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Some questions from a novice ... - Printable Version

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Some questions from a novice ... - Tour de Que - 01-01-2008 07:21 PM

Well, I think that this is the place to post some questions that I have:

1. I am looking into getting a Weber Smokey Mountain (I think it's called a "WSM" by some in the forums). Is this a good smoker for backyard family use? How much can you smoke in it if you max the thing out (i.e. how many 8 lb butts can I do; how many chickens; how much briskett)? What are the pros/cons of the smoker?

2. I am looking to take a class this spring on competitions/cooking, etc. Is there any one in particular that I should consider attending?

3. As an alternative to taking a class, I was wondering if there was a team that would let me be your "slave" "servant" whatever you need, during a competition? I'd like to see first hand how the rubber hits the road.

Thanks, TDQ.

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - SoEzzy - 01-01-2008 08:08 PM

Welcome to the forum Tour de Cue!

1) I have WSMs and with a squeeze you can get 6 x 8lb butts on one, you need to stand them on their sides and prop them up to keep them away from each other, but that is the most I have cooked on a WSM at one time.

If you are cooking beer can chickens you can get 4 on the top rack, if they are 3 1/2 lb chickens you can get 4 on the bottom rack too!

Briskets (full packers) yoou can get one on the top and one on the bottom.

Spare ribs if you roll them, you can get 6 on each rack without having to cram them in.

2) There is some talk of there being a class sometime in the spring!

3) Someone else will have to let you know, I haven't competed yet and I'm not in a team!

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - PackerBacker - 01-01-2008 09:13 PM

You have picked a great site for your questions! Just keep asking and you will get some great feed back from some really cool people here on this site 8) The WSM is, IMHO one of the best competition cookers around along with the BDS ( Big Drum Smoker) and yes,both great backyard family cookers to have. The BDS Max'd out, ( on two racks) 8 butts,or 4 packer briskets,or 6-8 chickens, or35-40 thighs,and rolled ribs 10-12.

Glad to have you aboard, good Q to ya!


Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Brian - 01-02-2008 06:38 AM

The WSM is a great cooker. Some of the top teams in the west cook on them and win contests against really tough competition. Before my previous team split up (half the team moved to Texas), my team mate was using them and from his practice sessions he has decided to not purchase a large offset and only cook on WSM cookers.

Welcome to the group.

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - sampson - 01-03-2008 04:04 PM

Dave, don't you know someone like "Jay and the Bird" :wink: I think they will testify to the power of the WSM...

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - PackerBacker - 01-03-2008 07:33 PM

sampson;p="6906 Wrote:Dave, don't you know someone like "Jay and the Bird" :wink: I think they will testify to the power of the WSM...

Otis and The Bird, have showed that the WSM can be one of the best comp/ BBQ cookers around. As Jay and Monica have done very well in the past few years. Jay owns many (16-17) different cookers and he sticks to the WSM on some of his comp. meats I am just happy he taught me alot in my early years and cut off 2-3 years in my learning curve, but now, as you can bet the info provided to me from "Cuz" Jay is now limited :roll:

But I will say I will have a hard time catching up to him as far as the size of the trophy case that he has filled :wink:


Re: Some questions from a novice ... - BBQSki - 01-03-2008 07:53 PM

Well, I'm gonna' have to put in a good word for the Big Green Egg for backyard use, particularly in our cold climate in the mountain west. Check out <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.biggreenegg.com">www.biggreenegg.com</a><!-- w -->. I've had one for about 8 months now, and they are tremendously versatile -- high direct sears, slow and low (I've burned mine with 8 lbs. of charcoal for over 18 hours), baking, pizza oven, etc.

The only major drawback in my mine for backyard purposes is the cost. By the time you get all the accessories (including the Guru) you're getting close to $1,200 for a large. (You could buy 6 WSMs for that cost)

There are two drawbacks that I can see for competition: Weight (over 200 lbs) and cooking space (a weber kettle has more lateral grill space than a large BGE).

PS - Of the 5 contests I've competed in, 3 were won by teams with WSMs. One team (Home on the Range) that won cooked everything on just two of em'.

