There is no doubt about it, when it comes to charcoal smokers there are two leaders of the pack.
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The Weber Smokey Mountain, also known as The Bullet.
The WSM is a water smoker and has a large following.
It’s a versatile and simple smoker that packs a serious punch at barbecue competitions.
The Kamado Joe, which is the Japanese word for ‘stove’, is a well-built smoker that offers a multitude of other options, you can use it to make bread. pizzas even lasagne!
The shape of the Kamado is almost egg-shaped and it is a much heavier smoker.
If you are serious about barbecues and ready to turn your backyard into a Pitmasters dream, you might be struggling to decide which of these two smokers to choose from.
We’ve pulled together all the information you need to make your choice!
Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Kamado Difference
Let’s start with the most obvious difference.
The Kamado has thick ceramic sides and is far more expensive for the size of the smoker.
Weber Smokey Mountain offers you far more bang for your buck.
It is constructed from steel with a porcelain coating.
The Kamado is also more like an oven than a grill.
It has thick, well-insulated sides and when the lid is shut, it’s very similar to a pressure cooker.
You can reach very high temperatures.
The Kamado Joe is really heavy due to its design, this means it’s not so easy to transport as the Weber Smokey Mountain.
The Weber Smokey Mountain has four intake vents, this gives you superior control over temperature without having to open the lid.
You can also extinguish the charcoal by shutting off the vents, which makes it really safe for the end-user.
With a Kamado, you need to be aware of flashovers. This happens when you have been cooking for a long period over low heat.
The charcoal is starved of oxygen and when you open the lid, the rush of air can effectively cause a fireball.
You don’t get this with the WSM due to the multiple vents and superior temperature control.
Kamados are built to withstand huge temperature changes without any effect on cooking.
However the WSM can also withstand temperature changes, Kamado does hold its temperature stability for longer though, this can help your meats to become more tender.
While the WSM might be cheaper, it certainly offers more in manoeuvrability.
It also gives you the ability to grill whereas the Kamado Joe isn’t designed for grilling.
You can also cook on multiple shelves in the WSM.
Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Kamado Accessories
There are a number of Weber specific accessories that can help you to master this versatile smoker.
Getting started with the WSM is really simple, but you might find benefit from investing in items such as:
- WEBER ORIGINAL RIB RACK – If you want to stop your ribs from looking charred then you need to elevate them from the grills. This fantastic rack allows you to cook up to 5 racks in one go and delivers perfect results every time.
- WIRELESS GRILL THERMOMETER – Monitoring temperature is one of the most important parts of cooking on your WSM. Today’s technology means you can sit back and watch the game knowing your smoker is in the right temperature zone. With a wireless grill thermometer, you can set temperature zones and your phone will alert you if there is any change to your cooking temperature.
- WATER PAN COVER – Weber make a brilliant water pan cover that won’t improve the quality of your smokes but will make your Smokey Mountain last longer and reduce clean up time. An investment you’ll be pleased you made!
- CHIMNEY STARTER – Weber’s rapid-fire chimney starter gets your briquettes smoking in double time. It’s a simple design that can have you up and running in under 25 minutes.
Due to the variety of ways you can use a Kamado, there are loads of accessories to help improve your experience.
A few of the best include:
- JOETISSERIE CLASSIC – If you are looking for delicious chicken then the JoeTisserie classic can turn your Kamado into a rotisserie!
- KAMADO JOE PIZZA STONE – With the multiple cooking options of the Kamado, you can enjoy pizza made on the patio with this brilliant pizza stone. You may need to purchase a heat deflector to prevent the top from burning.
- ELECTRIC STARTER FOR CHARCOAL – Eliminate the need for lighter fluid with this electric starter. Its simple design sits on the bottom of the grill and helps to light your charcoal easily. The only issue is you’ll need to be close to an electrical point to use it.
Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Kamado For Beginners
Without a doubt Weber has produced the most user-friendly smoker on the market.
It’s simple to use and delivers brilliant results but, it is just as capable at more complicated smokes and has consistently proved its ability in commercial barbecue championships.
The Kamado takes quite a bit of practice to get used to and may require some assisted smokes from a seasoned Pitmaster!
Weber Smokey Mountain vs Kamado Heat Control
The Kamado is built to maintain heat.
It can also reach very high temperatures.
It is designed to have minimal airflow though, this means you have less control of the temperature inside.
With the Weber Smokey Mountain, the four intake vents allow you to effortlessly control the temperature of your smoke chamber.
This makes the WSM superior when it comes to heat control.
It is also safer and won’t suffer from flashovers.
Weber Smokey Mountain vs Kamado Price
The Weber Smokey Mountain is hundreds of dollars less than the Kamado Joe.
If you compare pricing on Amazon you are looking at nearly an $800 difference.
The WSM has more space and if you are looking to specifically just smoke meats and grill, then you will get more for your money.
Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Kamado Ease of Use
Cooking on a Weber Smokey Mountain is much easier than a Kamado.
You will be able to master the smokes in a shorter amount of time, It’s not just cooking that is easier, you will also find that the WSM is much quicker to clean!
Can You Grill With Both The WSM And Kamado?
Kamado is known for offering a lot of versatility in cooking, It’s more like an oven than a traditional smoker.
However one of the few things the Kamado cannot do is grill.
If you are looking to do long and low smokes with the option of grilling meat too then the Weber Smokey Mountain is the ideal purchase.
Can You Smoke With Both The WSM and Kamado?
Both the Weber Smokey Mountain and the Kamado Joe give you great smoking.
You have more heat control with the WSM.
The Kamado has less air intake which can stop your meat from drying out.
The Weber uses a water pan and multiple intake vent settings to help you achieve this too.
Which Smoker Has The Best Temperature Control?
While the Kamado Joe is designed to hold in the heat and burn less fuel, delivering good long and slow smokes, it offers far fewer temperature control options than the Weber Smokey Mountain.
Is The Weber Smokey Mountain The Best?
If you are looking for a simple to use smoker that offers good temperature control, dual-zone cooking and the ability to grill, then the Weber Smokey Mountain is the best option.
It is also easy to move allowing you to take it to parties or on camping trips.
It is also incredible value for money.
Is Kamado Better Than Weber?
In many ways, it’s not right to compare the two.
The Kamado is far more like an oven than it is a smoker.
Although it does produce fantastic smokes.
If you are looking for an outside oven more than a smoker/grill then the Kamado Joe is a great choice.
It is also a great option if you live in extreme temperature environments as the airtight lid means the internal temperature won’t be affected.
You will need a separate grill and due to its heavy construction, you won’t want to move it very often!
Does the Kamado Retain Heat Better Than The Weber Smokey Mountain?
Due to its heavy construction and its airtight lid, the Kamado Joe does retain heat incredibly well.
This means you may be able to leave the Kamado to cook overnight.
The Weber Smokey Mountain does retain heat well and has more heat options due to the intake and exhaust vents.
As you can see these two smokers are at the top of their game and choosing between them may be tough.
We think the Weber Smokey Mountain is more of a purists smoker and grill, whereas the Kamado Joe is an all-round patio cooker.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
He primarily hand writes the bulk of the content but occasionally will leverage AI assisted tools, such as chatGPT, to properly edit and format each blog post on this website. This ensures a pleasurable reading experience for visitors. Read more about our editorial policies here. If there are any improvements that can be made to this article, reach out to us directly at email@example.com