Monday, June 30, 2008

The Bigger the Better, Right?

I pondered the answer to this question while watching a neighbor cooking on a small kettle bbq grill this weekend. The grill was a very generic "BBQ Pro" and measured no more than 18 inches in diameter. Did the size of the kettle grill make the bbq automatically inferior to 'que cooked on bigger grills? To borrow a phrase from my 14-year old niece -- NOT.

When we started competing in BBQ competitions using our small Backwoods Party and Weber Smokey Mountain, we dreamed of purchasing a bigger cooker and custom built trailer. We talked constantly of what we could do with a little extra money. Then we bought the big red cooker. We bought it before we even had a way to carry it to competitions. How smart was that? But it was big and we were going large.

Then we purchased a bbq trailer to haul our equipment to contests. Somehow the planned flat bed single-axle 10 foot trailer constructed of expanded metal became an enclosed tandem axle 16 foot trailer with an RV door, catering window, insulation, lights, electric, and a three compartment sink. We were living in Michigan and at that time Michigan had only 2 bbq contests, but we reached our goal of going big and we continued thinking big. Once we had the trailer, we needed a bigger truck to tow it with, and it was inevitable that we now needed an even bigger cooker.

Here it is two years later and gas prices have doubled. We often talk about how well we actually cooked when we were traveling like modern day hillbillies in the short-bed Ford F-150. We’d like to start competing again, since we’ve moved back to Florida, but we need to find a more economical way to travel. The big trailer has now been sold, so the big red cooker won’t be traveling with us to future competitions.

Recently we realized that the WSM is the best cooker we’ve ever owned for the money. For the money invested, we have won more prize money with cheap equipment than with the larger ones.

Bigger isn’t always better after all.


Bill Parlaman said...


I couldn't agree with you more. For the money and ease of use the WSM is the best smoker out there in my opinion.

It breaks down easy and its very easy to travel with.

Not only is it great for barbecue but its a great little grill as well.

Just last night I grilled some steaks on the bottom bowl over the fire ring. Its the perfect hight to avoid flare ups and burning your steak!

Good post and I just subscribed. I look forward to reading more!

Bill Parlaman

Tom said...

One can work wonders on a Weber. I dream of a big rig. First I feel I need to perfect the art at scale.