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New Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Series (Reviews / Ratings / Prices)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  June 23, 2020  |  7 Min. Read

Weber  |  BBQ Grills

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You are about to see the oddest video ever recorded at Yale. I read reviews about various problems about the new Weber Smokefire from minor to more serious flare-ups.

We wanted to test the SmokeFire before we sold it and found out major problems later.

There were problems as expected. New products always have issues, but that is not why the video is so odd.

First, let's look at Weber, the Smokefire Pellet Grill, and how it competes with Traeger, the pellet-grill leader.

Then we will show the odd video and finish with whether you should buy one.

Weber BBQ Grills

weber-pellet-grill-2Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Series

 

Forged from a small kettle shape in 1952 by George Stephen, Weber grills have been a worldwide leader for reliable outdoor grilling.

They started with charcoal at first, but their Spirit, Genesis, and Summit gas grills are by far the most popular for the price.

However, after years of manufacturing just charcoal and gas grills, the SmokeFire in 2020 is Weber's attempt at a pellet type of outside grill.

Pellet grills are much different than charcoal and gas and outside Weber's value proposition of power and reliability.

With Wi-Fi and a generally more technical interface, pellets are designed for precision and exact temperature rather than the power and output of the simpler gas or charcoal grill.

In other words, pellets are technically electric grills, whereas Weber has produced simple, powerful grills in the past.

Short on time? Get our free BBQ Buying GuideLearn More

How Do Pellet Grills Work?

A motor turns a screw-like device, an auger, to feed the burn pot. The pellets are then ignited and exhausted by the chimney.

Indirect heat means no flare-ups, but pellet grills cannot reach the high temperatures of gas.

It's not a grill in the conventional sense.

Pellet grills are more of an outside electric convection oven powered by flavored wood.

Advantages Of Pellet Grills

You can cook food for a longer period of time. Gas cooking does not offer the flavor or control of a pellet grill. You can set a pellet in 5-degree increments.

You are also not tethered to your grill to flip a burger. You can set it by a recipe and walk away.

Disadvantages Of Pellet Grills

The Weber output is 600 degrees maximum versus 900 on a gas grill and up to 1100 on a pro-gas grill.

So you will not be able to quickly cook those burgers and dogs like gas unless you start much earlier.

Pellets cannot reach temperatures to sear effectively or "char" meats.

Before you consider a pellet, you have to determine how you will use it. Pellets are great for smoking but not faster grilling.

New Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Series

Weber SmokeFire EX4 Wood Fired Pellet Grill 22510001 - $999

Weber SmokeFire Series EX4

Features:

  • Dual Grilling Space
  • 22 lbs. High Capacity Hopper
  • Easy-Clean Ash & Grease Drawer
  • Stainless Steel Flavorizer Bars
  • Porcelain-Enameled Lid and Cook box
  • Plated Steel Cooking Grates
  • Rear Vent System
  • Swivel Locking Casters
  • Side Handle
  • 200-600°F temperature range
  • Porcelain-enamel finish
  • 672 square inches of dual grilling space

Weber SmokeFire EX6 Wood Fired Pellet Grill 23510001 - $1,199

Weber SmokeFire Series EX6

Features:

  • Dual Grilling Grates
  • 22 lbs. High Capacity Hopper
  • Ash & Grease Drawer
  • Stainless Steel Flavorizer Bars
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and cook box
  • Plated steel cooking grates
  • Rear vent system
  • Swivel locking casters
  • Side handle
  • 200-600°F temperature range
  • One thousand eight square inches of dual grilling space.

Weber SmokeFire Vs. Traeger Pellet Grills

Traeger first patented the pellet grill. Its patent ran out in 2005. However, they still dominate the pellet grill space.

Traeger-Timberline-1300-Pellet-Grill-TFB01WLETraeger Wood Pellet Grill

 

In fact, Weber is the only major competitor to Traeger. There are a few niche brands at a higher price.

Traeger offers six grills to Weber's two pellet grills from $799-$1,999.

Weber offers a more reasonably priced full-featured product. It has its flavorizer bars to retain heat for a better "sear."

Weber-Flavorizer-Bars-1Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Flavorizer Bars

 

Weber also maxes their temperature at 600 degrees versus 500 for Traeger.

Now watch two different videos on pellet grills. The first introduces the Traeger and pellet grilling.

The second is a professional griller using the new Weber. It is the oddest video ever shot at Yale.

Traeger Wood Pellet Grills Video Review

 

Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Video Review

 

First, the professional griller is one of my oldest friends. Doug and I went camping together 40 years ago. He has been featured on Chopped and is a professional competing in BBQ competitions throughout the country.

What's odd about this video is: He hated the grill. Hate was the actual word.

Now a pro griller would never buy a pellet. They need speed as well as flavor and texture.

Most pro grillers will build their own grills and use a combination of wood and charcoal for flavor and texture.

He also hated the Lynx professional BBQ grill because you do not have flavor or texture with gas.

Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Problems

After telling Doug most people will not build their own grills and formulate their own custom blends, he told me some relevant information for anyone considering a pellet grill.

First, the unit did not flare up and cause a fire, at least while he was using it.

It had pellet feeding issues. The intake of the auger was inconsistent.

Weber-SmokeFire-Pellets-and-AugerWeber SmokeFire Grill Wood Pellets

 

Weber publishes its ability to achieve 600-degree temperatures. Doug was not able to reach anywhere close to that temperature in 4 hours.

Their Wi-Fi is not consistent with the temperature on the grill, meaning the phone will show 300 degrees, with the actual temperature being 270-280 degrees.

Weber-SmoeFire-ConnectWeber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Connect

 

According to his research, the SmokeFire has software bugs limiting its ability to achieve max temperature. Those bugs or errors in code may have been rectified with newer grills.

Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill Benefits

It worked well at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. In other words, it behaved like a pellet grill.

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Should You Buy A Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill?

Your first question should be whether you should buy a pellet grill. These types are not designed for grilling per se.

Pellet is about cooking at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. It's not about whipping out a quick burger or dog.

Should you buy Weber or Traeger? That's a more difficult question.

Weber is a grill company and has better customer service. I think they will eventually be the name in pellets. Just not this year.

Additional Resources

Get the Yale BBQ Grill Buying Guide with features, specs, and tips to all the brands. Over 820,000 people have already found answers in a Yale Guide.

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WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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