There are so many grill brands in the market today. These brands are different in several ways, including the fuel used, size of cooking space, and controls.
It's usually not easy to choose the right smoker brand to match your needs. But, you don't want to take a grill home that you won't enjoy cooking in it having spent a fortune buying it. So, what do you do?
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Weber Smokey Mountain Review
The history of Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) can be traced to the 1970s. Since its entrance into the food smoking industry, WSM smokers have undergone tremendous changes in size, construction, inbuilt thermometer, and much more.
How WSM Smoker Works
The Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is perfect when you have a limited cooking space. This smoker has a vertical shape which makes it fit easily in a little cooking space compared to other horizontal bbq smokers.
The WSM grill uses wood chips and charcoal.
But why do many people call this pellet grill a "water smoker"? Well, this name arises from the bowl of water that sits in the cooking chamber. This water helps stabilize the grilling temperature and humidity in the smoking chamber.
The WSM is indeed a smoker with many names. Another baptismal name of this smoker is weber bullet smoker; this smoker has a bullet shape.
The WSM departments include:
This is where you load charcoal or wood chunks
Comprises of an access door for adding wood or charcoal, water pan, and two cooking grates
The lid is dome-shaped and has an inbuilt thermometer
One of the reasons why Weber Smokey is the best smoker to many people is its simplicity of use. Even a beginner can easily smoke meat and other foods using this grill.
Basic smoking steps using Weber Smokey
1. Put well-lit charcoal in the firebox
2. Fill the water bowl with water or other liquids, e.g., apple juice, cider, or beer
3. Place your food on the grills above the water pan
4. Add wood to the lit charcoal
5. Adjust the air vents until you achieve the desired temperature of 225 degrees
6. Keep monitoring the temperature
How to Choose the Right Size of Pellet Smoker Weber
So far, we have spoken a lot about Weber Smokey's aspects. However, you won't go to the smoker shop and pick a Weber Smokey. Remember to check the size of the smoker too.
For example, you may buy the small weber grill due to its lower price than the larger weber smokers. But, after taking the small smoker home, you realize that the grilling space in there isn't enough for your briskets.
You wouldn't want to have an abandoned weber in your backyard because you bought the wrong size. Therefore, it's crucial to go for a smoker size to solve your smoking needs.
So, let's see the different available sizes of Weber Smoker that will lead to a well-informed choice.
The WSM is available in three sizes, namely 14 Inch, 18 Inch, and 22 Inch. Each size comes with two grilling grates.
So, which factors do you keep in mind when selecting the right size for your Weber Smokey?
● Think about the largest size of meat or foods you will be smoking, for example, a whole turkey
● The fuel size you are comfortable with. The larger the WSM, the more charcoal or wood is used in every cooking session.
● Will you be using Weber Smokey Mountain for smoking purposes only or both smoking and grilling? The 22-inch smoker is better for smoker/grill usage though it's not designed for grilling.
In a nutshell, only two things are critical when choosing the right WSM size, namely:
If you can afford the 22 Inch Weber Smokey, go for it. This way, you are assured of enough cooking space for most meat cuts and other foods.
However, don't withdraw all your savings because I have recommended the 22-inch grill. You can still go for 14 Inches or 18 Inches according to what you can afford and your cooking needs.
2. The number of people you will be feeding
The larger the crowd you are cooking for, the larger the WSM you will need. For example, if you are planning to smoke several chicken or racks of ribs often, the 18-Inch or 22-inch Smokey would be a great choice.
Is the weber smokey mountain worth it?
The Weber Smokey Mountain is worth buying. You get to enjoy the rich smoke flavor with your family and friends.
As we have seen earlier, it's easy to operate the WSM, even for a beginner.
In addition, the Weber Smokey Mountain parts are readily available whenever you need a replacement. Some smoking accessories, e.g., meat thermometer, rib hanger, chicken rack, and weber cover, will give you a better smoking experience.
Traeger Pellet Grill Review
Joe Traeger is the great grandfather of Traeger grills. He invented the grill in the 1980s when his gas cooker busted into flames, and his family was seeking an instant replacement cooker.
This led him to create a grill using wood pellets for a great summer barbeque.
The Traeger brand has since introduced several barbeque grills and smokers.
How a Traeger Works
A motor helps in turning on the burn box. The pellets are then set on fire, and the smoke gets out of the cooker through the chimney.
The Traeger travel smoker has a fan that ensures the pellets are lit. The fan circulates smoke around the food too.
This smoker uses the same style as an oven to distribute the heat on all pieces of meat.
But, can you use this smoker in all weathers? Yes, this is possible. The air induction system of this cooker allows you to seal the smoker, making it possible to cook during windy days.
The Traeger supports several cooking methods, i.e., grilling, smoking, baking, and roasting.
One more crucial aspect you need to note about the Traeger is its grease management controls. This smoker has a slanted grease tray that empties grease from the grills.
You can easily tell the difference between food cooked in a pellet grill and food cooked using a gas grill. By the way, what does gas taste like? If at all gas has taste, that taste can't match the taste from pellets.
