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Thread: Help choosing size

  1. #1
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    Help choosing size

    Hi all, I've read these forums for the last year, and have been reading a lot about the WSM cookers over that time.
    I'm definitely getting one in the coming weeks, but just can't decide on size. I also have a 13 year old Genesis Gold for daily grilling and 2 kettles I use frequently- 22 inch performer and a smokey joe. So I have plenty of capacity for doing things.
    So- I basically want the WSM for two things- Ribs and pulled pork (Butt). Also a few times a year I'd do wings.
    I could see myself using it for a chicken or sausages once in a while, but I usually do them on the 22.

    When I do a Butt- it would most likely just be 1- maybe 2 once a year for a party.
    Ribs would be 3 slabs- that's it.
    If I've read everything correctly- I would be fine with the 14 for my uses.

    Do I understand correctly that the 14 would still be able to run overnight without adding any charcoal? That's my concern, I'd start a butt at night- then let it cook overnight. Most things I've seen posted are people doing that with 18 or 22's (Which hold a lot more charcoal). SO I guess another way to phrase it would be - does that smaller coal bin in the 14, still cook for the same amount of time as the larger ones do, being that it is heating a smaller amount of air space?

    also- since I realize for ribs, I'd have to either roll them or cut the racks in half- is their any actual downside- cooking wise to doing either of these things?

    I could buy either of the bigger ones- but it would use a lot more charcoal, and I'd have a lot of wasted space- But- if they do cook better, that's a different situation.



    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Wizard Pat G's Avatar
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    For me the 14.5 has plenty of room. You can do overnight cooks with it, the longest I have gone is about 10 hours. I cut the ribs in half, do not see any difference doing them that way.
    Performer Deluxe(Copper) Genesis Gold B(Redhead) WSM 14.5 Original Kettle Premium 26 18 OTG Kettle Jumbo Joe Gas Go Anywhere, Vortex, Kettle Pizza

  3. #3
    TVWBB Guru Bruce Bissonnette's Avatar
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    Craig, I would go with the 18. From the description of your future cooks it may seem that the 14 would be plenty and it very well might be. However, it's always nice to have a little more room.
    I have heard a general rule when it comes to the size of BBQ pits. Figure out what size you need then get the next biggest size. In doing BBQ competitions for 11 years, and being involved
    with BBQ for nearly 15, I've never heard anyone say they wished they would have bought a smaller pit. GOOD LUCK with your new cooker.
    -------------------------------------
    Good Talking With You,

    Bruce

    (2) 18" WSM's (1) 22" WSM
    Treasurer, Great Lakes BBQ Association
    Rubbed, Smoked & Sauced Comp. Team

  4. #4
    TVWBB Pro Dustin Flavell's Avatar
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    I have all three sizes and the 14 gets the most use by far of my WSMs. I've gone 9 hours on a full load and had coals left over. If you move the internal heat shield to the outside you should be able to go longer as the is more room for the ash build up.

  5. #5
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    Craig - my fellow York, Pa WSM enthusiast!! I have both the 18 and and 14.5 and based on your needs and what you outlined I would go with the WSM 18. I have gone 13-14 hours on coals in my 18 and plenty of room for full rack ribs, nice size brisket and butts... Then keep your eye out for the 14.5 at Walmart on clearance at end of season etc... guys have scored some for $50-$99 so then you can have both - you can never have too many grills! Also as Dustin said above - move the heat shield to the outside, I did that also, and it gives you more room and longer cooks..
    WSM 18.5 , Weber Black Performer , WSM 14.5 , Weber Silver B Gas ,

  6. #6
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    I have done 5 hours on the 14 wsm and still had more than half the charcoal left, so I figure you can do an overnight cook.
    I have to admit that I probably would have bought the 18, if they were not that expensive aroung here (no discounts on the 14's either).

    Very much on the plus side of the 14 for me, is the weight. It is light. Easy to move around. Eady to store.
    I can see it coming with me on camping trips....

  7. #7
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    Craig- i own all 3 sizes, but unless I do a big cook for the family, the 14.5 gets the most use for my wife and I. If I were to do it again, I would stick with just the 14.5 and 18.5.
    tom bauer
    WSM 14.5,18.5, CB22.5, SJSilver, Q220, Q300, Q320, 18.5, 22.5, Kettle

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin Flavell View Post
    If you move the internal heat shield to the outside
    Can you explain exactly where to move it? Thx.

  9. #9
    TVWBB Pro Dustin Flavell's Avatar
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    BFletcher,
    Here's a link to what I did to move the internal heat shield: https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?639...m-for-ash-14-5

    Basically drilled a hole in each leg, added a long bolt, secured with a nut on each side and moved the heat shield.
    Save a Salmon...EAT MORE BEEF Beef it's what's for dinner!

  10. #10
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    I have a 22. It lives up to its reputation as a fuel hog. Yeah, I can cook anything on it without slicing it up, but it's really large and takes a lot of charcoal. It's so big and so hungry I tend to be reluctant to fire it up.

    For doing mostly one butt at a time, get a 14. I'm regretting not picking one up when I saw it at Walmart for $99. I might use it a bit more.
    Performer , WSM 22" , Genesis EP-310 NG , Smokey Joe Silver, Summit Charcoal Grill

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