can grill fruit as well? If you want a light and fresh dessert and all that meat, you can grill stone-fruit like mangoes and peaches. Cut them in halves and sear them until the surface is caramelized. Serve with a drizzle of honey and impress your guests!

Smokey Mountain Cooker: A Crash Course in Grill Maintenance

Every grill needs basic maintenance to keep it working well. The good news is that the Smoky Mountain series electric smoker is pretty low maintenance and easy to store. If you follow these tips, your Weber cooker should stay happy and healthy for years.

  • Remove the ashes as soon as the smoker cools down.
  • Empty out the water bowl and make sure you clean it well.
  • Keep the cooking grates clean and spotless. Use a grill brush and warm water with detergent to get rid of all the gunk and residue.
  • Wipe off or brush away any kind of debris from the lid and cooking section. If you find something stuck, scrub it off with a soft damp cloth.
  • Using gloves, wipe the exterior of the grill while it is still hot. This works like a steam cleaner and should be done periodically. If you want to do this while the cooker is cold, use a glass cleaner like Windex.
  • Check the grates and other metal parts for rust. If the cooking grates get rusted, discard them, and get replacement ones.
  • From time to time, check your cooker for loose screws, and tighten them if needed.

Where Can I Get the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker?

If you’re sold on the Smokey Mountain grill, there’s a good chance you want to get your hands on it right now. After all, there’s no time like the present! And with summer in full swing, why not take advantage of the weather and host your own cookout?

This cooker is available in many places. First of all, you can easily order it through Amazon. It is also available at retailers like Target. And if all else fails, you can always order it through Weber itself.

Wherever you choose to get yours from, make sure it is a trusted and reputable source. The cooker is on the pricier side, so it would be a shame to spend all that money on a damaged or secondhand smoker.

Got Any Questions?

If you’ve got any questions about Weber or cookers in general, feel free to check this section of the review. I’ll answer questions people often have about smokers and grills!

Can I Use Wood In My Smokey Mountain Cooker?

It’s best not to use wood with your smokey mountain cooker. The smoker wasn’t designed for just wood burning, as a lot of air flow is needed when burning wood. Also, wood needs a much higher temperature to burn. Charcoal is a much better fuel for your smokey mountain cooker.

Can I Grill With My Smokey Mountain Cooker?

You can totally convert your smoker into a grill without much trouble. You just need to remove the water pan and the cooking grate on the bottom. Instead, place the charcoal grate and chamber on the bottom flange of your cooker. That’s it!

Do I Need To Season My Weber Cooker?

Unlike a cast iron skillet, there’s no need to season your smoker. Your new Smokey Mountain grill is made from steel with a porcelain enamel finish both inside and out. So, you don’t need to season it, as it won’t rust.

What Size Cooker Should I Get?

If you’re confused about which cooker size is right for you, there’s no need to be worried. It’s pretty simple; if you cook small amounts of meat for a few people, the 14-inch one is the one for you. The 18-inch cooker is best for backyard barbecues and cooking for an average-sized crowd.

On the other hand, if you find yourself cooking lots of meat for larger crowds, you’ll need the 22-inch smoker.

Do I Need To Flip The Meat When Smoking?

Do not flip the meat when smoking or roasting. The cooker uses a slightly lower temperature to slowly cook the meat. The indirect heat means that the whole of your meat will be cooked through on both sides. Also, opening up your smoker midway through cooking isn’t advised.

How Can I Lower The Temperature Of My Smokey Mountain Cooker?

If your smoker is at too high a temperature, you can bring it down by adjusting the air vents and reducing the supply of air. Close the vents around ¼ to ½ inch every couple of minutes to slowly lower the temperature until the fire is smaller.

What Is The Oily, Black Liquid Dripping From The Cooker While It Is Smoking?

The greasy black liquid isn’t a sign that your smoker is malfunctioning. It is a mixture of grease and smoke that drips down the inside walls of the cooker and leaks out of the lower vents. You can place a large and flat pan under the cooker to catch this liquid so that it doesn’t wreck your patio or backyard.

How Should I Clean Mold From The Inside Of My Cooker?

If you don’t use your cooker for a long time, it might grow mold. The best way to deal with mold is by ‘burning out’ your smoker. You need to run the smoker while it’s empty with the vents open. Let it get as hot as possible until the fire goes out.

Once the cooker is cold, get rid of the ashes and brush out the interior of the cooker. Anything that remains can be rinsed out with warm soapy water.

The Verdict

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes and it can be difficult figuring out which one is right for you. This 18-inch cooker is raved about everywhere, so I was a little skeptical about it before my Weber Smokey Mountain review. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the hype was very much justified. This smoker is great–it is easy to assemble and use, versatile, and lasts for ages.

So why not get yourself a Smokey Mountain grill? You’re bound to love it, and your cookouts will be the talk of the neighborhood this summer!

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