That’s not to say the SmokeFire is a grilling perfection. I have two brands. The first is that a lot of ash floats in the air every time I use it at high temperatures. The fan seemed too aggressive at times. It’s not an interest, but it’s something to know, and a good reason to keep the tap closed.
My other problem is that the temperature varies a lot on the kitchen surface in my tests. Of course, this can be used to advantage. The center is the best place to get a good bruise, and you can do this while putting other things on the sides, so they cook more slowly and don’t dry out. For example, you can do a surf-and-turf by roasting steaks in the center and holding the shrimp aside. But you’re limited to the number of things you can burn right away.
These are relatively minor challenges, however. My biggest problem with pellet smokers is the requirement to use branded pellets. In this sense, the SmokeFire is no different than any other pellet cooker. For best results, you should stick with Weber pellets.
Mostly Solved Problems
If you read the reviews of Weber SmokeFire customers, you may run into some angry people who have had bad experiences with the original model, including a significant number of fat burners. I did not use that model, but I was very careful to try this new model to see if the problems were solved. In my experience, the answer is either yes or no.
One of the big complaints about the original SmokeFire was that Weber’s app didn’t allow much control. The app started shortly, which I did covered elsewhere. The current version isn’t as cute as the Traeger app, but it now allows you to control every aspect of the SmokeFire. It also has some more integrated recipe templates for making ribs, scallops, chicken, and more. I think Weber solved the software problems that plagued the original SmokeFire.
To deal with the hardware problems, Weber added a panel to the pellet tray to make it stiffer, so the pellets flow more easily into the cooker. There is also a new coconut. I have not had any problems with any of them, which addresses all the problems except maybe one: fat accumulation.
In my tests, I did not have a problem with fat accumulation, nor did I experience any significant fires or fires. But it’s easy to see how you might have problems, especially if you’re cooking a lot of breasts or other fatty cuts. The SmokeFire design only makes it easier for grease and ash to clog drain holes, and more grease means more potential flare-ups. The updated version does not eliminate that.
For many people, this will be a business switch. However, I still think this is a great cook. Just understand that you have to clean more often than you would with others in the market, including the Traeger. If you have a pellet smoker, also get a vac shop. Trust me.
Also, the SmokeFire EX6 is a massive grille. The 1,008 square inches of kitchen space can hold six ribs of ribs without any problems, even more if you also use the upper deck (an additional 360 square inches of indirect kitchen space). For people who don’t speak regularly to a crowd, the slightly smaller EX4, with 672 square inches of kitchen space, might be a better choice. The EX4 is also slightly cheaper at $ 1,000, compared to the EX6’s $ 1,200.
In the end, I really liked the SmokeFire. The food that came out was absolutely fantastic. Against the Ironwood Traeger, it’s really hard to pick a winner. Both produce excellent results. The Traeger doesn’t suffer from the potential fat obstruction problem, but the Weber seems to be on sale more often. As long as you’re willing to clean it up, the SmokeFire makes a great all-in-one backyard cooker.