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Thread: Christmas a Little Early (with questions)

  1. #1
    TVWBB Super Fan Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Christmas a Little Early (with questions)

    We just spent the last couple of weeks visiting the in-laws in Maine. We're spending Christmas with my parents this year, so we did Thanksgiving and Christmas up there. We had a great time eating and drinking great craft beer. While my wife and mother-in-law were out shopping, they managed to find a 14" Smokey Mountain for $50. They picked it up and gave it to me for my Christmas present. I opened it up and everything was in the package and intact.

    I've had my 18" since June. I've done a ton of cooking in it and have really enjoyed it. I am usually only cooking for 2-4 people, so the 14" will probably be a better option just in terms of fuel efficiency. For those of you who have both, do you have a system/pattern/approach for what you're going to cook in which cooker? Does the 14" do anything better than the 18"? Is it better at hotter temperatures than the 18? Or colder smoke temps? If you're doing a Boston Butt, does it come out more or less smokey on one than the other?

    Basically, I'm just trying to get a feel of what I need to know as I start using Baby Bullet. Feel free to share any thought with me whatsoever!

    Thanks!
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  2. #2
    TVWBB Pro Lew Newby's Avatar
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    Congrats on marrying a smart woman. I started with the 18, son gave me his 22, and my wife gave me the 14 for my birthday this year. My 18 is now in my daughter's garage. Other than capacity I haven't noticed a difference. They all cook like a WSM. All of my cooks on the 14 have been for 2 people and I'm delighted with it. You'll need to get used to how few hot coals it takes for the Minion Method. The first time I used 20 coals and it got hot fast. In the Panhandle in winter you may use more hot coals than I do. As far as smoke flavor goes I use less wood in the 14 but I still get good flavor. Using less charcoal and smaller quantities of meat I tend to cook more frequently on the 14 than the bigger cookers. Just for grins I named the 3
    WSMs Poppa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear. For your situation I think you have the perfect combination of WSMs. Have fun.
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). - -14.5" WSM , 22.5" WSM , 1998 22" SS Performer (Red) with Vortex, Auber ATC. CB Rotisserie

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    Great present! For me to have a second WSM I'd have to dedicate each on to a different type of meat, 1 for pork and beef and other for chicken. If I ate fish (a BIG IF) I would definitely dedicate one to fish because those have a different odor from meats.
    Bill: WSM 22.5 BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 : Maverick ET-733 : BHG Gas Grill: His & Hers John Deere Lawn Tractors

  4. #4
    TVWBB Super Fan Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Newby View Post
    Congrats on marrying a smart woman. I started with the 18, son gave me his 22, and my wife gave me the 14 for my birthday this year. My 18 is now in my daughter's garage. Other than capacity I haven't noticed a difference. They all cook like a WSM. All of my cooks on the 14 have been for 2 people and I'm delighted with it. You'll need to get used to how few hot coals it takes for the Minion Method. The first time I used 20 coals and it got hot fast. In the Panhandle in winter you may use more hot coals than I do. As far as smoke flavor goes I use less wood in the 14 but I still get good flavor. Using less charcoal and smaller quantities of meat I tend to cook more frequently on the 14 than the bigger cookers. Just for grins I named the 3
    WSMs Poppa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear. For your situation I think you have the perfect combination of WSMs. Have fun.
    Love the names!!! I'm curious...how many hot coals for the minion method do you use? I usually use 20 for the 18", was figuring around 10 for the 14".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Elwell View Post
    Great present! For me to have a second WSM I'd have to dedicate each on to a different type of meat, 1 for pork and beef and other for chicken. If I ate fish (a BIG IF) I would definitely dedicate one to fish because those have a different odor from meats.
    I actually thought about that a little. I was thinking how much easier it would be to get the Lil Guy really hot, and so he should be great for chickens and such. I'm with you, I rarely eat fish...and even more rarely eat smoked fish. But, I did do a smoked salmon using one of Chris' recipes and it turned out good enough that I would take one for the team and do another one for my wife. But, I may still end up just using it for smaller general use portions... we'll see.
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  5. #5
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Congrats Dan you're going to love the little guy. I have an 18 and 14 and with the two of us if it fits on the 14 that's what I use. The 14 is quite a bit better on fuel consumption, although temperature swings happen faster in the 14, other than that they cook about the same.
    I use about 8-10 coals for a minion start on the little guy and about 15-20 on the 18.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

