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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 02-25-2020, 06:15 PM   #31
pjtexas1
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
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This is how I feel about the Smoke Fire...

https://youtu.be/L98NIVpo1Lc

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Old 02-25-2020, 06:51 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBoneMac View Post
MAK all the way.
I mean, no one is going to disagree with this. But at essentially twice the price even for the 1 star vs. the EX4, this wasn't an option for my budget.

At that range I would have considered the Traeger Timberline as well (edited - originally said Ironwood, but I meant the more expensive one)

If I were having pellet feed issues, I'd feel differently about the Weber, but I'm not and so it's working for me now.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #33
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Not now, not ever
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:51 PM   #34
Baychilla
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While I was tire kicking pellet smokers the Weber was interesting. Apparent engineering fails and alpha software aside the response from the company turned any future purchase into a hard NO. If a company wants to ridicule me when I have a problem with their product they can pay me for that privilege.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:59 PM   #35
Happy Hapgood
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Not going down this Weber rabbit hole. I too am a Weber Guy. Great products for decades. They should call this one the Misfire.


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Old 02-25-2020, 11:40 PM   #36
Shadowdog500
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Here is the first good solution to the hopper angle. https://youtu.be/6GpdywB4XoA

I’m sure people will start selling modification kits to fix the problems.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:54 AM   #37
pjtexas1
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowdog500 View Post
Here is the first good solution to the hopper angle. https://youtu.be/6GpdywB4XoA

I’m sure people will start selling modification kits to fix the problems.
I'm insulted! I thought my solution was first?

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Old 02-26-2020, 09:38 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowdog500 View Post
Here is the first good solution to the hopper angle. https://youtu.be/6GpdywB4XoA

I’m sure people will start selling modification kits to fix the problems.
I thought Weber was advertising how great it is to be able to dump a whole 20 lb bag of pellets into the hopper and not have a nearly empty bag lying around. Guess this will call into question that claim...
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:50 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtexas1 View Post
This is how I feel about the Smoke Fire...

https://youtu.be/L98NIVpo1Lc

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??? I don't get it??
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:51 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by DanB View Post
??? I don't get it??
Edit: I was to hasty. I thought it was the 10' pole video.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:18 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtexas1 View Post
I'm insulted! I thought my solution was first?

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OK, you were first! I must have missed it!
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:26 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJBBQ View Post
I thought Weber was advertising how great it is to be able to dump a whole 20 lb bag of pellets into the hopper and not have a nearly empty bag lying around. Guess this will call into question that claim...
I agree with their sales team, It is great to be able to dump an entire 20lb bag into the hopper. The “great” rating would move up to “excellent” if the pellets actually fed to the auger.

I can’t wait to see the other excellent solutions people come up with for the other “great” features on this cooker.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:34 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_b_b View Post
I have an EX4. Don't know how many of the above posts saying "nay" have actually used it, versus watching YouTube videos.

I got it on Feb 12, and managed to do a couple short cooks on it before heading out of town for a week. Seemed to work fine, and I was happy so far.

While I was away, the YouTube explosion happened, and made me doubt whether I'd keep it. Since getting back, I've done a couple more cooks, and I realized that my worries were just buying into the online fear, and if I hadn't watched those videos, I'd probably be ok with it. So I'm keeping it. Note that this is my first pellet grill, but I've used weber kettles forever and more recently a WSM. Here's my experience and rationale:

