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There’s a very good reason why many barbecue lovers opt for a charcoal smoker. These types of smokers provide one’s food with the most authentic smoke flavor. They’re an excellent alternative to electric models and the number one choice for gourmet smoking enthusiasts.
And when it comes to charcoal-operated models, one brand stands out – Weber. This company has been in the game for quite some time now and its employees undoubtedly know how to make a quality cooking appliance. The Smokey Mountain 22″ model is one of their best-selling products, and it doesn’t have that status for no reason.
Featuring durable construction, a large cooking area, and superior airflow design, this model is a worthwhile investment. As a Weber product, it is somewhat pricey, but its excellent features undoubtedly make up for the price. However, it is still up to you to decide if Smokey Mountain 22″ is the right appliance for your needs.
For that matter, keep reading – we’ll be taking a detailed look at its features. We’ll try to determine all of this model’s advantages (and possible flaws) and help you find out whether it’s a suitable cooking appliance for your demands.
This is an outdoor charcoal smoker manufactured by Weber-Stephen Products LLC (Illinois).
- Excellent airflow design
- 726 square inches of cooking space
- Porcelain-enameled center section, bowl, and lid
- Plated steel cooking grates
- Rust-resistant metal legs
- Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
- Integrated lid thermometer
An important thing to mention here is that the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker comes in a couple of different versions. Along with the 22″ variant, the 18″ and 14″ versions are also available. The only major difference is the size of the cooking space.
Why Get It?
This charcoal smoker is the largest and newest version of Weber’s popular Smokey Mountain units. Weighing 68 pounds and measuring 24″ x 23″ x 48.5″, it provides the user with an ample cooking space. Although quite large, the model is exceptionally stable due to its rust-resistant metal legs.
When it comes to assembly, the unit arrives almost entirely pre-assembled. The user only needs to follow the manual and complete the construction with some screws and clips, which doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. The only essential tool is the screwdriver. However, we also advise the use of pliers to tighten everything up.
Durability-wise, the unit possesses a phenomenal build quality. Its bowl, lid, and the center section are porcelain-enameled. The two cooking grates, on the other hand, are constructed from plated steel. All of this ensures durability and reliability, which is precisely what most people look for when buying a charcoal smoker.
With the porcelain-enameled steel as the primary build material, this model retains heat very well. There is also a porcelain-enameled water pan, as well as the heat-resistant nylon handle. The model’s dampers, on the other hand, are made out of aluminum and are therefore resistant to rust. Our only complaint here is the build quality of the fire door. It is somewhat flimsy and looks like it can easily leak smoke and heat. It is not something we’ve expected from a reputable manufacturer such as Weber.
When it comes to build quality, we also have to mention the built-in thermometer. It is located on the unit’s lid and provides a high level of accuracy. In other words, you won’t have to drill holes for your external thermometer or think about buying one at all. However, Weber still decided to add a soft grommet, allowing the users to insert their digital thermometers if they want.
Another feature worth mentioning is the presence of a bottom heat shield. Its purpose is to protect the surface on which you decide to put your model. The heat shield also makes the unit more efficient, as it reflects the heat upwards.
As we already mentioned, the Weber Smokey Mountain 22″ provides a large cooking area. With 726 square inches of it, the model easily accommodates whole racks of spare ribs. There is enough space for 4 large turkeys or more than 50 pounds of pork butts. This is more than enough for any outdoor gathering, no matter the number of people present.
Ease of Use
Weber’s outdoor cooking products are known for their ease of use, and this model is no exception. This is an excellent model for the beginners, and it’s often recommended to people interested in barbecue smoking.
Some of the outstanding easy-to-use features include the silicone grommet and the charcoal door. The unit’s charcoal door lets one easily tend to the fire and add more fuel. The silicone grommet, on the other hand, allows you to insert a temperature probe. You won’t need to drill holes! Small but useful features such as this one raise the overall value of the model and make it exceptionally easy to use.
Controlling the heat inside Smokey Mountain 22″ is effortless. The model comes with four dampers, each of which possesses rust-resistant qualities. There are three vents at the bottom and one on the top, and each of these has its own set of air vents.
Accessories & Warranty
As it’s been around for quite some time now, Weber built up a wide array of accessories available for their products. For this model, you’ll be able to purchase accessories such as the expandable smoking rack. As it allows one to hang food inside the smoker, it’s a perfect addition for anyone who loves smoked beef jerky, sausages, or fish.
Other useful accessories include the rib rack, rib-o-later, water pan cover, and the automatic temperature controller. Each of these is simple to use and can increase the unit’s versatility and efficiency.
Warranty-wise, the Weber Smokey Mountain 22″ comes accompanied by a generous warranty deal. Its center ring, lid, and bowl are covered for ten years. The plastic components are covered for five years, and all remaining parts are covered for 2 years.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent airflow design
- Easy to assemble & use
- Holds the temperature very well
- Durable porcelain-enameled construction
- Sizeable cooking area
- Steel-plated cooking grates
- Integrated lid thermometer
- Generous warranty deal
- Overall 76% 76%
- Flimsy fire door
“This charcoal smoker has it all. The temperature control is excellent, with the water bowl making it easy to maintain the right temperature all day without any hassle. A single load of charcoal allows me to smoke food for 6 hours without having to replenish the fuel. The build quality is excellent, but that’s something I totally expected from Weber.”
Weber Smokey Mountain 22″ holds the temperature remarkably well. To raise or lower the heat, the user only has to open and close the vents, which is exceptionally easy.
What to Watch Out For
Flimsy fire door
Our biggest complaint about the design of this model is how flimsy its fire door is. It lets in oxygen and leaks out heat. This can make it hard to shut down the air supply and extinguish the coals. With other parts of the unit being made so well, it’s really odd that Weber designed the fire door so poorly.
Almost all products manufactured and sold by this company come at a higher price, and this model is no exception.
It is, however, one of the best-designed and most efficient charcoal smokers in its price category.
A Piece of Advice
If you’ve already decided to go with this model, you’re probably wondering if it’s difficult to season it. It isn’t – provided you take the right steps.
Just like with most appliances of this type, the seasoning is the first thing you need to do. Simply cover the pan with an aluminum foil and fill it with briquettes. Allow the unit to run at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but with no water in its pan. Remove the ash and residue.
After that, fill the basket with unlit briquettes to the half. Fill the other half with lit briquettes and allow it to burn at 275°F for around five hours. To create as much grease as possible, try to add as many meat scraps and large wood chunks as possible. Do this two to three times and your unit will be ready for use.
As you can see, the Smokey Mountain 22″ is yet another excellent Weber product. Not only is it exceptionally easy to use, but comes with features that make it very efficient and put it above the competition.
First of all, its design is a stellar one – every component is made out of premium materials and easily withstands heat. There’s a thermometer for easy temperature reading and a heat-resistant handle for easy handling. The rust-resistant dampers, on the other hand, make maintaining the temperature effortless. And with 726 square inches of cooking space, you won’t have issues with preparing even the most massive cuts of meat.
These and other features undoubtedly turn the Smokey Mountain 22″ into a worthwhile investment. To put it simply, it is one of the best options in its price category.