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For 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
I like smoked meats and stuff and I usually get them from restaurants. But since I was entertaining quite a fair bit lately, I decided to look for an outdoor smoker cooker so that I could do it right at home to give my guests some taste of homemade smoked food.
That’s easy, I thought. Just go right down to any hardware stall or Wal-Mart and pick the one that meets my budget! Well I soon realized that it’s not that simple. There are literally hundreds of them on the market. They come in all sizes, prices and uses different fuels to do the smoking. I was totally overwhelmed. I have no idea where to start off beside the fact that I wanted a portable, simple and easy to use outdoor smoker.
As I prefer a more traditional way of cooking, I started looking at those that use charcoal or wood and that’s where I was led to the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18.5-Inch Smoker.
This 18.5 inch round smoker is not just a glorified box like some other models I have seen in stores. It has some features that make smoking less work and far more enjoyable.
What’s in the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker?
Made of porcelain-enameled steel, the construction of the Weber 721001 smoker is solid and the finish is beautiful. It does seem like Weber has all their smokers designed to stand the wear-and-tear from continuous use with its premium-grade materials. And not to mention that it comes with a 10 years warranty.
Let’s start off with the size of the cooker.
Measuring 19 by 19 by 14 “, there is plenty of internal space to hold two, heavy, nickel-plated cooking grates that measure 18-1/2 inches in diameter and that’s enough to cook one whole big turkey and an entire ham at the same time. I find this feature a great time saver and simply perfect for large gathering as you can load up this cooker with lots of food and have them cook all at the same time. There is no need to cook some and then wait for more room to start cooking the rest. This would mean that you would have more time to mingle with your family or guests without having to tend to the food all the time.
Smoking is all about slow cooking and to be successful, temperature control is important. In fact, it’s the factor in deciding quality. Hence, it’s important to have a smoker, which allows you to be able to control the internal heat easily. In the Weber 721001 Smoker, there are enough features to enable you to control the heat and humidity easily.
Firstly, the smoker provides a 2-gallon capacity porcelain-enameled steel water pan If you are a new smoker, then you would find this a real help. Temperature control within a smoking chamber is not that easy especially for charcoal smokers and this is where the water pan may help in some way. The steam from the water pan helps to regulate the temperature and maintain it around 220-degree F. It also helps keep the meat moist, juicy and tender. The larger pan size in the Weber 721001 Smoker allows for longer use before a refill is needed.
There are also 4 rust free aluminum vents. One on top and 3 at the bottom that helps in controlling the temperature within the chamber. You may need to play around a little with the air vents initially but once you get the knack of it, it really is amazing to see how much control you actually do have.
The top lid of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker comes with 2 heat resistant nylon handles, which allow you to open up the cooker easily without being scorched. There is also a build-in commercial thermometer in the lid that enables you to check the internal temperature easily. In some smoker cooker, you either had to drill a hole and put in your own thermometer or set one inside which means that you would have to lift the lid to check the temperature every now and then. But in this Weber Smoker, you can see the cooking temperature easily.
There is an access door on the side and this is meant to be used for adding the coals, wood or water. It’s wide, measuring 7-1/4” x 10” and that makes adding the coals and water easy. One common complaint is that it tends to leak smoke and you may find it difficult to control the oxygen supply that may kill the coals. I bent the door a little and that solved the problem.
What about the setup? Portable or Fixed?
The Weber 721001 Smokey mountain cooker is really easy to set up. Weighing only 37 lbs, you can easily take it to anywhere you want unlike those bulky big smokers where you can only fix it to a permanent place. The Weber 721001 Smokey mountain cooker is mounted on sturdy rust resistant aluminum legs and it comes with heat shield mounted to the legs. The heat shield served to protect whatever surface you put your smoker on.
What about Cleaning after use?
The cleaning of the Weber 721001 is relatively easy. All you need to do is to get a good grill brush and scrape down the insides and dome. When you need to clean the grates, put the grates in a big plastic trash bag, put on gloves, and spray oven cleaner on the grates while in the bag and let sit for 1/2 hour. Hose off the grates. As for the outside, you can just hose off after applying some All-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser like Simple Green. It’s as easy as that
Overall Rating for Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
Frequently rated 5 stars by majority of its users
What others are saying about the Weber 721001 cooker?
This Smoke BBQ cooker has received rave reviews from most consumers on the net with an average of 5 out of 5 from most reviewers on Amazon and the Panasonic website itself.
Here are some of the comments to date:
Extremely happy with this product
“I did extensive research before I purchased this smoker. My choices came down to the Weber Smokey Mountain and the Big Green Egg. The Weber was less than half the cost and has more cooking room. Once I load the smoker with charcoal I can get about seven hours of cooking time without reloading. This smoker makes it simple to make outstanding BBQ.I would highly recommend to anyone who is serious about smoking”
“If you want to smoke meats the Weber Smokey Mountain is a must. I previously owned a cheap smoker that had zero controllable bottom vents. The problem being without being able to control airflow one cannot control temperature. Without temperature control one cannot cook. The Weber smoker is clearly made with high quality parts, everything has a nice thick weight. It was a breeze to piece together. The instruction manual is very clear on how to use the smoker. I have smoked all kinds of food (pork, beef, fish, veggies) since my purchase and I have had zero problems. With 3 bottom vents and 1 top vent I can control the airflow and get the temperature exactly where it needs to be. This is easily the best smoker I have ever used and well worth the money. My previous smoker was much cheaper, but I never was able to cook anything so in the end it was nothing more than a trash can. If you are like me and also wanted to smoke buy this, do not go cheap. The cheap units do not work well at all.”
“If you do any smoking this is the one. It holds heat and hardly uses any charcoal. A friend has a Brinkman and he goes through twice the coal I do. His heat is also all over the place.
I have done some modifications. Side handles on the center section (garage handles). Added another grate between the other two. I can do 3 briskets now. Use 4 12″ clay flower plates (10-15 lbs) to hold the heat instead of water in the bowel. This helps on the clean up and no worries about water getting on the coals.
My friend has the next larger size bullet. He does more food for his family. He can also lay his ribs flat on the grates. This is just bit harder to move around. Pure weight and size. Mine is more flexible to take on the go.
You can’t go wrong with this one!!!”
You can read more reviews here
So where Can You Buy the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker?
You can get this Weber 721001Cooker from many places but from what I found, the best deal is the one offered by Amazon especially with the free shipping option included.
Click here to view on Amazon.