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Guest - 01-03-2008 10:20 PM

BBQSki;p="6914 Wrote:...Of the 5 contests I've competed in, 3 were won by teams with WSMs. One team (Home on the Range) that won cooked everything on just two of em'.
I tried cooking all four categories on just two WSMs twice last season (Fire & Ice and Rock'n Ribs) and I don't recommend it. While you can grill (finish ribs and chicken) on one, it's a pain and produces only fair results. For example, my chicken went from first, to who knows how low, to first again when I went back to finishing it on a SnP. Now, in all fairness, I did also change back to my original sauce at the same time. My neighbors said the the chicken at both contests was "pretty", so maybe it was just the sauce.


Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Swine Steward - 01-04-2008 02:02 AM

If you're thinking of buying a WSM then keep an eye on Ace Hardware. They have a strong relationship with Weber and have been a good store for me. The big box stores will carry some Weber products, but definitely not the accessories. I made the mistake last year of researching online for the best price and ordered accordingly. Two weeks after the smoker arrived, the Ace three blocks away put the WSM on sale for $30 less. Dooh! :cry:

I can attest to the fact that the WSM is an awesome smoker. Once you get some experience heating it up, it works like a champ. Last year I entered my first contest last year armed with only two smokers and at one point the WSM went about 12 hours straight with little or no fire tending. That left me time to perfect my winning strategy at the contest, disabling the digital thermostats on pellet smokers.

:roll: :mrgreen:

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Gene - 01-04-2008 07:58 AM

John, how could you even think of doing such a foul deed :?: :shock: Disabling a stat on a Traeger or a FE. :cry: That's not ethical behavior. (I know you're just kiddin')

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Pegleg - 01-04-2008 09:43 AM

Tour de Que,

It's good to have you on the forum. One more plug for the WSM, I did four 8 lb butts for my family Christmas party and they were a hit. I put them on at 10:00 P.M., got the temp set at around 235 deg and went to bed. I checked it once in the middle of the night and it was holding steady, I didn't add any charcol until about 9:00 the next morning. I actually forgot to check the charcol and it ran out :oops: but I caught it in time and the temp never dropped below 220. I added one more chimney full and finished the cook at noon when the internal temp of the butts reached 193. They really are a nice little cooker and produce great end results, in fact Santa Clause (aka my wife) bought me a third WSM for Christmas. I can't wait to load all of those babies up at the same time!! Check out the link, it is a website specifically directed to the WSM. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://virtualweberbullet.com/">http://virtualweberbullet.com/</a><!-- m -->

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - sampson - 01-05-2008 04:24 PM

Hey Gene, if you remember John was the guy next to us in Star... remember the issues we had in the middle of the night with the temps??? Maybe we need to take a drive up there and have a visit with old Johnny Mac Smile

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Gene - 01-06-2008 08:27 AM

The guy cooking next to us was from Idaho, and used a FE and a Traeger. (On our left as we looked across the way to "T"s camp) Don't remember the team on our right. There are to many Johns' , ha, that's what the ladies call 'em too :!: (after dark, in the seedy parts of town :roll: ) I am thinking, that's a :oops:, that the "John" that was suggesting mayhem is from Cali. according to the flag on his post Avatar. Heck, I dunno.

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Swine Steward - 01-06-2008 04:25 PM

Maybe there's another "John" with the old Bear Republic Flag avatar around also. I do hail from the Golden State, and have been in Idaho for three years now. My avatar, as you can see is a little more 'merican than the state flag I selected.

And yes, I was to your right as you looked across to T's camp.

Re: Some questions from a novice ... - Tour de Que - 01-06-2008 04:53 PM

One of the down sides to living on a small town, is that there is generally a very low supply of things that I want when I want them. Case in point: one cannot purchase the WSM here in Twin Falls at this time. I have looked online and found it for $204 at Amazon.com (with free shipping and generally no taxes).

Have any of you in the SLC area seen them for less lately? I have a friend down in the SLC area this week and she has offered to pick one up for me if I can find the right price. Otherwise, I'll just go with Amazon.com.

Thanks for all of your insight and help. I'm looking forward to the BBQ Class when that comes up. Hopefully, I can put some faces with the screen names.