After years of development and months of hype, the Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill has arrived. Scheduled for release in the early months of 2020, this pellet grill promises to be a game changer. From the user's point of view, this grill is not a radical departure. If you have used a pellet grill before, you will not notice a big difference in its operation.
However, the system is different. Pellets are fed vertically from a rear mounted 20 pound hopper. No chance of a hopper triggering with Weber's SmokeFire. Also, the large metal plate that separates the fire from the food has disappeared. Weber "flavor" bars spread heat and deflect drips. Beneath the grill is a drawer that traps ash and grease in separate containers.
This is where the SmokeFire moves away from other pellet racks. 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 rack breaks. And it burns with the real flame, not simply with radiant heat. The experience of grilling with this pellet cooker is superior.
Weber has tried to make your pellet grill as easy to use as its gas grills. In fact, many of your 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 of all the extras they could sell to accompany their line of pellet grills. They even have their own brand of wood pellets.
The EX6 SmokeFire is the larger of the two versions of the Weber Pellet Grill. This model has over 1,000 square inches of cooking space on two levels. The racks are plated steel, very good but not great. They are heavy, but that is not a big problem with pellet racks. The 22-pound capacity hopper is placed at the rear of the grill and extends behind the control panel mounted on the right side table.
The SmokeFire has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Weber has had a grill app for years, but is now enhanced to give full grill control. Do you want to cook a three-point roast? Find it in the app, enter the desired cooking level and the grill will monitor and control temperatures to achieve it. With the additional iConnect system, this unit can even communicate with Amazon's Alexa.
A strange element of the design of this pellet grill is how the temperature probes go from the controller to the food. You feed them through the back of the lid. This is difficult to achieve, especially if you are not tall and strange, better access is not provided. It would be nice to be able to plug the temperature probes into the grill without running the cables from the side table under the lid to the meat. There are at least four ports to plug them in.
Problems due to misalignment in the pellet ramp and pot feed, this grill can be heated unevenly. Very uneven indeed. Make sure the pot is in the correct position as well as the baffle that fits over the top. This should solve the problem. Otherwise, contact Weber support for further solutions. Honestly, this shouldn't be a problem, but it is for many people. Not all, however. That this and other problems managed to pass the product tests and reach consumers' patios is distressing.
In addition, the rear mounted pellet hopper can stop feeding pellets to the auger. At this time, you should check the grill every 2-3 hours to make sure it's still burning. If you relied on this grill for overnight cooking while you sleep, you may be disappointed. Weber is providing an insert for the hopper to ensure the granules are fed properly. If you already have this grill, please contact Weber to get this part. Future models will come standard with the modification.
There is also a high possibility of grease fires in the SmokeFire EX6 pellet grill. The combination of grease and ash in the grill body can prevent fat from leaving the grill. This will produce a build-up of flammable materials inside the grill. It is now suggested that this pellet rack should be cleaned after each cook, for no other reason than as a preventive measure.
Weber seems to have brought this grill to market. The software and associated application must be updated before the grill can be used. This, however, does not solve the mechanical problems that may occur. I want to make it clear that not all grills or users have problems and that there are many success stories. However, if you don't want to risk it, I recommend against buying Weber SmokeFire or buying a different pellet grill.