New 18 inch WSM vs. old, do you see enough improvements?

Originally posted by Chris Allingham:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jon Merka:
especially if it can hold 15 briskets between the two of them.
What? 15 briskets in 1 18" and 1 22" WSM? I don't think so. Help me understand what you're thinking...maybe small brisket flats using multiple stacked cooking grates? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

sorry for taking so long to reply but i went on vacation for a while and i ddint check all the forums when i got back.

anyway i do an annual company cook for our employees that usually consists of about 15 briskets and 70ish chickens. i cook all these things on this pit:


this is the most miserable way to cook ever invented. which is how i found my way to the wsm in the first place looking for a better way to bbq.

so its a dream of mine to get rid of that atrocity once and for and all and replace with WSM's. which is why i was wondering how many you think will fit on the 22" jobber. it may be worth it to me to get a pair of em.
well i built that beast from scratch. it cooks really well its just a pain in the butt since it has to be tended every 45min to an hour and takes a truck bed full of wood to cook everything briskets and chicken. it takes me 3-4 days of work to prep it, clean it, paint it to get it into the shape you see there.

if i had someone else to do all the scutt work its a great cooker. its just brutal having to use it and do it all yourself. typicall our cookout is on friday. i start prepping the meat around 10 thursday morning and start the pit around 2.30 by 4pm its ready to load with brisket and cook. from that point forward the most sleep i get is about 40 minutes at a stretch. every three hours all the briskets have to be shuffled around and basted with beer to keep them from cooking unevenly or too fast.

by 4am i start checking for done and usually pull them all by 5.30am then i got just enough time for a shower and change of clothes and its time to haul it to work and get the chickens going while the briskets sit in a cooler till noon.

somewhere between 6.30am and 7am the chickens go on and the 45min checks start again till noon. by noon all chickens are done and i turn down the fire and stack all chickens in the middle to keep warm. at that point i can sit back and have basically been working non stop since 10 am the previous day. by 4pm all the food has been cutup for the evening meal service and i pack it up and go home.

thats why i want to get rid of it for brisket cooking.

check out this link for more picks of this years bbq feast:
Why the WSM is best!!
So, to respond to the original question. I would probably wait for the new 18 if I didn't already own one. Just because I would want the improvements on the new model.

If I was challenged where the price lift was an issue I would definitely save the money and get the deal on the left over stock/older model.

Personally although I REALLY like the new 18 and 22, I'm definitely not changing to the new 18. The one I have is only a year old, I have a therm for it, 4 inserts for probes, the door isn't really that much of an issue.

The metal pan I have for underneath works great AFA a heat shield. Frankly I would probably still use that large metal pan with the new model since it's also great for drips, etc. So the value ad for the heat shield is negligible for me.

AFA the 22 I think it is awesome. But - I have a stacker for the 18, so I have the capacity of the 22.

If I was starting new, I would definitely get a 22. If I was looking for large capacity cooks I would add a 22 to my 18.
Jon-Thats great stuff but a lot of time with no sleep. Is the temp on your "beast" easy to maintain or is that the reason you`re not sleeping?
Please start a separate thread to discuss "the beast". Let's keep this thread on-topic.

Had to look-up AFA..."as far as".

Chris, I apologize. Getting back On Topic... what are the chances that Weber is reading this thread and considering our feedback?
It is good to see Weber show an interest in product upgrading . If I were new to the bbq and Weber scene I would be all over getting the new stuff . Since the days of Mike Scrutchfield “hope I didn’t miss spell his name “ I have had an interest in these bullets . I purchased three of them 5 or 6 years ago and in my limited KCBS contest experience I have been fortunate enough to hit a few first places , and many top ten places using the old 18 incher. Now as a proud winner of a fourth WSM I have a set I am happy with . I use a Backwoods Competitor and WSM’s at contest now but I find it is hard to out do the flavor I can achieve on the WSM. At this point in my life if I were just getting started I would go with three 22” WSM’s with Pit minder Guru’s and be happy. I am sure the new will cook as good as the old , what do you really want? Get what you know you will be happy with.

Originally posted by Chris Allingham:
Please start a separate thread to discuss "the beast". Let's keep this thread on-topic.

Had to look-up AFA..."as far as".


sorry was just responding to why i wanted to cook en-mass on the wsm 22". but i am still interested in how much that new one can hold and how much space is between the top grate and bottom grate. becasue i am thinking that that there is enough room to put in a third grate between the two.

the reason i am excited as hell about the new WSM is just the sheer size. right now i have to squish a brisket in and the ends tend to burn on ribs because they hang at the very utter edge of the grate. the problems with the 18" are so small it doesnt offset the usefulness of the 18" but the 22 is the answer for me simply because of its size.
Originally posted by Chris Allingham:
Space between top and bottom grates is 9". Current WSM is 7.5".

nice. that gives 4.5 inches of clearance it might work setting in a third grate. by putting smaller briskets on the bottom and middle.

thanks for the info
Another option might be to wait for the new one then buy the old one if they go on great sale.

I just love a good deal.
I just bought a second WSM as it was $187 online. With a $40 thermo I bet it is still a bit lower than the new 18"er. Plus I don't want to wait until they start showing up to get another one.
I'm a new member of the forum and am interested in the current 18.5" WSM. Who could you recommend tht has the best price?

Thanks to all.

Ira usually has the best price, and they often offer free shipping which is a big plus. I would check around, but you will probably find the price will be one of the lowest.
Hey Chris,

I just preordered the 18 inch smoker through the link you list in the start of the thread.. that works, right?

Oh yes.. i am also a noob.. Hello everyone!