I still have a soft spot for my Weber Smokey Mountain bullet, the smoker I would recommend to most folks who are serious about making BBQ at home. I have an older 18-inch version that’s big enough to cook, say, three pork butts and a brisket or even two — but in recent years, the bullet has had more features added to it and a larger version has been introduced. Unless you feed a big crowd all of the time, a bullet makes more sense than an offset smoker — especially since a decent offset that won’t require constant tending will set you back more than $500 at a bare minimum (and really, you don’t get anything decent until you get into the $1,000 range).
But even my bullet is bigger than most people need to make a family meal — and in fact, I usually use my 14-inch Medium Green Egg for smoking as a result. It uses less fuel and is even more stable than the bullet, especially in any kind of breezy or bad weather (heck, with a $10 ductwork cap in place, you can smoke in a downpour with an Egg). Of course, it comes with an Egg’s price — and if you’re a casual smoker and griller, that’s hard to justify.
Enter the newest Smokey Mountain — a 14-inch mini-model. It works great for smoking for a couple or a few people, It uses far less fuel than the regular Smokey Mountain. It is kind of adorable-looking. It costs about $200 online and, since it’s a Weber made of enameled steel, it will last for years and years if you keep it covered when not in use. Just starting out in smoking or just need to cook for a few folks? Here’s your tool.