Here are some more benefits of using the Traeger pellet grills:
Traeger grill brings you 14 types of pellets that have different flavors. These flavors are perfect for smoking meat plus baking pies and cookies.
You can set the smoking temperature and go. The grill can maintain a consistent temperature even during the cold seasons.
For example, you can set the smoking temperature at increments of five. This advanced temperature control feature is not common to other charcoal or gas grills.
You can set your electric smoker at a lower temperature. On the other hand, a gas grill can blow out at the same low temperature.
Not many would like to stay tethered to their smoker monitoring the temperature in the smoking chamber. With the Traeger, you just set and go.
All Traeger pellet grills have built-in Wi-Fi, making it possible to set the smoker for a specific time.
The main disadvantage of Traeger is that it has a lower temperature limit than a gas or a charcoal grill.
The maximum temperature is 450 degrees, while that of a charcoal or gas grill can go up to 900 degrees. This means that you can't cook that meat chunk very fast so as not to miss a football game.
Comparing Weber Smokey Mountain and Traeger
It's important to analyze the aspects of a smoker before purchasing it. You will need to choose the pellet grill that best solves your needs. Let us see the features of the two smokers that make the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker different from the Traeger pellet grill.
The price of a smoker is often the first aspect you will check when buying a grill. There is a sizeable difference between the prices of the two brands.
For example, you can get a pellet smoker weber for the lowest price of seventy-five dollars. On the other hand, the least amount you can spend on a Traeger is five hundred dollars.
Therefore, you can go for Weber if your shopping budget is limited. But if you can afford Traeger, then go for it.
Both brands come with great temperature controls.
For the Traeger, you can use the WIFIRE application on your phone to control the internal temperature of your cooker.
On the other hand, the Weber smoker has an inbuilt temperature control tool in its lid. The feature allows you to monitor the temperature in the cooking cabinet without opening the weber lid.
The highest temperature level for Traeger is 450 degrees. On the other hand, Weber boasts higher heat levels of up to 900 degrees.
The largest size in Traeger is larger than the 22-inch weber. So, if you are planning to smoke for commercial purposes or large crowds, the Traeger will be a perfect choice.
The Weber charcoal grills are manufactured in the United States of America, with some parts being sourced from other parts of the world. This charcoal cooker has a porcelain coating to protect it from rusting.
A Weber charcoal grill has a bullet shape and sturdy legs. This ensures the cooker uses up minimal cooking space. The sturdy legs support the smoker's weight plus the meat or foods being smoked in there.
On the other hand, China is the roots of Traeger. The smoker features premium construction and great technology usage in its controls.
The warranty on Traeger grills runs for three years. This is enough time to test your smoker.
On the other hand, the Weber meat smoker comes with a warranty of between one to ten years. However, this warranty period depends on a particular product and parts.
More photos & features on Amazon.com
We have seen an in-depth analysis of the WSM. Let's now summarize the features of this charcoal cooker and get the purchasing details.
● Three sizes to choose from, i.e., 14 Inch, 18 Inch, and 22 Inch
● Fueled by charcoal
● Black in color
● Porcelain-coated lid, cooking cabinet, and bowl for heat retention and preventing rust
● Two cooking grates which provide ample smoking space
● Temperature monitor for internal temperature monitoring
● Adjustable dampers for temperature controls
● Flexible door for easy adding of fuel
● Rich smoke flavor on foods
More photos & features on Amazon.com
This smoker is one of the small-sized Traeger specials. Let's see a further summary of its features.
● Portable smoker and wood pellet grill
● Different grill and accessories options to choose from
● Cooking space of 184 square inches
● This smoker weighs 60 lbs.
● 450 degrees maximum temperature
● Voltage of 120V
● Easy to clean cooking grates
● Advanced temperature control technology
● Cook timer allows you to know when to check your food
1. How do I make my Weber Smokey Mountain hotter?
Two things can interfere with smoker heat, namely weather and the amount of fuel.
During cold weather, it's advisable to move your cooker into a shelter to prevent the cold weather from stealing the heat from your smoker.
Also, ensure you have enough lit wood or charcoal in the firebox to produce the desired amount of heat.
2. Can you use Weber Smokey in the rain?
The rain is usually not the problem for the WSM. The only challenge here is the cold winds that tamper with the smoker's temperature.
3. Does Traeger make their own pellets?
Traeger produces grills and wood pellets to be used on its smokers and other grills similar to Traeger. These wood pellets come in different flavors to meet the different flavor needs in the market.
4. What Traeger model is the best?
Traeger Grills Ranger is the most common model in the Traeger family. This is due to its large cooking space, great temperature control technology, and elegant build.
5. Is pellet smoked food healthy?
When comparing the Weber Smokey mountain vs Traeger, the Traeger will win most of the time.
The charcoal smokers in Weber instills great flavor in food, but this flavor can't match the great flavor that results from the Traeger grill.