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Looking to Replace 18" WSM with new Smoker/Grill Combo

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    Looking to Replace 18" WSM with new Smoker/Grill Combo

    Long time user of 18'' WSM....looking for more space (had to cut rib to fit inside lid) and some direct heat grilling in a combo unit for my next purchase. For smoking, I like to do a lot of ribs, occasional butts and a few briskets. For grilling, I like to do burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken (used to do this on gas grill that I sold). My budget is up to 1200. I prefer one combo unit since I have a small deck space.

    I did a wide range of research from pellet grills to Slow N Sear kettle. It's hard to find one that does both well. I am used to set and forget with WSM. I don't mind dialing in on vents but don't want to tend to a fire all day.

    I heard lots of good things about pellets but I am hesitant due to less smoke flavor and limited direct grilling. The Slow N Sear kettle was good at both but lacked space (I like to do 3 to 4 ribs per session).

    From my research, it seems like the Good One Open Range was the only thing that could provide what I was looking for: 1) Set and Forget temp controls, 2) Good at long smoke, 3) Direct grilling over charcoals , 4) Charcoal/wood flavors that I am used to.

    I am wondering if there is something else I should consider that could do those things. I am about to pull the trigger and was offered a 5% discount with a free shelf, free cover and free shipping (about $1100 total). Is this a good deal or should I wait for Memorial Day sales?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

    #2
    Welcome to the pit! I have a 22 WSM, a 22 kettle and recently added a Masterbuilt 1050. I got the 1050 for the same reason of wanting more space while keeping the great charcoal and wood chunk taste profile.

    I went with the Masterbuilt instead of a pellet smoker for that main reason. I have a large property to maintain and a young child so wanted something that I could set and forget but not compromise on my preferred taste.

    That being said, I have heard nothing but great things about the open range cookers.

    Comment


      #3
      I was thinking Good One Open Range before I got to the part in your post where you mentioned it. Looks like a fun cooker

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jpietrantone View Post
        Welcome to the pit! I have a 22 WSM, a 22 kettle and recently added a Masterbuilt 1050. I got the 1050 for the same reason of wanting more space while keeping the great charcoal and wood chunk taste profile.

        I went with the Masterbuilt instead of a pellet smoker for that main reason. I have a large property to maintain and a young child so wanted something that I could set and forget but not compromise on my preferred taste.

        That being said, I have heard nothing but great things about the open range cookers.
        Thanks, my brother has a Masterbuilt 560. I cooked on it a few times....fun machine. It smokes well but has only indirect heat setup for grilling. I miss direct heat grilling over hot charcoals. How do you like grilling on it?

        Comment


        • jpietrantone
          jpietrantone commented
          Editing a comment
          capitalhockey To be honest, I haven't really grilled on it a ton yet. I did use it to sear some flank steaks and it did a decent job with that. I still use my kettle as my primary grill just because I have it and it does an awesome job at it.

        #5
        Originally posted by jhapka View Post
        I was thinking Good One Open Range before I got to the part in your post where you mentioned it. Looks like a fun cooker
        How do you like ceramic egg cooker? I heard great things about it but lacking space for me.

        Comment


        • jhapka
          jhapka commented
          Editing a comment
          capitalhockey I love it. It’s got just a bit more than the capacity of a 22” kettle. I don’t cook for huge groups. The only thing that really separated it from other styles when I was deciding was cold weather performance. I did a brisket when it was -24 in February and it behaved the same as it always does after it preheated.

        #6
        capitalhockey I have a Weber Performer Deluxe with all of the Slow 'N Sear addons, and when smoking using the Slow 'N Sear, I use a Weber rib rack and routinely do 5 racks of ribs stood on edge. Spare ribs are a bit too floppy to work well, but I do it with baby backs and St. Louis cut ribs often. I flip the ribs end over end to swap the top and bottom edges, and rotate front to back as well, about halfway through the cook, since heat rises, and the upper area of a kettle is hotter than the grate level.

        My newest grill is the SNSgrills Deluxe Kamado, which I won in the January give-a-way. I've used it in both SNS mode and in traditional kamado mode. With the ceramic diffuser in place, you can pretty much use the entire 22" grate for smoking, and the elevated grate as well, and temperatures are very consistent and even at both levels in my experience so far. It has a lot of possibilities, as with the fire in the very bottom, you can cook at 3 levels - on the upper charcoal grate, on the main cooking grate, and on the elevated grate. You can in SNS mode have true 2 zone setups for indirect cooking and direct searing over the coals. I'm really liking it.

        I think we need to page Mr. Bones to this thread, as he owns the Good One Open Range, and can comment on how hands off it really is. To me, the Good One seems more like an offset, meaning you need to tend the fire quite often. You will not set it up and walk away for 8-12 hours or more like you can with a kettle using the SNS, with a kamado, or with your WSM.

        I have an offset that includes a charcoal pan to let me use it as a grill in addition to as a smoker, and as a smoker, even if using charcoal, I have to tend the fire every hour sometimes more often. I think if I really work hard at a minion style charcoal setup in the firebox, I can get maybe 3 hours on the first load of charcoal before I have to add more fuel.
        Last edited by jfmorris; March 30, 2021, 09:25 AM.

