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Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Smoker | 9 Important Points

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The history of the barbecue and smokers is really cool. The first lidded style barbecue was built by George Stephen Sr. just after the war.

Tired of eating soggy steaks in the rain, he went to work and tinkered about with a metal bouy, eventually creating what is now the Weber Kettle.

A few years after that, Texas metal fabricator Wayne Whitworth started building barbecue pits to keep his employees busy in the downturn.

Texas oil workers had been making their own offset smokers for years using old steel drums. Whitworth’s smoker business Pitt’s and Spitt’s was born and today is the leading name in the offset smoker.

There is no denying how cool the offset smoker looks. It’s a beast of a barbecue that has been dominating championships for decades.

If you have one of these in the backyard then you will almost instantly be seen as a smoking legend.

The problem is to produce consistent and good quality smokes on an offset smoker requires you to be a pitmaster yourself. They take a long time to heat up and while they have plenty of advantages, to the average pitster, they don’t have the advantages of the cult favourite Weber Smokey Mountain.

Let’s line these to icons of barbecue up and see which comes out on top.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Smoker Pros And Cons

Offset smoker pros include:

  • Superior smokey taste
  • Large cooking capacity and we’re talking commercial size large!
  • Separate firebox which allows you to add fuel and stoke the fire without opening the smoke chamber
  • Cool factor is definitely a plus 10!

Offset smoker cons include:

  • It’s huge! Not only is it huge, it is also seriously heavy so taking it on your camping trip isn’t an option.
  • Maintaining temperature is really hard with an offset and will require a lot of attention. No lazy low and slows for you!
  • Cost is high, for a good quality offset smoker you want to spend around $1000
  • Weather can affect the performance of the offset smoker.

Weber Smokey Mountain pros include:

  • Quick smoke option if you want to cook hot and fast
  • Fuel usage is really efficient meaning less poking around in your pit
  • Easy to use, a great smoker for beginners and experts
  • Dual grates offer a great cooking capacity
  • Portable due to its shape and weight

Weber Smokey Mountain cons include:

  • Flavour isn’t as strong as the offset smoker
  • The lid isn’t easy to store when removing your food

Weber Smokey Mountain vs Offset Smoker Flavour Profile

Both these smokers offer a great flavour smoke. Traditionally an offset smoker will give you a more complex flavour profile.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Accessories

Weber offers a large range of accessories via their website for the Smokey Mountain. You can also buy quality aftermarket products easily on the internet. This includes:

  • App-connected thermometers
  • Rotisseries
  • Fuel starters
  • Gloves and safety equipment

If you buy your offset smoker from a company such as Pitt’s and Spitt’s you can find accessories to help improve the versatility of your smoker, these include:

  • Grills to cook over the fuel source
  • Fuel starters
  • Flavoured wood chips
  • App-connected thermometers

Due to the number of homemade offset smokers you need to be more careful with aftermarket accessories. Do your research and make sure you are buying from a reputable source.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Fuel

Both the Weber Smokey Mountain and the offset smokers use charcoal and wood chips for fuel. However, the Weber Smokey Mountain’s charcoal chamber can consolidate fuel for efficient burning. This means it will cost less to smoke your food.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Temperature Retention

One of the advantages of an offset smoker is that the fuel is in a separate chamber. This means you don’t have to open the smoke chamber when to stoke your fire or add fuel. If you have a high quality offset made with heavy gauge metal then you will get better heat retention. Maintaining a steady temperature in an offset smoker is really hard and will require plenty of practice. You will also find it is affected by windy and rainy weather.

The Weber Smokey Mountain has great temperature retention. It is quick to get up to your desired temperature and much easier to maintain. You do have to open the smoke chamber to access the fire pit. Due to the burn efficiency, it is less likely you will need to do this. The four intake vents and the adjustable exhaust vent also help you to maintain your temperature with ease.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Quality

Weber is a global brand with a fantastic reputation. They offer a 10-year warranty on many of their products. This long warranty shows the confidence they have in the build quality of their smokers.

If you buy an offset smoker from a reputable company you need to ensure it is heavy gauge metal. To get a good quality entry-level smoker you should spend above $1000 on the unit. Most offset smokers have a shorter warranty than Weber offer. There are also many homemade offset smokers for sale, so be sure to research any company you buy from.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Price

The WSM comes in three sizes and the most expensive is around $500 online.

Quality offset smokers range from $1000 to $5000 although you can purchase a cheap offset for the same price as the Weber. We wouldn’t advise that.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset For Beginners

Offset smokers are tricky. One of the reasons they get respect from pitmasters is that producing a good smoke is incredibly hard. You need to be patient and attentive with the temperature and even expert pitsters will need plenty of practice to produce consistently good smokes.

The WSM is effortlessly simple to use. It is one of the best smokers available for beginners.

Weber Smokey Mountain Vs Offset Maintenance

Maintaining the Weber Smokey Mountain is simple. It is a small unit that gives you less surface to clean, making it easier to clean down after every smoke session. Due to the water pan, you will also find less scrubbing is required than the offset smoker. It is worth doing an empty smoke to keep your WSM seasoned and also giving it a deep clean a couple of times a year.

The offset smoker is larger, which means cleaning and maintaining it takes a little longer. As it is not a water pan smoker, cleaning the smoke chamber can require some serious elbow grease! You also want to be careful not to remove the seasoning as this will lower the flavour profile quality.

If you want to look like the coolest pitster in your neighbourhood and are happy to spend a lot of time alone by your smoker, buying an offset ticks all the boxes. If you want to produce multiple great smokes for your friends, while spending time with your family and relaxing during the cook, buy a Weber Smokey Mountain.