Reasons To Look For An Alternative
The Weber Smokey Mountain is a great option for a backyard smoker, but it is not perfect. If we are being honest with ourselves, there are drawbacks to every smoker and grill in existence. There are a few common concerns about the Smokey Mountain that a potential buyer should be aware of when going to purchase a smoker or grill.
More cooking space
The largest Smokey Mountain at 22 inches does allow you to smoke a whole brisket. However, if you cook for large gatherings, you may want to look at a smoker with a larger cooking area.
Better Heat Retention
While the Smokey Mountain is a good smoker, the access door and the porcelain enamel stainless steel do not provide the same level of heat retention as some smokers. It is prone to temperature fluctuations based on inclement weather.
Different Temperatures Of Cooks
The Smokey Mountain is a great smoker, but it is not ideal for high-heat cooking.
Budget And Price
The Smokey Mountain is not the cheapest option available on the market, but it is not the most expensive either. If you have a tighter budget, there are other versatile smokers that are cheaper.
Smokers With Larger Cooking Space
If you are smoking for a large family or enjoy inviting friends over, you need more space than the Smokey Mountain.
A good offset smoker can provide well in excess of 1000 square inches of cooking space. You want an offset smoker if you are looking to smoke multiple briskets or a lot of pork shoulders.
There are ceramic grills that are larger than the Smokey Mountain, such as the Big Joe series from Kamado Joe. However, most ceramic cookers cannot exceed the cooking surface of the 22-inch Smokey Mountain.
Smokers With Better Heat Retention
If you are smoking in an area that deals with a lot of wind, you might be looking for an upgrade in heat retention.
Ceramic grills are not susceptible to sudden changes in temperature because of their thick ceramic walls which retain heat and insulate the interior for protection from wind and cold weather.
Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe are the most well-known ceramic grill companies. Both offer excellent quality in a range of sizes.
Smokers With Different Temperature Ranges
Other smokers offer a wider range of temperatures for more versatility.
The Weber kettle is a versatile grill that you can smoke on as well as sear steaks.
Hot And Fast Styled Cooks
The Weber kettle can cook a brisket or pork shoulder in half the time it would take on the Smokey Mountain when setting up the charcoal in the snake method.
Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg can be used for smoking meat indirectly while also reaching over 500 degrees.
Wider Range Of Temperatures
The Big Green Egg is designed to be able to reach higher temperatures for grilling and baking while still being able to maintain the temperature control necessary for smoking brisket or pork shoulders over indirect heat.
Cheaper Alternative To Weber Smokey Mountain
You may love the ability to smoke on the Smokey Mountain, but it might be a bit pricey for you as a single-function grill.
A 22-inch kettle will run you $175 on Weber’s website as of September 2021 and is more versatile than the Smokey Mountain.
Best Charcoal Smoker For Beginners?
If you are making your first foray into smoking meat and that is your focus, the Smokey Mountain is a better option than the kettle. The water pan and vents allow for great control over the temperature.
Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Smoker
If you are comparing smokers, how does the Smokey Mountain stack up against an offset?
Are Offset Smokers Good For Beginners?
Offset smokers require a lot of attention to regulating the fire and the temperature in the cooking chamber, which takes experience and hard work.
What’s better about offset smokers versus a Weber Smokey Mountain
Offset smokers offer a greater cooking area and can offer more smoke flavor due to the ability to use bigger cuts of wood.
Price Of Weber Smokey Mountain vs offset Smokers
There is a range of prices when it comes to offset smokers and usually, the best ones are more expensive than the Smokey Mountain. However, there are quality options by companies like Char-Griller and Oklahoma Joe that offer more cooking space.
The best alternative to Weber Smokey Mountain
If you are looking for versatility without breaking the bank, the Weber kettle is a great alternative. If you are looking for a bigger cooking area, an offset smoker is where you should be looking. However, if you want a dedicated smoker that is easy to use, has great temperature control, and doesn’t take up a large space, the Smokey Mountain is still a great smoker for you.