        Comment


          #7
          Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
          capitalhockey I have a Weber Performer Deluxe with all of the Slow 'N Sear addons, and when smoking using the Slow 'N Sear, I use a Weber rib rack and routinely do 5 racks of ribs stood on edge. Spare ribs are a bit too floppy to work well, but I do it with baby backs and St. Louis cut ribs often. I flip the ribs end over end to swap the top and bottom edges, and rotate front to back as well, about halfway through the cook, since heat rises, and the upper area of a kettle is hotter than the grate level.

          My newest grill is the SNSgrills Deluxe Kamado, which I won in the January give-a-way. I've used it in both SNS mode and in traditional kamado mode. With the ceramic diffuser in place, you can pretty much use the entire 22" grate for smoking, and the elevated grate as well, and temperatures are very consistent and even at both levels in my experience so far. It has a lot of possibilities, as with the fire in the very bottom, you can cook at 3 levels - on the upper charcoal grate, on the main cooking grate, and on the elevated grate. You can in SNS mode have true 2 zone setups for indirect cooking and direct searing over the coals. I'm really liking it.

          I think we need to page Mr. Bones to this thread, as he owns the Good One Open Range, and can comment on how hands off it really is. To me, the Good One seems more like an offset, meaning you need to tend the fire quite often. You will not set it up and walk away for 8-12 hours or more like you can with a kettle using the SNS, with a kamado, or with your WSM.

          I have an offset that includes a charcoal pan to let me use it as a grill in addition to as a smoker, and as a smoker, even if using charcoal, I have to tend the fire every hour sometimes more often. I think if I really work hard at a minion style charcoal setup in the firebox, I can get maybe 3 hours on the first load of charcoal before I have to add more fuel.
          Thanks for sharing your experience. You got me thinking it might be better to split my $1200 to get 2 separate units....one for great smoking and one for great grilling. That might be easier to find than one combo unit that is great at both for same price.

          Do you think that is a better strategy?

          Comment


          • jpietrantone
            jpietrantone commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, I agree with 2 cookers being best personally.

          #8
          In my opinion, the two cooker approach is the way to go. A kettle grill can handle all of the grilling chores with ease at a very low cost. There are other choices for low cost grilling too. The bulk of your budget can be used for a nice dedicated smoker.

          Comment


            #9
            Welcome to The Pit.

            Here's another option - a 26" Kettle. That will give you the room you need along with the ability to do everything you want. Add a SnS and you are still well under your budget. That means $$ left over to buy some high quality meat.

            Comment


              #10
              Originally posted by Jfrosty27 View Post
              In my opinion, the two cooker approach is the way to go. A kettle grill can handle all of the grilling chores with ease at a very low cost. There are other choices for low cost grilling too. The bulk of your budget can be used for a nice dedicated smoker.
              which dedicated smoker do you recommend that is under 1k?

              Comment


              • Jfrosty27
                Jfrosty27 commented
                Editing a comment
                I would start with the reviews on the free side.

              #11
              My dedicated smoker is the WSM 22, which has A LOT more room than the 18. I can lay 6 slabs of ribs flat in it and could probably get 12 slabs in using rib racks. No need to coil or cut the slabs. I have cooked an 18 lb brisket, no issues. And a 22 lb turkey that I spatchcocked.

              I also have a Hasty-Bake Gourmet (although the Legacy would work very nicely and is quite a bit less than the Gourmet) ..... on that I can grill, cook hot/fast (think 350F indirect for chicken) and low/slow (roughly 250F). Like the Good One Open Range, a Legacy can be an everything grill.

              My two cents worth

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by RonB View Post
                Welcome to The Pit.

                Here's another option - a 26" Kettle. That will give you the room you need along with the ability to do everything you want. Add a SnS and you are still well under your budget. That means $$ left over to buy some high quality meat.
                Thanks, RonB...that will be my default plan....feel like combo unit is an unicorn

                Comment


                  #13
                  Originally posted by ecowper View Post
                  My dedicated smoker is the WSM 22, which has A LOT more room than the 18. I can lay 6 slabs of ribs flat in it and could probably get 12 slabs in using rib racks. No need to coil or cut the slabs. I have cooked an 18 lb brisket, no issues. And a 22 lb turkey that I spatchcocked.

                  I also have a Hasty-Bake Gourmet (although the Legacy would work very nicely and is quite a bit less than the Gourmet) ..... on that I can grill, cook hot/fast (think 350F indirect for chicken) and low/slow (roughly 250F). Like the Good One Open Range, a Legacy can be an everything grill.

                  My two cents worth
                  I read great things about Hasty Bake....only negative was it was hard to keep low temps like 250...was this true for you?

                  Comment


                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    it took me some time to figure out the fire management for low temps. Two issues. one is that you need to seal the firebox door. Some lavalock solves this problem handily. The other is managing the fire itself, not starting a large fire, building good snake or minion method. It was a lot harder learning this back in the day when there were hardly any good online bbq forums. Today, it's a snap.

                  #14
                  You could always pick up a Primo XL. They're pretty big.

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                    #15
                    If your budget is $1200

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