Rain. It is an inevitable foe of the barbecue brotherhood. No matter where you live, at some point, you are going to have to deal with it.
Rain isn’t all bad. In fact, without the soggy steaks of the late 1950’s open BBQs, we might not have the Weber Kettle or, as it was known back then, George’s Barbecue Kettle. Invented by George Stephen Snr after he got fed up with rain, wind, and snow ruining his meals, the Kettle was the start of Weber as we know it today.
Without it, we probably wouldn’t have the Smokey Mountain.
During the evolution of the barbecue, we’ve seen it become more weather-friendly, and the Weber’s of today can stand up to some pretty diabolical deliveries from the sky.
The British see barbecuing in the rain as a sport! Canadians will barbecue their Christmas meats at minus thirty! Barbecues have even been held in the windiest place on earth, Antarctica.
Lighting your Smokey Mountain in the middle of a rainstorm might not sound appealing but. it is possible.
Weber Smokey Mountain In Rain
Rain isn’t actually a Weber Smokey Mountains enemy. In fact, the WSM performs pretty much the same in the rain as it does in the warm and dry. Unless the rain is really heavy, you probably won’t notice any difference, except for your wet socks!
What does affect the WSM is the wind that usually accompanies the rain. Wind can make temperature management a nightmare so do be aware of this if you are planning to fire up the smoker in undesirable weather.
If the rain is really heavy, you can move the Weber Smokey Mountain to a sheltered place, just don’t bring it into your garage or home as this could give you carbon monoxide poisoning. Always have your smoker in a very well-ventilated area, in the backyard.
Weber Smokey Mountain In Rain Temperature Control
In light rain, you can use your intake and exhaust vents to control the temperature. If there is no wind or major external temperature change then you should find some small adjustments are enough.
In heavier rain, or a particularly windy or cold day, it is probably worth seeking some shelter for your WSM otherwise you may find yourself making constant adjustments to keep temperature maintained.
It’s really important to have a couple of thermometers running in bad weather, don’t just rely on your built-in thermometer. Due to its location, you may find the lid temp is colder than the smoke chamber, which could lead you to overcook your meats. It would be ideal to have a grate temperature and a meat probe. If you have an app-connected version such as the iGrill2 then you will be able to set alerts if your temperature drops. This could be a life savior during unfavorable weather.
Weber Smokey Mountain In Rain Messing Up Results
If you have tried to use your WSM in the rain and things have gone really wrong then it’s time to consider your options.
There are some very quick ways you can protect your smoker from the rain. Purchasing a clamp-on umbrella that you attach to the lid will give you protection if water is getting into your smoker.
You could also move your patio umbrella over the WSM.
If there is wind as well as rain, an umbrella won’t be enough. It might be time to get a little more serious with your barbecue setup.
You could move it to a sheltered location, perhaps behind a building wall. You could also make your own windbreak using bricks or fencing. Ideally, you would create a three-sided box around the Weber Smokey Mountain. This would give you all the protection you need if the wind picks up.
It would also allow you to keep the WSM in one place at all times.
Providing you can hold a consistent temperature, you should stop having bad smokes in the rain.
Weber Smokey Mountain In Rain Worth It Or Not?
Short answer? Hell yes! Most of the time the weather won’t make a difference to your smoke, so why let it change your plans? You might need to make a few changes to the position of your smoker or build it a temporary shelter, but it’s unlikely you will see any major negative effects.
Even if water gets in where the lid meets the smoke chamber, it will either evaporate or run down to where the embers are in your charcoal bowl, so that won’t affect your smoke.
Do Weber Smokey Mountains Rust?
Weber really believes in the quality of its products and offers a 10-year warranty across its range. They also offer a rust and enamel guarantee on their grills.
You may get some surface rust but this can be removed very easily, You will also find that your grates may start to rust over time, especially if they are kept outside all year round. Because the charcoal grate and chamber don’t touch your food, you can leave these unless they are severely compromised. The cooking grates will need to be changed when the rust reaches your top grate.
You can clean surface rust with a baking soda paste.
How To Keep WSM Dry In Rain
If you look on any of the WSM forums there are some very creative ways of protecting your WSM from the rain, these include:
- An umbrella with a grip attached to the top handle
- A patio umbrella moved over the WSM
- Moving your WSM under a shelter
- Buying an E-Z shelter
- Building a smoking station with a three-walled shelter
- Using a ladder covered with a plastic tarp to create a roof
Weber Smokey Mountain Rain Cover
Your Weber Smokey Mountain is exposed to the elements all year round. Unless you keep it in a garage or outhouse when you aren’t using it! Smokers kept outside should be covered to help keep them in good condition regardless of the weather.
Due to the popularity of the WSM, there are lots of aftermarket options. You can get waterproof rain covers, thermal covers to protect it from those bitter winter nights and you can get covers that protect it from sun damage too.
Weber does a variety of covers for their Smokey Mountains which you can purchase from their website. All new smokey mountains are sold with a basic cover to protect them from debris in the garden.
The weather doesn’t need to put a stop to your barbecue adventures. So wrap up warm, get your firepit lit, and enjoy every moment of your smoke, whatever the climate throws at you.