I assembled it myself, including wiping down some of the oil on the heat deflector, then leveled it carefully (my grill area slopes away from the house a bit, so I do this for all my grills). Updated firmware via the app, then did the burn in at 600F for 45 mins. Cleaned it afterwards to get rid of the flakes on the heat deflector. There was ash in the body and in the ash drawer, but nothing terrible.
  • Cook #1: Pork loin chops, about 1.5" thick. Smoked at 225 to an internal temp of 130, then cranked to 600 for a reverse sear. I used the weber "grillmaster" pellets and I was impressed with the smoke flavor, based on what I had heard about pellet smokers. Easy to set temps, pretty good sear. Not charcoal good, but better than I get on my indoor DCS gas grill insert.
  • Cook #2: Quick weeknight burgers. Set to 600F and it was up at temp in about 20mins (it was in the 30s outside). Quick and decent sear, but again not as good as charcoal. But it was perfect for grilling after work - up and running a bit quicker than lighting a chimney and letting the kettle get up to temp, and was cool enough to cover back up after the shutdown process had run through. I would often find myself forgetting to go back out and cover my performer by the time it had cooled, often leading to an ash pan full of water after surprise overnight rains.
  • Cook #3: 8lb pork shoulder at 275F. At this point I had seen the grease fire videos, so I admit I used a drip pan and cleaned the cooker beforehand. It took about 13 hours and ran through a bag of weber Apple pellets. The pork turned out fantastic. Perhaps a bit less smoke flavor, but I chose apple hoping it would be mild and I actually preferred it to the harsher charcoal smoke from the WSM. Afterwards there was ash both in the ash tray and in the body of the cooker. Probably not 70% in the ash tray as weber advertised, but maybe 50% ended up there. I used a whisk broom to brush the ash from the body through the grease drains and then dumped the tray.
  • Cook #4: Chicken leg quarters at 350. Another easy weeknight cook, fired up and ready in 15 minutes and chicken cooked perfectly with some crisp on the skin and just the right amount of smoke. I think on a weekend I would still do this on the kettle, but for a winter weeknight this was just as easy as firing up the oven but with better flavor.

Is it as good as weber claims? No. It isn't. Some comments:
  • Ash cleanup isn't as easy as advertised, but not much harder than on a kettle and definitely easier than a WSM.
  • There are hot spots at high heat. Slightly hotter on the right as others have mentioned. At low heat not really an issue, and I can live with it as I rarely need to sear across the entire grate. It does seem to sear better than other pellet grills I have seen, and without having to remove anything. But like I said, this is the first one I have actually owned, so take that into account when evaluating my opinion.
  • I would definitely use a drip pan for long cooks. Yeah, weber initially said you didn't need to and then back-tracked. But clean up with a drip pan is just much easier. And again, way easier than my WSM which is what I would otherwise be using to smoke.
  • I didn't have pellet feed issues, but those seem to be a bigger problem on the EX6 with its longer hopper. I did keep an eye on the pellets and push them over occasionally on the pork butt cook, but only when I was going out to spritz the meat anyway. I can't make them hang up in the hopper if I try.
  • The app is still lacking. No control of the grill, but monitoring works well. No temp graphs. Easy to sync to wifi. I've used it both just monitoring temp, and with the guided cooks that weber advertises. A cool feature I haven't seen mentioned much is that the guided cooks give predicted times left in the cook, presumably using the algorithm June developed for their smart oven. Of all the issues, this is the most likely to improve, so I can live with it.

The bottom line for me is that the food tastes good. For quick weeknight cooks, it's more convenient than a kettle, but tastes better than gas. For smokes, it isn't as set-and-forget as weber seemed to imply, but flavor is comparable to a WSM and set-up, monitoring and clean up are easier (allowing that you use a drip pan, which takes all of 15 seconds to set up). I find it a good complement to my charcoal cookers.
You used an entire 20 pound bag of apple pellets on a single 8-pound Pork Butt cook??? That could get expensive quickly!
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:48 PM   #44
DanB
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Hi Thanks for your replies and info. I am going to wait until Weber fixes ALL the problems with the Smokefire before I do purchase one. How can Weber bring this grill out, with all the problems every one is having with it? Weber took a big hit with this one!!!
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:32 PM   #45
Servo
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As a very interested observer of the Weber release, two things stood out to me as unacceptable. Grease fires in the first few cooks and it taking an hour+ to get to high temp for high temp grilling.

Was really hoping that this Weber would end up replacing my Genesis and I would have a pellet option and a high heat grill option (which I don't use much anymore anyway on genesis).

But.. no way I'm buying now with what I've seen. Probably in the market for a straight pellet.
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