Originally Posted by woodpelletsmoker
But read posts here, you place coal on one side, you can not place meat direct above coal, and you waste that area
I understand what you mean now. You are right, in that sense it is an inefficient smoker.
Most people smoke on the Weber kettle as a secondary use, mainly people buy them to grill on. People accept that they cannot use the entire surface to smoke on since they see it as a grill first not a smoker. They are also very cheap and very durable so they are popular.