Want to smoke like a pitmaster pro? Find out whether the Weber ticks all the right boxes from this Weber Smokey Mountain review.
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. ThisSmokey 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
The Weber Smokey Mountain is a cylindrical smoker made of porcelain-enameled steel that comes in three sizes: 14-inch, 18-inch, and 22-inch. It has a water pan that sits between the charcoal chamber and the cooking grates, which helps regulate the temperature and keep the meat moist. Here are some of the key features of the Weber Smokey Mountain:
- Two cooking grates: The 14-inch model has one cooking grate, while the 18-inch and 22-inch models have two grates, allowing you to smoke a large amount of meat at once.
- Built-in thermometer: The lid of the smoker has a built-in thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature without opening the lid.
- Heat-resistant handles: The handles on the lid and bowl are made of glass-reinforced nylon, which stays cool to the touch even during high-temperature cooking.
- Aluminum fuel door: The fuel door is made of rust-resistant aluminum, which makes it durable and easy to use.
- Adjustable air vents: The smoker has two adjustable vents, one at the bottom and one on the lid, which allow you to control the airflow and temperature.
- Easy to assemble: The Weber Smokey Mountain is easy to assemble, and the instructions are clear and concise.
Pros of Weber Smokey Mountain
There are many reasons why the Weber Smokey Mountain is a top-rated smoker among BBQ enthusiasts. Here are some of the pros of this smoker:
- Excellent heat retention: The porcelain-enameled steel construction and the water pan help the smoker retain heat efficiently, allowing you to cook meat at a consistent temperature.
- Authentic smoky flavor: The smoker produces a rich and smoky flavor that is characteristic of traditional BBQ cooking.
- Easy to use: The smoker is easy to set up and use, and you don’t need to be a seasoned pitmaster to get great results.
- Versatile cooking capabilities: You can smoke, grill, and even bake in the Weber Smokey Mountain, making it a versatile tool for outdoor cooking.
- Durable construction: The Weber Smokey Mountain is built to last, with high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship.
Cons of Weber Smokey Mountain
While the Weber Smokey Mountain is an excellent smoker overall, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the cons of this smoker:
- Price: The Weber Smokey Mountain is more expensive than some other smokers on the market, which may not be feasible for some budget-conscious buyers.
- Limited capacity: The 14-inch model has a relatively small cooking area, which may not be enough for large gatherings or parties.
- Charcoal management: The Weber Smokey Mountain requires some effort to manage the charcoal, and you need to refill it periodically during long cooks.
- No built-in WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity: Unlike some high-end smokers, the Weber Smokey Mountain does not come with built-in WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, which may be a deal-breaker for some tech-savvy buyers.
Why I Recommend the Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker:
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 Smokey Mountain cooker smoker is safe and easy to use and is great for new cooks and professionals alike.
What I Liked about This Smoker Weber
This part of my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker review takes a closer look at the things I enjoyed about the cooker.
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 charcoal 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.
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.
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 two cooking 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 vs. Other Smokers
The Weber Smokey Mountain is not the only smoker on the market, and there are several other options that you may consider. Here are some of the key differences between the Weber Smokey Mountain and other popular smokers:
Weber Smokey Mountain vs. Traeger
Traeger is a well-known brand in the pellet smoker market, which uses wood pellets to generate smoke and heat. While Traeger smokers are more expensive than the Weber Smokey Mountain, they are easier to use and require less effort to maintain. However, some BBQ enthusiasts argue that pellet smokers don’t produce as authentic of a smoke flavor as charcoal smokers.
Weber Smokey Mountain vs. Pit Barrel Cooker
The Pit Barrel Cooker is a drum-style smoker that is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. While it doesn’t have the same level of heat retention and temperature control as the Weber Smokey Mountain, it is a good option for beginners or casual BBQ enthusiasts.
Weber Smokey Mountain vs. Kamado Joe
Kamado Joe is a high-end brand that makes ceramic charcoal grills and smokers. While Kamado Joe smokers are more expensive than the Weber Smokey Mountain, they offer excellent heat retention and temperature control, and are versatile enough to be used for smoking, grilling, and baking.
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 lump 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. This functions as a heat sink to create a stable temperature inside the cooking space.
- 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 Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker
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 cooking 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.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Keeping the Weber Smokey Mountain clean and well-maintained is crucial for its longevity and performance. Here are some tips for maintaining and cleaning the smoker:
- Empty the ash catcher and clean the cooking grates after each use.
- Scrub the interior of the smoker with a wire brush or scraper to remove any buildup or residue.
- Clean the water pan and charcoal grate with warm water and soap, and rinse thoroughly.
- Check the vents and gaskets periodically, and replace them if they become damaged or worn out.
- Store the smoker in a dry and sheltered place when not in use, and cover it with a weather-resistant cover.
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 throughAmazon. It is also available at retailers like Target. And if all else fails, you can always order it throughWeber 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.
Bonus: 6 Tips for Smoking Meat and Staying Healthy
Since there’s some confusion about whether smoked meat is good for health or not, here are 6 tips on how to smoke meat to make sure it’s healthy.
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 A Weber Be Used As A Smoker?
Yes, a Weber can be used as a smoker by using some hard wood chips and water.
Soak the wood chips in water for roughly 30 minutes.
After the lump coal becomes grey from black, put them around the drip pan.
Remove excess water from the wood chips and place them on the coal.
You can now place your food on the grid and start cooking. Don’t open the lid too often as that would let out the smoke.
What Kind Of Smoker Is A Weber Smokey Mountain?
Weber Smokey Mountain is a charcoal smoker designed for slow cooking. Although you can use it as a grill, it’s not primarily meant for speed grilling.
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. Lump charcoal is a much better fuel for your smokey mountain cooker.
Can You Use A Weber Smoker As A Charcoal Grill?
You can totally convert your smoker into a grill without much trouble (btw, it has the same capacity as the Weber kettle grill). 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.
What is the price range of the Weber Smokey Mountain?
The price of the Weber Smokey Mountain ranges from around $200 for the 14-inch model to around $500 for the 22-inch model.
What is the warranty for the Weber Smokey Mountain?
The Weber Smokey Mountain comes with a 10-year warranty for the bowl, lid, and center ring, and a 5-year warranty for the plastic components.
Can I use wood chips instead of chunks in the Weber Smokey Mountain?
Yes, you can use wood chips instead of chunks, but you will need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the smoker.
What is the maximum temperature that the Weber Smokey Mountain can reach?
The Weber Smokey Mountain can reach a maximum temperature of around 350-400°F, depending on the size and weather conditions.
Can I use the Weber Smokey Mountain in cold weather?
Yes, you can use the Weber Smokey Mountain in cold weather, but you may need to use more charcoal and adjust the air vents accordingly to maintain the temperature.
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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