Most helpful positive review
251 of 272 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, but a little pricey
on April 11, 2009
I am cooking ribs on my 22" WSM as I type this. This will be my third time cooking since I received it a few weeks ago and the results I've been getting have been some of the tastiest barbeque I've ever had. The design is excellent, the build quality is excellent, the instructions and support from Weber - all excellent. But after all this "hype" the reason I only gave it 4 stars out of 5 is because, as good as it is, I believe Weber has over-priced it somewhat. I would have expected something of this size and quality to be priced closer to $350 or so.
Anyway, the good news is, the key to successful barbeque is temperature control. I threw away money a few years ago on a cheaper smoker in which it was almost impossible to control and ruined several dollars worth of meat trying. But temperature control is what makes this unit great. The WSM almost feels like cheating. Once you get it set, it just seems to stay locked into a very narrow temperature range requiring very little adjustment as it cooks. It's as easy to keep it "locked in" at 200 degrees as it is to keep it at 325. However, there are a few little tips and tricks of the trade to cooking on a smoker and barbeque in general that require a little research, trial and error, and discussion with experienced "pit masters." For this I highly recommend The Virtual Weber Bullet website and The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. There is a wealth of knowledge there and you can get questions answered by professionals as well as pit master wannabes who are just starting out and learning too.
I would recommend starting with a Weber Smokey Mountain, a high-quality, easy to use smoker, rather than wasting money on a cheaper one only to realize later that it's too frustrating to use and then have to break down and buy the good one later. That would be the MOST expensive way to get into barbeque at home.