Are there any upgrades to the weber smoky mountain 18 inch cooker?


 

BTWestfall

New member
Any upgrades to the weber smoky mountain 18 inch cooker?

I have a pellet smoker now and I am looking at buying either a Kamado style cooker or a weber smoky mountain 18 inch cooker any thoughts or recommendations?
 
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Yes. The slot is a simpler easier way to add/remove probes from the top rack.

Unless I want to measure temp below the top grate, I can't imagine ever using the probe port over the notch.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Theres a handful of mods. Upgrade is not necessarily same thing.

My ratings of necessity , ymmv

#1....wood pegs screwed to dampers to adjust when hot
#2.....Handle on coal grate so can pickup and shake.
#3......handles on shell
#4 .....extend charcoal basket capacity using expanded metal
#5.....14" ceramic planter bottom instead of water pan....with steel support bars
#6. ......cut slot for wires in lip
#7......heater meter temp controller with blower/damper
#8......wheels
 

Darren L

TVWBB Member
Interesting. My list would be similar, but reversed. Heater meter would be at the top. I drilled holes in the damper tabs so I can stick a screwdriver through them to adjust. Handles on the shell interfere with the silicone cover, which is also high on my list. Lid hinge is handy, but creates it's own problems with tipping of the barrel. I guess my favorite mods are the ATC, rib hanger, silicone cover and stainless door, in that order.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Interesting. My list would be similar, but reversed. Heater meter would be at the top. I drilled holes in the damper tabs so I can stick a screwdriver through them to adjust. Handles on the shell interfere with the silicone cover, which is also high on my list. Lid hinge is handy, but creates it's own problems with tipping of the barrel. I guess my favorite mods are the ATC, rib hanger, silicone cover and stainless door, in that order.

Well my heater meter is my favorite thing for sure...and a true game changer....but you can use the wsm without one.

But you need to be able to adjust hot dampers, handle the shell...particularly if hot, pick up grate from above to dump or shake ash out of old coals.....just to use it in the old fashioned way. Then the slot and larger coal ring , and room for more coals improve experience.
 

ChuckH

TVWBB Super Fan
Interesting. Let’s see on my WSM, I have an ATC, lid hinge, wired the charcoal ring. Another grate under charcoal ring, door gasket, clamps on the body, but my favorite mod didn’t cost a dime and took less than 4 minutes to make. The notch to run temp cables through. I sure do like my WSM. Fun to turn out some killer food on it.
 

Bradley Mack

TVWBB Super Fan
Any upgrades to the weber smoky mountain 18 inch cooker?

I have a pellet smoker now and I am looking at buying either a Kamado style cooker or a weber smoky mountain 18 inch cooker any thoughts or recommendations?
What are your main wants or needs out of your next purchase? These are two very different animals. Either way, I’d suggest buy which ever one you think will make you happiest... but research the pros and cons of both and make an informed decision.

Regarding mods, I’d use the WSM a few times first to understand it’s mechanics, benefits and limitations. Then you can determine which mods you think are a priority and so on.

Either way, best of luck with whichever you choose!
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The most important thing I can think of is...
Practice!
Until you have a grip on how the thing works in its basic concept all the equipment modifications in the world are just clutter. I’ve said it before, learn how things work before you “improve” them.
 
Agree that you should take any mods one step at a time and only after you've had some experience first.

For example, I figured out early that I hated the overly deep water bowl in the 18. So I bought a couple of alternate shallow bowls. But then figured out that I really didn't like/need ANY water bowl. So I got a Firedial metal diffuser plate which is what I now use exclusively. So I'm stuck with 3 unused water bowls.... In contrast, I thought initially about adding the lid hinge, new door and gaskets. But after using, I feel no need for those.

But since you are choosing between a WSM and pellet grill, you probably should think about an ATC. Since it could alter your choice.

While the WSM runs quite stable/even analog, an ATC adds that auto-pilot functionality that is such a big plus for pellet grills. After running my WSM for a while analog, I started to wonder if I just should have gotten a pellet grill instead. Then I got the Smoke X/Billows system and absolutely love it. With the ATC added, I now strongly prefer the WSM over a pellet grill.
 

 

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