Announcement! Preorder for SmokeFire is now available!
The Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grills will become available on January 10th, 2020. You can preorder now and be charged when the grill ships.
Order now from these retailers:
- Weber SmokeFire EX4 Pellet Grill $999: Amazon, BBQ Guys, Lowe’s, Weber Direct
- Weber SmokeFire EX6 Pellet Grill $1,199: Amazon, BBQ Guys, Lowe’s, Weber Direct
Lowes will be the only authorized mass-market retailer to carry SmokeFire for the near term. This pellet grill will not be available through Home Depot or other large retailers until this exclusive deal ends.
On September 16th, 2019, Weber began hyping its latest product. Yes, finally, Weber was entering the pellet grill market. Many said they were too late. Personally, I think their timing is perfect. Weber has let others create the market. Now they can move in to dominate it. Of course, to take over, the Weber SmokeFire has to be more than a typical pellet grill.
Why SmokeFire Matters
Pellet grills, while mechanically complicated are simple to operate and have basic cooking capabilities. Most on the market have a heat and smoke source separated from the food by a large, heavy
diffuser. The food and fire don’t meet. Yes, there are exceptions, but most of those have only limited direct flame cooking space. SmokeFire is different.
Instead of a large plate of metal between the food and fire, the Weber pellet grill uses the same heat tents that can be found in their gas grills. Combined with a cap over the firepot, SmokeFire is an open flame pellet grill capable of hitting temperatures up to 600 degrees F and you can see the flame. Yes, much of that flame is burning grease, but SmokeFire easily bridges the divide between gas and pellet grills. And it does it with the ease of use of any pellet or gas grill. In fact, it (like many competitors) can be remotely controlled. You can even ask Alexa how your food is cooking or tell your grill to raise or lower the heat.
The big question is, of course, does it work? Weber has been developing SmokeFire for several years. In fact, images of it appeared more than two years ago. Say what you will about Weber, they are thorough in their testing and SmokeFire had to be nearly perfect. More than that, it had to convince pellet grill owners that they should upgrade and gas grill owners that they need to switch fuels. This pellet grill had to be practically all things to everyone.
Why Weber Matters
Weber has power. SmokeFire will have been marketed for four months before it hits stores. And with preorder starting as much as a month before shipping begins, there is a lot riding on this grill. Trust that it has been tested under every condition and for very long periods of time. Weber once ran a gas grill continuously for five years. They have a temperature controlled room in their Chicago facilities that can reproduce any weather condition. No other company can throw as much knowledge, experience or money at a product like Weber can.
As the biggest company in outdoor cooking, Weber isn’t holding back. SmokeFire will be available around the world in the first few months of 2020. It would surprise me if it wasn’t the biggest selling pellet grill of the year, maybe ever. And this much distribution, hype, and money are going to allow them to expand in every direction. The first two models of SmokeFire are just the beginning.
The two models of SmokeFire are similar in appearance. There is a 24 and a 36-inch model. The 24-inch wide model (named EX4) has 672 square inches of total cooking space. The area could be smaller, however. The 36 inches wide model (EX6) 1008 square inches. These are big grills with lots of cooking capability. At $999 and $1199 respectively, SmokeFire is very competitive with comparably featured and sized pellet grills. In fact, you have to spend more to get a comparable Traeger.
Weber already has a line of accessories for these grills. There is no waiting for covers or extras. Out of the box, it has a WiFi/Bluetooth enabled controller that has space for four temperature probes. The grill comes with one, others sold separately. There is also a water pan available that fits into the flavorizer bars (diffusers) for added moisture to your cooking.
How it Works
Pellets are fed from a rear-mounted 22-pound hopper at an upward angle to the firepot. This eliminated any risk of a hopper fire. The firepot has a screen on the bottom that allows ash to fall through to a drawer in the bottom of the grill. Similarly, grease also drains down through the grill and into the same drawer. People have suggested that this is a fire hazard, but Weber has tested this and they are not going to sell a grill that catches fire.
The heat spreads evenly through the grill under the flavorizer bars. Weber loves to show pictures of flames shooting up from the grill. This isn’t from the burning pellets. It is actually a grease fire or flare-up. Not an uncontrolled flare-up. Since most of the grease drains out the bottom, only a small amount will catch fire and burn and only when cooking fatty foods at high temperatures. It is impressive, but not something you are going to see when cooking at lower temperatures or with low-fat foods.
The temperature monitoring and associated app are preprogrammed with hundreds of foods. Put a chicken on the grill, insert a temperature probe
and the app will tell you when it will be ready. This information constantly updates and you can adjust the grill temperature to get your food cooked right when you need it.
One good reason to consider the SmokeFire Pellet Grill is the support you get. Weber has a great reputation for service and this grill has one of the best warranties in the business. Of course, no one wants to have to plan for repair or replacement parts, but knowing it is there helps with the decision process. The warranty on the Weber SmokeFire Wood Fired Pellet Grill as:
- 5 years: Cook box and all components not covered below: no rust-through/burn-through
- 3 years: Electrical components: (Weber Connect controller, auger motor, fan, probes)
- 3 years: Cooking Grates
- 3 years: All remaining parts: (glow plug, burn pot, fuel grate, pellet slide)
To put this in context, Traeger offers a complete 3-year warranty on their pellet grills. It would appear that Weber is trying to raise the bar here too.
I intend to keep this page updated with everything I learn about the new Weber Pellet Grills. If you have any information or questions, please leave a comment below.
For full and up to date reviews on the Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grills see:
- Weber SmokeFire EX4 Wood Pellet Grill model 22510001
- Weber SmokeFire EX6 Wood Pellet Grill model 23510001