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Thread: WSM 14.5" vs. 18.5"?

  1. #1
    TVWBB Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    WSM 14.5" vs. 18.5"?

    Considering my first WSM and its just the wife and I so I'm not sure if the 18.5" is over kill. This will be my first smoker, I tired the "amazingtube" smoker with little success, could never keep the pellets lit in my Genesis gas grill once the lid was closed!

    So, since its just the two of us, I'm not sure if the 18.5" is over kill, but i don't want to regret not getting the 18.5" down the road on the flip side. That said, I'd probably like to be able to smoke 2-3 racks of ribs at a time. I think id probably want to cook a pork butt or separately a full brisket, but i don't think i'd have need to cook more than one pork butt or one brisket at a time.

    All opinions are welcome, please let me know your thoughts.



  2. #2
    TVWBB Super Fan
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    San Diego C.A.
    Always best to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Just sayin. Good luck and good smoking.
    Smokin in San Diego on a WSM 22.5, Weber 26.75, Weber Platinum Performer, PK Grill, Genesis S-330 and a MAK 2 Star. Love them all.

  3. #3
    TVWBB Super Fan
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Central Kansas
    I find it interesting that for a long time the debate has been to buy an 18" or 22", now we throw the 14" into the mix
    I also think the consensus will remain that bigger is better, if no reason other than bigger pieces of meat will fit better.
    That said, a 14" will cook a chicken or pork butt, and I see no reason you couldn't cut slabs of ribs in half and either cook brisket flats or seperate the point and flat and cook them seperate.
    Naughty Nurses BBQ
    A Mini, 14, 18 & 22" WSMs, Ranch Kettle, Performer, pair of 3 wheelers

  4. #4
    TVWBB All-Star Chad Bman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Northern, VA
    I'm a big fan of the 22" and admit it's overkill for most cooks. But it's nice to have when I need it. With that said, I also built a mini which is pretty similar to the 14" WSM. I love it and it's great for a pork butt or a whole chicken or.... Temp control is a bit touchier on the smaller smoker compared to the big boy. I just picked up the 18" yesterday and can see where this will get worked into regular cooks. If I had to pick between the 14 and the 18, hands down I'd choose the 18.
    18.5" & 22.5" and a WHOLE bunch of Weber kettles & gassers <------- quote by Mike Leiter

  5. #5
    TVWBB Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    SW Ohio
    I have had my 18.5" Weber for about a year. It is a TERRIFIC smoker. I became enamored of the idea of the Mini-Joe and just recently put it on line. It is ALSO a great smoker. It (the Mini) or the new Weber 14.5" are more than enough for the average family and use less charcoal while getting the job done. Either of them will do two full size Boston Butts at once. My mini will do eight half racks of ribs at once, so, for me, that is MORE than enough. Will I be getting rid of my 18.5" - no, simply because it's a great piece of gear. However, it is not going to be used nearly as much in the future because the mini will do most of what I need done.

    We, as Americans, tend to always think "Bigger is Better" but that is not necessarily so.

    However, the only person that needs to be satisfied is YOU. Whatever you choose, it will NOT be wrong if you are happy in your decision.

    Mini-Joe Gold, 14.5 WSM, 18.5 WSM, 2 Performers with Vortex, gasser (taking up space), SJS, JJ

  6. #6
    TVWBB Super Fan Benji Chong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Tampa Bay Area
    I have an 18" and i'd go with the 18". The extra space is just worth it and would not be overkill IMO.

  7. #7
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Tony R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    San Berdoo, CA
    Get a 18.5 wsm.

    I'm a weber fan so I'm telling Santa to get me a 14.5 wsm.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Super Fan SteveA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    18.5 is proven. It's the workhorse of the WSM line. The 22.5 was response to the demand for a higher capacity, but it burns more fuel to sustain the same temp than an 18. The 14.5 seems to me to be more of a novelty for us Weber fans; however, it does successfully cook smaller amounts of meat and is more practical for small cooks and for BBQers who do not cook as often as us.

    My gut feeling is, if your serious enough about BBQing to be a member of this site, then you'd enjoy the 18.5 more and find it more useful.
    22.5 Blue Bar-B-Kettle, 22.5 Redhead Bar-B-Kettle, 22.5 Black OTG (DE), 22.5 Red MT (EZ), 22.5 Blue OTG (DZ), 22.5 Brownie OT (E), 22.5 Copper OTS (AA), 18.5 Black OTS (AA), 2 -18.5 WSM (M & DI) & SJS (AA)

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I was going to wait for the 14.5 for the same reason, but I found a 18.5 on Craigslist. I'm glad I got it over the 14.5 because it has just enough room for a 10 pound packer brisket or a good size turkey. I'm really happy with the 18.5.

  10. #10
    TVWBB Member BMitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    St. Louis, Missouri
    There are only 2 in my household, the fiancé and I. I built a mini about 3 months ago and it's been used at least once a week since I built it. It's the same size at the 14.5" wsm and makes plenty of food for the 2 of us. But I've also been able to smoke 2 chickens at once, a 15lb turkey, and 4 slabs of ribs...(cut in half and placed in a brinkmann rib rack which fits perfectly in the mini btw). You can still cram some pretty good sized cooks in a 14.5 which might be ideal for just the two of you however I might go for the 18.5 just in case it's your turn to host thanksgiving or a Super Bowl party perhaps. For me the 22.5 is a bit of an overkill and is probably one of the biggest smokers on the market.
    22.5" Red Weber SS performer 18.5" OTS 22.5 Weber Smoky Mountain Mini WSM

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