Weber EX4 SmokeFire Pellet Grill$999
- 672 square inches of total cooking space divided between two levels
- 432 square inches on the lower rack
- 240 square inches on the upper rack
- 200 to 600 degree F temperature range
- Open flame/direct grilling capability
- Plated steel cooking grates
- 22 pound hopper capacity
- Porcelain coated steel construction
- Full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities with a proprietary app
- LCD display
- 5-degree increment PID control settings
- Four meat temperature probe ports (one comes standard with grill)
- Hopper dump
- Fire Pot ash clean out
- 156 pound total weight
- Model Number 22510001
- Assembled in the United States from globally source parts by the Weber-Stephen Products Company
Full Review - Weber SmokeFire EX4 Pellet Grill
After years of development and months of hype, the Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill has arrived. Slated for release in the first months of 2020, this pellet grill promises to be a gamechanger. From a user standpoint, this grill isn’t a radical departure. If you have used a pellet grill before, you won’t notice much of a difference in how it works.
The cooking system is, however, different. Pellets are feed upwards from a rear-mounted 22-pound hopper. There is very little chance of a hopper fire with Weber’s SmokeFire. Also, the large metal plate that separates the fire from the food is gone. Weber’s "flavorizer" bars spread the heat and deflect the drippings. Underneath the grill is a drawer that catches ash and grease into separate containers.
Here is where the SmokeFire departs from many other pellet grills. At high temperatures, you see the flame. It is channeled through the grill, allowing this pellet grill to cook like a powerful gas grill. This pellet grill sears. And it sears with actual flame, not simply radiant heat. The grilling experience with this pellet cooker is much more similar to traditional grills.
Weber has attempted to make their pellet grill as easy to use as their gas grills. In fact, many of their gas grill accessories will work on the SmokeFire pellet grill. Of course, accessories are sold separately. It shows that during development, Weber kept a close eye on the potential for all the extras they could sell to go along with their pellet grill line. They even have their own brand of wood pellets.
The EX4 SmokeFire is the smaller of two versions of the Weber Pellet Grill. This model has 672 square inches of cooking space on two levels. The grates are plated steel, so good but not great. They are heavy enough to hold some heat, but for this grill, it isn't much of a factor. The 22-pound capacity hopper is placed in the back of the grill and extends behind the control panel mounted on the right side table.
The SmokeFire has both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Weber has had a grilling app for years, but now it is ramped up to grant full control of the grill. Want to cook a Tri-Tip Roast? Find it in the app, enter the desired level of doneness and the grill will monitor and control temperatures to get it there. With the additional iConnect system, this unit can even communicate with Amazon’s Alexa.
For those expecting the kind of even heat that you might find on a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, there might be some disappointment. Pellet grills struggle to keep the heat even at high temperatures. This has to do with the nature of pellet grills. The fire is a little less controllable and while this can pump out the heat, it doesn't have the kind of evenness that one might expect from other kinds of grills. Some people have experienced wide temperature ranges from side to side. Generally, this is caused by a misalignment of the firepot to the pellet feed ramp.
Further, the hopper design may cause the pellet to fail to fall into the auger. Weber's solution for this is to check on the grill every two to three hours to push pellets down towards the auger. Not the best of solutions. Simply put, the angle of the hopper is insufficient to guarantee that pellets will feed into the auger continuously.
Because of the open flame design and the rather small grease drains in the bottom of the grill, it is possible for grease to accumulate in the body of the grill. Under the right conditions, this can catch fire and cause what you are cooking to burn and be ruined. It is also possible that this may lead to the grill being damaged. Currently, Weber's solution is to recommend using disposable aluminum pans to catch grease when doing long, low and slow cooks. Again, not an ideal solution.
Weber has the best customer service in the industry and since the release of the Weber SmokeFire EX4 Pellet Grill, they have been doing their best to collect information and solve problems. Some of the major issues (not experienced by everyone) may require a design change to the way this pellet grill works. If you are looking to buy this grill, I would recommend waiting to see what fixed will be implemented and when. If you are looking to buy now, you might want to consider a different pellet grill.