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    TVWBB Pro Lew Newby's Avatar
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    Ditto on what Rich said. I use about 10 hot coals. One thing about the small one to be aware of is ash capacity. With both Royal Oak and KBB after 8 hours it was full of ash. Check out this thread and you'll see how I set up Baby Bear. The heat shield is under the smoker to increase ash capacity. https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?720...tup-With-Photo
    Old dog, learning new tricks - one cook at a time :-). - -14.5" WSM , 22.5" WSM , 1998 22" SS Performer (Red) with Vortex, Auber ATC. CB Rotisserie

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    TVWBB Gold Member Robert-R's Avatar
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    The 14.5 is a giant killer. You will love it. I have an 18.5 & the 14.5. Use it 95% of the time. Good valid comments from everyone.
    However... it has it's limits: did a 10 lb pork butt on mine several weeks ago on the top rack.
    It cooked it, but grease waterfall. Ran down the sides & out the vents. Filled the diffuser to 1/4" with grease.
    Something to think about & plan accordingly.
    Next time.... will cut the 10 pounder into smaller pieces & use 2 racks or put it whole in the 18.5. Decisions.
    Last edited by Robert-R; 12-06-2017 at 09:26 PM.
    18.5 & 14.5 WSMs, 26.5 XL, 22.5 Performer, JJ, SJ, Roti Rings, Stackers, Genesis 330, OKJ Highland & Al Pastor Cooker

  8. #8
    TVWBB Super Fan Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Thanks y'all! I appreciate all the informative feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Newby View Post
    Ditto on what Rich said. I use about 10 hot coals. One thing about the small one to be aware of is ash capacity. With both Royal Oak and KBB after 8 hours it was full of ash. Check out this thread and you'll see how I set up Baby Bear. The heat shield is under the smoker to increase ash capacity. https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?720...tup-With-Photo
    I read on here somewhere that if you put the heat shield inside like it's supposed to be, you severely limit your ash capacity. I'm not sure whether I want to attach it to the legs or just not use it since I cook on concrete slab. I'm gonna think about it when I assemble the cooker this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert-R View Post
    The 14.5 is a giant killer. You will love it. I have an 18.5 & the 14.5. Use it 95% of the time. Good valid comments from everyone.
    However... it has it's limits: did a 10 lb pork butt on mine several weeks ago on the top rack.
    It cooked it, but grease waterfall. Ran down the sides & out the vents. Filled the diffuser to 1/4" with grease.
    Something to think about & plan accordingly.
    Next time.... will cut the 10 pounder into smaller pieces & use 2 racks or put it whole in the 18.5. Decisions.
    Good to know! The biggest I've done is 9-ish in my 18. Think that would fit in the 14"?
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  9. #9
    TVWBB Wizard CaseT's Avatar
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    So many cobwebs growing in my 18 not even sure I can find it!

    I have done (2) 9 pound butts at one time in the 14. Never had a grease issue. I removed the heat deflector from the bottom and had never had an issue not using it. It is my understanding that they put it in there to keep Joe blow from burning down the wood deck, or table that that the smoker is setting on. I don't have that problem as mine sits on a conc. slab table top or in the dirt when not at home.

    I use the side light method and can get 14+ hours at pit temps below 265. I do not use water in the water pan, am I dry pit smoker.

    I welded the charcoal ring to the charcoal grate and added expanded metal to the bottom so I get less large chunks falling through. If ash is a problem I take the body off set it on a solid temp safe surface. Shake the ash out of the basket and dump the base. Reassemble. Usually only loose 10-15 during that process. The smoker recovers quickly.
    18.5" WSM, 14.5" WSM, (4) Mini-wsms, Mini-Za Oven, Minitisserie, GOSM Big Block, 1967 Casa Q

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