Smoking meat is a great way to cook your food, and the results are never disappointing. This Weber Smokey Mountain smoker 14 vs. 18 comparison is a great way to see which is better.
Weber is known for many appliances that cook your food in any style you want. They have released a series of smokers that have been instant favorites of their users.
The Smokey Mountain smoker collection has many sizes that you can choose from. However, some things make these smokers different aside from the obvious, the size.
You cannot see such features when you just take a look at smokers. So we are taking the time to go deeper into the details and see what makes them different from each other.
There are many things that you can cook with these smokers as well. Aside from the features, we will also see how well each smoker performs to know how powerful and convenient they are.
So if you are thinking about buying a smoker from Weber, then read on as we take a look at the different features of these smokers and see how well they can cook your favorite recipes.
These smokers require minimal assembly, and you can use them a few minutes after they arrive at your house. You do have a guide that comes with the smoker, but it can be confusing.
Parts of the smokers, such as the legs, brackets, and lid handles, usually need to be assembled. These are easy to do, and you do not need any special tools for doing them.
Some diagrams come with the smokers that can guide you through the setup process. The only challenge is that both diagrams have the same smoker and no specified size.
What I mean by that is the diagram represents the same model, which made it a little confusing. For example, there are two washers on each of the smokers, and they looked identical.
The diagrams have the same representation of the washers that made it confusing. That is why I needed to see it for myself and research; luckily, they included it on their official website.
So basically, the fiber washers go against the shell of the smoker itself. This protects the paint surface and the finish of the smoker in extreme weather conditions.
Smokers will not deteriorate easily from the weather outdoors. You can leave them outside after cooking, but I suggest you cover them to further protect the outside parts.
Just find the right spot in your backyard and then place the smoker on it. Just make sure that you do not put the smokers near any flammable object to not melt or burn it.
This is where the differences between these two smokers will emerge.
By looking at the details of each smoker, we will be making the judgment of which smoker is better at cooking your food.
Many things are common with these two smokers, with slight differences between them. So here, we will take a look at those differences.
Material And Build
Although these smokers are relatively the same in design, the materials used are slightly different. The main body is made mostly with stainless steel and other durable materials.
The 14-inch model has porcelain-coated stainless steel for its lid, water pan, and main body. This is pretty durable and can withstand most of the temperatures and weather.
This makes the smoker great for the outdoors. Since it is also a small smoker, you can easily bring it on tailgating and camping trips so you can make any food you want while on the road.
The 18-inch model, on the other hand, is made with stainless steel as well, but it has a different finish. Instead of porcelain, this smoker has a powder-coated finish for durability.
The legs, vents, and internal brackets are all aluminum. This is what makes the 18-inch model great for cooking without having to worry about the food or meat sticking to them.
Both of these models have the top lid, and access door handles made with plastic. This makes them great for cooking as they do not necessarily heat up nor melt while there is heat nearby.
Aside from the main size of the body or the height of the smokers, one obvious difference is the size of the cooking area. You can see it from the first look alone as the difference is noticeable.
The 4-inch difference between these two smokers is helpful for different occasions. You can cook more food on the 18-inch smoker, so it is great for parties with many people to serve.
For the smaller model, you can use it on small family gatherings. It can cook a whole chicken and other cuts of meat on the other layer of cooking grate found on the bottom part.
The 18-inch model has 481 square inches for the cooking space compared to the 286 square inches on the 4-inch model. So this is one of the decision-making features of the two.
What makes these two similar in terms of the cooking space is that they have the same build material. The cooking grate on both is chrome-plated stainless steel.
This makes them easy to clean and cook on as they do not make a lot of mess. You can easily clean them as the food does not stick easily to the grill grates when cooking with it.
Both of these models are pretty portable, and you can bring them anywhere you want. You just need to bring with you a lot of charcoal to fuel the smokers and cook outdoors.
The 14-inch and 18-inch models are both reasonably portable. Both can be broken into three main parts so you can make space for the smaller parts in the car or at the back of your truck.
With this feature, you can make the best-smoked meat on the road. You do not need too much space for packing up these smokers so bringing them with you is not that hard of a task.
These smokers are 23 pounds and 39 pounds, respectively, which means that there is no problem when you transfer them from your backyard and up your truck or the car’s trunk.
The 14-inch smoker is better for traveling because of its more portable size and is lighter. So that is one thing to consider when you are choosing between these two models.
You can easily fit this smoker in smaller spaces, so if you have a small RV or car, there is not much to worry about this smoker. Just make sure that you have space for the fuel.
Cooking In The Smokers
Perhaps my favorite type of comparison is determining the cooking prowess of each model. Here, we will be looking at how well these smokers perform when cooking in them.
There is not much difference between the cooking methods and the power of these smokers. You get to see how well they can balance the heat within them to cook the food properly.
The structure and materials used in making these smokers do a great job at retaining heat when cooking. You can smoke any cut of meat with these smokers with not much hassle.
Controlling the temperature is pretty easy as you can do it with the help of two dampers. One is at the bottom of the firebox and the other on the lid of the smokers.
With these dampers, you will be able to balance and retain the heat. These smokers have a great way of controlling the heat within them and hardly lose heat during the process.
The shape of the lid and the overall body of the smokers help in distributing the heat evenly. The dome shape of the lid brings the heat back down again before escaping through the vent.
There is a small hole on the side of the smoker where you can insert a meat probe in. I was able to properly monitor the internal temperature of the meat without opening the smoker’s lid.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Because of the smooth finish on both of these smokers, you can easily clean the outer parts with a wet towel. You can easily remove the dirt such as ashes and dust from the smokers.
One advantage of the 18-inch model when cleaning is its external ash pan included in the product. You can easily remove the dirt from the firebox.
There is no ash pan for the 14-inch model, so you need to manually remove the ashes from it. Just make sure to do the cleaning process every after use to keep the smoker in good condition.
One great thing about these products is that the company includes a custom cover. That means that you can leave the smokers in your backyard or outside without any worries.
These smokers from Weber are perfect for your smoking experience. They are very easy to use, so even beginners can enjoy using these smokers.
There are many cuts of meat that you can cook with these smokers. You can make the best chicken roasts and pork shoulders with enough smoky flavor and tenderness in them.
I would personally recommend getting the 18-inch smoker, but if you just need something used for smaller occasions, then the 14-inch smoker will be good.
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