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Weber Smokey Mountain - External temperature?


porpoise_oil
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I'm looking at getting a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. I live in an apartment with a couple of balconies, and it would live out there. It looks awesome but I want to confirm whether the smoker itself gets hot on the outside when it's in use - especially for long smoking sessions? I'll need to be careful since it will be near glass.

 

Does anyone have one? If so, can you feel much heat coming off it while it's in use?

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Yes, they get hot but if you keep it safely positioned, it's not a problem, just like any grill or bbq.

 

What model are you looking to get?

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I have experience with Smoking meat and can offer some insights.  First,  this is a good time of year to find one at a reduced price.

 

Smokers tend to come in Charcoal, Gas, or Electric.  Many women prefer the electric models for cleanliness and being less of a

fire hazard.

 

The idea behind Smoking is to use low and slow heat for an extended time.  You may be looking at 225 to 250 F as the highest temp for this purpose.   I'd say that if you have 18 inches or more around your Smoker that you will probably be safe.  You could find a  piece of thin piece of ply wood to use for an insulation/reflective surface to cover any surface you are concerned about. Wood will  help reflect heat away from a fragile surface and has good insulation properties too.

 

Unless you are just sold on the Weber brand,  there are other brands like this Brinkmann electric model

 

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1287362&KPID=996016&kpid=996016&pla=pla_996016

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I have used the Brinkmann and the Weber. Both are good, although the WSM is an exceptional product, with better build and detailing. My Brinkmann only lasted 3 years before rust perforation started.  Webers are known to last 10  - 20 years.

The Weber SM will burn 5 lb charcoal slowly for 6 hours or more, at 225 F. There is a water pan above the coals to stabilize temperature and catch the drip. The external temperature is moderately hot to the touch, and does not throw sparks. Most of the heat is converted to slowly dissipating smoke, which drifts out through the lid.

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I don't think the external temperature of the smoker is an issue, just like any grill.  The outdoor temperature as well as wind can be an issue in keeping temperature up. I consider the WSMs to be good weather smokers, chilly and windy takes the heat away.   I have two WSMs, an 18 inch and a 22 inch.  if you like cooking whole racks of spare ribs it's worth it to get the 22 inch.  Long racks end up with the ends curled up against the side of the smoker and about an inch in from the sides is the only hot spot in the WSM, the ends of the racks get overcooked.  All in all It's tough to beat the WSM for its combination of ease of use and reasonable cost.  The prices at Amazon right now are great.

 

It's also very helpful to have this web site.  Tells you everything you need to know:  http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

 

 

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You might have already done so, but you should consider checking your fire code and the apartment's rules. Many forbid charcoal grills of any type.

The bottom of the grill gets very hot, and it is just inches above the ground. It can start a fire or melt the wrong type of flooring. Probably not an issue with concrete.

The bottom is the hottest part because that is where the fire is. Charcoal burns at, I don't know, 1000 degrees or more? I can get my egg up to 900, so at least that. The part where you cook will be a few hundred on th inside, less outside. Safe around glass? As Diiggingdog says, if you follow safety rules. If you get too close, idk.

The WSM is messy to clean up. That might be an issue if you live off the ground.

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You don't mention what your experience is with charcoal, so this might be elementary for you. But dispose of your charcoal very carefully. A house containing many valuable works of art near us burned down because the maid put ashes that were three days old in a trashcan inside the house.

Assuming you can have a charcoal grill at your apartment, also consider a Big Green Egg. From an ease-of-use perspective in an above ground apartment, I think it would be better. I loved my WSM, but I hated cleaning up after using it. The BGE is, by comparison, maintenance free and does just as good of a job. If you get a nest, it will be much higher off the ground and does not radiate as much heat, even when the inside is 900 degrees F.

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You don't mention what your experience is with charcoal, so this might be elementary for you. But dispose of your charcoal very carefully. A house containing many valuable works of art near us burned down because the maid put ashes that were three days old in a trashcan inside the house.

Assuming you can have a charcoal grill at your apartment, also consider a Big Green Egg. From an ease-of-use perspective in an above ground apartment, I think it would be better. I loved my WSM, but I hated cleaning up after using it. The BGE is, by comparison, maintenance free and does just as good of a job. If you get a nest, it will be much higher off the ground and does not radiate as much heat, even when the inside is 900 degrees F.

 

3 day old ashes?? How?

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Embers can stay "alive" a long time when covered in ashes or the like....some primitive humans took advantage of that fact and carried around live embers from the previous campfire for prompt fire starting.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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You don't mention what your experience is with charcoal, so this might be elementary for you. But dispose of your charcoal very carefully. A house containing many valuable works of art near us burned down because the maid put ashes that were three days old in a trashcan inside the house.

Assuming you can have a charcoal grill at your apartment, also consider a Big Green Egg. From an ease-of-use perspective in an above ground apartment, I think it would be better. I loved my WSM, but I hated cleaning up after using it. The BGE is, by comparison, maintenance free and does just as good of a job. If you get a nest, it will be much higher off the ground and does not radiate as much heat, even when the inside is 900 degrees F.

I don't have an Egg, but I do not find the WSM messy to clean up, and do not understand why the BGE would be maintenance free. Both units burn low ash lump charcoal at similar high temperatures. The WSM can be dissembled easily when it cools down, and there is never very much ash. If I pay three times as much for the BGE, I lose portability, and gain winter use, if I dare to cook on a patio when it is snowy and blustery. 

 

For anyone wondering about entering the art of home smoking, there is nothing better than the WSM knock offs, like the Brinkmann (charcoal version) at $100, or the Lowes at $80. or less:  They won't last forever, but your first results will have that barque, pink strip, and woody scent that satisfies. http://www.lowes.ca/smokers/master-forge-vertical-smokercharcoal-grill_g1429437.html

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There are several advantages to the BGE or other ceramic smokers such as the Kamado over a WSM or other ones of that type. The biggest advantage is they have the heavy ceramic insulation on them. This greatly reduces the amount of charcoal they burn as well as a long them to be used in colder outside temperatures. Reducing the amount of charcoal they burn allows a much longer time of unmonitored operation which is very nice for overnight cooks! I've gone over 12 hours with my Kamado on about 4 pounds of charcoal! Also because of the ceramic insulation the entire chamber is a much more consistent temperature. The only downside as you pointed out is that they are heavier and harder to move about, they are definitely not portable in the sense of taking him someplace else.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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And, unfortunately, much more expensive.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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