RE: Brinkman Cimarron vs WMS
Not sure who told you about burning logs, but that is only true if you burn them to coals first. The firebox on all these less expensive off-sets is simply not big enough to support combustion and a clean burning fire when using logs as the fuel source. That means you need 2 pits.....one to burn your logs to coals and the other is your pit.
I will say, the Cim is the best of these off-sets. It only needs a few mods that are listed. I will also warn you that ANY off-set needs constant baby sitting. At most you will get a 4-5 hr. burn time.....that is with charcoal and modifying the firebox and getting a charcoal basket. Otherwise plan on not sleeping when cooking a pork butt or shoulder.
The problem with all the off-sets is physics.....hot air rises and in an off-set you need to pull it sideways. Even the high end ones need to do this. Of course, they have special "tuning plates" and their fireboxes and exhaust vent are engineered to pull that air thru the cooking chamber. However, that makes for a very inefficient operation.
The WSM on the other hand is so much better in regards to EVERYTHING. I just did 32 lbs. of pork butts this weekend. I used ONE load of fuel and kept a steady temp for 21 hrs. I also slept for 8 hrs and upon awakening, the cooker was still humming along at my desired temp. This was all with gusty winds for the entire cook!
If you are worried about cooking space concerns, be sure to take into account the area near the firebox where it attaches to the cooking chamber. That can be a VERY hot spot and rendered useless. You may also need to take into consideration the other end of the cooking chamber...this may be too cool.....I forget if the exhaust is at the grill level. Besides, I can buy 2 WSM's for the same price as 1 Cim and end up with more space.
With my 2 WSM's and a kettle, I can feed 50 people ribs and chicken.
Just my opinion after being around cookers for 25 years.